This refers to Raghuvir Srinivasan’s, ‘It’s a different innings for Sachin’ (April 1) and the interview with Sachin Tendulkar on the development of Puttamraju Kandrika. Congratulations to Sachin and Rekha Rani whose leadership qualities have changed the lives of 400 people in the village.

Community development projects, lead bank schemes and the Integrated Rural Development Programme have all contributed to India’s economic development. In his 2014 Independence Day speech, the Prime Minister urged legislators to adopt at least one village for overall development. The initiative will work wonders if the ‘Sachin’ model is replicated.

MG Warrier


Capital issue

This refers to the article ‘Relocating India’s capital’ by Anjani Kumar (April 1). The writer recommends shifting the capital lock, stock and barrel to somewhere near Jabalpur. While the need for relocation is justified in view of the degeneration that has occurred in the capital, the suggestion will be difficult to implement in view of the huge financial outlay involved and other planning and execution issues. However the idea may be implemented slightly differently by shifting offices such as headquarters of PSUs, banks, quasi-government organisations and other authorities such as the Supreme Court, but retaining ministries, Parliament, the office of the President, embassies and so on.

This will reduce the problems to a considerable extent. The new centre may be developed as a second capital so that the infrastructure already created in the capital is not junked.

M Raghuraman


GM u-turn

The front page news (April 1) that the Maharashtra government has given permission for field trials of GM rice, corn, chickpea and cotton must be viewed with concern. The most worrying is the approval for GM rice. Rice has two types: Oryza sativa var. Indica and Oryza sativa var. Japonica ; the former has its origins in the Indian subcontinent. According to internationally accepted norms, a plant type which originates in a specific region must not be genetically modified. This is why Mexico has consistently opposed GM maize, since maize has its origin in the Andean region.

Further, we do not know whether GM rice has undergone any clinical tests here in India. Sometime back when the “Allow Golden Rice” campaign was launched in India, the promoter said clinical tests for its bio safety was done in China and the Philippines. Given the anthropogenic diversity among Indian, Chinese and Filipino populations, comparisons cannot be simply extended from one country to another. Equally worrying is what the impact of GM rice would be on Indian rice export. It is worth remembering that some years ago a huge shipload of GM rice from the US was not allowed into Europe for fear of genetic contamination. India has an enviable market for basmati rice. Would the government want to risk this lucrative overseas market by contamination?

Why are the Centre and the State governments not making a concerted effort to push hybrid rice, through which China had a rice revolution? Hybrid rice is risk-free compared to GM rice. The BJP had clearly spelt out an anti GM policy in its election manifesto. Why this U-turn now?

KP Prabhakaran Nair


AAP needs wisdom

I am deeply saddened by what is happening in the AAP. By washing dirty linen in public some disgruntled people are helping the BJP and the Congress which will utilise the circumstances to finish off the AAP. It has become routine to make the AAP appear in the headlines even if the matter is not worth reporting.

The AAP was formed to fight corruption but the media has become its enemy. Even after six months the BJP government hasn’t passed the Jan Lokpal Bill. There are millions of RTI applications pending. The media overlooks these issues and makes non-issues appear important. Kejriwal must be vigilant about people entering the AAP. It doesn’t matter if they bring money; money doesn’t matter but goodwill does. I hope the AAP gets wiser soon.

Rakhi Sharma


Rash driving

It is horrifying that in 2013 an estimated 1.38 lakh people died in road accidents. Sadly, over 80 per cent of the accidents are attributed to drunken and negligent driving. Even a child knows that consumption of liquor has deleterious effects. But the government is not willing to bring total prohibition since it loses revenue. The government considers revenue important than the lives of people.

There must be deterrent punishment for drunken and negligent driving. The present imprisonment of 2 years for rash driving is proposed to be enhanced to imprisonment up to 7 years in case of death of a child. Not only severity of punishment, but certainty of punishment is also absolutely necessary to bring down the rate of accidents.

KV Seetharamaiah

Hassan, Karnataka


It is sad that nowadays many films are replete with abusive gaalis — cheap and vulgar language. Strangely, there is lobby that protests against censoring of such content. Even a leading actress has supported the content saying the films only show the reality of life. Even if this is true to a small extent, using abusive language only promotes vulgarity in real life.

Since such movies are passed by the Censor Board, I suggest having a special category of certificate for a film with such language: G certificate (film with gaalis ). And if anyone does not wish to watch the movie, he or she can make the choice not to.

M Kumar

New Delhi

Babri’s ghost

The ghost of the Babri Masjid demolition still haunts India. The notices issued by the Supreme Court to BJP leaders keep the case alive. LK Advani’s tumultuous rath yatra and the demolition of the mosque were inextricably linked. The ‘bifurcation’ of the ‘actual demolition’ and the ‘political conspiracy’ was meant to provide an escape route for the ‘instigators’. Certainly the BJP owes a debt of gratitude to PV Narasimha Rao and its plan to raise a memorial in his honour in Delhi refreshes our memory of his day-long ‘meditation’ in his puja room till the frenzied kar sevaks did their job.

Anyway, the Ayodhya movement not only emasculated the movement for social justice but also prepared the ground for the ascendancy of the BJP threatening India’s continued existence as a pluralist democracy. A truly secular country would have rebuilt the mosque exactly at the same place where it had stood and upheld the rule of law and the Constitution.

G David Milton

Maruthancode, Tamil Nadu

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