The assassination of Pakistan's minister for minority affairs Shahbaz Bhatti in broad daylight is shocking (Pak minister critical of blasphemy law assassinated, March 3). Earlier Punjab governor Salman Taseer was killed for his dissenting views on the blasphemy law. The percentage of minorities in Pakistan has declined to a mere 3% of the total population as opposed to 9% in 1951, which speaks volumes for the safety of minorities there. Surprisingly, the entire world including India, chooses to be silent on the plight of minorities in Pakistan.
JN Mahanty, Puri
The grass is never quite green
Gopalkrishna Gandhi in Live on FM radio (Incidentally, February 26) is right in asking whether agriculture can be leveraged unmindful of nature’s grammar and the prose of land-labour dynamics. The groundwater table is depleting fast and the farming community has become debt-ridden. The net profits from farm produce are squeezed due to soaring prices of diesel, increasing labour costs and farm apparatus. It is time we focussed on the grassroots level of the agrarian economy. The government shouldn’t hesitate in allocating money for uplifting the farmers’ living standards and establishing special agricultural zones.
Yugal K Sharma, Faridabad
Gandhi correctly says that we cannot avoid the disastrous effects of the sluggishness in agriculture. No government has been serious in promoting agriculture except providing loans or writing them off, increasing the burden on taxpayers. The government must undertake thorough legislation to prevent dwindling farm land from being encroached upon for residential or industrial purposes. It should also try and reverse the migration from rural areas to cities in search of jobs.
Sreemoy Ghose, via email