Crack the code
Sir — Emojis — stylised faces and gestures — have become a ubiquitous part of our digital lives. They have simplified interaction to such an extent that even complex emotions can be conveyed through a single emoticon. However, studies have shown that emojis can often be misinterpreted owing to their varied connotations among different linguistic groups leading to confusion. For example, the ‘pinched finger’ emoji can mean ‘What do you want?’ in Italy, ‘Are you hungry’ in India, or simply ‘a pinch of salt’. To avoid confusion, one can perhaps brush up his or her language skills instead of relying only on emojis.
Sir — In his first visit to Wayanad since disqualification from Parliament, the Congress leader, Rahul Gandhi, held a roadshow to reaffirm his commitment to his former constituency (“Not going to stop, no matter what: Rahul”, April 12). But it did not attract a huge gathering. This is because Rahul Gandhi has been harping on the alleged relationship between the prime minister, Narendra Modi, and Gautam Adani and is less focussed on the real issues affecting the people. Further, only criticising Modi will not earn any political rewards, just like the ‘Chowkidar Chor Hai’ campaign failed to dent Modi’s popularity ahead of the 2019 general elections.
Rahul Gandhi also stated that removing him from Parliament was the Modi government’s greatest gift to him. This may be an overstatement. Rahul Gandhi needs to be more pragmatic and less emotional in his political posturing.
Voice of dissent
Sir — The worsening feud between the Congress leader, Sachin Pilot, and the chief minister of Rajasthan, Ashok Gehlot, will have a bearing on the upcoming assembly elections (“Pilot pipes down after Cong lash”, April 12). In the recent case, Pilot accused the Gehlot administration of sitting on graft charges against the former chief minister and Bharatiya Janata Party leader, Vasundhara Raje Scindia. The rift between the two leaders is evident no matter how much the Congress tries to downplay it. However, the party’s reprimand of Pilot’s actions was able to put out the fire for now.
Sir — Sachin Pilot seems to be charting a path not very different from that of the Union minister, Jyotiraditya Scindia, who quit the Congress to join the BJP in 2020. It remains to be seen how the Congress deals with Pilot’s repeated clashes with Ashok Gehlot.
R. Narayanan,Navi Mumbai
Sir — Swapan Dasgupta’s column, “Return the loot” (April 13), was a fascinating read. There are countless treasures adorning the museum shelves in the United Kingdom which were stolen from India during the colonial period. The repatriation of these treasures must be arranged at the earliest.
The government, as rightly suggested by Dasgupta, must set up a Commission to catalogue these artefacts and conduct a forensic audit of the loot. This needs to be complemented by a public campaign for the return of the looted treasures.
Sir — Space tourism is expected to become more popular in the future. This will not only boost the economy but can also help in solving some of the biggest mysteries of the universe. But the hefty cost associated with space travel will make it unaffordable for most. Space tourism also poses risks to the earth’s environment. According to a study, a thousand flights per year could add as much as 600 tonnes of soot to the stratosphere. This must be addressed.