LETTERS TO THE EDITOR (03/03/2021)

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Dilemma Of Getting Vaccinated 

IF a country of 1.37 billion has to depend on its Prime Minister’s promptness to have himself jabbed first to motivate over a million of its citizens to register for the immunisation shots, it says a lot for the uncertainty that hovers over what is seemingly one of the largest vaccination drives in the history of modern India.  While the nation is ready for phase-2 of the COVID jab, the reluctance shown by many to keep away from getting inoculated against the disease is a marked global phenomenon. No other immunisation drive in recent global history would have invited so much of skepticism as have the vaccines against COVID which continue to receive contrasting reports about their effectiveness. When it is stated that the COVID-19 pandemic has completed its global ‘anniversary’, it simply implies that the potent virus is marching on towards an inglorious perpetuity. For, pitted against an unknown entity which has humbled the mightiest of superpowers to leave a massive trail of destruction along the way, mankind’s helplessness in the face of such adversity could not have been more profound! Yet it is the general ‘dilemma’ over getting vaccinated against the harmful effects of the virus that has left the nation in a fix. It is as if the nation is gripped by apprehensions over the after-effects of the vaccination. As much as the dread of the virus, the fear of the COVID vaccines has also had an overwhelming effect on the populace.

PACHU MENON, MARGAO

Vaccine Is A Hobson’s Choice

TO get vaccinated or not to get vaccinated is the question uppermost in the minds of most people these days, especially senior citizens who face more health complications than the younger generation. Secondly, getting oneself vaccinated does not necessarily ensure immunity from contracting the virus in future and transmitting the same to others, even after the second dose. This is one more reason which has dissuaded many from getting vaccinated early. Lakhs of people across the country have been vaccinated so far. How is it that there is no herd immunity yet, and we are witnessing a steep rise instead in the numbers of  daily COVID positive cases in several states, giving rise to the fear of an imminent second COVID wave. The rising COVID curve is an ominous indication of things to come. It appears therefore that our scientists have not done their homework well to give us a vaccine that is safe and effective and which immunises people for long without the help of masks and social distancing norms. And for regular air flyers, it is a virtual Hobson’s choice to qualify for an air ticket. Take it or be left behind.

A F NAZARETH, ALTO PORVORIM

Congress Must Get Its Act Together

IT has been said the BJP is afraid of losing a state and the Congress is shy of winning one. It does not matter for the BJP how big or small the state is; it wants to form a government in every state irrespective of its size. Though it had a minuscule presence in Puducherry, the astute power game of the BJP ensured its indirect control over the Union territory through President’s rule. In a tiny assembly like Puducherry, the dice started rolling after Kiran Bedi, a BJP nominee, was removed as governor; it was quite clear that the UT was heading for a big spectacle before the assembly elections. However, the intent of the BJP separates it from the Congress. The BJP desires to ‘remote control’ the UT and pull all strings to form a government there. The Puducherry  development also denotes how the BJP has managed to go from strength to strength after that huge 2014 win while the Congress continues to find itself in the doldrums.  Assam, Tamil Nadu and Kerala, along with West Bengal and Puducherry, are going to polls shortly, and the party has a stake  in each state. What about the Congress? The grand old party’s grip over states is loosening by the passing day. Very importantly, the intention to go all the way, and the  determination to win, appear missing. That the Congress is enjoying  power in only three states is  an unmistakable sign of decay and degeneration in the party. Of the three, the wind may change direction in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh anytime.  So, what is the party left with?  When a party is reluctant to learn even after repeated drubbings, nothing can infuse hope among the people in the party’s future. Despite top leaders  sighing “enough is enough” nothing has been done to revive the party.   The indecisiveness Rahul Gandhi assuming the party presidentship should end.  Either he should or he shouldn’t – no middle path.  Even at the cost of some leaders dumping the party, the answer must be known very soon.

GANAPATHI  BHAT, AKOLA