Hindus: Were they not brave fighters ? (Organiser, 13-4-2008);
As a nation of ours and its secular evils of governance, splendid subject like this one, pestering national conscience for centuries, has to be discussed and deliberated on national level seminars for the benefit of the society. Shri M.S.N. Menon is rendering a yeoman'sservice since his writing began to appear in Organiser which were pleasing to heart and mind and readers were benefited by it. His writings are thought provoking and also well researched one. Please march on Shri Menon, we are with you. Do not bother about criticism. The above topic is aptly dealt with. No doubt Hindus are brave fighters. Every inch of a battle was fought by Hindus and that is why in the 20th century we could survive as a Hindu nation and fought battle with Pakistan as a united nation and segregated east Pakistan as Bangladesh, which is a sounding logical proof of our legacy. The tradition of begetting virtues and valorous sons has been there since Ramayana and Mahabharata period. Maharaja Ranjit Singh of Punjab could march to Afghanistan to subdue the enemies in close of the 17th century, which is a historically recorded fact. In pre-Independence days, Subash Chandra Bose formed his own army INA to fight Britishers. In spite of all these qualities we fell to the foreign yoke. Why did this happen? When we ponder over it, needless to say, we would get the answer.
?Sanjeev K. Kanchan, 85, Arihant Co-op Housing Society, Bora Bazar Street, Fort, Mumbai
The nuclear deal seems all nuked (Organiser, 18-5-2008);
India could do nuclear business once the deal gets started. Moreover, India could use its own nuclear fuel for military purposes and the nuclear fuel supplied by the US could be used for civilian purposes. The third party transfer of small nuclear reactors could fetch profits to India from Asia-Pacific nations. In this field we could give tough competition to China. The agreement is based on reciprocity. That is if US does not fulfill its obligations, there is no pressure on India to do so either. There is also an explicit recognition of India as a responsible State with advanced nuclear technology. This is no mean a recognition.
?M.L. NARAYANAN, FF-103, Ashwini Apartments, Nehru Colony, Anantnagar, Nagpur
A Matter of Economics (Organiser, 18-5-2008);
It is ironical that today the Americans are blaming India for the global food crisis. But if one goes back in history, one will realise that after Independence, to earn foreign exchange, our country had exported to the West the best of our foodgrains, condiments, fruits, etc., at almost throwaway prices. For several years, the West had enjoyed the best of India at the cost of millions of Indians. Today, India has to think of feeding its growing population. It cannot starve its people to feed the Americans, which is what probably Bush is expecting. This obviously cannot happen.
?HARISCHANDRA PARASURAM, 34, Queen'sView, Near SNDT, Juhu, Mumbai
Organiser is becoming highly informative day-by-day. The method of presenting is also good. I congratulate the editorial staff for their endeavour.
?RAMA GOPALAN, Hindu Munnani, Chennai
UPA at its wit'send (Organiser, 20-4-2007); Inflation has touched a 40-month high at 7.41 per cent amid rising prices of vegetables, fruits, pulses and metals. It is the UPA government that should be held responsible for the situation. While steps such as banning of cement exports to control inflation are welcome, the statement of Science and Technology Minister Kapil Sibal that the government has no magic wand to bring down inflation is reflective of the government'slethargic attitude towards the people'swoes. The government should not pass the buck to the international market for rising inflation. It should take steps against hoarders and black-marketeers who are primarily to blame for the rise in the prices of essential commodities.
?P. SENTHIL SARAVANA DURAI, Vazhavallan, Eral, Tamil Nadu
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Rising inflation has not only resulted in price rise but has also pushed back the fight against poverty by several years. One just cannot imagine how over 250 million people who live below the poverty line will survive in these days of unprecedented price rise. Shri Sibal'sargument that the government does not have a magic wand to bring down inflation was reminiscent of what Indira Gandhi said about corruption in public life?that it was a universal phenomenon. Shri Sibal'sstatement was nothing but an attempt to seek solace in the economic mismanagement of other countries to evade his government'sresponsibility to keep the prices of essential commodities in check.
?K.M. DEVARAJAN, Edapally, Kochi
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The matter-of-fact analysis of the current situation should open the eyes of the powers that be. The liberalisation policy has already upset our nation'sagronomy. Greater harm will be wrought if the small savings of the rural folk in post offices and cooperatives are channelled to the stock market as some want and plead for. The resilience of the Indian economy comes from its rural base, from the rural folk whose capacity for hard work equals their inherent strength to suffer with patience.
?A.P. GOVINDANKUTTY, Siwangaon, Nagpur
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The government'sfailure to provide remunerative prices to farmers is the reason why they sell to private parties at better rates. It is thus forced to import commodities at higher prices, which leads to inflation. The government should immediately ban future trading, universalise the public distribution system, and take stringent action against hoarders.
?BIJAY SINGH, Kukatpalli, Hyderabad
Bridge the divide:
As a regular reader of your magazine, I find you are raising several issues that divide religious groups in the country. In a democracy, such divisive issues also need to be discussed and even highlighted. However, there are several issues also that could unite different religious groups to work together to create a national consensus. Such united action would bind our different religious groups together and help strengthen the foundations of our nationhood. Once different religions come together on such issues they would also find that they must unite to lay down a code on issues that divide them, like conversion, government interference in temple or mosque property management, religious instruction in secular institutions like public funded schools, using religious symbols in school uniforms or wearing them in schools etc. Perhaps your readers could react to these suggestions and advice on what should be the framework within which such actions could be formulated.
?RAJENDRA PRABHU, New Delhi
Bangladesh Grameen Bank in Assam (Organiser, 11-5-2008);
Hats off to editor of Organiser, as he showed his concern for the economy and safety of Assam and the North-East as well. The state Congress government and UPA at the centre should give a serious thinking, in this context, so as to do away with any form of scheme, which will encourage the pseudo-secular electoral democracy. But it is observed that the Congress party and illegal migrants mingles like seed and fruit. Evil is not a necessary result of freedom, i.e., democracy. It is the result of its abuse. We are not victims of external forces. The fault is in the Congress party, which ruled the country for more than 50 years but failed to foresee the making of Frankenstein, out of these illegal migrants to Assam.
?SANJEEB BORA, Milan Nagar, Bye-Lane-?N?, P.O.C.R. Building, Dibrugarh
Torn apart by loan sharks and globalisation (Organiser, 27-4-2008);
The article is very timely. Instead of relying on age-old and safe methods of water harvesting or sharing of the limited water resources, farmers resorted to digging additional expensive bore wells. Perhaps this would not have happened with a strong panchayat (village) system. Seeds, pesticides and fertilizers were bought at high prices. Most of the farmers were tenants and were not eligible for bank loans, as banks give loans only if land can be offered as collateral. As a result they were forced to borrow from money-lenders at interest rates reaching a staggering 36 per cent annually. Middlemen occupied centre stage in the life of the farmer, and when the crops failed, the deep debts drove them to commit suicide.
?E. PRASANA, Silver Arcade, Bhimunipatnam, Andhra Pradesh
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Almost all the farmers in India are exploited by middlemen. These middlemen usurp most of the profit earned by the farmer. The lack of proper storage has forced the farmer to sell his product to the middleman at a low cost. As the products perish soon, the farmer sells it at the offered price. The co-operative movement in India, formed to protect farmers against these middlemen, has failed badly. Loss of profits to middlemen is just one of the problems faced by Indian farmers.
?GANESH PRASAD BARNIWAL, Tilak Nagar, Narghat, Mirzapur
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In Chitradurga district in Karnataka, an average agricultural family has at least two to three lakh as debt. The import liberalisation following World Trade Organisation'sguidelines has led to this reduction in prices of crops. According to the Agreements on Agriculture (AOA), countries, which are members of WTO, have to give specific commitments for market access of agricultural goods into their countries. When there is a heavy import of agricultural goods, there is an increase in the supply of these goods in the market. This lowers the prices. Such economic straits have contributed to farmers? suicides in India.
?ANKIT PAREKH, Raj Nagar, Ghaziabad
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Infrastructure is one problem. The second problem is the massive fragmentation of Indian farms resulting in very low economies of scale. With the passage of time ancestral land has divided over generations and the typical Indian farm is extremely small now. I don'thave the exact numbers, but I believe that a typical Indian farm is about one-two acres in size vis-?-vis a few hundred acres in the US. The overheads have to be spread over a smaller lot resulting in unsustainable economies of farming. So while the average farmer is quite poor, entrepreneurs and companies farming over large tracts seem to be doing quite well. And I really have no idea what the solution to this problem can be.
?R.K NAIDU, Kottagudem, Warangal
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I think the problem is that farmers are not given their due. The farmers hardly anything else to live on. There has to be proper rehab plan of some sort. To worsen the situation, government pays peanut to the farmers and sells the land at higher prices, or gives the land to big companies at subsidy. It seems like a huge scam.
?SOMPAL SINGH, Nawabganj, Lucknow
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One question that is difficult to answer is how much justifiable is the presence of private sector in our agricultural sector? My family has an agricultural background. Farming is no more considered to be a dignified job in the villages. Youth are running towards the nearest city. The villagers usually want themselves in secondary or tertiary occupation with fixed incomes. With the increased risk in the agriculture due to various reasons, farmers have lost their interest and hopes.
?LAXMI RATNA SHUKLA, Ashok Vihar, Phase II, New Delhi
By default McCain emerging stronger (Organiser, 20-4-2008);
Senator Barack Obama'sReligion: I greatly regret that you are not familiar with the Protestant Christian denomination United Church of Christ. The UCC, of which I am a member, is among the most tolerant and welcoming of all denominations. The UCC has long been in the vanguard of the civil rights movement which has improved the lives of untold millions. I am very proud to have the opportunity to vote for a fellow UCC-er in the person of Senator Barack Obama. You have no reason to doubt the sincerity of this good man. He is a gift to the world.
?LINDA LONG, [email protected]
Partners in shame (Organiser, 13-4-2007);
It is alleged that the communist leaders are living in a fools? paradise without understanding the ground realities and the changing world. They want only welfare from the state at others? cost and productivity. The communist trade unions in Kerala are a fine example. Handling Nandigram problem by West Bengal communist government is another shining and living example of Marxist capitalism. It is this party that is presently holding the Congress to ransom. Congress quivers with fear and helplessness.
?P.K. SARKAR, Barbaru, Dibrugarh
A Matter of Economics:
In the column, ?Not only Bush, UPA too thinks Indians are overeating (May 18, 2008) in the quote from Economic Survey (2007-08) it should be read as ?Global output of grains declined from 2,016 million tonnes in 2005-06 to an estimated 1993 million tonnes in 2006-07.? The typographical error in the 2005-06 output figure is regretted.