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Back to basics

Sir — The fate of the film, Devdas, at both the Oscars and the Bafta awards, shows that hype can get one just so far. A film that relies only on high-voltage glamour, can get by with the more gullible domestic audience, it can be taken to festivals all over the world — but it cannot win. For that, you need quality, something that the unheralded film, Warrior, had. One only hopes Sanjay Leela Bhansali realizes that beautiful stars, dazzling sets and rich costumes are not all there is to a good movie — a simple story told in a captivating manner will do.

Yours faithfully,
S. Chatterjee, Calcutta


Scope for misuse

Sir — Calcutta high court’s order to the Calcutta municipal corporation on water taxes is welcome, but it has one loophole (“CMC handed water-tax axe”, Feb 20). The CMC has been empowered to cut the connections of all those who have not paid property taxes for a year. But what about the tenants who have paid their rents in time to the house owners' Will this order not become a convenient tool in the hands of house-owners who want to evict recalcitrant tenants' After all, who can live in a house without water' The CMC should collect water tax from tenants just as the CESC does electricity bills.

Yours faithfully,
Md. Moinuddin, Calcutta


Sir — Calcutta’s enterprising mayor has handed the state government a brilliant idea on how to fill its empty coffers — a water tax (“Objections overruled, water tax on”, Feb 1). But how can the government charge water tax when it cannot even provide all its citizens with adequate, safe drinking water' Next the government will demand road tax from pedestrians to maintain the city’s roads. It is about time the city fathers started to look at the real problems of the people. Flyovers and new-age car parks are all very fine, but without civic amenities, the state will continue to decline — because few people will invest here.

Yours faithfully,
P. Abhijit Gupta, Calcutta


Sir — The water tax will be a further burden on houseowners in the city, who already have to pay a hefty property tax. But the quality of water needs to be tested periodically to ensure that it is free of iron, arsenic, bacteria and other impurities.

Yours faithfully,
S. Bose, Calcutta


Failure to enable

Sir — The importance of “integrated education” is one of the many vital points raised in the article, “When the disabled kill” (Feb 26). In India, this has not become widespread because the parents of healthy children protest if any handicapped child is admitted. And it is in vernacular-medium schools rather than missionary schools where this happens more. We have many laws, but our society is yet to be sensitized. This, Anuradha Kumar rightly surmises, is the failure of the media.

Yours faithfully,
Amitava Banerjee, Calcutta


Sir — The article, “When the disabled kill”, is right in pointing out that the Persons with Disabilities Act, 1995, is a mere paper tiger. A blind person, I sat for the common admission test of the Indian Institutes of Management. But though the above act makes it mandatory for institutions to illuminate mathematics-based questions for blind candidates, the IIM does not do so. I approached the Union ministry of human resources development to urge the IIMs to make special arrangements for the blind. I even approached the media for their support, but they did not express any interest. It will take ages to change society. For now, no new measures are needed, all the government needs to do is implement the disabilities act.

Yours faithfully,
Mohammed Asif Iqbal, Calcutta


A question

Sir — Will Swapan Dasgupta (“Without nostalgia”, Feb 27) get off from his high horse and explain how not knowing the correct meat for vindaloo leaves one “politically impoverished”'

Yours faithfully,
Lorraine D’Cruz, Calcutta


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