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MyVoice: Views of our readers - 25 Jan

MyVoice: Views of our readers - 25 Jan
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MyVoice: Views of our readers - 25 Jan

Indian republic is under duress

Republic Day is the symbol of true spirit of the Independent India and is being celebrated every year with great pride on January 26 to honour the Constitution of India as it came into force on the same day in the year 1950.

Eloquent speeches from the rampart of the Red Fort will be customary. But this Republic Day finds India in turmoil. The past few months have demonstrated, once again, that the future of the Indian Republic is in the safest hands: its people.

Citizens from all walks of life have emerged as the vanguard of Indian democracy, placing themselves on the frontline of vicious attacks tearing at India's pluralist fabric. The protests of "No NPR. No NRC. No CAA" have swept across the land like a gust of fresh wind, shaking our political class out of slumber, and blown away the crusty remnants of apathy to reveal a young, dynamic and engaged society. The swelling tides of anger and fear of young India comes an acute sense of peril. It's 1974-75 all over again.

Given the economic downturn and the lengths to which Central government agencies and spokesmen go to fudge figures and pretend they are running a far more efficient ship than the Congress ever did, the young are worried that jobs might become even more scarce. Or that those few that are available will be grabbed by proteges of a regime that makes no bones of promoting ideological favourites.

The pervasive corruption to which Transparency International has again drawn attention, the International Monetary Fund's humiliating observation that India's poor performance has dragged down global growth and India's 10-place plunge in the Economist Intelligence Unit's global democracy ranking are compounded by persistent misrepresentations by Narendra Modi and Amit Shah.

The ruthlessness with which universities and other institutions are being brought under official control and placed under loyalists causes similar anxiety. One of Afro-Asia's few relatively free societies seems doomed to intellectual servitude with history, science and philosophy losing out to the luminary like Modi trot out to sycophantic applause.

I wonder what apex court judges will make of Pinarayi Vijayan's view that if a handful of Bangladeshi Hindus are accepted as citizens, millions of others -- ethnic Indians from Fiji and Malaysia, Bangladesh's Biharis, Pakistan's Mohajirs, Balochs, Sindhis, Pakhtuns, Hazaras and Ahmadiyas, Myanmar's Rohingyas, Sri Lankan Tamils and Muslims, and even Bhutanese Christians -- should enjoy the same right.

Javvadi Lakshmana Rao, Visakhapatnam

Who is the next boss of Delhi?

It is true that in the country's capital, the union government is the real sarkar. But since the national capital region of Delhi has its own assembly in place and it is currently dominated by a different regional party, it will be interesting to see who will come to power now.

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is seeking re-election after its government successfully completed a full term. However, it is going to be a tough battle with three major parties in the fray—AAP, BJP and the Congress. Apart from sitting CM Arvind Kejriwal of the AAP, the CM hopefuls include Romesh Sabharwal from the Congress and a few aspirants from the BJP, which is to announce its CM candidate.

After the debacle in Maharashtra and Jharkhand, the BJP is facing a tough challenge in Delhi. If we go by the national narratives, it will most likely be a comeback of AAP as the results of the recent Assembly polls in two states showed that the people voted considering state issues at state level.

And, thus, the AAP, being a regional party, may sweep again. The very fact that the AAP was voted to power again in 2015, that too, with landslide victory after its short run as minority government in 2013 is evident in itself that the people reposed faith in the party. The real test was in 2015 for AAP after the BJP victory in Lok Sabha elections in Delhi in 2014.

The opinion polls of ABP News and IANS on January 6 predicted the win of AAP with 59 per cent votes and BJP as runner up with 26 per cent and a distant third place for Congress with 2-3 per cent vote share. The IANS- C Voter survey found that a majority of voters think that the ruling AAP will win the polls and that the image of local candidates will be their priority, but their preferred Prime Ministerial candidate remains Narendra Modi.

Moreover, Arvind Kejriwal is not facing any anti-incumbency and rather it is pro-incumbency. Interestingly, in the latest poll surveys, 43 percent respondents expressed satisfaction with the work of the AAP. The popular works of AAP, for which it is praised mostly, is upgrading of hospitals and improvements in the government schools besides its continuous fight for statehood to Delhi.

Although the BJP swept Lok Sabha polls in all the seven constituencies in 2019, the assembly elections are likely to revolve around state level issues. As it stood runner up in the recent Lok Sabha polls, the AAP is also likely to perform well in south west and north Delhi.

Till recently and even now in headlines there may be criticism against Arvind Kejriwal for his failure to control the pollution but issues such as the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) that has fuelled widespread protests in Delhi and police highhandedness to break the protests are likely to be the dominate the Delhi Assembly elections as the people are apprehensive about NPR and NRC that may result in rendering them stateless.

The polling is going to take place on February 8 and the results will be announced on February 11. In the backdrop of BJP's 2019 assembly poll reverses in some states, the elections in the capital city of the union government assumes significance as this would indicate which way the political wave is moving.

Although the NCT CM has witnessed prolonged stand-offs with the Lieutenant Governor in the past. Nonetheless, after Satya Pal Malik taking over as Lt. Governor, these differences have also been seen to be resolved or kept under wraps.

The other thing which probably could favour Arvind Kejriwal would be his allegations that the Centre is not releasing funds for the schemes. Thus, he can pass the buck on to the Centre and woo the voters on his party's manifesto and achievements. Also, the Congress' CM candidate Romesh Sabharwal, who is a former leader of Youth Congress and hence a first timer, is less likely to throw a tough challenge to a popular Kejriwal.

Even among the BJP candidates, there is no such powerful candidate to confront Kejriwal. The other advantage for AAP is that the caste, regional and religion cards cannot be played as these issues are not likely to unduly influence the voters in the city.

Fatima Hasan, Hyderabad

Modi's amusing statements

Apropos to news 'I apply sweat on face', Modi's 'fair and lovely' formula (THI 25 January). Sometimes, one wonders whether Modi knowingly makes controversial claims to keep media and people on non- important issues.

While PM's claim that he gets inspiration from young brave children, he seems to have needlessly shared something with children which is something irrelevant for children.

Even if PM's Fair and lovely formula is taken seriously, question is why the millions of working class in India who sweat and toil through and work hard like PM Modi don't get the glow in their face.

It means the government needs to do much more to make their life better so that their face can also glow like Modi. Knowingly or otherwise PM seems to have given a business idea and may be someone from Gujarat may start bottling "sweat" under Modi brand.

No wonder if Modi can say sweat give glow to his face, the senior BJP leader Kailash Vijayawargiya can identify Illegal migrants from Bangladesh whom he saw strangely eating "poha" every day!

N Nagarajan, Hyderabad

Promote safe tourism in Kerala

It was just a few days ago that in a shocking tragedy eight tourists from Kerala died in a mountain resort in Nepal due to asphyxiation caused from carbon monoxide leakage from a room heater .Now in a really shocking incident a house boat in the backwaters of Alleppey caught fire and sank but timely intervention of the local boatsmen and people nearby a major tragedy was averted as all the tourists were rescued.

Thirteen tourists from Kannur district , including a six-month-old baby, had a miraculous escape from the houseboat that was engulfed in the fire near the popular tourism destination Pathiramanal in Kerala's Alappuzha district, on Thursday.

As the accident happened in the shallow area of the backwaters around Pathiramanal the boat crew immediately took measures to see that all the tourists including women and children were rescued and they were put on a sandbar.

The whole house boat was gutted in the blaze. Even though some jumped into the water they were rescued by a passenger boat.

This incident once again show that life of tourists are not safe and those stakeholders including agents, department and concerned authorities don't learn any lesson from tragedies. What they want is more and more income and in the long run tourist's life are put at risk.

Primary investigation point to short circuit being the cause of the fire. Here too like the Nepal tragedy carelessness , negligence and ignorance is the cause of such an accident. It's really sad that those connected to tourism directly or indirectly turn irresponsible and put the life of people at risk.

House boats are a major attraction in the backwaters but whether these are maintained properly and whether proper inspections are done are questions that need answers and immediate attention. Just a few days ago, another houseboat was completely gutted in a fire at Marthandam backwaters near Kuttanad. The tourists jumped out of the boat and saved their lives.

Tourism is a sector that fetch good money but when the motto of those in this field and those connected to the department is only wooing the travellers for quick bucks forgetting all safety norms and regulations then our tourist destinations may turn into danger destinations killing innocent travellers.

M Pradyu, Kannur

Will the Superstar make a political splash?

This is in response to "Is Rajini entering politics this time at least?" (THI, 25.01.2020). This article is very interesting, because it is questioning the political entry of south Indian superstar Rajinikanth who has been luring his legion for the past good many years that he is going to join politics.

Besides his die-hard fans, others are also wanting for him to enter into politics, thinking that he may at least bring about changes in politics. And moreover, there have been many reasons for their avid waiting for his entry to the political scene from the reel scene to real scene.

Because the people of Tamil Nadu seemed to be very bored with the rule of only two parties which have been ruling the state since 1967.

As the politics of Tamil Nadu has been under the influence of DMK and AIADMK, there is certainly a point to expect something new. But it is thought that it not so easy to see a change with Rajinikanth, since Tamilians are more chauvinistic towards their origin and language.

Moreover, superstar Rajinikanth, the matinee idol, is planning to join his hands with the BJP a party established on Hindu religious line.

Thus, the people of Tamil Nadu may accept Rajinikanth as their future leader. Second, it is not so easy to shine in politics for cinema people.

Of course, it became possible for MGR, NTR, Jayalalitha. But there are some bad examples like Chiranjeevi, Pavan Kalyan, Vijayakanth and others who could not withstand the competition. However, good is welcome in politics. If not, the bad rules the good. Now, the same is happening.

Dr Venkat Avula, Hyderabad

Messy capital controversy

The AP CM has a plan of having three capitals for the state, with the executive capital in Visakhapatnam, legislative capital in Amaravati and Judicial capital in Kurnool. It is good and a novel idea. Many nations in this world have different capital cities. The decentralisation of power is good. The capital city will not be congested. The burden on water and electricity also gets distributed. The three cities will see hectic development activities.

The inequality in the development of certain areas of the state will not happen. This proposal will provide direct and indirect employment for many people. The proposal to shift the capital is becoming more messier than before. It involves more politics. The opposition wants this to be stalled.

Also, a considerable amount of money has been invested to build the new capital for the state at Amaravati by the previous Naidu government. All this will become a waste. Also, many acres of farmers land has been acquired to build the capital. Most of the farmers are yet to get compensation. Now that the land value has gone down causing concern to those who parted with their lands.

Also, the acquired land should not be misused politically. Misuse of lands already acquired from the farmers by the politicians should not be allowed.

Secondly, generating funds is a herculean task for the state is already reeling under debt. The state has debt running to over Rs 4,00,000 lakh crore.

Add to it the state's burden to shell out money for the CM's pet Navaratna schemes which requires a huge sum of payment. In all generating funds is a state burden. A good amount of revenue is expected from the sale of liquor.

Implementation of prohibition in a phased manner will add fuel to the fire. We have to wait and see how far the idea of the CM to trifurcate the capital works in practice.

Sravana Ramachandran, Chennai

II

This is in response to the news item 'Council abolition top on agenda'. The Legislative council of Andhra Pradesh and it's honourable members should act responsible in the interest of the common public and also keep the larger interest of state's development in mind while discussing Bills which are already passed by the Legislative Assembly.

Hundreds of crores of tax payers' money is being expedited annually in running the Legislative council and collectively the House should come good in terms of overall productivity and value addition.

Gajjarapu Sri Harsha, Visakhapatnam

AP converting fertile farmlands into prawn ponds

The water scarcity in India is owing to the over exploitation of ground water by people living in cluster of apartments in metropolitan cities and those engaged in the water selling business.

presently Tamil Nadu is facing the severe crises of shortage of drinking water and many families migrating to neighbouring states just for wetting their dried gullets ,a part of Maharashtra is under the grip of water shortage due to continuous droughts.

Many cities in India are facing the similar problem and we do not realise the urgency of water conservation and stop abusing scantily available water resources .The India known to be the home for many rivers will end up as land crying for a glass of fresh water to drink.

On one side when people are agitating for drinking water in many areas, in Andhra there is a competitive madness in converting the fertile agricultural lands in to prawn ponds.

Most of the farm lands in Krishna district ,west Godavari had already converted in to prawn/fish ponds without following any scientific method and the respective district revenue authorizes turned their blind eye in stopping the growth of unauthorized ponds .

Now in the east Godavari district also many paddy farms are converted in to prawn/fish ponds .

To get the salinity, the prawn pond owners have been drilling the bores in farm lands up to 300 ft, though there is no official approval for such bores ,the greedy farmers indulging in the illegal drilling for short time gains perpetually harming the fertility of land.

Vast stretches of the lands where paddy was grown as main crop have been converted in to artificial salt ponds .They are doing this act without knowing that once the conversation is done ,the lands would never be turned fit for paddy cultivation.

The over growth of prawn/fish ponds and the cut throat competition to export the produce to other countries, the quality of product affected and thousands of containers were rejected because of the cancer causing virus traced in the unscientific cultivation of prawns ,the majority of farmers incurred huge losses .

They have no option despite suffering huge financial losses ,still they are experimenting in producing prawns .

The famers learn no lesson from the deep financial crises they face in the trade apart from abusing the fertile lands and rich water resources of the earth ,if this menace is not stopped and concerned authorities fails to act and contain the gross misuse of paddy farms , soon the agricultural lands of Andhra turn in to useless prawn ponds that leads to the contamination of earth and its fertility, the rice bowl of coastal Andhra soon face the shortage of drinking water apart from the shortage of production of paddy which is staple food of millions.

Hope the new government turns its gaze to the cancerous problem and take necessary steps to contain the menace of converting fertile farmlands in to prawn/fish ponds. Let us remember the wise quote that the nature has 'enough for the man's need but not for greed '.Let us respect the natural elements and enjoy the boons it showers on us and keep them intact for our progeny to enjoy the fruits of the protected nature.

Rama Krishna M, Kakinada

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