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The Ports’ Pasha expands into Tamil Nadu Five star activism stalls development activity He saved millions from starvation... When the President was rendered homeless… Medical costs hit the roof... Align crops to agro climate endowments… The why of tax incentives TN-leverage strength of BHEL, NLC... More heat than light Scientists urged to take up farmer-oriented research Increasing non co-operation of state leaders Waning interest in public discussions… Valli, they are more marginalised Kulandai was a giant Readers' Mail Multi-faceted Venkat Tribute – M V Murugappan Wanted: a second airport for Chennai Poor quality of university VCs Contrarian cousins Remembering Indira Sivasailam... Towards speedy justice Delhi returns to BJP PPP mode for upgrading Corporation Hospitals EVM is tamper-proof London, London Narayan Chennai and Kolkata miss opportunity to grow as Delhi and Mumbai An inexplicable neglect Noble nonagenarians... Where is Rajaji? TN accounts for the largest recruits by the IT sector GNS - 100: our first subscriber Vibrant Gujarat Make standards certification mandatory... Things happen by accident and not by design... All eyes on Sankara Nethralaya Shale gas and its shallow future A professional at the helm of IRDA... Tribute – Manikam Ramaswami Fuel for thought Cleaning Ganga – relocate tanneries and install electric crematoria The Swadeshi Trump Poor representation for Kerala and TN in Cabinet Small units prefers to remain small... Muffled voices for merit… Sri Lanka votes for change Banning booze... Varuna (rain) in 2015; Vaayu (air) in 2016. Chennai devastated WTO Meet: resolved to meet again Where a state respects its litterateurs… Solar, solar everywhere … Focus on quality of power - its only around 170-180V Not just in-laws (and outlaws); they’ve renowned academics at the helm! Land reclamation from sea appears cheaper! Fall in crude prices help in oil sector reform SoA @ 80 Demise of a media baron... Funding the un-funded GM Technology at last! MHC should not return to its old indisciplined ways An enemy’s enemy is a friend The sea- saw battle continues... There was flood of milk. Reason: no milk commissioner! L&T- the specialty of special purpose vehicles Fortune 500 review Of course, Gujarat is vibrant Liberal imports idling indigenous capacities Should we change the official year? Russi Mody – a tribute Revive development banks... Boy, can you beat these? Welcome GST Why land prices zoom in TN? Pharma – overdose of copying Welcome changes that testify to Jayalalithaa’s return to health Modi storms Silicon Valley R Sridhar steps down as CEO of Shriram Capital The ‘Jayanthi Tax.’ Auto components surge… Insurance companies bleeding, yet no decision on increasing FDI limit! Haul over the coal Lesson from Chandrababu Naidu Rahman at CIC Nuclear power at the nucleus Return to king coal for urea... 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F C Kohli - his concerns all embracing Tatas moving out of urea production... Cutting the nose to spite the face CII projects higher growth… TELANGANA at last…BUT Alexa – Talking Wikipedia Measuring roof tops in terms of KW/MW The rise and rise of KCP Limit foreign borrowings to hi-tech, export potential projects... Come elections, come advertisements... Road development slows down Delhi is distant… New IT products of Ramco in the pipeline… A glass full of corruption Shipping woes of Chennai companies Delhi Chalo... Discoms deserve better… B H Kothari - a tribute When TN politicians can emulate Kerala's Recognition to role of NBFCs.... The power-full Hindujas When online building permits work…. Shaming of Tamils by Tamil farmers at Delhi Revving up the manufacturing sector Telangana in top gear… A yen for wastage… Building loyalty through the stomach 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. 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Odisha: spectacular win by Naveen Patnaik How Air-India loses customs... The star of Spencers is no more Infrastructure funding – lessons learnt Solar thermal shines… Put expensive assets created to use... Preserving for the future Online not in line with brick and mortar businesses... Fortune for Indian Airlines The ‘Ayyo-yes’ is no more Delhi is distant EEC at the National Media Centre Bihar – Nitish Kumar adopts the Lalu model Gas is the way forward ONGC at KG Basin Mu Sigma – is no more A welcome initiative by the judiciary Welcome focus on core competence Welcome thrust on trade in Modi’s foreign visits... Why this malaise in medical education? Naidu’s return augurs well for Seemandhra Roaring Ro-Ro facility
 
Shaming of Tamils by Tamil farmers at Delhi

The Tamils have a long and hoary past of tradition, culture and pride from the Sangam times through the regimes of Pallavas, Cholas, Pandyas and hundreds of smaller kingdoms. They have maintained a long unbroken history of dignity, decorum and leadership. They had excelled in a vast range of activities. Shipbuilding and seafaring reached its zenith under the Cholas who conquered several kingdoms in the southeast. Art and architecture again flourished under the Pallavas and Cholas who were great builders of temples. Civic administration under the Cholas had brilliant modern concepts in the matter of taxation, building and maintaining water bodies through community participation (kudi maraamatthu)...

For over 2000 years Tamil literature flourished with Tirukkural unparalleled in the range and depth of morals and ways of life through pithy seven-word couplets.

Contrast these with the shaming of this rich heritage by a few farmers agitating at the national capital through inconceivably mean actions. Poorly clad with loin cloth and indulging in extremely disgusting acts like biting rats and snakes, rolling and somersaulting in public roads, stripping naked in public place, drinking urine...  Few dozens of these brought down the dignity and shamed over 750 lakh Tamils purely on vote bank considerations. Neither the state leadership nor that at the Centre put a stop to this uncivilised agitation. 

I am reminded of a Mullah Nasruddin story: One day, people saw Mullah Nasruddin out on the street searching for something. “What are you searching ?”, they enquired. “I’ve lost my key,” replied  the Mullah. So everyone joined him, trying to help him. After some search, someone asked the place where exactly was the key lost. “I lost the key in the house,” replied the Mullah. “Then why are you searching for it in the street?” “Because, there is more light here,” replied the Mullah.

Agriculture is a state subject. Any relief sought by the farmers had to be addressed to the state government. For the 2006 elections, the DMK election platform promised waiver of farm loans taken from state cooperative banks. Immediately after taking oath as chief minister, Karunanidhi announced the waiver of agricultural loans sanctioned by cooperative banks amounting to Rs  6866 crore. In the subsequent years the DMK government also agreed to subsidise interest on farm loans: from the 7 per cent ordained by the Centre, the state, in successive years, reduced it to 5 per cent, 4 per cent, 1 per cent and nil, providing for the difference in the state budgets.

Adityanath Yogi, chief minister of UP, a state much poorer than Tamil Nadu in terms of per capita income, took upon the state farm loans amounting to Rs 36,000 crore. 

Contrast this with the leaders of various descriptions making a beeline to Jantar Mantar, the place of agitation, in unending procession. These included leaders of parties in opposition including DMK’s M K Stalin to ministers and MPs. Of course, the month-long agitation could not have been staged without the overt and covert support of the AIADMK in power. 

I revert to my oft-repeated suggestion: that Tamil Nadu cannot sustain water-intensive crops of paddy and sugarcane. In two of the recent five years, rice production had dipped to 40 lakh tonnes, half of average of normal monsoon years. It should switch to high-value horticulture, corn, millets... that the fragmented small holdings of two acres and less need to be agglomerated to large farms to facilitate application of  science, technology, and management; this could be done by permitting leasing land over 15 years without alienating ownership. Agriculture in the state accounts for just 8 per cent of its GDP, roughly half the national average. Thus the state should focus on other sectors. Continued subsidisation cannot sustain farming. 



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