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Letters to the Editor: At Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant’s pre-wedding celebrations, Rihanna’s performance dispels bitter truths

Readers write in from Mumbai, Nadia, Calcutta, Maruthancode, Chandigarh and Howrah

The Editorial Board Published 05.03.24, 07:38 AM
Rihanna performing at Anant Ambani-Radhika Merchant pre-wedding celebrations

Rihanna performing at Anant Ambani-Radhika Merchant pre-wedding celebrations [Source: Instagram]

A true unifier

Sir — Truth can be stranger than fiction at the big fat Indian wedding. There can be no greater proof of this than the pre-wedding celebrations of Anant Ambani and Radhika Merchant at Jamnagar which was attended by the who’s who of global icons, including the American singer, Rihanna, who performed live at the festivities. While it is easy to brush this off as mere opulence on the part of the richest family in Asia, one must recall that the singer was lampooned and called a member of the ‘tukde tukde gang’ by India’s troll army not too long ago for tweeting about the farmers’ protest in 2021. The fact that the rich and the famous — alleged patrons of the ruling party at the Centre — swayed to Rihanna’s music shows that bitter truths have little place at a big fat wedding.


Binita Gupta, Mumbai

Changed path

Sir — The Calcutta High Court judge, Abhijit Gangopadhyay, opened the proverbial Pan­dora’s box when he started hearing cases about the alleged irregularities in the teacher recruitment process in government schools in West Bengal (“Judge to quit, eye on March 5”, Mar 4). His direction to the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate to investigate the alleged school jobs scam destabilised the Trinamul Congress government.

While announcing his decision to resign from the judiciary, Gangopadhyay stated that the continued slander against him by members of the Mamata Banerjee-led regime, including her nephew, Abhishek Banerjee, has forced him to take such a drastic step. Gangopadhyay is a self-declared crusader against corruption. There is speculation that he might join a political party and contest the Lok Sabha elections. But whether he will be able to live up to his words if he becomes a political leader remains to be seen.

S.S. Paul, Nadia

Sir — A judge with a clear political bias can never ensure that justice is meted out. The utterances of the judge, Abhijit Gangopadhyay, in the open court and during a media interaction raised concerns about his partisan behaviour and betrayed his prejudice against the ruling dispensation in the state. His decision to resign will thus ensure that judgments in the important cases that he has been hearing will be free of political bias.

Arun Gupta, Calcutta

Sir — Abhijit Gango­padhyay was due to retire from the judiciary in August. But he has announced his decision to resign from his post. He might take a plunge into politics. He has been at the centre of controversy for his no-holds-barred remarks against his own colleagues, the ruling government and Abhishek Banerjee, the general-secretary of the Trinamul Congress.

Gangopadhyay’s decision will cast a shadow of doubt over the cases he has dealt with in the past. He had issued several directives to Central investigative agencies to probe the corruption charges levelled against the West Bengal government. Whether he will be able to continue his fight against corruption after joining politics remains a big question.

Debaprasad Bhattacharya, Calcutta

Selective battles

Sir — Chandrima S. Bhattacharya aptly highlighted the hypocrisy of the Union women and child development minister, Smriti Irani, in the article, “Pick & choose” (Mar 1). Gender-based violence — whether in Hathras, Kathua, Unnao, Manipur or Sandeshkhali — must be condemned unequivocally, irrespective of the political dispensation under which it takes place. A Union minister cannot adopt a selective approach while dealing with such a grave issue.

The partisanship of the saffron dispensation was best summed up in a recent statement by the Rajya Sabha member, Brinda Karat: “The (national) women’s commission was here but it didn’t go to Manipur or Unnao in Uttar Pradesh.” The Opposition should come together to highlight the double standards of the government.

Sujit De, Calcutta

Unsafe space

Sir — The low-intensity explosion at the Rameshwaram Cafe in Bengaluru that left nine people injured must be condemned (“Blast suspect caught on cam”, Mar 3). Unfortunately, the Bharatiya Janata Party jumped the gun and said that the incident was the result of the ‘appeasement politics’ of the ruling Congress. The bid to communalise an incident, which is under investigation, is a usual trick of the BJP to polarise the electorate.

Further, the BJP legislator, Aravind Limbavali, has claimed that the Rameshwaram Cafe was targeted because it has ‘Ram’ in the name. This is bizarre and illogical. The
saffron party seems to be hoping for more such grave incidents to reap electoral dividends ahead of the elections.

G. David Milton, Maruthancode, Tamil Nadu

Sir — An IED explosion at one of the most popular cafes in Bengaluru during broad daylight has raised concerns about public safety. Proactiveness is the need of the hour. The authorities must monitor the CCTVs regularly and conduct safety patrols. People visiting city landmarks should keep a tab on their surroundings and be on alert for any suspicious activity.

Abhilasha Gupta, Chandigarh

Heavy load

Sir — The weight of schoolbags has not been reduced in spite of directives from the government (“Still too heavy”, Mar 3). Carrying heavy schoolbags can take a severe toll on students’ health, increasing the risk of accidents. The heavy burden often makes them reluctant to attend school. The daily timetable can be reworked so that students have to carry fewer books. Lockers need to be installed in classrooms to ease the pressure on learners.

Vinay Asawa, Howrah

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