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Letters to the Editor: April 17, 2019

Threats to Indian Democracy!

Your article ‘Drugs and narcotics seizures fly high during polling season’ made for sad reading. (April 17, 2019)

It must be a record when it comes to drugs, narcotics, and cash being seized while being distributed to voters before elections which is a blot on Indian democracy. All parties are at fault on this count as politicians lure voters with addictions that the poor find it difficult to refuse. This is a threat to our democracy when citizens choose leaders in an inebriated state or by bribes. The situation in illiterate states like UP and Bihar is even worse where voters are offered prostitutes for their votes.

Education is the need of the hour and citizens should be made aware of their fundamental rights to elect clean governments which would be responsible for their future. Politicians luring voters with drugs and money should be barred from elections for a lifetime!


Anything for votes!

Saint Eknath Maharaj has advised people through his ‘Bharud’ that even if God manifests in some person, he should not talk unnecessarily. In one of the canvassing rallies, Sakshi Maharaj said while addressing the gathering that ‘I am a hermit (a sanyasi). I have come to you begging for your votes. If you do not vote for a ‘Sanyasi’, I will take away your merits and curse you.’ By making such a statement, this person, calling himself as Maharaj, has insulted all ‘Sanyasis’. ‘Sanyasi’ means a person who has no selfish interests, wish or desires. ‘Sanyasi’ is a person who has control over ‘shat-ripus (6 foes)’. He sacrifices his life for the protection of Dharma and welfare of the nation. He has concern, love, and affection for every person in society and this is what is even expected under ‘Sanyasashram’. Swami Vivekananda and Samarth Ramdas Swami are its examples. A person following ‘Sanyasashram’ cannot say that he would curse somebody. By saying such a thing, Sakshi Maharaj has exhibited his arrogance. Secondly, if one has such power, the inner strength to curse others, such power should be used for severely punishing sinful persons. There is no point in just bragging. One, who begs, is a beggar. A beggar is a weak person; so how can such weak person work for the welfare of others? A wise wouldn’t need more explanation!  

Manasi Joshi

Drugs priced higher than mfg cost

World Health Organisation (WHO) has also established that even essential drugs in India with lowest printed Maximum-Retail-Price MRP are exorbitantly priced over manufacturing-cost followed by abnormally high trade-margin between ex-factory price and MRP.

National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority NPPA is considering capping of profit-margins of 73 more drugs but leaving out many more again. It is beyond understanding why and how NPPA does not have a profit-formula uniformly for all drugs at a time when even generic medicines considered to be a cheaper version of respective branded medicines have exorbitant trade-margins of several hundred per cent. Competition Commission of India CCI and Central Information Commission CIC have taken cognizance of a serious issue. There are many medicines where different drug-manufacturers take undue advantage of their brand-popularity with prices of same medicine differing several times according to brand-popularity thus establishing extra-ordinary high profit-margins of even drug-manufacturers.

NPPA should fix maximum profit and trade margins over manufacturing cost for all medicines rather than differentiating by having various categories of medicines where price-regulation is applicable only for some limited drugs. Price-revision of any medicines must be allowed only once in a year say on First January only unless approved as a special case by NPPA. Gimmick packaging other than in units of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 gms, mltrs or units must not be allowed unless approved by NPPA for dose-wise administration. The rule should be to emboss or print the name of medicine in a manner that name is there on every capsule or tablet thus ruling out the possibility of wastage of drug in case name-portion of the strip is consumed.

Madhu Agrawal

(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)

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