MyVoice: Views of our readers 1st June 2021
Praful Khoda Patel’s draconian rules slapped on the unsuspecting and widely submissive, peace- loving people of Lakshadweep has been the latest challenge before the residents of the islands
Praful Khoda Patel's draconian rules slapped on the unsuspecting and widely submissive, peace- loving people of Lakshadweep has been the latest challenge before the residents of the islands. Other mainland supporters like the Kerala government which has said in no uncertain terms their views, have pledged solidarity with their cause. Under the guise of development, imposing rules that are anti- people, questions the very objective of the steps taken.
For instance, getting the sanction of four officials to take a sick person by helicopter to the mainland for emergency treatment is ridiculous. Shows the administration's lack of concern for the lives of the islanders. In a place where they do not have ventilator facilities how do they expect to get immediate treatment for critical patients if the concerned have to go running from pillar to post for clearance from four people when a patient is hanging between life and death? The dismantling of temporary shelters of fishermen and introducing the 'Goonda Act' on an island where crime is almost non- existent and where jails are virtually empty, cannot be justified.
A beef ban and a ban on those who have more than two children, contesting elections, does not require super- intelligence to know which community is being targeted. Ironically if the same rule was applied to our present day legislators and ministers, most would have been eliminated for having more than two children. It would be best to leave the till now peaceful territory which is blessed in abundance by nature, alone, as the people are happy as they are.
The coronavirus which had not visited the island, increased its spread by leaps and bounds by the relaxation of quarantine rules, which is also a stark reminder that people's interests are not taken seriously. Whether the BJP is aiming for the development of the islanders or its own development is a moot question. If the Centre hopes to sell our virgin natural ecological systems to corporates who will cash in on the tourism front, then resistance is what they will face. Praful K Patel should read the writing on the wall and act accordingly or be re- called by the government, else the peaceful Union Territory could become a venue for turmoil.
Elizabeth Koshy, Pathanamthitta
Cancel CBSE exams
Why the central government is delaying a decision on conducting the CBSE and ICSE Class 12 exams and keeping the students on tenterhooks when the case against it is very strong defies understanding. There is no reason for it to be in a dither over the issue. Safety is paramount; students cannot be exposed to the risk of infection in any circumstances. The overwhelming majority of students favour the cancellation of exams not out of exam nerves, but out of the fear that they might contract the virus. What the students say must count with the decision-makers. Perhaps it is a relevant point that how much education has been imparted in the just-concluded academic year online or offline is not quite amenable to being quantified.
All this while, the students have been told to 'stay home, stay safe'. The virus is still in circulation for the education ministry or the CBSC to ask them to come out of their homes to take exams. As we learnt the hard way, the current dip in cases could be deceptive. It would be a monumental folly in this pandemic time if we are to stick to the old, wrong thinking that exams are the be-all-and-end- all of students' existence.
A Covid-19 positive result should concern us more than Class 12 board exam results. A Covid-19 negative result is far more important than high grades in certificates! All this is said because you can draw a picture only if there is a wall or a canvas. Protecting the young from the pathogen is all that should matter now. Remember that the second wave has shown how teenagers and young adults are also vulnerable to the disease.
The intention is not to cause panic, but to persuade the government to take a prudent decision. Covid-19 precautions and Covid-19 appropriate behaviour are absolutely necessary and must be adhered to by all. But when it comes to the conduct of exams involving lakhs of students, how far it becomes practically possible to follow them remains a question. Is there any guarantee that they will preclude infections? The situation now is worse than it was last year to consider reversing the decision taken last year when the country went into a lockdown not to conduct the remaining exams. True, the cancellation of exams will require finding some way of facilitating higher education for Class 12 students. Then, there is no other choice. Imperfect assessments are a small price to pay for protecting the rising generation. The show must go on; it must go on without recklessness and risky gambles.
G David Milton, Maruthancode