MyVoice: Views of our readers 31st January 2020
We need a dispassionate debate on occult practices It is extremely disgusting to read about the parents brutally killing their two daughters in Mada...
We need a dispassionate debate on occult practices
It is extremely disgusting to read about the parents brutally killing their two daughters in Madanapalle strongly believing that some supernatural power would bring them back to life.
What is more astonishing is that the ghastly act was committed by well-educated parents who have a long association with educational institutions. This certainly is not an isolated incident. Such acts with an occultist angle had been reported in different parts of the country in the recent past.
The occurrence of such shocking incidents calls for a dispassionate debate about the prevalence of irrational and obscurantist practices driven by superstitions and the absence of competent laws to prevent them.
It might be necessary to enact a superstition (prevention) Act to inculcate scientific temper among the people and to usher in a progressive society that marches ahead in the truly scientific path shown by our great ancestors such as Varahamihira, Aryabhatta, Bhaskara, Brahmagupta, Sushruta,, Charak, Ramanujan and Abdul Kalam.
We live in the scientific age and India is making rapid strides in S&T promising to become a superpower in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in the near future. However, it is regrettable that in a country having the distinction of brilliance in many sectors, a major part of its populace continues to wallow in ignorance and superstitions.
One wonders that all our efforts to inculcate scientific temper have not been able to achieve the desired objectives even after 73 years of Independence. Should we believe that our people have developed distrust in science even as they believe everything they read on social media.? This shows that scientific temper has not permeated in our society to have a decisive impact on the national psyche.
The term ' scientific temper' was first used in India by Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru in 1948. It is a way of thinking critically and rationally, the ability to question what is told to us, and not be satisfied with the answer just because it is uttered by some persons of authority.
Even before Nehru, a number of social reformers, scholars and scientists advocated the need to instil a spirit of scientific enquiry in the society. In 1981, a statement of scientific temper was issued by a group of individuals which was revised in the Palampur declaration.
The concept of scientific temper was the basis for the scientific policy resolution of the Government of India adopted by both Houses of Parliament. It was an expression of India's faith in science and the role that S&T could play in national development.
In 1976 Article 51A(h) was incorporated in the Constitution which states ' It shall be the duty of every citizen of India to develop the scientific temper, humanism and a spirit of inquiry and reform'.
The need for scientific temper need not be overemphasised in a country like ours where myriad dogmas and superstitions prevail. But it still remains elusive. Hence, science popularisation is the need of the hour.
However, the transformation to a society guided by scientific enquiry is not going to be easy as the general public is not seemingly interested in knowing scientific phenomenon and reading science. science popularisation can best be achieved by demonstrating it among the people.
Going back into science in history, Galileo, the father of modern science, climbed to the Leaning Tower of Pisa and from the top, he dropped two spheres of different masses and demonstrated that both hit the ground simultaneously.
He thus disproved Aristotle's theory of gravity ( which states that objects fall at speeds proportional to their mass).
Further, innovative methods such as dance, song and skit might be used to take science to the people. Creation of knowledge-literature in Indian languages needs to be encouraged. People's science organisations which have been doing remarkable efforts for science communication for scientific temper need to take their activities more to the rural areas.
— Dr E R Subrahmanyam, Amalapuram
Farmers are integral part of nation building
This refers to the well analysed article "New leaders, the need of the hour in India'' (THI 30 Jan) by Ramu Sarma. To begin with, the political class stand depends on where they sit.
It's not clear why you and others in the media are giving so much importance to Rahul Gandhi who can be termed as a person non-grata. As for farmers' issues, the rich and poor farmers are well aware that neither ruling or opposition party is going to really look into the problems faced by them and resolve them.
The farmers, unlike political leaders are more serious in nation- building and it's the same farmers were toiling every day during countrywide lockdown and the government was able take credit for bumper crops and in fact it was farmers, the PM was able announce over the TV free distribution of basic food items to the needy. This announcement was widely used by PM Modi in every election rally.
The farmers are out in the street not because of some political party or the other, they see something wrong with new which in fact helps the big corporates who have been generously donating for the party in power.
Today farmers, unlike corporates, are in street and are being branded as anti-national Khalistani, party Tukde Tukde gang and so on because they rarely fund the political party in power now or some other party in past. As for finding a solution for the problem, the parties on the other side have been demanding re-look at the law which was hastily cleared in RS using voice vote.
The ruling party after realising that farmers are indeed unhappy went for a gimmick of "Farmers Outreach Program" after the bill was passed instead of reaching out to them before framing the new law and they are facing the consequences now.
With the situation going out of control, one finds they are now attempting to bring in so-called "locals" to attack the farmers in the Delhi border. This can lead to serious situations as the farmers even go away from the site, it can take different shapes which can go out of control.
As for a boycott of the President's address, if the first citizen just for once showed the courage of the Queen of England who has more than once called the PM to her palace and advised to relook laws which saw upsurge of different in that country.
The people of India have given a mandate to BJP to rule differently and not like Congress. If they follow what Congress has done then, why do we need BJP and Modi.
Like Congress now, BJP has more experience of fishing in troubled waters and if Mrs Gandhi can be faulted (rightly so!) so also the opposition parties then which include the present ruling party in different avatar hijacked students agitation then and from 2011 onwards using Anna Hazare movement.
The new leaders from either BJP or Congress would be of no use to India, India needs leaders who are not connected with present set of political dispensation.
— N Hariharan, New Delhi
Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose, commander of the Indian National Army was a great freedom fighter and is above politics. Further, he was sectarian in his views and despite sharp differences with Mahatma Gandhi, he fondly addressed Gandhi as the 'Father of the nation".
Though his 124th birth anniversary celebrations at Kolkata's Victoria Memorial got off well by prime minister paying glorious tributes to Netaji and highlighting his dreams to see a strong India, yet unsavoury developments taking place as chief minister Mamata Banerjee was about to address the gathering had resulted in Mamata sticking to the ground by refusing to speak on the solemn occasion.
However what marked the celebrations are songs and dances by a group glorifying Netaji's sacrifices and prime minister's speech peppered with Netaji' quotes in Bengali reminding the greatness of the man whose teachings are not only relevant even today but are a source of energy to every youth to imbibe them to make the nation proud and strong.
However, in the context of present day politics in Bengal where TMC and BJP are bitter rivals, it is most unfortunate that an important event was marred with chief minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee reacting angrily to chants of "Jai Shri Ram" by a section of crowd on the plea it was an unwanted political slogan not befitting the event.
Howsoever, one may try to find fault with Mamata, none can deny that BJP tried to use the occasion to usurp the legacy of Bose. In the same breath, Mamata Banerjee feeling that she had been humiliated by "Jai Shri Ram" chant is also ridiculous and far from the truth.
In short, the turn of events casting a shadow on the celebrations and sparking a bitter political row is only to usurp one of India's revered personality Netaji's legacy ahead of polls and nothing else. Moreover, what was distressing that both Modi and Mamata did not appear to bring out substantive issues and problems relevant to the state to honour Bose's legacy and instead resorted to political gimmick to reap political mileage.
After all, violence and appeasement politics is the order of the day in present day West Bengal under Mamata Banerjee's rule, staying away from giving a speech by her on an important event is a blunder and an insult to the Netaji whose landmark trial in 1945 set a trend catalysing patriotic fervour had soldiers belonging to Hindu, Muslim and Sikh facing the charge of treason.
— K R Srinivasan, Secunderabad
Are we actually a mobocracy?
This writeup refers to the editorial on 'Pitiable state of democracy' (THI Jan 30). This is presented by touching many vital aspects that degrade our well laid democracy. Democracy is not only the best but the best.
On this basis our Constituent Assembly had adopted, enacted and given to it three independent organs such as executive, parliament and judiciary and equated it with that of Bible, Bhagavad Gita and Koran. Soon after India became independent, our democratic values started deteriorating on account of surging selfish motives for power and pelf inspite of the nation advancing to new heights in science and technology.
A political thinker said 'as civilisation advances, man decays morally and ethically'. A few lines about our elected representatives need specific mention. Creating pandemonium in peoples' houses during sessions is highly disturbing the function leading to stoppage or delaying welfare measures to the beneficiaries.
Kleptocracy is widening its wings not to say in a particular field but everywhere where there is air. It is an open fact that corporate hospitals have minted money from corona pandemic patients. We have to question ourselves whether democracy has failed us or we have failed the democracy.
As a matter of fact, judiciary is also no exception as the nation witnessed in many cases. Politicians and rich are getting bails from courts within hours and days. Common man has to wait for longer time. Court cases are not disposed of for years together. I cite one known example.
About 64 lakh employees covered under Employees Pension Scheme 1995 (EPS-95) are running after governments and courts for the past two decades for their pension hike as most of them are drawing around Rupees one thousand static pension and are leading a life much below the poverty line. Listed dates are incessantly adjourned by Supreme Court every time.
Their case was listed on Jan 25, 2021, posted to 25th, again posted to 29th and further posted to Feb 25, 2021. There are many matters that courts are delaying. Justice delayed is justice denied. People are losing faith on judiciary also. Supreme Court worries that criticism on courts is growing.
This is not an untrue statement. Democracy is also widely called as mobocracy. Illiteracy, ever increasing population, lack of social awareness, utter failure to contain corruption, not so efficient leadership are some of the key issues in downplaying of democratic values.
India is a rich country with poor people and Japan is a poor country with rich people as the saying goes.
Indiscipline plays vital role in our democracy. If this trend continues without setting right of devouring maladies, India will remain as a developing country forever. Trust the three pillars of the Constitution will safeguard its norms in order to fortify our democracy.
— Dr NSR Murthy, Secunderabad
Solution elusive for flooding woes
Recently the civil engineering department had conducted survey on the city floods to come out with possible solutions to avoid disaster in future floods. The main reasons for inundation of houses in the last October floods are due to encroachments on the retaining walls of open nallahs, improper width and depth of nallahs and accumulation of huge silt etc.
Already three months passed from October floods so far the state government and concerned department have not come out to commence the pilot project to modernise and manage the city storm water and sewerage system.
The residents who are living in low lying areas are afraid to face the future floods if government failed to set right the present condition of drainage systems. As announced by the government the strategic nala development programme should be taken up immediately in the colonies where hundreds of houses drowned in the last floods.
— Surender Kumar M, Hyderabad
Dubious role of Congress party exposed
Reference your editorial 'Congress' support to Delhi violence ridiculous' (dated 29th January,21). Right from start Congress was behind these protests. Punjab Govt gave them free hand and money to destroy 3000 mobile towers where not a single arrest was made, now the people who had incited and participated in the violence had run back to Punjab.
Congress is doing untold damage to the fabric of Indian democracy by openly supporting the rioters and justifying their actions.
Farmers have been led to believe that once these laws become operational, businessmen like Ambani or Adani will take over their farming and they would be servants to them. False narrative has been spread systematically by opposition parties and farmers especially in Punjab took the large bite.
Question foremost in people's mind is why Punjab farmers are so incensed and have misunderstood while rest of the country farmers are largely peaceful? Telangana had supported these bills. Punjab politics is dominated by farmers lobby and Akali Dal supreme Sukhbir Singh Badal and his brother in Law Majithia had deep interests in farming and aaratiyan business.
Akali Dal pulled out of govt to take centrestage but Punjab CM Amarinder Singh outfoxed them. With BJP hardly a force to reckon with in Punjab, farmers were fed vested agenda and all kinds of misinformation was spread. It became do or die situation for them.
They had three major objections in the bills and when Govt agreed to tweak them, Congress felt that that agitation will die down so the demand to repeal the bills was strategically put forward. Knowing fully well that Govt would never repeal those bills.
Repealing means govt is defeated and henceforth working of govt could be jettisoned by hired mobs and vested parties to undermine governance.
Farmers whose ranks have been infiltrated by Khalistani and Pakistani stooges wanted this rally to provoke police to resort to firing but home ministry's strict instructions not to open fire have frustrated their plans.
All kinds of anti-India lobbies inside and outside were ready to sell narrative that Indian govt is anti- farmer and and killed innocent farmers. But the fact was otherwise, videos showing farmers brutally attacking security forces have frustrated their plans.
Lutyen's lobby went into overdrive in falsely claiming and tweeting that a farmer had been killed in police firing and farmers vows to avenge his death. But CCTV footage led to suspension of one journalist Rajdeep Sardesai and forfeited one-month salary. Farmers have lost the plot and Congress have lost its face.
Congress and other opposition parties have not condemned this violence and desecration of Lal Quila thus putting them into same league of rioters and in cahoots with anti- nationals.
Their desperation to dislodge Modi have blinded them. They should learn something from Republicans who condemned Capitol violence and many senators broke the party line to vote against Trump. Nation comes first for them. Indian opposition and especially Congress have done themselves and wrapped themselves in shame and ignominy.
India's thrust at changing archaic laws and bringing in changes in line with times have been seriously opposed by forces inimical to India's growth efforts.
Fire at Serum India, at Apple's plant and vandalism at Amazon facility are all for the same purpose. China and Pakistan are behind these activities to keep India embroiled in domestic issues and undermine its ability to come up as vital supply chain link to the world.
China Govt had signed MOU with Congress party which has no parallels in the world where an Govt signs MOU with some opposition party of some other nation. Congress has been seriously compromised and now by siding with rioters, they have dug up their own grave.
Mahatma Gandhi wanted to disband Congress party after independence, now the way it's behaving Rahul Gandhi may ensure it's banned for anti-national acts.
— Ashok Goswami, Mumbai