Letters To Editor: Modi govt’s ad-hoc vaccine policy, sedition law, West Bengal row
Current ruling dispensation chose to adopt an ad-hoc vaccine policy, which depended on the ability and capacity of only two producers in private sector to vaccinate the whole country
Modi govt’s ad-hoc vaccine policy
The Department of Biotechnology and the Ministry of External Affairs are now in touch with manufacturers like Pfizer and Moderna to augment availability, as India’s daily vaccination rate has slowed down and stagnated. The government said they had also reached out to established pharmaceutical companies and central institutes to ramp up the vaccine production capacity in India. To recollect, in the National Vaccine Policy of April 2011, the Ministry of Health & Family Welfare unveiled a road map for strengthening the Universal Immunisation Programme, as well as streamlining the decision-making process on new vaccine research, product development and introduction. It recommends providing adequate budgetary allocations to create stockpiles and cold chain equipment to deal with disaster and outbreak situations. Yet, the current ruling dispensation chose to adopt an ad-hoc vaccine policy, which depended on the ability and capacity of only two producers in the private sector to vaccinate the whole country. India’s current vaccination rate is abysmally low to achieve the expected coverage in the time frame.
--Haridasan Rajan, Kozhikode
Another staunch Gandhian leaves us
This refers to the heart touching tribute ‘A Gandhian and a gentleman’ (May 30) by Malini Kalyanam on the demise of V. Kalyanam, the last private secretary to Mahatma Gandhi at the ripe age of 99. The daughter has narrated well her father's simplicity, honesty and dedication to household work reminiscent of Mahatma Gandhi's ways and hard discipline and spartan, frugal approach. As long as the last vestige of wisdom remains and cherished, Bapu and his band of Gandhians will remain etched in memories. Late V. Kalyanam joined the Quit India movement and till the assassination of Bapu was with him. On the day of Bapu's assassination, he was behind him and saw shots fired by Nathuram Godse. It was he who first gave the death news to Nehru and Patel. Subsequently, he worked as secretary to Edwina Mountbatten in England, then came back and worked with C. Rajagopalachari and then with JP.
RIP, the departed soul. --Parthasarathy Sen, New Delhi
Time to review the sedition law
At last, the Supreme Court has taken notice of the blatant and reckless (mis)use of the colonial-era sedition law by present governments. Hearing a petition by two Telugu news channels, the apex court on May 31 underlined that “the ambit and parameters of the provisions of Sections 124A, 153A and 505 of the IPC, 1860, would require interpretation, particularly in the context of right of the media to communicate news and information…”. Over the last few years, it has become a trend to book journalists critical of the government under the stringent sedition law at the drop of a hat. Obviously, the police invoke the law at the behest of their political masters. They also realise that the case would not stand in the court of law, but they use it to harass reporters and supress the dissent. The earlier the SC scraps this law the better. –Anshuman Bhardwaj, Chandigarh
Harassment of Bengal Chief Secy is unfortunate
How low the present central government can stoop to take “revenge” is evident from the case of West Bengal Chief Secretary’s episode. A vindictive central government is attempting to deny a senior bureaucrat a peaceful and respectful retirement, that too, for no obvious fault of the officer. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has already explained the entire situation to the Prime Minister. Yet, the Centre is targeting former Chief Secretary Alapan Bandyopadhyay. Is the Modi government trying to give a message to all senior bureaucrats working in various states?
–Indrajit Roy, Kolkata