Sir — As children, most of us have dreamt of finding hidden treasure while frantically digging in our backyards or have scurried about beaches trying to look for a washed-up glass bottle with a treasure map. The dream has come true for Lorenzo Ruijter, a Dutch historian, who has been treasure hunting since he was 10. In 2021, he unearthed a 1,000-year-old trunk. It took the National Museum of Antiquities this long to clean and date the treasure chest. Although the mystery of who had buried the treasure is unlikely to be solved anytime soon, Ruijter’s find has restored our faith in treasure hunting.
Pamela Sahoo, Calcutta
Sir — A 56-year-old man was lynched in Bihar on the assumption that he was carrying beef as he was a Muslim. Non-vegetarians are increasingly being demonised in this country. The fact that the Bharatiya Janata Party government at the Centre is quiet about these incidents allows such lumpen elements to get away with impunity. It is also worrying that such incidents are now taking place in states ruled by the Opposition parties. India has always been tolerant of a vast range of diets and cultures. Fascism regarding food choices must come to an end.
Abhijit Chakraborty, Calcutta
Sir — Students are facing difficulties while appearing for examinations owing to the unconstitutional hijab ban in Karnataka. A student was compelled to remove her hijab while appearing for the Karnataka Pre-University Certificate exam. Is this the Bharatiya Janata Party’s idea of gender justice? This is a clear violation of Article 25 of the Constitution, which grants everyone the right to practice his or her religion freely. The apex court must look into the ban, once again.
Muzakkir Khan, Mumbai
Fix the balance
Sir — International Women’s Day was celebrated across the country. Politicians shared wishes and gave speeches on women’s empowerment. But the reality of Indian women remains bleak. The leaders must remember that change begins at home. Politics is still a male-dominated sphere. Passing the women’s reservation bill should be a priority for their empowerment.
Sravana Ramachandran, Chennai
Sir — The governor of Tamil Nadu, R.N. Ravi, has returned the bill to ban online gambling after sitting on it for over four months. Can it be argued, then, that he is condoning online gambling? If so, it is worrying given the rise in cases of suicides and loss of savings over online gambling. Ravi’s obstruction might be a tactic against the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam government in Tamil Nadu. But such an important matter must not be toyed with for the sake of politics. The governor has questioned the legislative competence of the lawmakers, reflecting his poor understanding of the grave situation.
G. David Milton, Maruthancode, Tamil Nadu
Sir — The sudden demise of the veteran actor, Satish Kaushik, is a great loss for the film industry. An alumnus of the National School of Drama and the Film and Television Institute of India, Kaushik will be remembered for his comic roles. His unique dialogue delivery is irreplaceable.
S.S. Paul, Nadia
Sir — The death of three adult elephants in Tamil Nadu due to electrocution has left their calves orphaned and in danger. Human activities have forced animals to seek refuge outside their natural habitats. Serious actions must be taken to increase the population of elephants.
Tharcius S. Fernando, Chennai