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Letters to the Editor: Calcutta among top food destinations

Readers write in from Calcutta, Ujjain, Raichur, Mumbai, Sholavandan, Chennai and Navi Mumbai
This is also a recognition of the tireless work put in by the food vendors who dot the city streets.
This is also a recognition of the tireless work put in by the food vendors who dot the city streets.
Representational picture

The Editorial Board   |   Published 17.01.23, 04:13 AM

Culinary honour

Sir — Calcutta was recently chosen as one of the top 11 food destinations in the world by a popular culinary website. Significantly, Calcutta is the only Indian city to feature on this list. The City of Joy was selected primarily for its collective engagement with culinary culture and its history of patronising an eclectic range of cuisines. This is also a recognition of the tireless work put in by the food vendors who dot the city streets. While Calcutta’s street food is much-feted, red flags about hygiene and safety violations have also marred its reputation. But can one be concerned about health while devouring a hot singara or consider hygiene while gobbling down a piping hot egg roll? After all, is not our beloved phuchhka made tastier with the sweat of the vendor?


Sourjo Ghosh, Calcutta

Family first

Sir — In his column, “Supreme beings” (Jan 14), Ramachandra Guha writes that dynastic politics is a more telling sign of the erosion of India’s democratic principles than other oft-discussed phenomena, such as the “attack on press freedom, the suborning of independent institutions” and so on. Guha rightly cites the example of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader and chief minister of Tamil Nadu, M.K. Stalin, inducting his son into the state cabinet to justify his point. In fact, of the most relevant political parties in the country, very few would not be dynastic. Guha also mentions the growth of personality cults as another factor ailing Indian democracy.

Jahar Saha, Calcutta

Sir — Ramachandra Guha correctly analyses the problems that have led to the decline of inner-party democracy. The heads of the political parties are anointing family members as their political heirs and overlooking efficient leaders. This is especially true of the Congress party. Political parties that become synonymous with the identity of a single leader will eventually face an existential threat.

Yousuf Iqbal, Calcutta

Positive change

Sir — In “Something’s afoot” (Jan 15), Mukul Kesavan argues that the Rahul Gandhi-led Bharat Jodo Yatra seems to be achieving its purposes of infusing new life into the Congress and projecting a political counter-narrative. While Rahul Gandhi looked at home sporting a turban in the Golden Temple, it remains to be seen if this is enough to wash away the Congress’s past sins. But it must be admitted that after a long period of inaction, something finally seems to be happening in the Congress.

N. Mahadevan, Chennai

Sir — It has been more than four months since Rahul Gandhi commenced on the Bharat Jodo Yatra to unite the nation against challenges such as unemployment, corruption, inflation and poverty. India has not witnessed a collective zeal of this magnitude in recent decades. Moreover, with the veteran Congressman, Mallikarjun Kharge, helming the Grand Old Party and Rahul taking to the road, negative perceptions about the Congress are being abated to some extent. Only time will tell whether the party can translate the positive momentum generated by the yatra into votes.

Jayesh Khasgiwale, Ujjain

Tall leader

Sir — It was saddening to learn about the demise of the former Union minister, Sharad Yadav (“Mandal era key figure Sharad Yadav is dead”, Jan 13). Along with Mulayam Singh Yadav and Lalu Prasad, Sharad Yadav represented the trio of the Mandal upsurge of the 1990s. But unlike his two compatriots, Sharad Yadav was more of a socialist ideologue and lacked the political acumen to win elections. However, after his entry into electoral politics in 1974, he won the crucial Jabalpur by-election as the Opposition’s candidate. Although Mandal politics catapulted him to the leadership of the Janata Dal, it also led to the bifurcation of the party. A true Lohiaite, Sharad Yadav remained committed to the cause of social justice till the end.

M. Jeyaram, Sholavandan, Tamil Nadu

Man and machine

Sir — Significant advancements in artificial intelligence, machine learning and automation in the past few decades have greatly disrupted employment, creating a divide between highly skilled and semi-skilled workers. Core workers in mass manufacturing are being gradually replaced by machines. That is not all. The increased availability of cheaper and shortlived products is forcing hundreds out of repair and reuse jobs.

R. Narayanan, Navi Mumbai

Red alert

Sir — According to NASA, the earth’s average surface temperature in 2022 was the fifth warmest since 1880. The devastating impacts of climate change are being felt in the form of cyclones, forest fires, droughts and other calamities. Stringent and immediate action is required to arrest global warming.

Vijaykumar H.K., Raichur

Courting success

Sir — The Australian Open has just begun. Novak Djokovic’s mere presence makes him the automatic favourite, for Melbourne is to him what Paris is to Rafael Nadal. The championship will also be an opportunity for the next rung of players to stake a claim as Roger Federer has already retired and, going forward, the grip of Nadal and Djokovic will only loosen.

Indranil Sanyal, Calcutta

Fatal game

Sir — Kite flying is integral to Makar Sankranti. But kite strings are usually made from nylon or are lined with glass and can fatally injure humans and birds. Further, the ban on the sale of Chinese string is flouted with impunity. Even after the festival, strings can be seen suspended from roofs, entangling birds during flight. This is disconcerting.

Dattaprasad Shirodkar, Mumbai

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