Letters

Letters to the editor dated May 27, 2021

| Updated on May 27, 2021

The WhatsApp kerfuffle

The Centre’s Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code has now become a bone of contention between social media platforms and the Indian government with popular messaging platform WhatsApp taking the issue to the court.

Besides making it mandatory for social media platforms to set up grievance redressal and compliance mechanism, the new guidelines insist on them to make provisions for tracking the first originator of the information which WhatsApp termed was impinging on right to privacy of individuals.

While WhatsApp's stout defence in favour of right to privacy of its subscribers had stood in sharper contrast to its recent user policy which allows it to share individual information with parent company Facebook and other igroup firms, the Centre’s record in defending personal liberties of its citizens leaves much to be desired.

The apprehension of free speech advocates that forcing social media platforms to disclose the identity of “first originator of information” will come in handy for the Centre to stifle dissent and criticism of its policies are legitimate and cannot be overlooked.

M Jeyaram

Sholavandan (TN)

RBI’s largesse

With reference to the editorial ‘RBI to the rescue, again’ (May 27), as against the budgeted amount of ₹53,510 crore, the transfer of ₹99,122 crore as a dividend to the Central Government is a huge boost at a time when its tax kitty is shrinking due to the various relief and stimulus packages implemented to save lives and livelihoods wrecked by the pandemic. However, it becomes prudent only when the payout is not at the instance of the Central Government and sans jeopardising the future cash outflows and or liabilities that may arise on account of the interest payments on various debt obligations.

A conservative and prudential strategy is imperative to sustain the financial strength of the central bank, as the obligations of the Reserve Bank in another way is that of the economy.

Any lack of transparency in the affairs of the RBI will hit the confidence and faith of the country the rest of the world.

It is indispensable for the Centre and the RBI to maintain a harmonious relationship.

The RBI’s decision to transfer a dividend of ₹99,122 crore to the Centre is appreciable, however, it should ensure transparency for the generation of income.

VSK Pillai

Changanacherry

Urban poor left behind

Apropos ‘Falling between the cracks’ (May 26), the plight of the urban poor is indeed worisome. With relentless rural-urban migration, policy measures to provide relief to the cities’ ‘invisible’ population are urgently required.

Affordable housing — both for ownership and rental — must be considered. Rental housing can provide safe and healthy shelter for migrants while at the same time rid our cities of slums. It is futile to create housing stock away from the city centre where land is in plenty as housing must provide easy access to livelihoods, education, healthcare, etc. These initiatives will go a long way in helping migrant workers rather than becoming ‘someone’s headache’ as the author says.

V Vijaykumar

Pune

What the SBI has predicted as first quarter loss could be just a fraction of overall loss as only the second quarter will show the real picture. It is probably the first time that the urban work force has been hit so hard.

The real figures for job losses will hard to assess due to the informal nature of employment of the vast majority. MSMEs, which are catalysts between the big companies and end users, have been the worst hit. It is high time that the government focusses on the urban poor and come up with comprehensive financial assistance.

Bal Govind

Noida

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Send your letters by email to bleditor@thehindu.co.in or by post to ‘Letters to the Editor’, The Hindu Business Line, Kasturi Buildings, 859-860, Anna Salai, Chennai 600002.

Published on May 27, 2021

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