The Bharatiya Janata Party is guiltless about its inertia over the owes of migrants (Coronavirus: Migrant crisis was triggered by ‘fake news’, Centre tells Lok Sabha). That countless, died on the way for Supreme Court to interfere though at a later date speaks badly of the callousness. The absence of data of migrants as Parliament records bears another testimony to the misgovernance. –Chandrasekaran C
The only sector that offered a cushion for the economy amid the current unprecedented contraction is agriculture (As migrant workers return home to villages, India’s farming sector sees green shoots). With a good monsoon profile, the sector has been doing its best, contributing to the economy despite hardships faced by farmers in securing funding, quality seeds and fertilisers and a minimum support price to reward the efforts. The reverse migration is indeed a boon in the current scenario and with the quantum hikes in land under cultivation reported, it is sure that the rural economy is slated for a buoyant lift. A whopping increase of about 20% in kharif sowing and enormous hikes in sowing of pulses and oilseeds reported should be able to bring down food inflation substantially down in the later parts of the fiscal.
It is very important to ensure the realisation and transmission of this benefit of the economy down the line to the consumers by taking care of the facilities like storage, preservation and logistics. With near normalcy likely to take some more time, there is a need for rapport between the farmers and the scientist in the selection and continuation of relevant technologies to further boost the output which helps to absorb larger manpower too.
Great attention seems the need of the hour to bring additional uncultivated fertile lands under cultivation taking advantage of the reverse migration.
While all this is one side of the coin, it is important to realise that this sector contributes only to 16% of the nation’s gross domestic product and the agricultural sector grew by a mere 2% over the last few years. By implementing tools like artificial intelligence and making our farming community more tech-savvy, the sector gains benefit immensely. It is not to be forgotten that the reverse migration may affect other major labour-intensive sectors with reduced manpower available if the wheels start rolling in full vigour! – Ramana Gove
Freedom of speech
A day after the Tripura High Court sought reports from the Bharatiya Janata Party government over its Covid-19 response measures following reports of gross mismanagement, Chief Minister Biplab Deb threatened journalists (Coronavirus: Tripura CM threatens media for allegedly spreading fake news, ‘overexcited reporting’).
“A few newspapers and journalists are getting overexcited,” Deb is reported to have said. “Neither history will forgive them nor will I forgive them. These media houses and newspapers are spreading fake news and scaring people.”
Kangana, Arnab and other BJP trolls who are ranting about the freedom to insult Mumbai and Marathi people should also comment on what their party CMs are doing to the press for reporting the truth in their respective states. – Rakesh Katarey
I am not a so-called Modi Bhakt or an ardent BJP follower and I am critical of several policies of this government, but comparing our great democracy to a fascist state is sheer stupidity (Ram Guha: Reading about Mussolini’s Italy in Modi’s India). As Guha mentioned, the press was censored in Italy. But it is not the case in India. If this was the case and India was a “fascist” state as Guha claims it is, he would have not been able to write such an article and Scroll.in would not have been able to publish it.
Several Bollywood celebrities and other so-called political activists might not have been able to abuse the Prime Minister and other ministers on Twitter. In our great country, there is freedom of speech. If India was fascist, Rahul Gandhi could not have been able to run the election campaign saying “chowkidar chor hai”. You are just spreading propaganda. – Karan Sharma
This is what they [the government] are doing to Right to Information activist Akhil Gogoi in Assam (Delhi violence: Pinjra Tod activist Natasha Narwal gets bail). When the police realise that the activists are bound to get bail in courts, they just slap a case under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. There is clearly a pattern here. Civil right activists ought to question the exercise as a gross abuse of law and the Constitution. –Hiren Gohain
We have a new policy in India called “Modinomics”, according to which government feels it is fine to take a big loan from your worst enemy when they are grabbing your land by force and killing your soldiers (India took two loans of over Rs 9,000 crore from China-backed bank, Union minister tells Parliament). Are we are supposed to celebrate the said loan received from our great enemy China? Is this a real friendship? –Dipak Biswas
Caste discrimination debate
There is no mention of how the data was collected in this story (Job losses among SCs were three times higher than for upper castes: Economist Ashwini Deshpande). Employees who are working in the government sector did not suffer any job loss. So there is no question of discrimination on the basis of the caste.
So far there is no reservation policy in the private sector (except for some affirmative action – if at all there is any). How do you conclude that loss of jobs was higher among the reserved categories? Among casual labourers, almost everyone lost their jobs irrespective of the caste. Since a high number of casual workers may belong to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, it is obvious that the figures would reflect the same.
The tone of the article is such as though SCs and STs have been discriminated against and were shunted out of job preferentially vis a vis “other” categories. It is not clear whether the writer wants affirmative action besides reservation or she suggests it as an alternative to the caste-based reservation as in the United States?
With 59.5% reservation, there already is simmering among the ones left out – be it Jats in Haryana or Gujjars in Rajasthan or Patels in Gujrat and many more – all are seeking reservation. After all, where will it stop and when? Do you not think this is disintegrating the society rather than binding it cohesively? – SK Garg
Reading in pandemic
I have read your article on Emily Dickinson and her reclusive lifestyle and this is quite interesting even in my country which is Brazil (American poet Emily Dickinson is the hero to turn to during these difficult times. Here’s why). I am a researcher and English teacher and I have been trying to understand Dickinson’s images of Life and Death since my dissertation. I studied some poems translated by a Brazilian poet, Manuel Bandeira, and the ways Emily developed the scopes of death in English followed by different constructions in the Portuguese versions. Quite interesting article of yours which made me think of how different and peculiar readings we may have when we are reading Emily Dickinson in another language translated by someone else’s eyes. – Gilliale de Souza
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