Regular-article-logo Friday, 22 September 2023

Keeping dolphins in captivity for entertainment is cruel

It was heartening to read that protesters recently managed to shut down two performing dolphin shows in Australia

The Telegraph Published 20.12.18, 01:31 PM
Photo of a dolphin

Photo of a dolphin Telegraph file picture

Sir — Human beings love to play god when it comes to other forms of life on this planet, even with sentient, intelligent beings. As such, it was heartening to read that protesters recently managed to shut down two performing dolphin shows in Australia, which profited from keeping dolphins in captivity and using them to entertain people. Dolphins have complex social skills and, just like humans, are known to display emotional awareness. Keeping them in captivity is cruel, as they grow depressed just like human beings would in the same circumstances.

Sonali Das,



True inspiration

Sir — The article, “Milk is here, so is mayor” (Dec 16), was a pleasant read. The new mayor of Thrissur in Kerala, Ajitha Vijayan, has been delivering milk for the past 18 years in the Kanimangalam area of Thrissur. Even on the day she was elected mayor, she delivered milk as usual. Her elevation to public office could not deter her from her duty towards her customers.

Vijayan took on the task of milk delivery in order to supplement her husband’s earnings. Her delivery routine gave her the chance to establish contact with members of the public and identify the daily problems that they face. Her service to the people bore fruit; they rewarded her by electing her as councillor and then standing committee chairman from her home constituency. Now, she has been elected mayor.

Vijayan’s immense sense of duty and public service is evident from the fact that she delivers milk a night in advance when she has to travel somewhere for party work. Her determination to continue her job is laudable, as it shows that she believes in the dignity of labour.

Pramatha R. Bhattacharya,


Sir — The story of Ajitha Vijayan shows what can be achieved in a relatively progressive state like Kerala. The new mayor of Thrissur was unable to complete her education and has distributing milk to customers for close to two decades. She has even said that her elevation to the post of mayor is only temporary, and she cannot forsake her customers of 18 years for it. The job also supplements her family’s income.

Vijayan’s day starts at 4 am, and by 10 am she is ready to attend to her mayoral duties. Her political affiliations cease of be of importance; a state which has prioritized education, healthcare and tourism has created an environment of well-being that pervades all sections of society. West Bengal has a lot of important lessons to learn from Kerala.

Dhruba Basu,


Sir — The story of the new mayor of Thrissur is inspirational. Ajitha Vijayan should serve as an example to all political leaders, most of whom aspire to public office only to fulfil their own vested interests. Her humility and respect for all kinds of labour spark hope in the hearts of ordinary citizens.

Saloni Mehra,


Played all wrong

Sir — The coach of the Indian hockey team, Harendra Singh, attributed India’s loss against the Netherlands in the quarter-final of the recently-concluded hockey world cup to poor umpiring. It cannot be denied, however, that India’s glorious legacy in hockey is a thing of the past. Singh’s allegation deserves little attention as the video referral system provides a bulwark against erroneous decisions by umpires. India itself has benefited from the system on a few occasions.

The Dutch played a calm and calculated game with control over and possession of the ball as well as excellent understanding among the players. They never looked like they were in a hurry to level the game after being down by a goal. This spoke volumes about their confidence and ability to take control of the match when they wanted. The top hockey-playing nations — Australia, Germany, Britain, Holland and so on — are in a different league. They have a set of skills that allows them to create space and make judicious use of it by taking quick positions, at the right place at the right time. Indian hockey, in contrast, looks stuck and repetitive — predictable and devoid of innovation and variety. This is why Indian hockey needs to be transformed. Our players must learn how to control the game. This starts by learning how to keep possession of the ball. In modern hockey, goals are the logical conclusions to waves of attacks that are built by various combinations of speed, ball control and seamless understanding.

To India’s credit, the team fought well against a fancied opponent. However, viewers soon lost confidence about the possibility of the squad snatching a victory to move into the semi-final of a World Cup after 43 years. India lost to a team that had more skill, technique, variations and equanimity — qualities that made all the difference.

Suman Mitra,


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