Hindi-Urdu: Inseparable identity
Sir — The proposal of Panjab University to make the Urdu department a part of the School of Foreign Languages is uncalled for. Not only is Urdu widely spoken in India, it was also “born, nurtured, and cultured” in India during the 13th-century according to scholars. It is hard to believe that the present political mood in the country has not influenced this decision. It must be remembered that languages are fluid entities. Many Urdu words — such as izzat, shukriya and kismat — have become a part of common Hindi parlance. One wishes people could mix with each other as freely as languages.
Sir — Greta Thunberg, a 16-year-old girl from Sweden, has become the face of the youth-led movement against climate change with her unique brand of activism and impassioned speeches. Her journey from being a lone voice outside the Swedish Parliament to inspiring thousands of young people to protest and demand stronger action against climate change around the world is remarkable.
While Thunberg has faced much criticism about her methods, what sets her apart is her clarion call to the world to study the science and facts behind climate change. For decades, scientists and researchers have been trying to spread the message of climate change, but with little success. A problem as critical as climate change requires the participation of every individual in whatever way possible. This cannot be achieved without raising mass awareness and what critics have dismissed as “theatrics”.
The movement started by Thunberg has the power to bring about a behavioural change in society and, at the very least, start a conversation about climate change. But, Thunberg’s efforts can be easily lost if the world focuses on the messenger rather than the message.
Sir — It is amazing that a girl as young as Greta Thunberg appeared at an international platform like that of the United Nations’ Climate Action Summit and burst into an angry, but invigorating, speech on climate change (“Uncles, ‘how dare you!’”, Sept 24). Her anger was rightfully directed at the apathetic world leaders who are responsible for not doing anything about the current environmental crisis.
Thousands of children across the globe have been inspired by Thunberg; they gathered on the streets in their respective countries to demand immediate action on the climate. One hopes that world leaders will now be forced to act.
Sir — The speech of the climate activist, Greta Thunberg, should act as an eye-opener for world leaders. She demanded immediate action against climate change.
We are already in the middle of the crisis. There is thus no point in wasting more time. It is important to chart out a decisive road map to control climate change and start acting on it. The resources of the earth cannot be depleted in the guise of development. What will be the purpose of development if there is no life left? Only concerted, coherent and wholesome efforts, and uniform compliance to sanctions will lead to a sustained impact.
We should be thankful to Thunberg for taking a brave stand. The time to act, as she has pointed out, is now or never.
Sir — It is shocking that 17 people are said to have committed suicide over rumours surrounding the implementation of the National Register of Citizens in West Bengal. The Bharatiya Janata Party’s endorsement of the NRC in Bengal has caused panic, especially among Muslims. The Union home minister, Amit Shah, made the situation worse with his repeated endorsement of the NRC.
The chief minister of Bengal, Mamata Banerjee, has assured the public that the NRC will not be enforced in the state. The Trinamul Congress with the support from the Congress and Left parties also passed an anti-NRC resolution in the Bengal assembly. However, the BJP leaders’ constant reference to NRC in Bengal has ensured that such assurances have not been able to allay people’s fears. One has to wait to see what course the NRC takes in the Bengal. But, for now, the state government must help maintain peace and harmony. It should also take action against those who are spreading rumours about the NRC in Bengal.
Sir — It is shameful that one section of the citizenry bears a greater burden of proving their citizenship than the others. This will only divide people.