06 Jun 2023  |   04:56am IST

Letters to the editor ( 06 June 2023)

Safety comes first rather than speed

The horrific and terrible train accident in Odisha points to a fact - it is not with speed that progress and development is achieved, but it is safety, smoothness  and reliability that makes train journeys safe. There is no use of rolling out new semi high speed trains without revamping and modernising the rail tracks and signalling system. Just by reducing manpower and depending fully on technology can also have its ill effects. Technology should be a helping tool in the hands of man rather than humans being tools in the hands of technology.  Modernisation of technology should not be just in rhetoric, but must be translated into reality.  

M Pradyu, Kannur

May their tribe increase

While the Balasore railway tragedy has left 288 people dead and thousands of the passengers severely injured, leaving the entire nation in shock and unfathomable pain, the great gesture of the people in and around Balasore irrespective of their caste, community, creed or religion rushed to the hospitals and made a beeline to donate blood and rushed to the accident spot to extend all support to the affected people. This exhibits the undiluted humaneness that is inborn in Indians. Though it is alleged that all efforts are being made by some disgruntled elements to polarise and divide Indians in the name of religion and flare up communal divide with an ulterior motive to stay put in power, the yeomen services rendered by the people of Odisha to their brethren in distress, has proved beyond doubt that they will never allow themselves to be brain washed by such despicable polarisation.

May the tribe of these Good Samaritans increase!

Tharcius S. Fernando, Chennai

Odisha train accident

The Odisha train accident has plunged the entire nation in deepest sorrow and melancholy. The painful memories of the country’s worst train tragedy in the last three decades will continue to haunt us forever. Over the years, while Indian Railways have seen growth in freight, passenger travel, infrastructure and expenditure, it has been unfaltering in terms of accidents. Sadly, derailments of trains never cease to occur, and there is a huge gap between the government's promises and the ground reality. There are several worrying gaps that point to action which does not match the intent of the railway ministry. It seems the ministry has lost the sense of accountability and there is little value attached to the precious lives of the rail passengers. The horrific Odisha railway accident serves as a blunt reminder of the challenges being faced by the Railways in its attempt to provide safety, security and quality service to the passengers. As is wont, cash compensations to the bereaved families of the victims will pour in from governments, but the task of affixing monetary value to human life is an awkward and intractable one, isn't it?

Ranganathan Sivakumar, Chennai

Wrestlers’ protest  shameful for country

The wrestlers, including award-winning ones, have been staging a protest at Jantar Mantar in the national capital, seeking registration of an FIR against the WFI President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.  The wrestlers have alleged that Singh sexually abused and exploited women wrestlers over the past decade.  The safety of our women athletes is very important.  But it seems to be that BJP is expecting that time will heal. People will forget and issues will soon die. India's sporting legends' democratic rights are snatched away.  These people were no ordinary citizens of this country, they were some of the top ambassadors of Indian sports, seeking redressal and justice against an official who they have accused of sexual harassment against female wrestlers. It’s shameful that our champions are treated in this manner. Democracy lies in tolerance but autocratic forces thrive on intolerance and quelling of dissent. The WFI must be disbanded and a new federation should be put in place. A country is made up of its people and  people’s dignity is dignity of the country.  It was appalling to see so many sportspersons supporting the wrestlers who got laurels for the country in various world events.  Our PM Modiji gives long lectures on respect for women from the Red Fort, but the one who is accused of sexual harassment has full protection.  This shows that Beti Bachao was just an eye wash.  

K G Vilop, Chorao

The sorry state 

of our land

I read the statement by Arunachal Pradesh Environment and Forest Minister Mama Natung wherein he said 'development should not be at the cost of the environment' while speaking to his State officials. 

What a wise leader. Compare that to our politicians who are destroying our State, left right and centre. Everyday I read about land filling, hill cutting, rampant tree felling, illegal sand mining, acres and acres of agricultural land converted to settlement etc. What a sorry state of affairs! Is the Government incompetent? Have they no vision? I think granting Statehood was the worst thing that happened to Goa. We were better off as a Union Territory. 

Jennifer Viegas, Navelim

Awareness needed 

on environment 

People from more than 100 countries, including India, celebrate World environment day on June 5. Environment and health of the Mother Earth and all living creatures play an important role for the very survival of all.

So more and more awareness is required, at the village level. Educational institutions, NGOs, other institutions and village panchayats have a great role to play in creating awareness. Also they can take up small activities such as organising cycle races, grow more plants, non use of four or two wheelers on a given day, wherever possible, clean-up campaigns, concerts, etc.

We can also reduce plastic pollution, garbage, embrace the three Rs - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle,etc. We need to care, share and walk the talk, if we are to survive and also think of future generation. 

Rosario D Rebello, Chinchinim


Iddhar Udhar