regular-article-logo Tuesday, 26 September 2023

Picture imperfect: EC asks to remove Modi photos from vaccine certificates

Readers' Speak: Meghan Markle speaks up; leopard attack in Indore

The Telegraph Published 13.03.21, 12:14 AM
Narendra Modi.

Narendra Modi. File picture

Sir — The Election Commission was right to ask the Union health ministry to follow the model code of conduct in letter and spirit by removing the picture of the prime minister, Narendra Modi, from the Covid-19 vaccine certificates in the poll-bound states (“EC axe on PM photo on vaccine cards”, March 7). One wonders why a particular health measure should be used to advertise or promote a person occupying the top position in our country. Such gimmicks do not suit the office of the prime minister. It is beneath the prime minister to resort to such cheap publicity tactics to garner people’s attention just so that his party can easily win the forthcoming assembly elections in a number of states.

Modi’s photo should not only be removed from the vaccine cards in the poll-bound states; it should be removed from the vaccine certificates in all Indian states. The complaint of the Trinamul Congress to the EC is a valid one, and the EC’s decision to ask the health ministry to comply with its instruction is also laudable. Until the polls in all the states concerned are over, any such measure to promote the cause of a particular political party must be strictly prevented by the EC. This is in the best interest of the people of our state. The health and hygiene of citizens is of utmost importance, especially at the time of a global pandemic; as such, no undue favours should be granted to individuals or political parties who aim to use these very real concerns to enhance their own gains.


The people of West Bengal only want to see a free and fair election. They should analyse the administrative policies and developmental work of each party contesting the polls before casting their precious votes. They should not listen to rumours propagated by politicians of any party who have a self-serving agenda.

Iftekhar Ahmed,

Sir — It was distasteful to see Narendra Modi’s picture on vaccine cards. The prime minister and the Bharatiya Janata Party will stop at nothing to promote themselves, even when it involves the health of citizens. Mercifully, the EC ordered the removal of Modi’s photo from the certificates.

Shayan Das,

Speak up

Sir — Meghan Markle has been in the news for her interview with the talk show host, Oprah Winfrey. But earlier, in another striking departure from the silence usually maintained by the British royals on important subjects, she had written a personal essay about losing her second child in a miscarriage. She expressed grief and the hope that, during hard times, more people would check in with and care for one another. Her sentiments highlighted a problem not often talked about: that a significant number of pregnancies end this way.

Some women have multiple miscarriages; yet, few people talk about it. The tragedy is seen as a private failure, and the anguish is borne in silence. Much like the taboo surrounding menstruation, this aversion to talking openly about miscarriages is rooted in a culture of toxic masculinity. As such, more disclosures from prominent figures about their trials can help other bereaved women deal with their isolation. It would remind people that this can happen to any pregnant woman, and the least we can do is be compassionate. Moreover, describing one’s ordeals as a woman, instead of following what patriarchal practices deem to be worthy of conversation, is a freeing experience.

Shovanlal Chakraborty,

Home is gone

Sir — It was distressing to read that five people were injured in an attack when a leopard strayed into a residential area in Indore this week. Indore is an urban hub; that a wild animal ventured into a residential area only highlights the fact that environmental conservation is in the doldrums. While the incident must have been terrifying for the residents, it must be remembered that the wild animal is not at fault; it strayed into a human settlement because its own habitat is being systematically destroyed. It is heartening, however, that the leopard was tranquillized and not harmed.

Sulagna Ghosh,

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