regular-article-logo Wednesday, 31 May 2023

Letter to the Editor: Boon of beauty filters not healthy

Readers write in from Calcutta, Maruthancode, Bangalore and Mumbai

The Editorial Board Published 11.04.23, 05:36 AM
A new legislation in France proposes to make influencers notify their audience when they apply filters. Failing to comply with this would attract a penalty

A new legislation in France proposes to make influencers notify their audience when they apply filters. Failing to comply with this would attract a penalty File picture

Filter out

Sir — From sculpting our faces to making us thinner, beauty filters have become our personal plastic surgeons. But they have created unrealistic beauty standards. It is thus heartening that a new legislation in France proposes to make influencers notify their audience when they apply filters. Failing to comply with this would attract a penalty. While France is not the first country to take such a step, the aim to regulate the influencer sector is a necessary intervention. But can simply labelling a picture ‘digitally altered’ reduce its harmful effects? Research has shown that flagging models as ‘enhanced’ only increases the desire to emulate them. The bigger question is this: can aspiring for ethics be rewarding in the age of artificial intelligence?


Trina Seal,Mumbai

Controversial view

Sir — In a recent interview with NDTV, the Nationalist Congress Party chief and one of the key stalwarts of the Opposition, Sharad Pawar, raised questions about the credibility of the American short-seller, Hindenburg Re­search, stating that Gaut­am Adani has been “targeted” (“Why Pawar is wrong about Adani JPC”, April 10). This is unsurprising given Pawar’s decades-old association with the business tycoon.

Pawar also advocated for the Supreme Court-monitored probe into Adani’s alleged malpractices in spite of his party being one of the signatories to the demand for a joint parliamentary committee probe. This is disconcerting as the latter has a much broader scope to extensively investigate the charges. Pawar’s dissent betrays the disarray in the Opposition ahead of the 2024 general elections.

S.K. Choudhury,Bengaluru

Sir — The brute majority of the Bharatiya Janata Party in Parliament, as rightly cited by Sharad Pawar, is a reason why a JPC probe against Gautam Adani cannot be a credible one. But this cannot be the ground for not constituting a JPC, especially when accusations have been made regarding Narendra Modi’s proximity to Adani. The BJP has not allowed a single JPC probe since coming to power. This is worrying.

Khokan Das,Calcutta

Sir — It is disheartening that one of the longstanding independent voices in television journalism, NDTV, has ceased to be neutral ever since it was acquired by Gautam Adani in a hostile takeover last year.

For instance, no questions regarding the allegations of financial irregularities committed by Gautam Adani were posed to Sharad Pawar during a recent interview, which aired on the channel. This shows that the broadcasting channel is desperately trying to establish itself as one of the godi media.

G. David Milton,Maruthancode, Tamil Nadu

Dubious rules

Sir — According to the proposed amendments to the information technology rules, a Central government-appointed organisation will be responsible for identifying any false content related to government schemes. Earlier, another draft amendment had proposed that news identified as fake by the Press Information Bureau’s fact check unit were to be removed from digital media.

The fact that the determination of the authenticity of news would be solely at the discretion of the government is deplorable. The amendments would give the government sweeping powers in forcing media companies to take down any content that is critical of it. This spells doom for the freedom of expression.

Bhagwan Thadani,Mumbai

Strange claim

Sir — The chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath, recently claimed at a public event that while Pakistanis were struggling for food, the Narendra Modi government has been providing free rations to 80 crore people for the past three years. But is supplying free rations something to boast about when they are being funded with the taxpayers’ money? The Centre started the free rations disbursement with the onset of the pandemic. It is continuing with the scheme to use it as a poll plank for the 2024 general elections.

Anthony Henriques,Mumbai

Valuable book

Sir — In “Radical perspective” (April 8), Ramachandra Guha listed Annihilation of Caste by B.R. Ambedkar among the four classics that every Indian must read. His admiration for the book and its author reverberates through the column. Guha also dwells upon the different approaches taken by M.K. Gandhi and Ambedkar towards fighting caste oppression. Lastly, Guha’s indebtedness to the philosopher, Syed Sayeed, for the latter’s upcoming commentary on Ambedkar’s book was also well articulated.

Jahar Saha,Calcutta

Heed the signs

Sir — The Sagardighi by-election last month, which was won by the Left-Congress-backed candidate, Bayron Biswas, has caused concern among the Trinamul Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party. Both the TMC and the BJP have been trying to communally polarise the electorate. Their plot has clearly failed.

Moreover, this was the first electoral contest since the Bogtui massacre last year, in which all 10 victims were from the minority community. The results thus indicate the growing disillusionment among the minorities with the Mamata Banerjee-led dispensation.

Shovanlal Chakraborty,Calcutta

Beauty spot

Sir — Most urban tourist destinations are either poorly maintained or overcrowded. Rural tourism — it allows tourists to experience rural lifestyle and culture — can offer some respite. It can also generate jobs. The initiatives taken by the West Bengal government in this regard are thus heartening. The scenic beauty of rural Bengal is a thing to behold.

Asim Boral,Calcutta

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