Sir — I watch amazed as the Calcutta dailies go ga-ga over Shayan Munshi, the star of the film, The Bong Connection, who has been reprimanded by the court for lying under oath. While the film may be extremely newsworthy, surely there is no need to give so much importance to Munshi. Why does a large section of readers feel comfortable deriding the common miscreant while looking up to lying celebrities' Perhaps the aspirations of the new upper-middle classes have got something to do with this. The media probably suspends criticism for the sake of propagating a consumerist lifestyle which obviously translates into money for them.
Santanu Sengupta, Rehevot, Israel
Sir — There is nothing shocking in the news report, “Letter lost' Ask the scrap dealer” (July 5). I can remember an earlier instance where a bunch of registered letters was found in a lake in Calcutta. Most newspaper- and magazine- editors receive thousands of mails, very few of which are published. The unpublished ones go to the raddiwala. With the increasing popularity of email, the number of paper-letters has gone down. The neighbourhood raddiwala cannot do as brisk a business today as he could have hoped to some decades ago.
Mahesh Kapasi, New Delhi
Sir — India once enjoyed the reputation of being a country of honest people. But a number of recent incidents hints at the fact that the country has become a paradise for criminals. What could have made a postman in Indore sell postal letters, bank statements, telephone bills — important documents in general — to a local scrap-dealer' This is not mere dishonesty, but derelection of duty. The postal department has supposedly asked banks and insurance companies not to charge late fees from those who fell victim to the errant postman, and has promised to pay the fines where charged. But everyone knows how long it takes government departments to respond to such claims.
B.S. Ganesh, Bangalore
Sir — It was both unethical and inhuman on the part of the Indore postman to sell important letters as scrap. All the letters were posted quite recently, because they carried June 7 postmarks. These lost letters are bound to create problems for both the recipients and the senders.
Subhayu Saha, Khagra, Murshidabad
Sir — I recently went to see an exhibition sponsored by the government of Israel at the Ashutosh Birth Centenary Hall. The exhibition, titled “A glance at ancient Hebrew writings and old maps of Jerusalem”, has been on since July 25. While one part of the exhibition, on Hebrew scripts and manuscripts, is quite interesting, its other part was a disaster. It had the potential to be interesting since it was a display of several medieval maps of Jerusalem and the erstwhile Israel. However, none of the captions matched the maps, making the viewing exercise totally futile. One could match one or two captions to the right maps by running up and down the lists, but it was impossible to do this for all. But only one other person had commented on this mix-up in the visitors’ book — everyone else must have given up trying to make sense of the display. The Israeli embassy has mounted this exhibition to mark 15 years of diplomatic contact with India, but such carelessness nullifies the purpose.
Moneesha Sharma, Calcutta