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Factors behind setbacks to economy

The views in “Silence is no more an option for the PM” (September 9) are forthright and eye opener. In the open market economy, greed overakes fear. After the failure of state capitalism free marketers made a comeback between 1970 and 2000. The crisis that destroyed Lehman Brothers in 2008 is now engulfing much of the rich world.

The writer of “Break out Nations” advices us to watch the changes in the list of top billionaires to learn how they made their billions. If the average billionaires of a country have amassed too much wealth, not just billions but tens of billions, the lack of balance can lead to stagnation. If the billionaires make their wealth from government patronage it can lead to popular unrest.

The 2012 Forbes list of billionaires is equally instructive. The 48 Indians on the list had personal wealth of $195.6 billion. On an average, an Indian billionaire was thus worth $4.05 billion. In comparison, the 95 Chinese billionaires were together worth $245.35 billion. The average wealth of Chinese billionaire was, therefore, $2.58 billion which is 36 per cent below the Indian average. The Chinese economy is thrice the size of Indian economy, yet it produces fewer than twice the number of billionaires. The Indian list is thus off the balance mainly due to chrony capitalism.

In the same list, 95 Russian billionaires were worth $376.1 billion with an average worth of $3.95 billion. The Russian list is heavy with business men from the natural resources sector – the oligarchs.

Due to the seemingly widespread loot of the sources of energy and raw materials the industrial input is getting costlier. As a result, our economy is dipping despite our best entrepreneurship. The problem is spreading to the banking sector as well.


Hurt sentiments

In the article, ‘Sense and Censor’ (September 9), the writer has advocated in favour of filmmakers by justifying their illogical portrayal of Sikh characters in the name of creativity. All the Sikhs feel they have the right to question the manner in which the Sikh community is projected; likewise the movie makers feel their right to distort the Sikh image.

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The issue is not whether all can be satisfied, but without doing ample research on the characters and religions, without realising the do’s and don’ts for characters, especially Sikh characters, certain filmmakers just want to make moeny.

How can a Sikh character have a tattoo of Lord Shiva on his chest? Don’t the movie makers know this? If they had known this, people like Karnail Singh, Peer Mohammed and others wouldn’t have asked for a Sikh representative in the Censor Board, as the writer has said.

Filmmaking is not to be considered as merely a money-minting venture. The writer has actually forgotten to touch upon the social responsibility of such ventures. The approach of the writer is not collective/ holistic but revolves only around one side of the issue.

At this juncture, when Sikh organisations are trying to get the necessary changes made in the Article 25 of the Constitution to get the Sikh identity issues sorted out and to assert Sikhism as a separate religion, the tattoo of Lord Shiva on a Sikh character would project an altogether distorted image of Sikhs and dpict Sikhs as part of some other religion.


No job is small

One is well familiar with “Ode to the West Wind” and “Ode to a Nighingale”, two of the most glorious and celebrated poems of English, but on careful perusal, the middle “An Ode to newspaper hawker” ( September 4) by Lalit Jain was found to be a dignified and exalted piece of writing, profusely praising and glorifying newspaper hawkers.

Older than all the preached gospels of the world is the ever-enduring gospel, ‘Work is Worship’. The newspaper hawkers engaged in their vocation are doing it with an utter sense of responsibility, faithfulness, efficiency and firmness. Dignity cannot be denied to them whose vocation is as old as the origin of the newspapers. They should not be looked down upon. Rather they ought to be admired and helped in very possible way. But for them, millions of homes will be deprived of their newspaper copy which they deliver with monotonous regularity in all weather conditions. So, the newspaper hawkers must be made to feel the importance of their work.

The newspaper hawkers are intensely humans with human feelings and emotions. Their strong will power and distinct individuality make them indispensable. They can’t simply be replaced by modern machines, device and gadgets. The print media must do something tangible to ameliorate the lot of the newspaper hawkers.


Oppose quota within quota

Reservation is a kind of policy which politicians think no party can oppose it. No one is against the uplift of the poor, the minorities and backward classes, but there is a limit to everything. We can give incentives, subsidies and financial help to them. Caste-based reservation is the cause for divisive feelings among people. For the last 60 years we have been favouring a reserving policy by curbing the feelings of large sections of society. By giving preference to one group of people at the cost of another group, we are following a policy that hurts the sentiments of many. The affected people ar bound to feel that they are suffering because of the fault of others.

It is sad that the Centre has gone in for a quota in promotions in jobs. This is an illogical policy. It is against the spirit of work. Where is the need for this quota? It is just an appeasement policy. Our rulers do not think that they are appeasing 10 per cent of the population and annoying the rest of people of the country. People should oppose such policies forcefully. The reservation policy needs to be abolished ultimately. If it cannot be abolished, those families of the backward classes whose economic condition has improved should not be given quota benefit.

DEEPAK SARAF, Rampura Phul



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