Things fall apart
Sir — Forcing a couple who no longer have any affection left for each other to reconcile, taking into the supposed “welfare” of the child is an act of near-criminal negligence (“Get back to where you belong”, Sept 17). What is better for a child — growing up watching a traumatic parental relationship, or a happy childhood with a single parent' The answer is obvious, and it is strange that the only ones who can’t see it are the family courts and the legal counsellors. Besides, what about the very real concern for the physical security of the wife' Isn’t the legal machinery partly responsible for many post-“reconciliation” suicides'
Ravi Mukherjee, Calcutta
Sir — It is time the spin doctors in the tourism department did something to change the image of Calcutta to the outstation and international audience (“Image Worship”, August 30). The city has always been associated with the ills of modernity — poverty, disease and hunger. Calcutta’s Durga Puja, which is synonymous with the cultural identity of Bengal, offers a golden opportunity for the city’s image makeover. Marketing this festive occasion effectively would go a long way in changing the way the world looks at Calcutta. But it is not fair to restrict the promotion of the city to the Durga Puja alone. For, Calcutta and West Bengal have several attractions other than the Pujas. The tourist spots like Darjeeling, Digha and the Sunderbans need to be promoted in a similar way to boost tourism in the state and not just in the city.
Tanmoy Chatterjee, Calcutta
Sir — All the talk about boosting the image of Calcutta by showcasing the Durga Puja should be translated into action as soon as possible. But the state tourism department should be prepared to handle the influx of tourists in a professional manner. For this, the infrastructure of the city needs to be spruced up during the festival. The infrastructure should also include an adequate number of hotels, an efficient traffic network, pollution under control and an effective tourism administration are some of the things that should be looked into. It would not be good for Calcutta’s reputation if visitors left the city with a bad taste in their mouth.
D. Ghosh, Calcutta
Sir — What the state government needs to keep in mind while attempting to attract tourists to Calcutta during the Durga Puja is the question of security. Terror can unleash its fury at any place and at any time in the country. The attacks on the Amarnath yatris and on the Akshardham temple in the past show that militants view pilgrims and religious places as “soft targets”. The state government and the police must pay serious attention to the chances of terrorists targeting the Durga Puja.
Manoj M. Chakraborty, Calcutta
Sir — The idea of using the Durga Puja to augment Calcutta’s potential as a tourism hub is flawed. (“Image Worship”, August 30). The city unfortunately is at its civic worst during the festive season. The streets are clogged with people, the levels of sound and air pollution shoot above the permissible limits and the traffic goes completely out of gear. Even at its colourful best, the city is incapable of camouflaging the disorder. Rather than inviting tourists, the idea would be to dissuade them from visiting the city during the Pujas.
Kajal Chatterjee, Calcutta
Sir — It is ironic that the Marxists in Bengal are welcoming the commodification of the Pujas as a means of money-making. Such blatant commercialization of an event which is considered to be the holiest of Bengali festivals is shameful. The people of West Bengal must ensure that such a plan is nipped in the bud, so that the religious festival cannot be hijacked by the market forces.
Sonali Sengupta, Calcutta