regular-article-logo Saturday, 23 September 2023

Letters to the editor: Are photojournalists not real journalists?

Readers write in from Coimbatore, Ujjain and Calcutta

The Telegraph Published 08.08.22, 04:08 AM

Poor picture

Sir — In July, the Calcutta Press Club, the oldest one in the subcontinent, held a referendum to determine if photojournalists are journalist enough to be awarded club memberships. Two hundred and seventy nine members participated in the voting and it was decided by a secret ballot that photojournalists will, in fact, not be allowed general membership. A reporter or writer can stay indoors in a war zone, a flood, a forest fire or during civil unrest but a photographer does not have the luxury to do so. If photojournalists are not real journalists, newspapers should stop carrying their work.


Shubham Gill, Calcutta

Tightrope walk

Sir — The Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Summit of Heads of State in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, in September, will answer important geopolitical questions. The Indian foreign minister, S. Jaishankar, must affirm that the country has zero-tolerance for terrorism but is willing to collaborate with nations across the globe. This would be a prudent policy.

Dhruv Lawaniya, Ujjain

Sir — At the SCO summit, India should remain neutral where Russia and China are concerned. So far, it has not condemned Moscow, but has called the Ukraine war an unacceptable violation of sovereignty. As far as China is concerned, India still officially supports the One China Policy but it has not criticised the Taiwan visit of Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives.

These are delicate subjects and India has been deft in handling them so far. But Russia and China are making it a tightrope walk for India with their aggressive posturing. New Delhi needs a fresh perspective that is not influenced by the West.

Jayanthy Subramaniam, Coimbatore

Suspicious timing

Sir — M. Venkaiah Naidu, the vice-president and the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha, has said that members of Parliament do not enjoy immunity from arrest in criminal cases while the House is in session (“No immunity: Naidu”, Aug 6). However, in old cases where there is not enough evidence, MPs should be granted immunity from interrogation or arrest unless the crime in question is serious. Moreover, where was the need for the Enforcement Directorate to summon the Congress leader, Mallikarjun Kharge, during parliamentary working hours? This speaks volumes about the misuse of power by the ruling party.

Arun Gupta, Calcutta

Sir — M. Venkaiah Naidu has reiterated his observation that “no member [of Parliament] should avoid appearing before any investigating agency, when she or he is called upon to do so, by citing the reason of House duty. As lawmakers, it is our bounden duty to respect the law and legal procedures.” Yet, one is forced to ask why the ED needed to speak to Mallikarjun Kharge between 11 am and 6 pm — the standard timing when the Rajya Sabha is in session. Each and every position responsible for upholding the Constitution and democracy in the country has been turned upside down by the party in power at the Centre. This is shameful.

Roshni Sen, Calcutta

New force

Sir — The West Bengal school education department has decided to constitute a dedicated student cadet corps called the ‘Jai Hind Bahini’ in all schools where participants will be empowered to resist such social evils as caste and religious intolerance and gender inequality (“Govt to constitute Jai Hind Bahini in schools across the state”, Aug 4). This is a laudable idea as caste discrimination and communalism need to be rooted out when people are still young. Children cannot remain untouched by the hatred and discrimination being spread by politicians. Members of the Jai Hind Bahini can grow up and help build a united society.

Kiran Agarwal, Calcutta

Sir — The Trinamul Congress is looking for newer avenues to build organisational strength to counter the might of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. The notification intimating the establishment of Jai Hind Bahinis in schools is proof of this.

Soham Mallick, Calcutta

Flawed premise

Sir — In his article, “Rotten apple” (Aug 4), Swapan Dasgupta wrote, “Not since the time the functionaries of the East India Company transformed themselves into Nabobs by siphoning off the exchequer of Bengal in the first decades after the Battle of Plassey has the province witnessed political corruption on such a grand scale.” However, politicians all across the country seem to be turning rich within a short while of coming to power. What is more, they retain this wealth long after going out of power. Catching one culprit is not going to change that. In fact, politicians irrespective of their ideological leanings help each other hold on to ill-gotten wealth.

Malay K. Das Gupta, Calcutta

Sir — Swapan Dasgupta should look at some of the members of his party before making blanket statements about corruption.

Rahul Das, Calcutta

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