Bridging the divide
How wonderful that the great musician Ustad Ghulam Ali from Pakistan should perform in India, that too at the Sankat Mochan temple in Varanasi (‘Buzz in Varanasi’, IE, April 9). Events like this remind us of a truth that we forget all too often and easily — that music, like other creative arts, effortlessly transcends petty social schisms like race, religion and ethnicity, and unites one and all in an appreciation of the sublime. It is particularly significant that this event should have been organised in the prime minister’s constituency with his blessings.
Perhaps, this will serve as a message to people across the world that, contrary to the impression created by our “main-scream” TV news channels, India is not a land controlled by foaming-at-the-mouth Hindu fanatics like Praveen Togadia.
— R.P. Subramanian (Delhi)
This refers to The Indian Express series, ‘Death by breath’. Engine manufacturers are selling agriculture pump sets with poor emission norms to unscrupulous dealers, who convert them into open gensets without a canopy, thereby dramatically adding to pollution. This malpractice also causes a huge revenue loss because government levies and duties are much less when sets are sold in this way. Further, when tractor and vehicle manufacturers export their products to the West, they announce with great pride that they meet the emission norms of those countries. But where is that pride when they knowingly sell more polluting, obsolete engines in the domestic market. It is of no use to say customers won’t buy emission-compliant products. This is a fallacy — does the farmer not buy the latest motorcycle, car, electronic good, smart phone etc? The problem is the lethargy of the engine manufacturers. The government has restricted the entry of trucks more than 10-years old into Delhi. Could a similar rule not be brought in for gensets that don’t meet certain emission norms?
— Farrokh N. Cooper (CMD, Cooper Corporation Pvt Ltd)
Not just ratings
This refers to ‘FM on Moody’s move: government needs to do more’ (IE, April 10). Surely the government needs to do more — not just for the 1 per cent that will benefit from the improved Moody’s rating but for the overwhelming majority of Indians who are languishing around and under the poverty line. While India may register rocketing economic growth and climb the rating rungs of different agencies, the concern for our policymakers should primarily be the population that is left on the margins of our “fantastic” growth story.
— Suyash Saxena (Delhi)
In need of care
This refers to the editorial, ‘What farmers need’ (IE, April 10). It is well argued that to tackle weather-related agricultural crises, the Narendra Modi government must think beyond conventional calamity relief and move towards a robust crop insurance system. With rural distress increasing, the PM now needs to take much-needed policy measures to put the sector back on track. There is a desperate need to immunise the farm sector against weather-related calamities and also remove market-distorting schemes.
— Dev Athawale (Amravati)