Apropos of the front page photograph in The Financial Express Storm passes, struggle begins (October 14), man has the capacity to plan and stand up to natures furious phenomenon, in this case called the Phailin. So remarkable that out of 10 lakh affected only some 20-odd lives were lostfatality rate comes out to be 1 in 50,000. But, at the same time, man is unable to face his own fellow mens follies. Pilgrimage disasters are neither the will of the God nor the retribution of the nature. The needless temple tragedy in Madhya Pradesh resulted in a fatality ratio of 1 in 20, or even higher as a lot of people are still critically injured. All vulnerable religious sites would need to be covered under a National Disaster Management Authority sort of protection. In fact, a list of such places and the standard operating procedures must be put in place. The district officials accountable must be specified. There is no point in wearing proud plumes of the Phailin, only to be left with mud in the face at a certain religious place in Madhya Pradesh, on the same day!
Retail vs e-tail
This is with reference to the editorial Forget retail, think e-tail (FE, October 14). There is an old maxim Trust your eyes more than your ears. In the run-up to the elections when the government is busy contemplating which freebies to dole out in order to woo voters, it makes perfect sense to focus on retail FDI rather than the nascent but fast emerging e-market which has found an eagerly waiting market in India. No second thoughts that internet penetration is increasing with each passing day, but many people still prefer to go to the retail market rather than online shopping due to a host of reasons. The poster-boy of Indian e-commerce, Flipkart, has grown tremendously over the years and with its latest cash infusion speaks about the potential this market holds. E-commerce needs to become more visible in our country. Tier I and tier II cities have considerable exposure to internet but it still has a long way to go before the government starts thinking about e-tail as a sector needing regulation. Until then, let these ventures make hay while the sun shines on them.
Let there be referendum
The concept that small states are more viable is rendered outdated in the current context. With the advent of information technology, even bigger states can be better administratively managed as they have greater resources, which are critical for development. The UPAs decision to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh is ill-conceived and has only created chaos and civil unrest in the region. It is unfortunate that the once-peaceful state of Andhra Pradesh is in complete turmoil. A simple question that arises in ones mind is why was this not done before (if the Congress had already decided to do it) and why only now just before the Parliamentary elections are due Clearly, the UPA plans to derive political mileage out of it. There is widespread anger and hatred in the region. The best way to resolve the issue is to have a referendum and let the people of Andhra Pradesh decide what they want.