Writers International Edition

Narendra Modi

Confronting the Reality of Food Poisoning: An Open Letter to Prime Minister Modi

On March 1, 2024, I purchased three packets of Patanjali Noodles for my children, hoping for a wholesome and safe meal option (as advertsied by the company. Regrettably, soon after consuming the noodles, my daughters experienced severe stomach pain and vomiting sensations, necessitating urgent medical attention in the wee hours of the night. Despite our initial belief that such symptoms might be attributed to other factors, this distressing incident has recurred, affecting all three of my daughters in a similar manner.

Following the distressing incident, I promptly raised the matter with the Consumer Helpline authority, seeking intervention and justice for my children’s suffering. In response, I received assurances from Patanjali that they were conducting a thorough investigation into the matter. However, my hopes for accountability were dashed when subsequent communications from the company declared their internal investigation had concluded, deeming the food safe. With this dismissive response, it seemed that once again, the voices of concerned consumers had been silenced, perpetuating a cycle of impunity and neglect in addressing such critical food safety concerns.

Dear Prime Minister, I write to you today with a heavy heart and a sense of urgency that cannot be overstated. Our nation is facing a crisis of food safety that demands immediate and decisive action from the highest levels of government. The recent findings reported by Indian government officials, revealing that almost a quarter of food samples tested did not meet our country’s food safety standards, are deeply troubling and indicative of a systemic failure that imperils the health and well-being of our citizens, especially our children.

As a concerned citizen and a parent, I cannot remain silent in the face of such egregious negligence. The prevalence of food products dangerous, particularly for children, on the Indian market is nothing short of a national tragedy. Brands like Patanjali, which wield significant influence and power, have been implicated time and again in cases of food adulteration and contamination, leading to countless cases of illness and even death among our youth.

It is unconscionable that in a country as vast and diverse as ours, where millions of families struggle to put food on the table, the very sustenance meant to nourish our bodies and minds is tainted by greed and disregard for human life. The fact that such incidents continue to occur with alarming frequency speaks to a failure of governance and regulatory oversight that cannot be ignored.

The statistics paint a damning picture of the magnitude of this crisis. Thousands of children across our nation fall ill or lose their lives every year due to the consumption of unsafe food products. These are not just numbers; they represent precious lives cut short, dreams left unfulfilled, and families torn apart by preventable tragedy.

As a leader entrusted with the well-being of our nation, you have a moral and ethical responsibility to protect the most vulnerable among us. Yet, by turning a blind eye to the rampant violations of food safety standards and the impunity with which unscrupulous actors operate, you are complicit in perpetuating this cycle of suffering and death.

It is not enough to simply offer condolences to grieving families or to rely on internal investigations conducted by the very entities implicated in these crimes. We demand accountability, transparency, and meaningful action to address the root causes of this crisis and to ensure that those responsible are held accountable for their actions.

Prime Minister, the time for empty promises and half-measures has long passed. The lives of millions of children hang in the balance, and we cannot afford to wait any longer for meaningful change. I implore you to heed the cries of the people and to take decisive action to overhaul our food safety infrastructure, strengthen regulatory enforcement, and hold accountable those who prioritize profit over human life.

The future of our nation depends on it.


Preeth Padmanabhan Nambiar

Modi’s Vision for Lakshadweep: Charting a New Course in Global Tourism

In the recent sojourn to the enchanting archipelago of Lakshadweep by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the world was treated to a visual symphony of azure waters, coral reefs, and untouched natural beauty. This idyllic destination, nestled in the embrace of the Arabian Sea, possesses a geography akin to the renowned Maldives. However, despite its comparable allure, Lakshadweep has yet to unveil its full potential in the realm of tourism.

In this exploration, let us embark on a journey to decipher the untapped possibilities that lie within the heart of Lakshadweep, envisioning a future where it stands not only as a rival but surpasses the Maldives as a premier global tourist destination.

The Unexplored Charms of Lakshadweep

Lakshadweep, with its pristine beaches, vibrant marine life, and cultural richness, holds the promise of a paradisiacal escape. To harness this potential, a comprehensive strategy is imperative. Here are some innovative ideas to propel the tourism sector in Lakshadweep to unprecedented heights:

1. Sustainable Tourism:

Embrace a model of tourism that harmonizes with the fragile ecosystem of Lakshadweep. Implement strict regulations on waste management, promote eco-friendly accommodations, and educate both locals and tourists about the significance of preserving the archipelago’s natural beauty.

2. Cultural Experiences:

Enrich the tourist experience by offering immersive encounters with the unique culture of Lakshadweep. Organize cultural festivals, traditional dance performances, and artisanal showcases to provide visitors with a deeper understanding of the rich heritage that defines the islands.

3. Adventure Tourism:

Leverage the natural assets of Lakshadweep for adventure enthusiasts. Facilitate activities such as snorkeling, scuba diving, and water sports, transforming the islands into an adrenaline-seeker’s haven. Establishing world-class diving schools can further attract enthusiasts from across the globe.

4. Exclusive Retreats:

Introduce exclusive, high-end retreats that blend seamlessly with the unspoiled surroundings. Private resorts that prioritize privacy, luxury, and sustainability can appeal to discerning travelers seeking a unique and serene escape.

Facilitating Easy Access to Lakshadweep for a Tourism Renaissance

To unlock the full tourism potential of Lakshadweep, it is imperative for the government to prioritize and facilitate easy access to this enchanting archipelago. Here, we delve into the reasons why a concerted effort in this direction is not only beneficial but crucial for the flourishing future of Lakshadweep as a global tourist destination.

Lakshadweep’s geographical remoteness has been a double-edged sword. While it has preserved the islands’ natural splendor, it has also deterred potential visitors due to the perceived difficulty in reaching this idyllic destination. Recognizing this challenge is the first step towards devising a strategic plan for improved accessibility.

Key Considerations for Easy Access

1. Transport Infrastructure:

Develop and upgrade transportation infrastructure, focusing on both air and sea connectivity. This includes enhancing existing airstrips, increasing the frequency of flights, and improving maritime transportation facilities.

2. Airlines Collaboration:

Encourage collaborations with airlines to establish direct flights or convenient flight connections to Lakshadweep. Streamlining air travel can significantly reduce the perceived difficulty in reaching the islands.

3. Maritime Connectivity:

Strengthen sea routes and explore the feasibility of introducing regular ferry services. Improved maritime connectivity can cater to a broader demographic of travelers, including those seeking a more leisurely journey.

4. Tourist-Friendly Policies:

Implement policies that promote tourism-friendly practices, such as simplified visa procedures, reasonable ticket pricing, and incentives for travel agencies to include Lakshadweep in their itineraries.

A Glimpse into the Future

As the wheels of change begin to turn, Lakshadweep has the potential to evolve into a tourism haven that outshines even the most celebrated destinations. The path forward involves a delicate balance between economic development and environmental preservation.

In the coming years, envision a surge in global interest as Lakshadweep emerges as a symbol of sustainable and responsible tourism. The islands, once hidden gems, will take center stage, drawing visitors from every corner of the world. Through strategic planning and a commitment to preserving its natural allure, Lakshadweep is destined to carve its niche as one of the premier tourist destinations on the global stage.

In closing, let us embark on this optimistic journey, where the untapped potential of Lakshadweep blooms into a flourishing reality, setting the stage for a new era in global tourism.