Monday, 30th October 2017

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Apparently, Steven Spielberg got it wrong

A group of researchers has argued that extraterrestrials resemble pasta

  • Published 7.06.19, 4:05 PM
  • Updated 7.06.19, 4:05 PM
  • 2 mins read
A still from the film 'E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial' (1982). Aliens, apparently, do not resemble its adorable title character Source: YouTube grab

Sir — Steven Spielberg got it wrong. Aliens, apparently, do not resemble the adorable ET. A group of researchers have argued that extraterrestrials resemble pasta. Italians might feel chuffed with this discovery but the aliens must be careful. Given the chilling nature of human appetite — humanity has wiped out 60 per cent of the animal populations on earth since the 1970s — the future of the ‘pasta people’ may be bleak.

Bidyut Majumder


Valuable lessons

Sir — In “Lessons from and for the republic” (May 30), Valson Thampu points out correctly that the Opposition failed to provide a counter narrative to the one presented by Narendra Modi in the general elections.

Modi has been immensely successful in identifying the issues that influence public opinion, thereby drawing popular support. Opposition leaders, however, failed miserably to strike the right chord with the masses. They could not gauge the necessity of presenting an alternative set of ideas. Further, it did not help the Oppositions’ cause that the image that some of these leaders have created for themselves is deplorable. It would be a considerable amount of time before people are ready to repose their faith in them.

Sreajita Saha


Sir — Valson Thampu’s article was thought-provoking. Drawing on Plato’s Republic, Thampu argued that citizens are like spectators, viewing images projected for them. Narendra Modi excels in the craft of such projections. He took political advantage of the outpouring of grief over the Pulwama attack as well as the euphoria that swept the nation after India’s retaliation on Balakot.

Rahul Gandhi did well to expose the hypocrisy of the Bharatiya Janata Party but his party fared poorly, raising the question whether a good man can be a successful politician. As long as citizens remain uncritical consumers, we cannot expect democracy to be vibrant. For this to happen, we need liberal education with emphasis on rational thinking.

Jahar Saha


Lethal oversight

Sir — Even though the Lok Sabha polls are over, campaign material mostly made of plastic can still be found hanging from walls, fluttering from lamp posts and scattered on roads, posing a serious threat to the environment. They can also choke drains before the monsoon. The Election Commission had ordered the removal of campaign material but the directive has been ignored.

Disposal, too, is a contentious issue. Dumping plastic on landfills is as risky as burning the material. It is true that the environment is yet to become a political issue. But can not voters expect more sensitivity from political parties in this respect?

Khokan Das