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regular-article-logo Sunday, 23 June 2024

Letters to the Editor: At the Pensthorpe Natural Park, 70-year-old flamingo lays her first-ever egg

Readers write in from North 24 Parganas, Nadia, Kozhikode, Calcutta, Chennai and Sholavandan

The Editorial Board Published 24.05.24, 06:22 AM
Representational image.

Representational image. Sourced by the Telegraph

Age of love

Sir — Love, one may argue, can blossom at any age. Take, for instance, the story of a flamingo at the Pensthorpe Natural Park in Norfolk that has laid an egg at the age of 70 after struggling to find a partner her entire life. Gertrude, as the flamingo is known, might not always have been lucky in love but she was lucky in life, outstripping the average 40-year lifespan of flamingos by decades. That she found love at such an advanced age might reignite people’s belief in true love always finding a way. Perhaps Gertrude was only able to live till the ripe old age of 70 because she had no man or children in her life to burden her with responsibilities.

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Sudarshana Banik, North 24 Parganas

Off the mark

Sir — Swapan Dasgupta’s column, “Hollow punditry” (May 23), was illuminating. The veteran journalist, Prannoy Roy, introduced psephology in India. His opinion polls and election commentaries were valued for their objectivity and precision. Inspired by Roy, other news channels, too, jumped onto the bandwagon of making poll forecasts.

Of late, Prashant Kishor, the political strategist, has been known to make bold predictions about the outcomes of various elections. Only June 4 will tell whether the poll pundits have been accurate about the voting behaviour in the Lok Sabha polls.

Basudeb Dutta, Nadia

Sir — The character of the seven-phase Lok Sabha elections has transformed dramatically since the poll dates were announced in March, stunning political analysts and pollsters. Initially, the prime minister, Narendra Modi, was the lone shining star among the candidates in the fray. But this has changed over the past weeks with leaders from the INDIA bloc gaining traction among the masses and Modi seemingly losing his grip in spite of employing divisive rhetoric during electioneering.

Even though the Bha­ratiya Janata Party kickstarted its campaign with issues like the consecration of the Ram mandir and the abrogation of Article 370, it soon began to demonise Muslims and the Congress. On the other hand, the INDIA bloc has steadfastly focused on bread-and-butter issues, which have resonated with the public.

Haridasan Rajan, Kozhikode, Kerala

Privileged few

Sir — The article, “Ex­clusive grants” (May 23), by Rajesh Ranjan and Nidhi Suman draws attention to the entitlements of those belonging to the upper castes. It is unfortunate that reservations have not been able to uplift the downtrodden even 75 years after Independence.

A review of the quota system must thus be undertaken to assess its advantages. Appropriate changes should be made to it to ensure that the benefits accrue only to the truly deserving sections. But this seems too much to ask of political dispensations that act according to their vested interests.

Satish Gupta, Calcutta

Denied share

Sir — Only 9.5% of all the candidates in the fray for the Lok Sabha elections are women, according to an analysis by the Asso­cia­tion for Democratic Re­forms. This is in spite of the fact that in 2023, Parliament enacted a law — albeit one that is yet to come into effect — to reserve one-third of the seats in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies for women. If political parties were indeed serious about women’s welfare, they would have given a minimum of 33%-35% seats to women members. It is time political parties shed their patriarchal mindset and empower deserving women candidates.

Kavitha Srikanth, Chennai

Murky politics

Sir — It is shocking that the Janata Dal (Secular) legislator, H.D. Revanna, has been granted bail in a sexual harassment case involving him and his son, Prajwal Revanna. Equally bewildering is the fact that the Indian government, which boasts of great ties with Germany, has not been able to wield its diplomatic power to extradite the rape-accused, Prajwal, who has sought refuge in that country. Prajwal is also contesting the Lok Sabha election on a Bharatiya Janata Party ticket. All this indicates a tacit understanding between the ruling dispensation and the two accused.

Tharcius S. Fernando, Chennai

Sir — The accusations of rape against the JD(S) parliamentarian, Prajwal Revanna, are disgusting. Yet, the prime minister, Narendra Modi, who does not spare any opportunity to remind people about his commitment to women’s empowerment, campaigned for Prajwal. It is shameful that despite such grave allegations, Prajwal
managed to flee to Germany.

S.S. Paul, Nadia

Hidden agenda

Sir — The United King­dom under the prime minister, Rishi Sunak, has now abandoned its plan for a crackdown on graduate visas after staunch opposition from the cabinet. The graduate visa scheme allows overseas students to work in the UK for up to two years after graduation. The move was aimed at reducing immigration and reeked of conservatism.

M. Jeyaram, Sholavandan, Tamil Nadu

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