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Shaming of Tamils by Tamil farmers at Delhi A C Muthiah – his munificent bequeaths to science Odisha: spectacular win by Naveen Patnaik F C Kohli - his concerns all embracing Naidu will soon build a new Hyderabad Muffled voices for merit… Gay abandon in pricing Why this malaise in medical education? TN – agglomerate land holdings without alienating ownership Things happen by accident and not by design... Welcome focus on core competence More Shakti to resource mobilisation... Moily’s bold thrust Bihar elections - the Rajaji formula worked All eyes on Sankara Nethralaya Rahman at CIC Tatas moving out of urea production... Like Hinduism: many paths to reach God... Fortune 500 review Shanti and Sadhana through Music Mersal magnified When small is no larger beautiful.. Welcome changes that testify to Jayalalithaa’s return to health Diamond jubilee of Egmore Samskrt School How Air-India loses customs... Tribute Where is Rajaji? The brown list of Venkitaramanan Infrastructure funding – lessons learnt Boy, can you beat these? An informal presentation - analytical, forward locking... Varuna (rain) in 2015; Vaayu (air) in 2016. Chennai devastated TN-leverage strength of BHEL, NLC... Tough task taking states together Protest masters... A glass full of corruption Welcome thrust on trade in Modi’s foreign visits... Strengthen the base... The why of tax incentives Gas is the way forward The star of Spencers is no more Land reclamation from sea appears cheaper! The rise and rise of KCP Nuclear power at the nucleus This scant respect for Law Cutting the nose to spite the face Intellectual of rare qualities Readers' Mail More Shakthi to Das’ elbow EVM is tamper-proof Making ‘my Amaravati’... New IT products of Ramco in the pipeline… …and of a popular trade leader Align crops to agro climate endowments… More heat than light Shipping woes of Chennai companies IPL type auction for VCs? Medical costs hit the roof... Air Asia India will set new benchmarks for budget travel Solar thermal shines… No mega rail project for Tamil Nadu PC’s preference for professionals Preserving for the future Plummeting profits of PSBs No Maha Koottani in TN... Streamlining mandatory third party cover Rs.1600 crore paper board plant of TNPL Tihar, Puzhal not different from Parappana Agrahara Modi and the lady Quality education through the PPP mode Road development slows down Tribute – Manikam Ramaswami Build close rapport with business leaders CIPET hqrs to stay at Guindy – for the present? Funding the un-funded Delhi is distant… Increasing non co-operation of state leaders EEC at the National Media Centre Editor's Notes Valli, they are more marginalised The ‘Ayyo-yes’ is no more Wanted: a second airport for Chennai A rich pool of talent not utilised…. The nuclear option No engine for this car When TN politicians can emulate Kerala's Focus on quality of power - its only around 170-180V Recognition to role of NBFCs.... Breaththrough in malaria control Should we change the official year? Poor quality of university VCs Kudos to NDTV... Shale gas and its shallow future Computation of GDP – conundrums continue Modi storms Silicon Valley Delhi is distant Measuring roof tops in terms of KW/MW Delhi Chalo... TELANGANA at last…BUT The Swadeshi Trump Secularism and anti-Hinduism Poor representation for Kerala and TN in Cabinet GNS - 100: our first subscriber He saved millions from starvation... Engineering seats go abegging GM Technology at last! London, London Narayan Auto components surge… Vibrant Gujarat Welcome GST Of course, Gujarat is vibrant Cleaning Ganga – relocate tanneries and install electric crematoria TIAM turns a full cycle Padma Bhushan for A Ramakrishna Colour-Chem’s colourful KRVS An enemy’s enemy is a friend West Bengal: mindless malignancy The balancing act Another Indian music maestro at the UN The few handicaps... A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… Revving up the manufacturing sector Pharma – overdose of copying Sri Lanka votes for change For whom the bell tolls? Liberal imports idling indigenous capacities Multi-faceted Venkat Adharma of opposition politics A yen for wastage… Five star activism stalls development activity Tax agriculture Building loyalty through the stomach Contrarian cousins S V Raju – a ‘good’ true liberal A think tank for Chennai Convulsions in The Hindu Kinetic Karnataka Lesson from Chandrababu Naidu S Ramanathan – a versatile musician, musicologist Which side are you, Montek? When the President was rendered homeless… More tributes to GR Towards speedy justice When Ratan Tata visited SRM Adapt Vajpayee dinner diplomacy CSR and CMI: promise of another Srinivasan Ramanujan... Silver Years of Madras Musings Cement prices continue to rise… Permanent secretariat for TN GIM The Gulf aviation boom Online not in line with brick and mortar businesses... Discoms deserve better… He continues the focus on social amelioration The Jan Dhan bonanza A proud Madrasi Editor's Says Kulandai was a giant Waning interest in public discussions… Airlines in India: cost and space Return to king coal for urea... Polls and promises Scientists urged to take up farmer-oriented research Insurance companies bleeding, yet no decision on increasing FDI limit! Russi Mody – a tribute Marketing expert Balagopal is no more CII projects higher growth… Not just in-laws (and outlaws); they’ve renowned academics at the helm! to the lack of interest on the part of these to focus on original research. This despite the much lower costs of such research in India. The industry which thrived on the protection of a closed economy and the advantage of a vast domestic market, has failed to organise its evolution on healthy lines The rise and fall of Annamalai University Tribute – M V Murugappan Dr C Rangarajan returns to Chennai WTO Meet: resolved to meet again The Ports’ Pasha expands into Tamil Nadu A professional at the helm of IRDA... B H Kothari - a tribute L&T: focus on infrastructure and more infrastructure… Mu Sigma – is no more Fall in crude prices help in oil sector reform Small units prefers to remain small... Bihar – Nitish Kumar adopts the Lalu model R Sridhar steps down as CEO of Shriram Capital Reliance’s TV – 18 ready to launch Tamil News Channel Whistle-Stop Tour of Raghuram Rajan ONGC at KG Basin IPL - no surprise this scam Lalu’s envy, India’s pride Fortune for Indian Airlines Delhi returns to BJP Put expensive assets created to use... Telangana in top gear… Parliament in paralysis... A Grand Finale for SN’s MS centenary at the US… Naidu’s return augurs well for Seemandhra TN accounts for the largest recruits by the IT sector When nations steal growth from one another… L&T- the specialty of special purpose vehicles Fuel for thought Music happens Paytm karo... There was flood of milk. Reason: no milk commissioner! Roaring Ro-Ro facility Wise Presidents Revive development banks... Chennai and Kolkata miss opportunity to grow as Delhi and Mumbai Sweeter prospects for sugar A more liberated TN… Where a state respects its litterateurs… The ‘Jayanthi Tax.’ Alexa – Talking Wikipedia IAS invades NDDB... Godspeed, Chief Minister JJ Inflation: are we emulating Argentina and Brazil? Maximising the micro pricing … TGS- The king storyteller Demise of a media baron... A welcome initiative by the judiciary Don’t seem to feel the pulse… Sweet news for TN sugar mills Excel Generators provide the vital back-up When online building permits work…. The sea- saw battle continues... Make standards certification mandatory... Quality silica from Neyveli Remembering Indira Sivasailam... Come elections, come advertisements... For whom the MIDS bell tolls? The power-full Hindujas Banning booze... Noble nonagenarians... A friendly business group Robber barons everywhere SoA @ 80 MHC should not return to its old indisciplined ways Tatas moving out of urea production... CRS, a jewel among managers, is no more. Haul over the coal Tribute – UCAL Selvan… PPP mode for upgrading Corporation Hospitals Eternal support for capitalisation of PS banks An inexplicable neglect Why land prices zoom in TN? Limit foreign borrowings to hi-tech, export potential projects... China invests in India Solar, solar everywhere …
 
A more liberated TN…

During the regime of J Jayalalithaa (JJ) as chief minister, there was a sense of fear. Criticism of her autocratic decisions was muted. Her ruthlessness in foisting cases against dissenters and critics effectively silenced sections of society, including the intelligentsia, the media and leaders of the opposition to voice freely their opinions.  

JJ had scant regard for media and used the power of government’s advertising to condition these. Large sections of media, including The Hindu and Dinamalar, were shackled by the advertisement policy that squeezed their advertisement rates. Periodicals were kept out of the government’s advertising. Everything was claimed to be her deed. Even in her addresses the subjective, “I made this,” “I brought this” or “I implemented this” was dominant. The civil service, business leaders and sections of intelligentsia opted to fall in line and avoided criticism of even widespread corruption and anti-development policies.  

Look at the scene today: media seems so liberated! Every minister, senior or junior, MLAs and other party functionaries readily participate in media discussions and freely voice their opinions. The state, dominated by film personalities for over five decades, looks to Rajnikanth for salvation. Actor Kamal Haasan who suffered grievously by the spoke put on the release of his  magnum opus Viswaroopam with demands for unreasonable cuts in the film cleared by the Censor Board, is today hypercritical. Like the PMK leader Ramadoss and DMK leader MK Stalin, he comes out with daily doses of criticism of current political developments.  

The three way split of the AIADMK and a weak leadership encourage different sections of society to give vent to their concerns and agitate for the sectoral demands. This seems to progress in endless streams, from the demand for Jallikattu to opposing NEET, to driving ONGC out of the state… 

The last one is grossly anti-development. Agriculture can never ever provide the type of returns that can come out of oil or gas fields. Exploring these is possible only in limited areas endowed with these. The transformation of several countries and regions has been the result of  production of oil and gas. 

 

Can it be oil vs agriculture? 

Importantly for Tamil Nadu, with its highly fragmented land, agriculture has been accounting for a very small share in its gross domestic product - just around 8 per cent. With the severe shortage of water and with an average land holding at just 2 acres, the state should reconcile to maximising its endowments in the secondary and tertiary sectors of industry and services. There should be serious efforts to agglomerate landholdings permitting leasing land over 15 years and more without alienating ownership. This will facilitate application of science and technology to make agriculture remunerative. The talk of doubling agriculture incomes without such a major structural change has little meaning. 

Dr M S Swaminathan set up a research centre in Chennai and has been active in the state for close to three decades. He headed the state’s Planning Commission for a few years. He has a wide knowledge of agriculture across the nation and the globe. Surprisingly and disappointingly, this renowned scientist and several other knowledgeable persons have not been addressing the serious issue of unremunerative farming, refuse to acknowledge that the emperor is naked and fail to come out with viable solutions.  


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