Fatal taste; A step ahead; Vulnerable beings; All of old

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  • Published 3.06.18
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Fatal taste

• Sir - The article, "Bitter sweet truth" (May 30), was shocking. Lifestyle diseases have seen a sharp increase in recent years. The growing consumption of processed food items, stuffed with sugar and preservatives, is one of the main reasons behind this. The World Health Organization had, in 2016, made a non-binding recommendation that governments should impose a 20 per cent tax on sugar. It is high time governments took this suggestion seriously. A pocket pinch may be the only way to push people towards a healthier diet. None considers medical expenses that may have to be borne later. But prices paid during daily purchases are felt acutely by consumers.

Rajdeep Mukherjee,
Calcutta

A step ahead

• Sir - The people of Ireland should be lauded for declaring their support for abortion in cases where it is needed. This massive mandate to upturn the laws of the Catholic church, marking a shift from religious dogmatism towards liberalism, came as a blow to the religious institution.

Cruelty in the name of religion is not new. When anaesthesia was first introduced to ease the pain of childbirth, it had been banned by the church. On other occasions, Giordano Bruno and Galileo Galilei had to suffer for opposing the church's geocentric model of the cosmos. Eventually, in each of these cases, the church had to accept its mistake. But many people suffered in the meantime.

There are other religions that have similarly regressive practices. Take child marriage, sati and koulinya pratha for instance. However, with time, people got rid of such horrifying practices and upheld humane values as the Irish people have now done.

Pramatha R. Bhattacharya,
Calcutta

Vulnerable beings

• Sir - Meat is an essential part of the diet; it is also quite delicious. But one has to draw the line somewhere. Killing endangered species for their meat will only push the earth further towards doom. Each and every species is key to maintaining the balance of the ecosystem.

In India, the Gangetic plain is the hub of turtle trade. Consumption of turtle meat in West Bengal continues unabated even though it is illegal. Export of turtles to other countries is a lucrative business as well. Not just small beings like turtles are vulnerable; even the largest land animal, the elephant, is not safe. It is poached for ivory. It is sad that the merciless killing of animals protected by the law of the land is allowed to flourish in various parts of the country. If this trend continues, the fate of the future generations will be dire. They will grow up in a dystopic world.

Dyutiman Bhattacharya,
Calcutta

• Sir - It was saddening to note that where on the one hand in places like Maharashtra and Odisha, people come together each year to help save the endangered Olive Ridley turtles, in other places like West Bengal, several hundred turtles died while being illegally smuggled. Strict action should be taken against those who are found to be complicit in the trade in endangered species. The lack of exemplary punishment is a key factor behind the flourishing smuggling rackets in India.

Rima Roy,
Calcutta

All of old

• Sir - The article, "Beauty close by" (May 20), by Amit Chaudhuri was a delightful read. Not many, however, would enjoy the natural and the old without a touch of modernity. In Calcutta, not only are buildings being modernized, but also playgrounds and water bodies (if not filled up) are being spruced up. Fortunately, places like the Maidan still look the same as it did many years back. Chaudhuri's observations should serve as a wake-up call to all those whose vision is clouded by modernity; they crave for grandeur and sparkle over traditional beauty.

Suman Sankar Dasgupta,
Calcutta

• Sir - Amit Chaudhuri should be lauded for his efforts to maintain the architectural heritage of Calcutta. His article in this context was a refreshing piece of writing.

Jayanta Banerjee,
Calcutta

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