River Of Milk
The pouring of 50,000 litres of milk into the Gomti by agitating milk vendors in Uttar Pradesh is a morally contemptible act and cannot be justified on any ground. It is possible that private milk suppliers might be feeling aggrieved by the government's decision to test the milk in a rigid manner. But then, adulteration of milk is rampant and the situation has been aggravated by the phenomenon of synthetic milk. The consumption of synthetic milk is harmful to the human body as it contains toxic ingredients.
Milk is a vital nutrient for children and expectant mothers but, sadly, hundreds of children are deprived of it. So, it is very wrong for the vendors to throw it away in this fashion. It is very distressing that Mr Mulayam Singh Yadav has seen it fit to publicly support the vendors. It is frightening that such leaders sit in Parliament and decide the destiny of the nation.
Col (Dr) V G Laghate (Retd.), Pune
India has one of the highest public noise levels in the world -- an issue that has been ignored by our politicians and policy- makers. One truly hopes that the apex court will take steps to control the situation. In 1996, Calcutta high court, through its landmark judgment, clamped down on the use of loudspeakers, the bursting of fire-crackers and other noisy nuisance during Diwali and Durga Puja. This has succeeded to some extent, demonstrating that court orders can make a difference.
It has been established that high decibel levels can cause blood pressure problems, mental imbalance, distraction and loss of productivity. It is time that the state governments or judiciary formulate guidelines to prescribe noise levels for industrial, commercial and residential areas, indicating permissible levels in decibel terms during peak hours, weekdays and weekends.
Bhagwan B Thadani, Mumbai
Without any inkling of the ground realities celebrities like Arundhati Roy have decided to oppose the Sardar Sarovar Project. As a native of Kutch, I cannot even describe the acute water shortage faced by the region. In Kutch, as in many other regions of Gujarat, water has become one of the most precious commodities. This continuous struggle for water has made life all the more harsh in the region. Walking for miles in the scorching sun for that elusive supply of water may seem like a romantic dream for many in the city but in the villages of Kutch it is a bitter reality.
Now that the Sardar Sarovar Project is likely to bring a bit of relief to the region some ill-informed celebrity like Arundhati crops up. Winning the Booker Prize makes her impudent enough to talk on behalf of an entire region. She lacks an insight into the daily drudgery faced by the people of Kutch. One can only plead with them to first get themselves acquainted with the ground realities in the region before passing any judgment.
Dheeraj Patel, New Delhi
Apropos your editorial ``Dam and Blast'' (August 2), it is suggested that the work of rehabilitation of the displaced persons from the Narmada project be handed over to Ms Medha Patkar and Arundhati Roy. This will be cheaper, faster and to the satisfaction of the persons concerned. This will also be in accordance with government policy to involve the NGOs and women in developmental work.
H K Agrawal, Bhopal
In Name Only
With reference to your editorial `Hey Nam' (July 28) regarding the renaming of Calcutta to Kolkata, I would like to point out that mere change of pronunciation and spelling does not shake off the colonial legacy. In fact, Kolkata is just a way of Bengali pronunciation, where `a' becomes `o'. If historical names are to be really revived, then it should have been `Saptagram' and not `Kolkata'.
I wonder whether such changing of names to suit the whims of political parties will revive our cultural identity; or lead us to even narrower feelings cast in more rigid provincial compartments.
N C Singh, Rano Hills
Just a Point
We shall never learn. Pampering and listening to our `leaders' has always been our priority. With elections round the corner, we shall see a lot of this. When the elections are over, you wonder who it was you voted for. Why face disruptions in traffic with their VIP motorcades? Why not have a senior citizen or a war widow to do such things like inaugurate a hospital or celebrate some other public function?
After all, what have we got from voting for these so called leaders? The power cuts, water shortage, bad roads and sanitation in India are the same, if not worse, as they were 50 years ago. They conveniently get away with anything by blaming the other party instead of owning responsibility. The basic needs of the common man are not on their agenda; their own needs take up most of the time.
Manju Chawla, Dehra Dun
Miss Jayalalitha's AIADMK has selectively chosen those facing charges for contesting the Lok Sabha election. A judge who faced an impeachment motion, a leader accused of COFEPOSA violation, those implicated in the TANSI case, etc. seem to be the best pick according to madam's moral yardstick. She has stood by them saying, ``They are facing charges -- not found guilty''. Is it not an insult to `Tamil pride' that this state does not have adequate number of talented, righteous and honest people whom it can field in elections.
M S C Rao, Bangalore