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regular-article-logo Friday, 24 May 2024

Letters to the Editor: All eyes on Delhi’s ‘Vada Pav girl’ for her social media antics

Readers write in from Nainital, Kalyani, Calcutta, Mumbai and Jamshedpur

The Editorial Board Published 22.04.24, 08:09 AM
Representational image.

Representational image. Sourced by the Telegraph

Eat it to believe it

Sir — Who doesn’t like a good vada pav? It is thus not surprising that the internet is awash with chatter about vada pav. But what is unfortunate is that all the noise is not about the deep-fried delicacy itself but about a certain vada pav vendor in New Delhi, who is in the eye of a storm for her social media antics. Food blogging, which started off as a sort of register of great places to eat, has now become a performance art where plating, ambience, the person selling the items and so on have stolen the spotlight from the star of the show: the food. Who cares whether or not the tears of the ‘Vada Pav Girl’ were real as long as her wares are authentic?

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Shreya Basu, Nanital

Crucial polls

Sir — I came of voting age in 1981 and thus have no memory of the 1977 elections, but it is unfortunate that Indians are still ready to vote in exchange for freebies or for their favourite celebrities (“1977 redux”, April 10). Political parties want the majority of voters to remain illiterate so that they vote blindly in favour of bigotry. A political party coming to power with an overwhelming majority without a formidable Opposition will solidify the grip of authoritarianism on the country.

Alok Ganguly, Kalyani

Sir — Ramachandra Guha writes in his column, “1977 redux”, that “[t]he hate and bigotry... spread like a cancer through body politic, robbing individuals and society of civility, decency, compassion, of humanity itself”. He is right. Democracy is an institution where people should engage in peaceful dialogue and debate instead of falling into the trap of a might-is-right kind of machismo raj.

Sujit De, Calcutta

Sir — The hate and the bigotry generated by majoritarianism are indeed poisoning the minds and hearts of individuals, and robbing society of civility, decency, compassion and humanity as Ramachandra Guha points out in his article. India is at a crucial crossroad with the 2024 general elections that will decide the path on which the country would tread in the future. If the current dispensation scores an electoral hattrick, the only thing that will dominate the national discourse is bigotry. This is why the Nobel laureate, Albert Einstein, had remarked “The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who stand by and do nothing.”

Kajal Chatterjee, Calcutta

Sir — It remains to be seen if the history of 1977 repeats itself in 2024. The 10 years of Narendra Modi’s rule have uncanny resemblances to that of Indira Gandhi’s. Both were hugely popular before their fall from grace. Many have pointed out that there is an undeclared Emergency in India. The position of the media is certainly similar.

Anthony Henriques, Mumbai

Wrong role

Sir — The prime minister, Narendra Modi, should stop harping on the Ram mandir. Instead of acting as a pracharak, he should concentrate on real issues like unemployment. The politicisation of law enforcement agencies has also eroded people’s faith in them. These are ominous signs. The prime minister is trying to deflect people’s attention from these issues by using religion.

Amit Brahmo, Calcutta

Wide gap

Sir — The dire consequen­ces of abandoning socialism are now beginning to show. We speak of unity in diversity but this exists only in letter and not in spirit. In reality, India is deeply divided and impoverished. Latest reports by Thomas Piketty (Paris School of Economics and World Inequality Lab), Lucas Chancel (Harvard Kennedy School and World Inequality Lab) and Nitin Kumar Bharti (New York University and World Inequality Lab) show that the richest 1% own a historic high of 22.6% of national income and 40.1% of national wealth. The gap between the rich and the poor in the country has only increased.

The government’s policies are responsible for this. Political parties take donations worth crores from the rich and craft economic policies for them. India is shining only for a small percentage of Indians.

Jang Bahadur Singh, Jamshedpur

Too hot

Sir — In a welcome development, the West Bengal government has held an emergency meeting with senior CESC officials to discuss the demand for power in the city amidst the ongoing heatwave prevailing in Bengal and the increased use of air-conditioners. CESC authorities were instructed to ensure uninterrupted power supply.

However, like last year, most localities are facing power cuts when air conditioners are switched on en masse. Some areas have been experiencing voltage fluctuations too. CESC needs to take necessary care to alleviate the troubles of city dwellers.

Khokan Das, Calcutta

Sir — The ongoing heatwave will put immense pressure on the city’s power grids. But those suffering the most will be the rank and file of political parties who have no option but to campaign on the ground and election officials who will work in this heat.

Prerona Roy, Calcutta

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