Letters to the editor
Apropos of ‘The emperor’s new clothes’ (The Sunday Tribune), the entire defence establishment has been on its toes, which itself shows that the government is in fire-fighting mode. The lack of planning and focus is visible, as the international aid has been lying unutilised. Retired healthcare workers should be called in and more funds made available. Corona awareness campaigns should be strengthened and social security measures announced for unemployed youth so that they do not resort to crime.
Anil Oberoi, Mohali
Time for a lesson
Reference to ‘The emperor’s new clothes’; the writer has aptly echoed the pain and anger of the common man. The people of Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Kerala have already given their verdict on the failure of Modi’s style of working. The apex court has also remarked about the failure of the Indian state. Where lies the remedy? We should take a leaf out of the recent American elections where the people, the Opposition and the media taught a befitting lesson to haughty Trump. Indian media and the Opposition parties will have to get organised to awaken the public about their rights.
Jaspal Singh, Ludhiana
Have had enough
The UP Government’s shameful act of hiding the corpses is utterly reprehensible (‘Hiding corpses in UP’). The manner in which the pandemic triggered the toll is rising and is penetrating the rural hinterland. The irony is that the government is putting up a brave face and is in denial mode. It believes that the catastrophe of even such a scale shall blow over time as the raging pandemic is not of its making. However, mismanagement of Covid-19 squarely lies on its shoulders. Voters are taken for granted as usual, but this time around, they have been shattered to the core by the loss of their loved ones and income. Now no dose of nationalism, hermit attire and polarisation tactics shall work to the BJP’s advantage.
Deepak Singhal, Noida
RSS’ timely warning
RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat has pulled up the Modi government for complacency in dealing with the pandemic, which has since become even more acute. Both the RSS and the Left were known to put institutional discipline above individuals. In 1997, the Left did not allow its leading light, Jyoti Basu, to become the PM, despite an active consensus in the coalition. The BJP, on the other hand, in its avid pursuit of power is seen to be compromising on the RSS ethos and tenets, and shedding accountability. Given the context, the warning from the RSS to its political understudy, the BJP, is, indeed, timely. If neglected, the BJP, too, could face estrangement from people, much like the fate of the Left today.
R Narayanan, Navi Mumbai
Rural Covid wave
Now that the Covid-19 virus has entered rural areas in a big way, there is a need for remedial action on a war footing before this wave turns into a tsunami. The main requirement is to stop the spread of the virus through contact with positive cases. As our village population is living in congested households, it is not possible for them to arrange home isolation. It is imperative that makeshift isolation centres be put up by the panchayats, which can serve clusters of villages. All suspected Covid cases should be moved to these centres immediately on detection and be given medical aid. These centres can be financed by village temples/gurdwaras/masjids and other donors under the stewardship of local MLAs/MPs on the pattern of many gurdwaras. These can be manned by nurses of PHCs and assisted by family members of the patients who can also bring food for them.
Brig WS Choudhary (retd), Panchkula
The controversial Israel-Palestine conflict has escalated recently. Hundreds of missiles were fired from both sides, killing dozens. Both Israel and Hamas have given various excuses for their actions. Sadly, this is what extremist leaders do globally: they justify violence and communal conflict. The world outside stood divided, too — some fuelled with outrage and others with triumph. While the majority of them have no real knowledge about their complex history, they are quick enough to pass judgements and trend hashtags on social media, like ‘India stands with Israel/Palestine’. Passing provocative comments serve no purpose; it only deepens the abyss between the two factions and their supporters. World leaders should also put aside their political and religious ambitions and focus on saving lives by pushing for a ceasefire, as the deaths of today will only become grief and ‘excuses’ for tomorrow.
Priya Dhiman, by mail
Letters to the Editor, typed in double space, should not exceed the 200-word limit. These should be cogently written and can be sent by e-mail to: Letters@tribunemail.com
We have been witnessing a large number of deaths caused by the non-availability of oxygen to Covid patients. The Army has pan-India presence and its officers of proven integrity can be made responsible to distribute oxygen to hospitals located in their respective districts. Army military hospitals can be roped in, boosted by non-medical officers to handle this major resource which is urgently required to save lives at this critical juncture. Army officers will not come under pressure from anyone to do favours to the powers that be. They will handle the job in the most transparent manner, much to the satisfaction of the general public.
SIDDHITA MADAN, BY MAIL
Rope in Army
The suggestion ‘Time to optimally use armed forces during crises’ is apt and timely. The armed forces have in the past rescued people in tsunami-like natural calamities and disasters on several occasions. The ongoing surge of the Covid pandemic is posing a serious threat to the lives of people. The number of those getting afflicted and succumbing thereto is multiplying by the day. The civilians made responsible for the control of the surge have their own shortcomings and limitations. It is time that the armed forces are called upon to intervene and take charge of things and manage the loose ends systematically. The sooner they intervene the better.
KL Noatay, Kangra
States left in the lurch
Considering itself to be the ‘pharmacy of the world’ months ago, India enthusiastically exported medicines and Covid 19 vaccines to other countries, and is now reeling under pressure because of its own wrong strategy and myopic vision. We are in dire straits but have failed to cut through the red tape. The first consignment of Sputnik V vaccine landed in the country on May 1, but the first dose could be administered only on May 14. Above all, now the Centre expects that states will make arrangements of remaining vaccine doses themselves. Leaving states in the lurch when their financial backup is frail, is not the right decision.
Sunil Chopra, Ludhiana
Work as one India
Reference to ‘Tardy vax drive’; the Centre’s move to decentralise the vaccination drive to respective states will have a negative impact on the minds of the people of united India. The grave situation can be overcome only when it is fought on a war footing. The morale of the nation as one India is vital as no state is untouched by the Covid surge. The Centre should keep the command and not encourage federalism at such a time.
KRISHAN BHATIA, Hansi
King and his castle
Prime Minister Modi is laying the foundation of the Central Vista project on the corpses of people who are dying every day. In this crisis, when people are dying because of shortage of oxygen and beds, and even the dead are not getting a place for cremation, how come the leader of the country, which due to the lack of resources is taking help from other countries, be so hell-bent on making his new castle?
Gauravpreet Singh, Amritsar
It is unfortunate that instead of making efforts together to conquer the pathetic situation that has arisen in the country due to the second wave of the coronavirus, our state governments and the Centre are clashing with each other on the issue of making vaccines available to their people. This diversification of efforts has no use. They should learn from an important principle of physics called ‘superposition principle of forces’. According to it, the total force acting on an object is the vector sum of all the individual forces acting on it. Here's the need of a total force to hold this deadly virus at bay, which is possible only if all individual forces (efforts) do not cancel out each other.
Kamalpreet Singh, Barnala
Masters of the game
Apropos of ‘Online games with Anand, other GMs raise $50K’, the five-time world chess champion Viswanathan Anand and all other Grand Masters who played a series of online exhibition matches to support Covid relief in India recently should be applauded for this initiative. These ace chess players played against 105 players for a fixed registration amount. The other four Grand Masters of the sport, who participated in that event, were Koneru Humpy, Harika Dronavalli, Nihal Sarin and Praggnanandhaa Rameshbabu.
Sourish Misra, West Bengal
Letters to the Editor, typed in double space, should not exceed the 200-word limit. These should be cogently written and can be sent by e-mail to: Letters@tribunemail.com
Reference to 'Covishield dose gap widened to 12-16 weeks’; leave aside the criticism that the move aims at hiding the present vaccine shortage. To vaccinate as many people as possible might be the intent behind it. If by widening this gap, the efficacy of the vaccine reaches 82.4 per cent, why was the Covid Working Group sleeping over this vital information all these months? Such a benign approach, when our vaccine need outweighs the supply, is simply unimaginable. A vaccine recipient, it is told, is immune to Covid only after 15 days of the second dose. Is the second one a booster dose or just the completion of a single process? Does the first dose make a person safer while he/she waits for the second? These questions demand answers.
Hira Sharma, by mail
The writer has absolved Didi of all the sins in his article “Post-election mayhem”. Elections have been held simultaneously in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Assam also. There is no report of any hyperactivity on the part of the Centre in these states. Didi has made her state a special case because of her non-cooperative attitude towards the Centre and her volatile demeanour. If the Centre deployed special police forces in Bengal elections, it was only to ensure free and peaceful elections. What is her grouse? Did she not win? Were the Centre’s forces seen helping the BJP? There is nothing wrong with the ECI’s conduct, even if certain police deployment traditions were altered.
LR Sharma, Sundernagar
Rural areas soft target
Lack of awareness about Covid among the people in rural areas is becoming a major problem. Despite the increasing number of corona cases, the rural population is not taking it seriously, resulting in a higher number of deaths in rural areas than in urban areas. Corona cases are on the rise in rural areas due to the lack of health facilities and public awareness. Most people do not wear masks and do not care about social distancing. If this continues, it will be our carelessness, and not the lack of health facilities, that will be responsible for what will follow.
Lavneet Vashisth, Morinda
Villages under virus attack
Refer to ‘Devastating pandemic raging in rural UP’; the writer has put the blame on the government, but he himself is an accused in the contribution of the spread of the virus in rural folk by leading huge gatherings at the Delhi borders, where the farmers come and go frequently to and from their villages, disobeying Covid guidelines, and thereby becoming super-spreaders. Rural Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh are becoming hotspots of the deadly virus, but the media and political parties are turning a blind eye. Time will come when people will not forgive them for their blunder.
Ashok Kumar, by mail
Reference to ‘Poor patients can dial “181” or “112” to get free food at home’; it is a phenomenal initiative taken by the Punjab Government during Covid surge. We need more humane schemes like this. People are suffering from this pandemic, they don't have adequate sustenance. The government should provide food not only to poor patients, but also to the needy who can't afford meals in these hard times. As the situation is not favourable, all states should start such programmes to make sure people don't have to suffer like last time.
Rakhi, New Delhi
Not the time to be petty
Apropos of the recent debate over donations by Amitabh Bachchan to the DGSMC for Covid relief, Sikhism is a religion of tolerance and one that believes in the service and welfare of all. This philosophy is visible in terms of the welfare activities seen lately as India combats the second wave of the deadly coronavirus. Nevertheless, it is distressing to see certain elements, for the sake of petty political mileage, scandalising the donations made by several celebrities towards the fight against Covid. One such example is the donation offered by Amitabh Bachchan towards Covid relief to the DSGMC. Certain hardline elements are criticising his donation on the basis of allegations from the past. In doing so, they are standing in opposition to Sikh tenets of tolerance and compassion. Everyone is free to partake and contribute towards langar and ‘seva’. Thus, criticisms and allegations, especially at a time when there is scarcity of resources and, many lives are in danger, are uncalled for. People should rise above these trivialities and stand united against the pandemic in these trying times.
Charupreet K Lamba, Chandigarh
Letters to the Editor, typed in double space, should not exceed the 200-word limit. These should be cogently written and can be sent by e-mail to: Letters@tribunemail.com
Mamata Banerjee deserves to be congratulated for her resounding victory in the Bengal elections. Her victory is a notice to the BJP that regional satraps are more close to the masses of their states and cannot be taken lightly. The BJP, under the PM, Union Home Minister and several chief ministers of different states ran a vigorous campaign against her to prevent her from coming to power in the state for the third time. The time has come to introduce certain changes in the Constitution. Whenever there are Assembly elections, at least the PM should not participate in the campaign. Modi’s jibe against Mamata boomeranged on the BJP.
Ravinder Kumar Jain, Ludhiana
Book culprits under NSA
With reference to ‘67 held in 15 days for black marketeering of oxygen cylinders, Remdesivir’; the Haryana Police truly deserve people’s appreciation for having arrested unscrupulous elements. The accused should be booked under the NSA and not merely under IPC and the Disaster Management Act. Further, as this matter concerns the health of all state subjects, it's also incumbent upon each one of us to lend a helping hand by informing the police about any suspected/evident black marketeering.
Kumar Gupt, Panchkula
DSGMC must shun politics
Refer to ‘Sikh bodies object to DSGMC accepting Rs 2 cr from Bachchan’; it is unfortunate that even during this unprecedented crisis, politics is being played over the charity made with humanitarian intent. The DSGMC is already doing an excellent job of providing medical services in the Capital. We need to rise above such petty considerations to unitedly face the human catastrophe with whatever resources.
JAGDISH CHANDER, JALANDHAR
Free medicare for all
Reference to ‘Covid hotspots’; the ground reality is alarming. The common man is anxious about the Covid test and the implications if the report is positive. Faith in the health system stands shattered due to unethical practices. The need of the hour is to restore the faith of the masses in the medical system which can only be possible with the strengthening of the government system and provision of services with no burden on the sick. After this phase is over, restructuring of the whole system is required, with free medical treatment for all and without any consideration of the rich or poor.
Krishan Bhatia, Hansi
Covid in rural India
The current rapid spread of Covid in rural areas will have deeper repercussions compared to urban areas, which being primarily engaged with its treatment, could dip into savings to be able to contend with problems of supplies of drugs, vaccines or oxygen. The rural sector that perennially had uncertain income is in double jeopardy today, as Covid not only threatens their health, but also livelihood. The latest figures in MGNREGS show a dip by half in attendance due to fear of the virus and the sickness itself. This, when the current budget for women and child welfare has been cut by 20%. Engaged in the singular pursuit of vaccines and drugs and statistics of metropolises, the government would need to show as much concern over food security and enabling financial schemes for our rural cousins. Gross neglect will take an unprecedented toll on rural health and the national economy.
R Narayanan, Navi Mumbai
Worldwide, leading medical authorities have claimed that the use of Remdesivir is not recommended for Covid-19 treatment, but in India, it is freely used. Similarly, dexamethasone is highly recommended for patients. The British PM has claimed that dexamethasone has saved millions of lives in the UK and the US. Remdesivir is expensive but dexamethasone costs just Rs 10 per injection. The medical fraternity must explain this — why what’s good for the world is not good for us?
RAMESH GUPTA, NARWANA
Make official statement
When it is being alleged that from being a leader in vaccine production, India has been reduced to a vaccine beggar due to the failure of the government, it is the duty of the Government of India to come forward and give its version, rather than depend on some BJP leaders to speak for it. It reflects poorly on PM Modi. All the government's decisions seem like knee-jerk reactions to the fast-spreading pandemic. It did nothing to ramp up the production of vaccines in the country. Even when Russia swept up all idle capacities in India to manufacture Sputnik V, the government failed to see the devastation that the second wave had wreaked in other countries and act accordingly.
SC Dhall, Zirakpur
Reference to ‘Covid corpses on Ganga’; locals fear that these bodies will be washed down further and can be eaten by stray dogs which may further spread the virus. Locals believe that the bodies were dumped in the river because cremation sites were overwhelmed or because relatives could not afford wood for funeral pyres. Experts say that the floating bodies are proof of the under-counted Covid-19 deaths in the country. With these horrific scenes, India has lost its credibility.
Bhagwan Thadani, Mumbai
Bodies in Ganga
Apropos of ‘Covid corpses on Ganga’, it is not known which state these bodies belong to. Both states (UP and Bihar) are facing scathing criticism for their inability to handle the Covid crisis. The situation is all the more pathetic in rural areas, where in the absence of adequate medical facilities, patients are left at the mercy of quacks, resulting in an upsurge in the death rate. History seems to be repeating itself as the Ganga was also swollen with bodies during the Spanish flu in 1918. Famous Hindi writer and poet Suryakant Tripathi Nirala mentioned about this catastrophe in his writings.
Balbir Singh Kakkar, Jalandhar
Go for Army officers
The practice of foisting IPS officers in senior positions in the CRPF, BSF, ITBP must be dispensed with. Lateral entry of battle-hardened Army short service Captain-rank officers should be done at the battalion level of the paramilitary forces, along with dedicated recruitment at the entry level of the right material. These young officers can then grow with the organisation, and rise on merit. Senior positions being reserved for IPS officers, who are adept at civilian policing, but have little or no exposure to counter-insurgency is self-defeating and bad for the morale of the troops.
RI Singh, by mail
Reference to ‘Covid blows up in Yogi’s face’ and ‘Covid corpses on Ganga’; we are seeing the harrowing consequences of the manner of handling and coping with this health crisis by the powers in India. Symbolism bestows our day-to-day living with a grammar of meaningful existence. The symbolism of a dip in the Ganga washes our ills and sins led to the Kumbh Mela even in these times. Political avarice led to the panchayat elections, and elections in five states. Will the corpses found floating on the Ganga, melting grills in crematoriums and the long wait at funeral grounds teach us the necessary lessons?
Lalit Mohan Sharma, Dharamsala
‘Pandemic vultures’ draws the attention of the common man on the issue of medical oxygen being sold on the black market by anti-social elements in connivance with certain higher-ups. This is a matter of deep concern. An equal concern is e-commerce sites selling oximeters 10 times the price two months ago. Government agencies should keep an eye on such vultures as well. Does selling at higher prices, with the payment of GST, make it legal?
Aneep Kumar. Naya Nangal
With the recent news of delaying the election of Congress president, it seems that the grand old party is still not serious about its public image. It is clearly showing in the results that the responsibility of the main opposition party is not fulfilled by the Congress. Even many senior leaders across various like-minded political parties are worrying about the situation of the party. The need for strong opposition parties is important in the current political scenario, where the BJP is dominant in Parliament. Sonia Gandhi has to introspect on these defeats as early as possible and hand over the presidency of the party to a leader with a clean and strong public image.
Jatinder Masoun, Ludhiana
Refer to ‘Dig out the Covid truth’; the whole world needs to be united on the issue to corner China to tell the truth about the Wuhan lab fiasco that is at the centre of the controversy for leaking the virus by omission or commission. Deaths have devastated families all over the world. Businesses have been ruined and there is no let-down in the fury of the virus as yet. The world has to learn to shed its dependency on Chinese goods and be self-sufficient to teach it a lesson and force it to learn to respect humanity and the value of lives getting lost to the Covid-19 virus.
BRIJ B GOYAL, LUDHIANA
The Central government has urged the state governments to fast-track the ramping up of hospital infrastructure. At this critical juncture, it is the constitutional duty of the Centre to help states by extending financial help liberally for saving the lives of people. The Central government should stop the construction of its Rs 13,450-crore Central Vista project. India, being a poor country, cannot afford such a huge amount of money to be spent on this building as the existing buildings are already serving the purpose. With this amount, four-five PGI-like hospitals can be built. The government has already wasted Rs 3,000 crore on Patel’s statue in Gujarat.
SOHAN LAL BHUMBAK, CHANDIGARH
Mega vanity project
Refer to ‘Central Vista: Delhi HC to take up early hearing on plea to stop work’; it is hoped that the court will stop work on Central Vista, amidst India’s worst health crisis. As India gasps for breath and bodies pile up, massive earth movers are hungrily hollowing out the solid surface between Rashtrapati Bhavan and India Gate. What should be the country’s priority today is to provide medical oxygen, ventilators, ICU beds and more hospitals. Allowing people to die for want of oxygen, and go ahead with the project, just for vanity, is a cruel joke on the people. If you can’t give them oxygen and life-saving drugs, don’t rub salt into their wounds. Millions of our youth have lost jobs since the first lockdown last year. Hundreds of factories are shut, and the country’s economy is in the doldrums. Yet, the priority is not to create mass jobs and remove pervasive poverty, but to build Central Vista.
PS HANSPAUL, by mail
All parties to blame
Reference to ‘Let’s fight Covid crisis calmly & collectively’, every previous government is criticising the present government regarding deficiency in medical infrastructure. But every party should introspect. Most of them had ruled different states, and even the country for decades. During their tenure, medical services remained in a pathetic condition. It remained rickety throughout the seven decades after Independence. Governments gave more focus to develop private medical infrastructure which can be availed only by affluent sections of society. All parties have been negligent to develop lifeline infrastructure. In next elections, the public should prefer only those parties which have basic amenities on their agenda on priority.
Rajesh Goyal, by mail
Increase health budget
The pandemic lessons should bring practicality to the hardships we are facing and provide a direction to figure out the answer to the basic question of how much a government, either at the Centre or the state, is devoted to healthcare facilities. For India, it would be a perfect time to increase investment in healthcare, which was just 1.28% of GDP in 2019 — way lower than the average expenditure by countries clubbed among the ‘poorest’.
Inderjeet Singh, by mail
Why no lockdown?
Punjab CM Capt Amarinder Singh’s attitude towards the Covid situation seems to have changed since last year. Is it because of the Assembly elections to be held next year? Last year, a lockdown was imposed in Punjab by the CM on March 22, whereas the nationwide lockdown was declared by PM Modi on March 24. Now, when our neighbouring state Haryana has opted for lockdown, the Punjab CM is not in its favour. Even the weekend lockdown and other restrictions aren't being implemented strictly, unlike last year, when the police even resorted to a lathicharge on violators. Farmer unions are agitating against the weekend lockdown and no action is taken against them. Is it because the CM wants to portray himself as pro-farmer to gather their votes? Every decision seems to be centred around how the Congress can again come to power. Even some medical experts are claiming that a 15-day lockdown can improve the situation. Therefore, lockdown should be imposed in Punjab. There is no meaning of victory over corpses.
Rashpinder Singh Sidhu, by mail
Politicians are gifted with a keen sense to befool people just to garner votes on the eve of elections (‘Punjab largesse’). The Punjab Government did nothing tangible to implement the recommendations of the Sixth Pay Commission during its four-year rule, but now, with limited time, CM Capt Amarinder Singh suddenly realised that it is a suitable time to win the favour of employees and pensioners by dangling the carrot of new scales. How can the government that failed to give DA instalments to its employees spend Rs 3,500 crore per annum for its employees? It is a tall order for the cash-strapped government. Due to the wrong policies of successive governments in Punjab, the fiscal health of the state has already deteriorated beyond restoration.
KARNAIL SINGH, Kharar
Reservations have been a contentious issue and a subject of multiple SC judgments. An important element of this issue is determining the extent to which reservations can be provided. By what degree can the opportunities afforded to the backward classes exceed those of the rest of society? The question has been explored in the cases of MR Balaji, T Devadasan and Indra Sawhney, all agreeing on capping the reservation limit at 50%. Recently, the SC in the Maratha reservation case has upheld and furthered the same opinion. The rationale for affixing a limit on the quantum of reservations is that in the pursuit of making provisions for the advancement of backward classes, the rights and claims of other members cannot be undermined. The rights exercised by one group cannot override the other, and therefore, it is imperative that they be balanced against each other. Hence, seats reserved for backward classes should be complemented by seats open for competition in a manner that is reasonable and that does not jeopardise the efficiency of the administration.
Nissim Aggarwal, Chandigarh
At someone else’s cost
Apropos of ‘Pandemic’s vultures’, when the whole country is in the need of cooperation among all its citizens in the deadly second wave of the pandemic, there are some people who are using this time to earn money through black marketing. What will people do by earning money at the cost of the misery of other people? It is a very sad reality of our society.
Ritish Pandit, Sunhet
The significance of benevolence and brotherhood should not be undermined at any cost in these testing times (‘Let us fight Covid crisis calmly and collectively’). When most of us are in trouble, the best thing to do for all of us is to show compassion to all. It is time to extend a helping hand to a person who is neither physically nor financially sound. We can accompany those patients to hospitals who have been abandoned by their near and dear ones or donate money to those who can't buy food, medicines, masks, sanitisers, etc. If we will work together, only then we will win this war.
Sunil Chopra, Ludhiana
At a time when Covid-19 is raging like never before, it is shocking how some humans are behaving, hiking ambulance and oxygen charges. When I was nine years old, in 1955, I was a witness to severe floods in Punjab. Every home in the town was cooking meals for families who had shifted from affected areas to dharamshalas and schools, even as young men were building walls of earth filling to divert the flow of water. What have we learnt in the past six decades? To become selfish and loot when we get a chance? However, some NGOs have come to the rescue of those suffering and providing help with transport, langar and medicines.
OP GARG, PATIALA
Cummins shows the way
With reference to The Sunday Tribune, ‘Cometh the hour, Cummins the man’; the second wave of corona has shaken India badly. Amid the greed for money and glamour, world's cricketers are eager to get into the IPL. In this era, keeping humanity alive with such a sporting spirit is an example in itself, which an Australian player did. It was also a slap in the face of Indian players and IPL organisers. Indian players should also become partners in this initiative. Cummins has certainly won the hearts of millions of Indians.
Sikandar Bansal, Shimla
Reference to ‘Why India is getting bad press’; even if the government side is friendly with foreign media and tries hard to justify its viewpoint, what explanation will it give to the visual proofs of people running from pillar to post for hospital beds, oxygen, medicines; people dying on the roads, and the long queues for cremation? No journalist worth his salt would buy the government explanations! The only explanation the government has is that it didn't expect such a deadly onslaught of the second wave. Also, it was busy in holding political rallies and allowing religious events like the Kumbh mela.
Lalita Jagmohan Singh, Chandigarh
Go for joint farming
Refer to ‘Joint farming boon for Dalit in trying times’; it is relevant in the pandemic times. The Sangrur model should be implemented all over Punjab so that the downtrodden can get employment with dignity. Common and reserved land should be given to landless labourers. The Dalits are 32% of the state’s population but barely own 3% of the land. Major political parties are wooing Dalit voters by promising them the post of deputy Chief Minister to their community, but are silent on providing them viable extents of agricultural land. The need of the hour is joint farming as many farmers and labour organisations are on agitation path over the three farm laws.
JANAK RAJ SARANGAL, GURDASPUR
Refer to ‘The truth hits home’ (Nous Indica); the BJP should be judged on the basis of Covid mismanagement. The cause for concern for democracy would be how future electioneering is conducted, rather than who wins. The provocative political discourse does not bode well for the future of our democracy. The politics of communal polarisation is here to stay. Huge rallies were held, throwing Covid precautions to the wind. We must reject politicians who can put our lives at risk in their pursuit of power, who talk only about religion and caste and not our real issues, who excel in election management and not in managing the country.
HL Sharma, Amritsar
UP different ball game
The impressions about the election results of West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Kerala may be correct, but one would be sceptical about the forecast of BJP’s probable defeat in the 2022 UP Assembly elections (‘The truth hits home’). The way the electorate has voted in West Bengal may not be replicated in UP. Bengalis have always been ‘argumentative Indians’ as they were pioneers of our nation’s renaissance wave which started from Calcutta in the late 18th and 19th centuries, with the opening of Western-style colleges and universities. In UP, the common people are still clinging to caste and religion. Be it upper-caste Hindus or Dalits, ‘Ramcharitmanas’ is recited at every family function in the countryside of central UP, Awadh and its eastern parts. It won’t be a surprise if the BJP retains power in UP because of the division of the biggest social block of rural and urban electorate — the OBCs, SCs and the minorities who happen to be under the influence of the SP and the BSP.
RAJ BAHADUR YADAV, Fatehabad
Data integrity must
Refer to ‘Covid response should be driven by data’; junk science promoting untested treatment or myths and fables has no place in managing the pandemic. The actual trends in many areas of health delivery should be assessed reliably. Such data when analysed for patterns enable us to make faster, more accurate decisions for improved outcomes. It is here that data integrity is very important, and more so in the healthcare sector as it impacts the health and lives of millions. Accurate data helps us gain valuable insights, avoid preventable complications, reduce the cost of healthcare delivery and improve the quality of life in general.
HN Ramakrishna, Bengaluru
Defies business ethics
Apropos of ‘Scrap faulty purchase pacts’, the suggestions by the association of engineers are not only ill-conceived but defy business ethics. Any unilateral action to scrap the power purchase pacts shall not stand judicial scrutiny and will discourage future investments. Even taking the suggestions at face value, can the state afford to lose around 4,000 MW of power from the IPPs? This would mean 6-8 hours of power cuts during paddy season, besides huge financial losses to PSPCL. Utilisation of cheaper coal from the Pachhwara mine would not be possible in the scenario of closure of private as well as state plants. The engineers’ body has failed to pinpoint the root cause for costlier power, which is due to the collapse of the state sector generation. Why did PSPCL not initiate steps to sell the land of the closed thermal plant at Bathinda, worth over Rs 8,000 crore, and invest equity to acquire generation assets of supercritical technology? Also, the association is silent on the theft of power worth Rs 1,500 crore. Who shall rein in the defaulters?
Malkit Singh, by mail
We, too, at fault
The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) has asked the pilgrims coming to gurdwaras to follow Covid-appropriate behaviour to check the spread of the disease. Better late than never. But what prevented the SGPC from implementing this earlier, knowing about the dangerous fallout? Have they calculated how much havoc they must have played with people’s lives by not enforcing these measures from day one? Surely, complacency is not the prerogative only of the much-maligned BJP. We, too, are equally responsible for the spread of the disease.
Balvinder, by mail
Question the government
The news report ‘Without work, daily wagers scared of hunger, not infection’ questions our democratic system. Why does the government not come forward with financial aid for citizens in such testing times? Heavily taxing citizens in general, the government has enough resources. However, its inclination is doubtful. People need to step up their role beyond just casting a vote. There is a need to audit government’s working for better prevalence of democracy.
MPS Chadha, Mohali
During the second Covid wave, when 4 lakh cases in India are being reported daily, partial lockdown in Punjab is not serving any purpose. With some shops open, there are still crowds at public places. Daily-wage earners are, again, victims of the administration’s blind decisions. There needs to be a complete lockdown for a few days in Punjab also, which could help in checking the transmission of the virus to some extent.
Puneet Mehta, Patiala
Refer to ‘No quota beyond 50%’; the SC upholding the 50% quota cap on reservation for educational institutes and government jobs is a welcome development. That this ceiling is sacrosanct unless an extraordinary case is made out, was also the essence of the 1992 Indra Sawhney judgment. The cap reflects an attempt to balance the state’s prerogative to try to correct historical injustices suffered by some groups. Given the trend of demands for reservations, it has great value in returning the focus on increasing jobs and educational opportunities. So, beyond the constitutional dimensions, the verdict has political and economic dimensions which actually are at the root of the Maratha reservation legislation. Similar processes are underway in Andhra Pradesh, Haryana and Gujarat. Even socially dominant communities have begun to demand reservation in the backdrop of a weak economy that is not creating enough opportunities for upward mobility. Breaching the quota cap will impart neither economic dynamism nor social healing.
EL SINGH, by mail
No quota beyond 50%
Caste reservation continues to remain a bone of contention since 1990, particularly when VP Singh’s government granted 27% job quota OBCs. Different judicial opinions and decisions keep coming on reservation at different points of time. Piecemeal judicial approach on similar issues is another disturbing point. The SC has restrained Maharashtra from exceeding 50% quota cap, but nothing is heard on the issue in case of Tamil Nadu, which extended reservation to 69% in 1990. It is time that all reservation issues are clubbed together and resolved once and for all. Let the respective quota be fixed on 50:50 ratio; 50% for reserved categories and 50% under the open one. All beneficiaries should be horizontally clubbed under a single category on the basis of their poverty level alone.
Udai Singh Phogat, Rohtak
Dues, not largesse
Refer to the Punjab largesse; employees all over the country have had their pay revised five years ago, but employees of Punjab are still waiting for it. If you go into the calculations, no benefit is being given. Allowances that should have been revised in 2017 will be given from July 2021. As per all pay commission reports, whenever DA reaches 50%, it should be merged with basic pay. But employees have not been given DA instalments for a long time. In January 2016, the rate of DA was 125%. Why is the salary bill always taken as non-productive expenditure when this is the most productive providing services to the people? In all other so-called capital expenditures, a good part goes down the drain as hefty commission.
Rajesh Kumar Sharma, Fazilka
Say it mindfully
Refer to ‘SC junks EC plea, won’t expunge Madras HC remarks’; the HC has made only oral remarks. It is not right to say that the SC has junked EC plea, instead it has reprimanded the Madras HC for its inapt remarks. The SC has termed the ‘murder charge’ remarks against the EC as ‘harsh’ and the ‘metaphor inappropriate’. This should assuage EC’s hurt feelings. During an earlier hearing, the SC had said it would not interfere with the Madras HC remarks, as it would demoralise the high courts. But what if the EC also got demoralised by the HC remarks? Let us have a balanced view. The SC order advises the judges to show restraint from making off-the-cuff remarks. The moot point is that whatever is said in the court by anyone should be carefully crafted so as to maintain the decorum of the court.
WG CDR CL SEHGAL (RETD), JALANDHAR
The Central government has lost in the SC the case regarding a high court order notifying it to increase oxygen supply to Karnataka. Instead of approaching the SC, they should immediately ensure optimum quantities of oxygen and other medical items so that no one has to suffer. The current demand of the states should be fulfilled adequately and resources should be utilised properly. If the Centre lacks resources, funds should be allocated to the states to start up oxygen facilities independently, but with cooperation with each other. States having excess oxygen or equipment should distribute them to other states. The Centre’s strategy should be made clearer to avoid the scope of any clash.
Navjot Singh, Amritsar
Apropos of the editorial ‘No quota beyond 50%’, the Supreme Court has put the Maharashtra government in its place by quashing the law granting quota beyond 50% to the Maratha community in admissions and government jobs. Even the ceiling of 50% is unreasonable as the very concept of reservation is against the essence of the Preamble to the Constitution which professes the equality of status and opportunity. The existing quotas deny the eligible the opportunity they rightly deserve. The quota system has become a huge political enterprise in pursuance of vote bank politics. It should be given to the deserving ones on the basis of their financial and economic status so that the benefits reach the grassroots.
Tarsem S Bumrah, Batala
Dearth of jobs
With reference to ‘No quota beyond 50%’, the Supreme Court’s order is most welcome and a tight slap on the face of political parties which habitually use reservations in jobs and educational institutions as a tool to get votes. The 50% cap reflects an attempt to strike a balance between the state’s prerogative to try to correct historical injustices suffered by some groups and the right to equal opportunity for all citizens. Communities that are considered socially dominant have begun to demand reservation in the backdrop of a weak economy that is not creating enough jobs. A durable solution lies in a coherent set of measures to create more job opportunities for the youth.
N Sadhasiva Reddy, Bengaluru
The RBI has stepped in to ease the Covid-19 burden. Cheap and affordable credit is crucial for a country’s development. With income dwindling amid the second wave of the pandemic, RBI’s measure to mitigate financial stress is praiseworthy. It would ease the process of taking loans and help people who are reeling under the exorbitant health expenditure. This step has raised hope among innumerable people that healthcare would become accessible to them.
Aanya Singhal, Noida
It’s unfortunate that lack of demand for capsicum in Mansa district has forced farmers to destroy their crop in distress. There is a wide gulf between agricultural production and consumption. As a result, both farmers and consumers are suffering. There is a dire need to fill this void and this job cannot be left to the state. All stakeholders should work hard to ensure that the farmers get adequate remuneration for their produce and the consumers get some relief.
Ravinder Mittal, Ludhiana
The second wave of Covid-19 has devastated the country. The healthcare system is in tatters. In Punjab, hospitals and dispensaries are short of trained staff, especially to operate ventilators that are lying unused. All parties should rise above politics and join hands to handle the situation. Putting the entire state under lockdown or curfew is no solution as the daily wagers will be hit the hardest. The lockdown should be imposed in a phased manner so that there is as little disruption of livelihoods as possible. The public needs to cooperate with the district administration, the police and the health department by following Covid-appropriate norms.
Raj Kumar Kapoor, Ropar
In this hour of crisis, some people are busy making a quick buck through unscrupulous means. These are black marketeers, hoarders and greedy traders dealing in pharmaceutical equipment, oximeters, gas cylinders, etc. Two days ago, I purchased an oximeter at a price four times higher than the normal price. Fleecing pandemic-hit people is a sign of vulturous behaviour. The government should not remain a silent spectator to the plight of the masses who are being exploited. To mitigate people’s woes, it should take strict action against black marketeers, hoarders, pharmaceutical dealers and retailers.
Vinay Kumar Malhotra, Ambala
Even though the second wave of Covid-19 is wreaking havoc, we see that many people are neither wearing masks nor following the standard operating procedures. The wearing of masks should be made mandatory for all; those found without the same should be fined heavily, even if they are ministers or other VIPs. We should be prepared to tackle the third wave so that it doesn’t hit us hard.
Jubel D’Cruz, Mumbai
The BCCI’s decision to suspend the IPL amid the Covid pandemic is a belated one. At a time when the country is bearing the brunt of the lethal virus, holding the cricket tournament was not a wise step to begin with. With economic activity drastically scaled down, there was no point in conducting this annual extravaganza.
Ajay S Kumar, Trivandrum
With reference to the article ‘In the midst of life & death’; it was expected after the first wave of Covid hit us over a year ago that we all — individuals, society and the nation — will pause and try to reorient our goals and objectives to make lives meaningful. Unfortunately, when the situation became slightly better, it was business as usual. There was no change at all. A great opportunity was given to us, but we failed to grab it. The same bickering is going on among people, political parties and nations. The second wave has given us another opportunity to redefine the goals of our lives. Even the definition of success of a person and the development of a nation can be recalibrated.
Ashoke K Sarkar, Jammu
Curbs not for farmers?
The governments of Delhi, Haryana and UP have imposed lockdowns in their respective states to control the surge of Covid-19 infections. All large gatherings — political, social or religious that are a major cause of the spread of the virus have been banned. Even the number of attendees at funerals is capped at 20. Are the lockdown curbs not applicable to farmers who have been sitting in thousands at Delhi borders for months now? Will a gathering of 21 mourners at a funeral spread more virus in a few hours than a gathering of thousands of farmers for months? We can’t win the war against Covid with politics on our mind.
AK Agarwal, Chandigarh
Liquor not ‘essential’
The Punjab Government has modified its order to allow liquor vends to remain open. It is a step in the wrong direction, amid the highest case fatality ratio (CFR) being witnessed by the state. Since there are hundreds of liquor vends dotting the state, to allow them to operate on weekdays, may invite a catastrophic situation. The rush at liquor vends would turn into mini hotspots. Restrictions on other non-essential activities may not yield the desirable result to break the virus transmission chain if liquor shops remain open. Since liquor is not listed as an essential commodity, the government should roll back its decision.
Anil Vinayak, Amritsar
Taking on the BJP
Refer to ‘Didi may emerge as rallying point for anti-BJP forces’; the impressive victory of the TMC was the most striking feature of the recent Assembly polls. With these results coming at a time when a vacuum exists in the national Opposition space, hopes have been rekindled of regional parties coalescing together to take on the BJP at the Centre. But we must remember that earlier third front governments needed a national party to serve as an anchor. Therefore it is time to prepare for the 2024 LS elections, and if such a third front experiment is to be revived sans a national party, a strong regional leader has to lead. With Mamata's thumping Bengal win, where a CM defeated a PM, she is a top candidate for the role of leading the third front. If she is serious about the national spotlight, she will have to shed Bengali parochialism and craft a national image for herself. Roping in the Congress will reinforce the Opposition.
Lal Singh, Amritsar
Apropos of ‘An able administrator’, the J&K administration has done well by announcing a three-day state mourning in memory of Jagmohan. I was posted at Srinagar three years after he relinquished charge, but people there spoke highly of him even then. He was very particular about the basic requirements of the general public. Even during a power cut, the supply of potable water was never stopped. PM VP Singh had to recall him under pressure from the Abdullah clan. His most remarkable achievement was the setting up of the Dharmarth Trust for Vaishno Devi shrine. Himachal Pradesh followed suit by setting up similar trusts for shrines in that state, putting an end to the distribution of donations to ‘Baaridars’.
Upendra Sharma, by mail
CRRID and beyond
Besides playing a ‘pivotal role in bringing socio-economic development to the northern region’, Rashpal Malhotra actively also sought a rapprochement between India and Pakistan by exploring a possible solution to the J&K issue. He arranged a meeting at CRRID, where he invited Lt Gen Talat Masood (retd) of the Pakistan army, a leading commentator on matters relating to politics and security, accompanied by some other professionals in the field. On our side, he persuaded Gen VP Malik (retd), journalist MJ Akbar and Sajjad Lone, People’s Conference chief now, to participate. The proceedings must have provided the government with relevant feedback at that time. Such was the wide canvas of his work which was possible only because of his immense energy and initiative. I was one of the spectators at the meeting.
Lt Col GS Bedi (Retd), Mohali
The duration of campaigning for various elections must be restricted to the bare minimum. The number of rallies and road shows start much before the elections. This leads to huge wastage of money and time. Money plays a crucial role in elections. This money comes from sources and donors are obliged later on. Also, the winners fill their coffers after the elections. Further, the Prime Minister and other Central ministers should not go for campaigning in state Assembly elections. The PM represents the whole country and gets paid from public money. Why should he leave the primary duties of his office and waste valuable time? Election reforms are a must.
Jaswant singh, Chandigarh
The reports of post-poll killings and clashes between TMC workers and those of the BJP and other political parties in West Bengal are not only disturbing, but also are against the spirit of free and fair elections. There must not be any place for violence against those who dared contest the elections against the TMC candidates. If Mamata Banerjee wants to make good her image beyond state politics, she must give a firm signal that any violence will not be tolerated, because whosoever is injured or killed, irrespective of his/her support to any party during the election, is the son/daughter of Bengal and any property damaged belongs to a Bengali. When a party wins with a thumping majority, its leaders and cadre must show humility instead of indulging in violence. Our judiciary and other constitutional institutions should take cognisance of such violence in any state, and hold the CM responsible for it.
PC Joshi, Chandigarh
Humbling for BJP
Bengal’s electoral battle has ended with the Trinamool Congress’ win against the BJP. Now, the biggest task is to handle the Covid situation. The violence after the win is signalling a disturbing situation in Kolkata. The two-time CM, despite losing her seat, successfully led her party to a clear mandate. India needed a strong Opposition and it was time to break the overconfidence of the BJP. It will definitely be a lesson to the party and the people.
Aman Jaiswal, New Delhi
Don’t put off NEET-PG
The Centre must review its decision to postpone NEET-PG exam as it will generate mental stress among aspirants and their parents. The entrance test should be conducted without any further delay and the government can avail of their services even after their admissions to PG courses. Instead of such temporary measures to strengthen Covid services, our governments need to strengthen the healthcare delivery system on a permanent basis.
Surinder Singla, Sangrur
Various state governments are imposing weekend lockdowns apart from night curfew to prevent the spread of Covid. It is a temporary measure. In order to tackle the grim situation, stringent measures are needed otherwise the situation will go out of control in the very near future. The Central government should impose a curfew on the entire country for a specific period. All should be well intimated in advance so that the people may make the necessary arrangements beforehand.
SOHAN LAL BHUMBAK, CHANDIGARH
The Punjab Police have done a commendable job by arresting celebrities caught shooting amid the pandemic. This shows how irresponsible celebrities are towards society, especially when the state is under a near-lockdown. Earlier, there were politicians holding rallies across the state with impunity, and now, we have artistes shooting for films. Everyone must realise that the pandemic spares no one. Many celebrities have died prematurely due to Covid-19.
Vikramjit Singh, Amritsar
The Indian Premier League (IPL) should not have been conducted in the first place amid the raging second wave of the pandemic. The BCCI, which had allowed it only for the sake of money, has now decided to suspend it for the time being. It has finally dawned on the BCCI that it does not want to risk the safety of the players, support staff and those involved in organising the cash-rich cricket league. The board should have taken pre-emptive action last month by postponing the tournament. Some of the top cricket stadiums should have been turned into makeshift Covid care centres.
Bidyut Chatterjee, Faridabad
Mamata Banerjee’s mercurial temperament would not stand her in good stead to fill the vacuum as the face of the Opposition on a sustainable basis (‘The woman in white’). In politics, hubris must melt into humility. Coming events cast their shadow vis-a-vis governance and welfare. With the election rivalries over, now the focus must shift to synergy in ‘business’, relegating Centre-state frictions and party politics to the back seat. The national challenge to tame the Covid monster ought to be the foremost priority. The Election Commission of India, too, needs to earnestly rework the model code of conduct vis-a-vis new experiences gained during the recent elections.
Lalit Bharadwaj, Panchkula
Refer to ‘Bengal saved India, Didi on landslide win’; the outcome is stunning and remarkable even though Mamata Banerjee lost her seat. The election in every state is important to that state, but from a national perspective the present round of Assembly elections was much about West Bengal. The Trinamool Congress government was thought to be vulnerable on many counts because it was in power for 10 years, with no great record in crucial areas of governance and development. Corruption was a major issue. Credit goes to Mamata as she protected her territory, and the BJP can derive solace from becoming the principal opposition party in the state, at the cost of a decimated Congress and Left parties. While this verdict cheers the regional satraps across the country, the distress in the Congress has deepened further.
N Sadhasiva Reddy, Bengaluru
No EVM row now
We have had many debates over the manipulation of EVMs by the ruling dispensation. But now, with Mamata Banerjee winning the Bengal battle, no one will talk about the role of the EVMs, because the BJP has lost the election. The issue arises only when the BJP wins. So should we now believe in the EVMs, and put this matter to rest?
Ajay sachdeva, Ludhiana
The results of the West Bengal Assembly polls are a tribute to the wisdom of the people of the state. Being a mainstream national party does not mean bulldozing the regional or states’ sentiments. The BJP has its consolation prize but the decimation of the other two national parties, the Congress and the Left, needs serious consideration by the concerned parties themselves and the political pundits involved in studying the contours of our democratic setup. Besides Mamata Banerjee’s victory, the results of Tamil Nadu and Kerala can mark the beginning of the era of true constitutional federalism. Didi is correct in saying about the landslide win that ‘Bengal saved India’.
DV Sharma, Mukerian
The heart of every sane person bleeds today on seeing the plight of the masses and the country itself (‘Indian state has failed’). The system has collapsed in Atmanirbhar Bharat, as today patients have to fend for themselves as far as beds, medicines, oxygen and ventilators are concerned. Many states could not start the inoculation of people above 18 years due to the shortage of vaccines. The country is also facing a shortage of doctors. Are we paying all sorts of taxes and donating generously to the PM Cares Fund, etc., to die like this? The administration has failed miserably in improving the healthcare system of the country.
Sunil Chopra, Ludhiana
The nation’s cry
Over the past few months, what India has witnessed is catastrophic: failure of leadership, failure of the system, and somewhere, failure of humanity. People are dying, some on luxurious hospital beds, some on footpaths. Many have spent their savings just to save the life of a loved one, yet could not. The main priority should be to keep oneself safe and fight collectively as a nation.
Navjot Singh, Amritsar
Failed the people
With reference to ‘Good governance, RIP’ (The Sunday Tribune); neither any government nor any party can be exonerated on account of their failures during the pandemic. All have failed even to offer solace to the kin of dying patients in hospitals due to the lack of medical equipment, medicines, etc. Elected persons are not there to only claim salaries, perks and pensions. They are not supposed to oversee their own welfare. Their election by the people has made them responsible for the welfare of the people, and they have failed.
Sukhdev Singh, Patiala
A lot of concern has been seen in today’s situation regarding inappropriate pricing of essential drugs and oxygen by unscrupulous people whose objective is to make profit by whatever means. I wish to draw the attention of the authorities towards the hefty payment demanded by ambulances. In this crisis, ambulance drivers and owners have jacked up their prices to unimaginable levels. A trip from Karnal to Delhi, which used to cost about Rs 3,000 in normal times, is now Rs 50,000. Ambulances, being a numbered commodity, can easily be regulated by the administration and strict action taken against defaulters.
Sandeep Chaudhri, Karnal
Lockdown is needed
It is a shame that so many deaths have taken place due to the lack of oxygen and medicines. Still, all politicians are playing politics. Lockdown is the only way to slow the spread of the virus, but the Punjab CM says it is not a solution. There is no national strategy to fight Covid and governments are under-reporting deaths. Night lockdowns do not serve any purpose to control the spread as there are not that many people on roads at that time. Why can't governments close everything except basic necessity shops? How many more deaths are these politicians waiting for, to evolve a strategy to control the virus?
Maninder sekhon, by mail
Lockdown not for teachers
The Punjab Government has imposed weekend curfews, but why is it not for teachers? When students are not coming to school and the teachers are teaching online, there is no point of calling them to school. The teachers are coming from different places and could spread the virus. Work from home must be encouraged.
Himani Jain, by mail
How is it a crime?
The SC’s directive to state governments to not take coercive action against helpless people sharing their pain on social media wraps in itself a component of humanity and social justice. The common man was astonished and horrified by the unjustified action taken in similar cases by the state under the National Security Act. Is airing one’s genuine grievances on social media a crime?
VK Anand, Chandigarh
Another life lost to Covid. Who is to be blamed? The government or doctors or us: the so-called educated lot? People don’t abide by rules or laws put in place for their own safety, be it traffic rules or advisory issued for Covid vaccination. The Army has been deployed to tackle the tsunami of Covid patients, and this is only possible because the armed forces are 80%-85% fully vaccinated against this deadly virus. The government spends crores to formulate a vaccination strategy and we people tend to let ourselves drown in WhatsApp forwards. This is how a catastrophe takes place.
Amarpreet Kaur Bhandohal, Nabha
The initiative by the Punjab Government to supply ‘Fateh Kits’ to Covid patients at their doorstep is laudable. The kit contains 17 items, including an oximeter, a thermometer, medicines and a steam inhaler. To lend more support to the welfare programme, it is required to create awareness among village folk who still refuse to acknowledge the existence of the virus. Special teams must be sent to villages to persuade people to get tested. Panchayats have to play a proactive role.
Aswant Kaur Gill, Tarn Taran
Both sides negligent
We have to admit that neither the Centre nor states were prepared for this humongous wave of Covid (‘Oxygen imbalance’). As the scramble for oxygen in the Capital continues, it clearly shows bad planning. Due to the hazardous nature of liquid oxygen it needs special tankers, which requires advance planning. Both the Centre and the Delhi Government were sleeping till things went out of hand. The government has now activated the Railways to move multiple tankers and we are importing oxygen tankers. Let’s just hope the situation doesn’t get worse.
Vipul sharma, Kurukshetra
Empowering the L-G
At a time when people are struggling to live, parties are engaged in dominating one another. A CM is the head of the legislative Assembly and is the choice of the people who give him the power to run a state. Is it okay to reduce a CM’s powers and empower the L-G with more power, because the CM belongs to another party? Is it applicable only to the Capital? The President keeps the same power at the Centre, should he do the same? The welfare of the people does not depend on powers, but a leader’s will and concern. An elected member of the state is the choice of the people. Someone deputed by another party should not be supreme. This was not the time to amend the GNCT Act. This is the time for cumulative efforts.
Sanjay Banyal, Hamirpur
Refer to the editorial ‘Make or break’, there was no shortage of the Covid vaccine till the eligibility was extended to people above 45 years of age. Without increasing domestic production, importing vaccines and approving more brands other than Covishield and Covaxin, the government, despite shortage, further extended the eligibility to all adults above 18 years. Poor planning by the government has led to the present situation wherein there is no vaccine for the second dose. If the Central government does not act immediately on a war footing to meet the vaccine demand, the Covid pandemic may spread uncontrollably.
O Prasada Rao, by mail
Ensure adequate supply
Apropos of ‘Make or break’, in just a few hours after vaccine registration opened for the 18-44 age group, around 1.3 crore people signed up. The challenge in the days ahead will be to ensure adequate supply. In recent weeks, the daily administered doses have been falling and many centres have run out of stock. One way to ease India’s supply woes is for the Centre to undertake imports on behalf of states as it will be in a better position to have tough negotiations over price and quantity.
Sanjay Chopra, Mohali
India is a big country and it requires a lot of planning to vaccinate the entire population. The government should have known it after last year’s experience. Still, its knee-jerk reactions have put the public into a state of confusion and inconvenience. First, the vaccination for senior citizens is announced, and then, the 45-plus people are asked to line up, but even before 10% of them have been vaccinated, the government issues another order to vaccinate all above 18 years, which is not possible with vaccine shortage and inadequate centres for the same. And to add to the confusion, there are different prices for the vaccines. Why can’t the government plan first, and then issue orders?
PS Bhatti, Chandigarh
No room for complacency
The decision of the Centre to import Remdesivir to ease the shortage of this anti-viral drug speaks volumes about the gravity of the situation. While a government company has ordered 4,50,000 vials of Remdesivir from US-based Gilead Sciences Inc and Egyptian pharma company Eva Pharma and the same may be supplied as soon as possible, it's incumbent upon the government to keep a close watch on all those currently engaged in hoarding and black marketing of the drug. Anyone found indulging in hoarding of the drug or creating artificial shortage of the life-saving oxygen should be booked under the National Security Act and not merely under the provisions of the Disaster Management Act. There is no room for complacency on this count.
Vinayak G, Bengaluru
Face the facts
Apropos of ‘Under-counting the dead’, it is disturbing to know about the mismatch between the actual number of deaths and the official figures coming from different cities and towns. The rising number of deaths seems to have overwhelmed our nation. In such a situation, it is imperative to have authentic data in order to meet the emerging challenges in the near future. Once we have the guts to face the truth, we will be able to think of timely solutions.
RAJ BAHADUR YADAV, Fatehabad
While being positive is vital for robust mental health in the current scenario, positive attitude does not give one a licence to flout Covid rules. Most of the people who are preaching about the importance of a positive attitude are organising big gatherings and parties at their homes. It shows their disregard for Covid-appropriate behaviour. Also, the terrifying images shown by the media should be welcomed as they depict the ground reality and demonstrate colossal mismanagement of the pandemic across the country. The truth must be shown and not be hidden in the garb of positivity. It should wake up people who are careless and frighten them into following Covid protocols.
Shivam Jain, Bathinda
Don’t switch sides
Refer to ‘TMC in Bengal, BJP in Assam: Exit polls’, it is suspected that some newly elected Trinamool Congress legislators may switch sides to join the BJP. If it so happens, due to the greed of some MLAs, they will be betraying the voters who supported them against the BJP. Furthermore, this will be murder of democracy and one will lose faith in elections. Bengalis are wise, and one hopes that the elected TMC legislators will not resort to it.
Vidwan Singh Soni, Patiala