regular-article-logo Wednesday, 04 October 2023

Letters to the editor: Centre must take cognisance of lapses in cough syrup export

Readers write in from New Delhi, Ludhiana, Bengaluru, Chennai and Calcutta

The Telegraph Published 09.10.22, 04:37 AM
Dangerous trend

Dangerous trend

In danger

Sir — The World Health Organisation has linked the deaths of 66 children in The Gambia to cough syrups produced by a Haryana-based pharmaceutical company. However, the Union health ministry has stated that these cough syrups were not licensed in India. In that case, it must be investigated how the drugs were exported without government approval (“Glare on Centre’s claim on cough syrup”, Oct 7).


The recent episode is bound to dent the country’s credibility as the global pharma-manufacturing hub. Further, it must be recalled that 12 children died in a similar way in Jammu and Kashmir after consuming spurious cough syrup in 2020. Disciplinary action against the accused is still awaited. The government must take cognisance of the lapses.

Khokan Das, Calcutta

Sir — The deaths of several children in The Gambia after ingesting spurious medication should serve as a wakeup call for India. The role of the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation, the national drug regulatory authority, must be urgently looked into.

The WHO has raised concerns about the rampant use of antibiotics in India. Data show that a majority of the top antibiotic cocktails sold in the country are not approved by the WHO. This belies the Centre’s claims about India’s pharma sector being top-notch. Moreover, the safety and efficacy of the medicines that are sold at the Jan Aushadhi stores must also be monitored.

Sunil Chopra, Ludhiana

Ghastly act

Sir — Fashion can be a way of asserting one’s political views. Recently, the American rapper, Kanye West or Ye, debuted his new Yeezy collection at Paris Fashion Week where he showcased long-sleeved shirts with the slogan “White Lives Matter”. The phrase was coined in response to the Black Lives Matter movement against police brutality and is considered to be a hate slogan against African Americans. West has claimed that BLM is a scam and that he stands by his actions. Fashion Week organisers must put in place strict screening protocols and penalise those peddling hate.

Megha Sharma, Delhi

Disgraceful conduct

Sir — A Durga Puja pandal in Calcutta depicted the idol of Mahishasura as a bald man in a dhoti with spectacles and a walking stick, strongly resembling Mahatma Gandhi. This is condemnable (“If you have tears, prepare to shed them for Bapu”, Oct 7). The Puja was organised by the Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha, a fringe outfit of the sangh parivar, that publicly criticises Gandhi. The contribution of the Mahatma to the country’s independence is unparalleled. Those denigrating him must be punished.

Ambar Mallick, Calcutta

Sir — It is shocking that the ABHM portrayed Mahishasura as a lookalike of M.K. Gandhi. This is not the first time that a Hindutva outfit has disparaged Gandhi. The sangh parivar is known to idolise Gandhi’s assassin, Nathuram Godse. Such sentiments have gained traction after the Bharatiya Janata Party came to power in 2014. The West Bengal government must take action against those responsible for such disrespect.

Tharcius S. Fernando, Chennai

Free fall

Sir — The editorial, “Keep falling” (Oct 3), highlights the factors responsible for the decline in India’s general fertility rate. But the dip is not uniform as several states have reported higher fertility rates than the national average. Coercive measures of population control have proved to be unpopular. Realistic policies should be implemented for better family planning. Stabilising population growth is crucial for meeting sustainable development goals.

H.N. Ramakrishna, Bengaluru

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