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Letters to the Editor: AR Rahman’s latest rendition finds more detractors than admirers

Readers write in from Calcutta, Andhra Pradesh, Mumbai, West Champaran, Hooghly and Siliguri

The Editorial Board Published 15.11.23, 06:56 AM
AR Rahman.

AR Rahman. Sourced by The Telegraph

Harsh response

Sir — Remixes of well-known songs can often have a polarising effect — people either love them or loathe them. But with A.R. Rahman’s recent rendition of “Karar oi louho kopat”, written by the Bengali poet, Kazi Nazrul Islam, there seems to be more detractors than admirers. The allegation is that Rahman and his associate musicians, some of whom are Bengalis, turned a protest song into a love ballad. While any artwork can be justifiably subjected to critique, some people have gone to the extreme of ‘cancelling’ Rahman. Surely one unsatisfactory song cannot undo Rahman’s immense contribution to Indian music. This ‘cancel culture’, which reduces the works of personalities to one mistake, needs to be cancelled.


Snigdha Acharya, Calcutta

Slippery terrain

Sir — Rescue operations are underway to evacuate around 40 workers who are trapped in an under-construction tunnel on the Char Dham all-weather highway (“36 workers trapped in tunnels”, Nov 13). Fortunately, they are all said to be safe. The 4.5-kilometre-long Silkyara-Barkot tunnel that collapsed is part of the Char Dham route. The trapped labourers have been provided food, water and oxygen. Conducting thorough research before undertaking construction in mountainous terrains can help avoid such accidents.

D.V.G. Sankara Rao, Andhra Pradesh

Sir — The chief minister of Uttarakhand, Pushkar Singh Dhami, has visited the site where some 40 labourers have been trapped inside a collapsed tunnel. But it must be asked why newly-constructed infrastructure keeps collapsing. How is it that bridges constructed by the British are still standing? Could it be that corrupt construction companies use inferior material? The nexus of politicians and real estate moguls is not a secret. It must be rooted out if the country is to progress.

Tauqueer Rahmani, Mumbai

Sir — Horrific incidents like the partial collapse of an under-construction tunnel on the Char Dham route will recur if ecological concerns are not addressed while planning development projects. Considering the sensitivity of the Himalayas, such projects should be examined both geologically and ecologically.

Shovanlal Chakraborty, Calcutta

In support

Sir — The embattled member of Parliament, Mahua Moitra, has reason to breathe a sigh a relief (“Mamata picks Mahua for more”, Nov 14). The Trinamul Congress supremo, Mamata Banerjee, has finally shown her support for Moitra publicly by appointing her the district president of the party in Krishnanagar. This move will also send the message to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party that the TMC is not intimidated by its bullying tactics. Even if Moitra is expelled by the Speaker of the Lok Sabha, she will keep fighting from the trenches as promised.

Arun Gupta, Calcutta

Sir — The verdict of the Lok Sabha Ethics Committee against Mahua Moitra after a farcical enquiry was inevitable. It is a part of the Centre’s systematic strategy to annihilate the Opposition, particularly those who are vociferous against the Adani Group. The government had similarly shielded other businessmen like Vijay Mallya, Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi. The Opposition must continue to be proactive in demanding transparency.

Dhananjay Sinha, Calcutta

Political meddling

Sir — The board of the International Cricket Coun­cil has suspended the membership of Sri Lanka Cricket for failing to manage its affairs autonomously without any government interference (“ICC suspends Lanka board”, Nov 11). Zim­babwe Cricket, too, was handed a similar suspension in 2021. Cricket is a sport and should be isolated from government influence. The ICC’s decision is thus admirable.

Mohammad Taukir, West Champaran

Interesting pair

Sir — A. Raghuramaraju’s article, “Unique pairing” (Nov 13), explores the strength in the character of a woman even during the sorrowful hours of the death of her beloved. The writer draws parallels between Sri Aurobindo’s poem, “Savitri: A Legend and a Symbol”, and Ingmar Bergman’s film, The Seventh Seal. Raghuramaraju’s article is unique in the way it highlights the intellectual sparring between Yama and Savitri.

Sukhendu Bhattacharjee, Hooghly

Perfect example

Sir — Seven villages in Tamil Nadu have maintained a 22-year-old tradition of
not bursting crackers on Diwali so as to not disturb the birds who nest at a nearby sanctuary in Erode. The villagers only light sparklers to avoid scaring thousands of local birds and migratory species that visit the sanctuary between October and January to lay eggs. This kind of concern for the environment and for avian species is heartwarming. It needs to be publicised adequately so that others can emulate this model. People must learn to celebrate festivals in a way that does not cause harm to other species.

Aritra Biswas, Siliguri

Festive turn

Sir — It is heartening that the acting vice-chancellor of Visva-Bharati University, Sanjoy Kumar Mallik, has initiated the process of organising the annual Pous Mela at Santiniketan after a three-year break (“Pous Mela on way back”, Nov 12). This would provide great opportunities for the local traders, hoteliers and artisans of Bolpur and Santiniketan.

Murtaza Ahmad, Calcutta

Sir — The proposed resurrection of the Pous Mela is a reason for great joy. It should not be stopped again in the future.

B.N. Das, Calcutta

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