Letters TO the editor

Published: July 25, 2016 6:23 AM

Beware of pesticides

Beware of pesticides

It was shocking to to read Vivian Fernandes’ column downplaying the hazards of synthetic pesticides. Only a small percentage of the pesticide targets the pest, and the rest ends up in the ground or as runoff, wreaking havoc. India is using 750 times more pesticides than Europe, with 51% of all food items having pesticide residues, some of which are found even in human breast milk! Bees(which are estimated to offer “ecosystem services” worth $235 billion- $577 billion of annual global food production through pollination), beneficial soil microorganisms and earthworms are all getting destroyed. On top of this, there is the increase of pesticide use from GM crops. Herbicides like Roundup are linked to the emergence of superweeds and autism in the US. India cannot afford to have another Bhopal or Endosulfan or a Bathinda.

CV Krishna Manoj

Hyderabad

Empowering Dalits

The Dalit uprising in several parts of the country is a spontaneous response to the sudden rise in the appalling hate crimes committed against them with impunity under the government’s watch. The government can prescribe Dr BR Ambedkar’s seminal works on the need for ‘the annihilation of caste’ in schools and colleges, repudiate religious texts that sanctify the caste system and perpetuates the notions of superiority and inferiority and purity and pollution as well as the fallacy of pre-ordination of Dalits to do ‘menial’ jobs as a spiritual exercise, take steps to end the abominable practice of manual scavenging, demolish untouchability walls, promote inter-caste marriages leading to inter-breeding and alteration in the gene pool, provide proportional representation in jobs and decision-making bodies of parties and announce a special economic package. But to do these things the BJP has to reinvent itself as a party and subscribe to Dr Ambedkar’s conception of social justice. Will it, or won’t it? Time alone will tell.

G David Milton

Maruthancode, Tamil Nadu

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