MyVoice: Views of our readers 27th December 2020
This has reference to the editorial- Trump packs a punch (December 25).US election is far from over, with Trump not ready to concede and waging relentless legal war to reverse the election.
Will Trump return in 2024?
This has reference to the editorial- Trump packs a punch (December 25).US election is far from over, with Trump not ready to concede and waging relentless legal war to reverse the election. Another suit filed by him to challenge Pennsylvania is in offing. There are wild rumours that he may impose martial law, possibility though seems remote but his one time advisor Mike Flynn and few others are advising Trump to take that route to subvert this election.
Chronicling 2020 specially and full tenure of Trump shall be a difficult task. How every American Institutions which stood for the democracy had been under shadows. America which never had this suspicion of upholding voices of dissent and disagreements and values of free speech came to abysmal depths of taking sides on racial lines. It's debatable whether under Trump America First policy American were made to suffer the high costs of Trump's waging war on Imports and necessities from China and other countries.
By rejecting the Bill, Trump has made Biden look like a 'compromised' leader who is more concerned to turn America to older ways where America was more concerned about the world than people at home. Divide which has been created during 'Black lives matter' movement has fully exposed the racial fault lines in American society. Trump has emerged the face of supremacist chauvinism and there seems to be no apology for that. Handling of Covid-19 by Trump administration was pathetic. If Brazil PM suggests that new vaccine may turn men into crocodiles and women will grow hairs, Trump's suggestions were equally insane when he suggested to take disinfectants as remedy to Covid. America lost three lakh lives and its healthcare system broke under its pressure but govt was missing in action.
It was also alleged that Democrats abetted and fanned the fires emanating from 'Black lives matter' campaigns in states ruled by them. Democrats ruled New York saw biggest looting and arson. So, the politics had started long time back to influence the election.
Trump had alleged postal ballot fraud one of the reason of his defeat. States in which he lost edge in electoral votes was Arizona, Georgia and Wisconsin where he lost by 42918 votes combined, thus surrendered the chance to be at par with 269-269 tie with Biden.
During the entire campaign Trump got positive votes means 'vote for him to be President' but Biden got votes for 'vote against Trump'. One of the major reasons that after William McKinley's 1900 election this was highest voter turnout ever at 66.2 per cent. So it was wafer thin margin where he lost out to Biden in three important states is the real bone of contention.
With Trump on pardon spree where he has already signed 'pardons & clemencies' to 46 people, his forcing Congress to raise limit from 600 dollars to 2k dollars and leaving behind a robust economy, are all signs of prolonged fight, if not this time, it may be 2024. Second coming may not be ruled out.
Ashok Goswami, New York
Celebrating the birth of New Year over the years…
Sixty six years have passed, sixty six summers with the length of sixty six long winters(with due apologies to Wordsworth).I am, like many more millions of people, constrained to celebrate this 2021 New Year's Day in a low profile, thanks to the COVID-19 infested times. My advanced age is yet another reason to hold back my still burning and rather buzzing zeal to chill out on this 'once-in-a-year' occasion. As you know this January month is named after Roman God Janus, who had two faces, to look to the future and to look to the past at once. Hence the New Year Eve(December 31st)is traditionally meant for us to rejoice, to sit and take a cool look at the days gone by with sighs and look to the future with fond hope.
But now I am wont to look back at some of the celebrations on the New Year's Day in my life so far. To begin with, as a college going young man, I was eagerly looking forward to celebrating each New Year Eve with a small gang of my bosom friends. Sometimes we all used to meet at a pub or at a bar hours before the midnight to talk about our plans in the new year.
Though I was a teetotaller, I sat with my friends who would make new year's resolutions over glasses of beer. The funniest part of it was that some of them tanked up soon and would suddenly start talking in kitchen English! A couple of them would break down while nostalgically talking about the people and things they loved and lost. The finest part was in the morning when we exchanged greeting cards, sweets, cakes, small trinkets like pens, new diaries and the visits to the homes of some lady classmates. One young unmarried Commerce Lecturer was very close to our group of friends and he used to treat us in the evening.
From 1985 to 1991,I worked in the Head Office of AP Panchayati Raj Department in Hyderabad. During this period it was rather an insipid affair--no parties, no exchange of greeting cards, sweets, cakes, trinkets and no home visits. However, some of my crafty colleagues were in the habit of fawning for favours from our senior officers. They used to do all sorts of things that were popular during the Raj to stay in the good books of the bosses.
From 1991 to 2015 I had worked as a Degree College Lecturer in an aided college at Badvel town of Kadapa District. Then it was a small, seedy town where just two political families dominated everything. During this long and eventful period, I witnessed some of the practices of the Raj on the New Year's Day! Every year early in the morning, all the college staff members would meet on the spacious grounds of our college and exchange greetings with one another.
From there we all would go in a small ,rickety van to the house of our Principal where we would garland him profusely and exchange pleasantries over cake and tea. Then he would join us to go to our college chairman who was a very powerful long time State Level leader. Amid hundreds of his partymen, local officials, general public, waiting to greet him, the Chairman would grant us just a few minutes of time to meet and greet him as per the protocol and accept reverentially whatever he offered us.
The brighter part of it was the way our students enjoyed themselves on this day. Most students would form into small groups to go to greet their teachers at their homes, give them beautiful cards, and sweets. Some rich students would pamper their favourite teachers with gifts and apples, a costly affair in those days. It was a symbol of a teacher's popularity. A couple of my colleagues from Science Departments would basket hundreds of them that day and they would boast about it in the staff room the next day. But in the efflux of time, this practice of visiting homes and gifting trickled down and soon disappeared. With the advent of the mobile phones, students started calling their teachers to greet them and many even simply sent greeting messages over the mobile!
Now once again back in Hyderabad since 2015 after my retirement. Here on the New Year's Day,I usually exchange some messages and memes on the mobile with my children, siblings,and relatives only. And a few old students still post greetings on my Facebook page, though some of the practices of the Raj continue in official circles!
M Somasekhar Prasad, Hyderabad
Mock drill welcome
To conduct dry run, a pilot mock drill for Covid vaccination in two districts each of four states is a good idea. The real vaccination programme is going to be humongous and a herculean task with multiple challenges at multiple points. It needs meticulous planning, good number of trained personnel, logistics and fail-safe mechanisms. Given the large scale requirements, greater demand and patently inadequate supply of vaccine, India, being second worst victim to corona, cannot afford any failure in the upcoming massive flagship programme of vaccination. The dry run will expose the lacunae in preparedness and execution that need to be rectified. It should be carried out in all states involving all stakeholders.
Dr D V G Sankararao,Nellimarla
Let's usher in 2021 optimistically!
After year 2020 starting on a quiet note, people woke up to a big surprise in the second quarter after coronavirus pandemic striking with vengeance dished out tough challenges forcing people to take care and be vigilant by strictly following the Covid norms compulsorily--wearing mask and maintaining social distance to ward off Covid.
In fact, as each day after the outbreak of pandemic life became more painful looking at the reports of rise in deaths and increasing positive cases in print and TV media. This created a scare and unnerved people due to public healthcare not matching up to the expectations even as private health care was beyond the reach of the common man. Suddenly, everyone started feeling jittery seeing the upswings and downswings in their daily lives even as negative thoughts swirling in their minds increased anxiety and restlessness.
In this context, experts coming out with varying degrees of contradicting reports only added to the confusion after it became certain that pandemic is certain to spill over to 2021. Notwithstanding the intense sufferings of migrant labour and employees due to sudden shut down of market and business houses on account of lockdown for most part of the year due to Covid, the extraordinary situation only complicated economic policy, as a result states had to bear the brunt of revenue shortfall.
The Centre failing to play a bigger role to extend help to States coupled with public healthcare woefully falling short due to inadequacies had a cascading effect on both people leaving them helpless. Moreover, it was a pathetic sight everywhere after coronavirus exacerbated a number of challenges as we prepare to enter the third decade of the 21st century leaving behind bitter and sad memories of turbulent 2020.
Still ,one is not sure as to how long the ordeal would continue encircle and trouble us despite the Covid contagion has come down considerably. Thus this bringing the death toll to lower level not only gives a relief but a bright hope to people with Covid positive fighting for survival. In spite of the improvements visible on the ground, government and the people cannot afford to remain complacent. In other words, tentative gains in the battle against the coronavirus must be kept up by remaining vigilant.
Also, in the aftermath of death of unfortunate thousands due to the pandemic, it must not deter taking proactive action even if the stress is too very high to handle in the coming days. In this moment of crisis faced by the world one must not take chances because even a die-hard pessimist accepting the ground realities would change his/her mind and come forward to meet and manage the challenges for greater good of the people.
As it was quite right that China used covid-19 pandemic to its advantage to pressurise the world to listen to its terms by sending a strong message to the west that it cannot take them for granted anymore, its unacceptable behaviour thwarted by alert indian security when it tried to push inside our territory at Ladakh and other borders on the north eastern side by force sounded an alarm to China to give up its policy of trying to covet others' territory by force now when the world is faced with a major challenge to defeat the virus or any time after.
Until then, with bated breath let us wait for the vaccine till it comes out to immunise us from falling a prey to this virus which has been playing havoc with the lives around the world. The announcements that vaccine is in the final stages before it is administered to all gives a sense of great relief even as history proves to this effect that after a global pandemic, lifestyle, social behaviour, economy and governance are bound to change.
Therefore, being optimistic in the toughest times is crucial for each one to focus on the task on hand in order to ward off negative thoughts from our minds and as well to minimise the spread of virus. Summing up, India after coping up the intense struggle for nearly a year must continue till covid retreats fully as visualised by experts by fighting with full resolve without getting an iota of feeling that in the end we land up as a loser.
K R Srinivasan,Secunderabad
What an year it was!
The year 2020 will have made an everlasting and inerasable mark in the history of humankind and still frightening the same with deadly pandemic Coronavirus infection second wave. The pandemic Coronavirus has made the people more insecure and uncertain about their lives and forced to follow certain preventive measures. However, across the world the scientists are trying to reduce the effect of Coronavirus with an effective vaccine the virus is rapidly mutating to produce new variants. The mutations of virus and its self-rejuvenation making the scientists more astonished and transforming them as ostrich heads in research.
Thank the almighty! Owing to a mystic reason in our country, the mortality rate is low when compared to the other nations across the globe. Thanks to our traditional knowledge, that has fed us immunity providing ingredients along with our food. The lockdowns unlock downs, great services of frontline warriors saved our country from virus destruction. Though, we have avoided mass destruction the pandemic has debased our economy to a great extent.
However, fortunately the positive case reduction and the endeavors of governments yielded better results. This deadly and ever-changing virus has pushed the entire world into a pupated state. Therefore, the year 2020 will become an unforgettable year in human history. So, leaving all this wicked past, we will hope for Better tomorrow... Better days. That will help us to bounce back into the normal life stream that will lead towards a sustainable and study growth of the human kind. It is so right that "our hope waters the roots of the flowers that have yet to bloom". But hope has many constraints, so we will pray the almighty with the words of Alfred Lord Tennyson" Ring out the grief that saps the mind; for those that here we see no more: Ring out the feud of rich and poor, Ring in redress to all mankind"
E Gajendra Nath Reddy, Badvel
Today, India has more problems than prospects...
Until liberalisation happened in India, our government used to talk about the ways to control the unchecked growth of population. We forgot about the implementation of family planning which till then was given wider publicity. Suddenly we started talking about the demographic dividend by having majority of Indians as youth in the population and the country progress can be carried on the shoulders of young and we soon turn an economic power that can dictate the globe, this is a myth, the population growth is in fact a great liability, a ticking time bomb.
As per estimates by 2025, 50 per cent of India would be below 25 years of age .Unlike China we cannot reap the demographic dividend as it concentrated on manufacturing, it became a factory to supply all needs required by world .China wisely invested huge amounts in infrastructure development sustaining a positive cycle but China despite being the economic power centre never ignored the population control and succeeded in containing the surging growth of population ,the result is that we are racing ahead to become the world's most populous country overtaking china by the end of 2022.
The scary part is that we are doing so with one of the most ill equipped, inadequately skilled youth in the world. We have the world's largest number of illiterates, as per estimates 26 per cent of our population cannot read or write .Apart from this disadvantage about one crore youth enter the job market every year with just about 15 per cent has some sort of formal skills ,the rest are unemployable ,this is true at all levels. As per the experts assessment less than 10 per cent of Indian engineering graduates are employable and rest are hardly employable, devoid of any skills .
The huge number of educated youth without occupation become more a liability to nation than we expected as dividend ,adding to this by 2024 more than 35 crore people above the age of 60 years remain active and with the increase of life span, the economic strain of nation going to be unbearable .The service industry that was the engine of Indian growth has scant presence.
Our larger states are basically dependent on agrarian income, these states account for least progress and most votes which imbalances the economy. We are having a peculiar combination here: a youthful population having no skills and jobs and feudal social structures in majority of large states, this is a recipe for the social strife, crime, sexual assaults and communal riots. Add to this disastrous cocktail, the politics of caste, religion, hate that is being used to divert the youth anger by self- centred political parties for short time gains and the recent evil freebies offered by all political parties draining the tax payer's money to win elections messed up the governance of states and as whole Nation. We are already staring at a demographic nightmare which has started unravelling.
The focus needs to change from giving corporate giants and flop banks some tax rebates or tweaking tax structures ,the immediate need is to focus on social parameters like literacy ,health, skill development and prioritized family planning etc. As proclaimed by our PM Narendra Modi during the last Independence Day address, the need of the hour is controlling the booming population but unable to put it in practice, no concrete steps are taken to contain and control the population. Population explosion disproportionate to our ecomic growth is a social virus harmful thanCcovid-19 virus and it is to be tackled with same urgency the government showing towards containing the dreaded Coronavirus.
Rama Krishna M, Kakinada