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MyVoice: Views of our readers 4th June 2023
Views of our readers
Horrible tragedy shows railway safety off track
I would like to begin my comments by conveying my condolences to families of more than 200 who have lost their family members or friends, and also to the family members of more than 900 (still counting). While the risk teams should be allowed to concentrate on completing their task before the ruling and opposition start their darshan of accident spot, followed by blame game. Whether it was a human error or otherwise the high level probe ordered by the Railway Minister will reveal, and it should be made public as it is no "Henderson" report of Indo-China 1962 war. As for the latest train accident, this is not the first one in Indian railway history. Neither are we ordinary folks who have very little technical knowledge on running of trains, what we can say, our railway minister over the years has become thick-skinned without any moral sense of responsibility. Moreover we can't even equate them with late Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri who during his tenure as Railway Minister resigned his post to stand with the families of those who died in the accident. After all, the present bureaucrat-turned-politician turned Railway Minister is always seem to be active on Twitter by making strange comparisons of his own organisation with the past as he has not even spared arrival and departure boards with digital display in some railway stations. Moreover, the focus of Railway Minister seems to be on speed and getting ready Vande Bharat trains for PM to flag off in poll-bound states where PM can target opposition parties, in particular Congress, for not doing anything to develop railways and leaving everything to him and his party. While speed and rebranding of old trains can continue to get political benefits, new India probably needs a Railway Safety Minister who can focus on avoiding train accidents and another Minister can continue his job to please the boss. My appeal to rail travellers, I am not asking them to only criticise the railways, but should demand safety as well.
N Nagarajan, Hyderabad
Whole India is anguished intensely on account of the latest deadliest accident in Railways history. In the present high-tech era, there is no justification for such man-made calamity ever. Emergent need of hour is ideal fool-proof setup devoid of any kind of negligence or shortcoming or lapses in order to prevent altogether such man-made calamity in future. Then only offering good wishes of 'Shubha Yathra' by Indian Railways will be truly meaningful ever.
B Veerakumaran Thampi, Thiruvananthapuram
It’s most unfortunate sad that more than 50 people died and over 400 were injured in a major train accident in Odisha. On one side train technology is advancing rapidly, super speed Vande Bharat trains are rolling on speed tracks, yet Railways is not able to prevent these types of regular train accidents Railway Board should plug the loopholes by preventing such accidents and must provide employment to one person in each the bereaved families.
Ganti Venkata Sudhir, Secunderabad
The Orrisa railway accident was a tragedy, but it does not have to be in vain. By taking steps to improve safety, we can prevent future tragedies and honour the memory of those who lost their lives. Here are some things that can be done to prevent railway accidents: Use technology to improve safety. For example, trains could be equipped with sensors that can detect when a train is going too fast or when there is an obstacle on the tracks; Invest in research and development. This could lead to new technologies that can improve safety, such as better brakes or more reliable signals; and, Create a culture of safety. This means that everyone involved in the railway industry, from employees to managers to government officials, must be committed to safety.
Amarjeet Kumar, Hazaribag
The railway incident in is terrible. It is sad that more than a hundred people died when three trains met with an accident in the same place like never before. The reasons behind this atrocity should be investigated by independent authorities. Strict action should be taken against the employees if they are found responsible. The responsibility rests entirely with the Railways. It should give ex gratia to the families of the deceased and provide employment to one of their family members. Adequate measures should be taken to prevent such incidents from happening in the future.
J M R Dunga, Amadalavalasa
Seeing the pictures of the train accident that happened near Balasore in Orissa will leave anyone with a heart-breaking shock. If you see the mangled bogies mangled lying on the track, the level of danger is very serious and there is a need for the Railways to prepare proper action plan and implement to prevent such accidents. It can be said that the timely response by deployment of more than 100 personnel and officers at the accident site to cut the bogies and bring out the victims is a relief.
Raju Kolluru, Kakinada
TIMELY SUCCOUR TO BROKE AP GOVT
The Modi government the other day released about 10,000 thousand crores of rupees to the AP government. The State should have rightfully got these funds in 2014-15 financial year. The reasons for withholding the amount all these years were as mysterious as they are now for the release. All know that Jagan, since he hit the scene, has been a friend of Modi and the Centre, too, has often helped him and his government, much to the chagrin of KCR. But one wonders how this act of kindness by the Centre helps the BJP in AP?
It is true that the prospects of the BJP in AP are very bleak and the party can now use this small help to the State government in its election campaign as a token of its commitment to the spirit of federalism. This is really a big help for the cash-strapped government. Like many other States, the AP State has been hard up for a couple of years, thanks to its too many populist schemes. At one time, the government was in such a desperate position as to withdraw funds cladestinely from the GPF accounts of employees without their permission. Every month payments of salaries and pensions have become regularly irregular. Besides this, employees have been in an agitation mood against the government over its inordinate delay in settling their genuine demands including payments of thousands of crores of PRC, DA and UGC arrears. But Jagan has been over confident about winning 175 seats and apparently indifferent towards the demands of employees. He must know that many CMs in the past had ignored employees and their issues and paid dearly. So he should lose no time in telling the employees that they mean a lot to him in an election year. Lest his winning of 175 seats should remain a pipe dream.
M Somasekhar Prasad, Hyderabad
Rahul proves ignoramus while abroad yet again
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi's damaging speeches on BJP government are not at all justifiable and tolerable. He is free to expose in any manner directly and indirectly in India like any other politician. Rahul is the most probable candidate to become PM if Congress Party wins with needed number of members in 2024 elections. He and Modi also require to study how our leaders in the past criticised their opponents on this land and praised the glory of our country outside. Former Chief Minister of united Andhra Pradesh N T Ramarao very severely antagonised Congress regime under the Prime Ministership of Indira Gandhi but refused to comment on her when he was questioned by an interviewer in America. NTR was instrumental in PV Narasimha Rao getting elected unopposed from Nandyal in AP State. AB Vajpayee was sponsored by PV and Rajiv Gandhi during their time as PMs to participate in UNO meetings to represent India. We cannot completely conclude Rahul and Modi are unaware of these incidents. Inside the country, we might be having diverse opinions but on foreign land we must be having one united tone. "Eedesamegina endukalidina pogadara nee thalli Bhoomi Bharatini" was a poetic slogan during freedom struggle which is eternally relevant. The only and best principle in a benevolent democracy is patriotism.
N Ramalakshmi, Secunderabad
Apropos, "Modi will even explain to God how universe works: Rahul," THI, Jun 1. The Congress and the BJP have started another round of unproductive and self-defeating verbal exchanges over Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s distasteful comments, again on foreign soil, on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his ways of governing. The BJP cannot be faulted for defending PM, but it is time that the Congress introspects into its leader’s penchant for making personal attacks against his chief political foe that crosses the patriotic "Lakshmanrekha." Political leader may have their personal opinions, but they also have a duty to themselves and their followers to be circumspect before airing them in public. The general consensus among the Indian political class is that, while they remain opponents inside the country, they defend national priorities outside it. But, Gandhi has been consistently breaking this unwritten rule to no end.
N Sadhasiva Reddy, Washington
After committing a blunder by spreading pessimism, hate and distrust abroad against India, the Congress leader's remarks cannot be ignored by taking it as an act of immaturity. It needs to be seriously taken by all so that a strong message goes to Rahul that enough is enough, India cannot take such remarks berating the nation and Modi anymore. Also, Rahul giving a secular tag to Indan Union Muslim League even after the same people responsible for partition having stayed back in India, advocated for Shariat laws and demanded separate seats for Muslims. Rahul must answer if this be called secular whereas Sanatan Dharma is practiced by millions in this country with a message that all faiths are welcome to practise their own faiths. It is utterly shameful and condemnable that Congress has stooped to a new low in appeasement of Muslims.
K R Srinivasan, Secunderabad
Economy growth not an aberration
The report that India’s GDP grew at 6.1 per cent during the January- March quarter of the financial time 2022- 23 is yet another index that the country’s frugality is healthy and headed in the right direction. This will push the overall growth rate to 7.2 per cent for the full time, April 2022 to March 2023. But this growth index isn't a megalith; several factors also show we are doing many a thing right. During the quarter in discussion, husbandry growth accelerated to 5.4 per cent from 4 percent. Electricity, gas, water force and other mileage services member also grew 6.7 per cent during the fourth quarter from per cent in a time ago period.
The GVA growth in the services sector, comprising trade, hostel, transport, communication and services related to broadcasting, was 9 per cent in the fourth quarter, against a growth of only 5 percent a time ago, according to data from the ministry of statistics and programme implementation. This robust performance, along with overall sanguinity and compelling macroeconomic pointers, illustrate the promising line of the Indian frugality and the tenacity of its people.
– Dr Vijaykumar H K, Raichur
This robust performance alongwith overall optimism and compelling macro-economic indicators, exemplify the promising trajectory of the Indian economy and the tenacity of its people. Reserve Bank of India governor Shaktikanta Das said that in the Oct-Dec quarter there was a pent-up demand, which supported economic activity. All economic indicators in the fourth quarter showed that economic activities had sustained the momentum. It is well known fact that RBI monitors about 70 high-frequency indicators, and almost all of them have maintained a good positive momentum. There is a euphoria about the fourth quarter performance, mainly boosted by government and private capital spending. However the road ahead will not be smooth.
We have to keep in mind the various factors to sustain the momentum in the economy. Rise in home loan EMIs, its impact on household budgets, impact on consumption demand, contraction in exports and its impact on employment. We have to watch the impact of climate change on production of various crops.There are also indicators that passenger vehicle demand is subdued for small cars and concerns are growing for medium and heavy commercial vehicle sales. FMCG companies suggest continued pressure from weaker rural demand due to inflation. IT companies have scaled back revenue and hiring guidance for FY24 due to global developments. These will weigh on the services sector, even as freight segments and tractor sales have been on a softer side. Overall we are doing good but must be cautiously optimistic
– Yash Pal Ralhan, Jalandhar
Is democracy on its last legs in India?
Cry for democracy is heard all over the country. The ruling dispensation's least concern for maintaining at least minimum scale of democratic norms has been well articulated once again in the manner in which the inauguration of the new building of Parliament was carried out on 28th May. When the Central Vista project was announced many questions were raised about its imminent need when the country was limbing with acute economic issues pitched after the epidemic and the common people were lingering around with their plights for livelihood. No one had so far ridiculed the absence of a palace for the Prime Minister of a country where 80 crore people are depending on free ration and are longing for just one cent of land to have their shelter. The project which was estimated to cost around Rs 20,000 crores exceeded it, as usual, in due course.
Parliament is seen as a symbol and seat of democracy. Inauguration of such a building should have involved all the parties right from its inception stage. Whereas everything looks to have been carried out so arbitrarily. The Prime Minister taking interest in inaugurating every new train, though ridiculed by many, is not a serious issue. But inaugurating the new Parliament building should have been by the President, being the official and constitutional head of the country, besides being the First Citizen and by virtue of President is hailed by all. The choice of the date further confirms the claim by many that it is more a party affair than a national event as the day happens to be the birth anniversary of one of the leaders of RSS, V D Savarkar. Though he is treated as a leader for whatever reasons, a vast section of people rejects him for his hostile stand and attitude towards the freedom movement. Further more the ruling party, which claims to be the sole custodian of Hinduism and its traditions chose the most inauspicious day for inauguration. Traditionally Hindus see thithi for doing good or new things. How such an important event was chosen to be carried out on Navami is not answered. But inside the new building the pictures and fixtures depict the events in epics making one to feel if it as a party office rather than a Parliament building of a secular nation. How churning of sea by asuras and devatha for nectar is relevant to a Parliament? Instead of the figure of Chanakya, who is celebrated for his teachings meant for monarchy, figure of Chola king, who had introduced democratic rule by 'Kuda olai' system would have been more appropriate.
Above all, the event of the Prime Minister receiving the Sengole (Sceptre) is confirming the criticism that democracy is over and the rule of despotic monarchy dawns to be true. Does it signify the transition from democracy to monarchy?
– A G Rajmohan, Anantapur
A self-inflected shame by oppn
Once again petty political perceptions, partisan prejudices, myopic manoeuvres and dearth of decency and decorum have robbed the Opposition parties of a golden chance to be a part and parcel of the historic occasion of the inaugural session of the New Parliament. It is indeed, a self-inflicted shame, deprivation and denial of a privilege so rare in the annals of Indian history. Their boycott of the inaugural on the contention that the President of India and not the Prime Minister should inaugurate is silly and unwarranted. The official statement is said to be that, ‘’there are neither specific rules nor anything written in the statutes. This is a first of its kind event. It was the PM’s decision...his creation. The President should bless it.’’ One also wonders if the opposition to the inaugural is Modi-centric. Is it borne of a pathetic paranoia of the opposition parties that Modi by inaugurating the new Parliament will reap rich political dividends in the ensuing general elections? The Prime Minister should, in fact, be credited with having taken up the much-delayed project and seen it designed by an esteemed Indian architect like Bimal Patel and built it in record time involving a massive labour force in the construction of the massive building. To put it in brief, the new House is an awe-inspiring architecturally majestic marvel built by its people and for its people.
– S M Kompella, Kakinada