Kudos to Praveen Donthi for flagging an issue that needs urgent attention in Cancer express (Big Story, January 17). We need to look deeper into the political economy behind organic farming, to generate a healthy debate on the issue. The ‘cancer belt’ is not just limited to Punjab, but is rapidly extending across the country with numerous cancer care hospitals opening up in urban areas too. A large part of most cancers and auto-immune diseases are due to diet. Given the situation, are the marginally increased costs of organic farming not worth the effort then?
Ashish Gupta, via email
The politicians we deserve
In his article Winnability versus respectability (With Malice Towards One and All, January 17), Khushwant Singh forgets that when Jharkhand was carved out of Bihar, the people had high hopes for the state’s development. But all they got in return were two highly corrupt chief ministers, leaving little scope for progress. Support from major national parties kept these corrupt men in power. Still, a major part of the blame for this sad state of affairs must go to the electorate, which keeps voting these bad apples, or their spouses, back to power. India may be six decades old as a free democracy, but political maturity is still a long way off.
Ashok Kumar Ghosh, via email
Let this be a sign of change in the system
Kudos to Vir Sanghvi for providing our lawmakers with food for thought in Don’t let Ruchika’s death be in vain (Counterpoint, January 17). We are still caged by a faulty legal system, even six decades after Independence, while the powerful few continue to abuse this freedom in unethical ways. Unfortunately, politicians often tend to forget that they are ultimately answerable to those whom they seek to harm by abusing their authority. Sanghvi is right in asking for a complete systemic overhaul.
Harsh Sen, via email
To break the cycle of wrongs committed by those quick to abuse their power, we need more than just lofty talk. There can be no substitute for timely action. The media must be held equally accountable for being silent while Ruchika’s family suffered a series of horrors. Had the media done their job 19 years ago, Ruchika might still have been alive.
B.M. Singh, Amritsar
Sanghvi’s indignation is justified, given the pitiable state of the Indian judicial system. But Ruchika’s story is not unique, and the depravity of our system leads to a lifetime of suffering for thousands of innocents every year. For every case like hers that finds the spotlight due to the dogged efforts of a handful, hundreds of thousands go unnoticed. The irony is that despite the sad state of affairs, we continue to lack the courage to take on the system.
Mansi Gupta, Delhi
Indrajit Hazra in Snitch’n’snatch show (Red Herring, January 17), has rightly pointed out that the cameraman who was busy filming an injured cop without offering any help must be hauled up for his inaction. Absolving him of all guilt reeks of biased reporting. In search of stories, do people forget that they are dealing with human beings?
Habiba Lambay Vashi, via email
Indrajit Hazra’s analysis echoes what most people were thinking, when he says that the media have a self-righteous attitude towards exposés. In fact, a lot of people must be asking the same question as Hazra, wondering why the cameraman did nothing to help the injured policeman, and why he wasn’t hauled up for his negligence.
Shaun Williams, via email
It’s all about faith
People like Manas Chakravarty are happy to fire away on soft targets like Hinduism (Moksha getaway, Loose Canon, January 17). Regarding the importance of the Kumbh Mela, the luxurious arrangements are for elite people like the author and not for the common pilgrim for whom faith is all about spending a night freezing under the open sky, even if it is without an ordinary tent, just for a dip in the Ganga. Faith knows no boundaries.
Gaurav Sharma, Panchkula