Sir — Although the lord is said to work in mysterious ways, recent events at the Canterbury Cathedral were truly unique. The church held silent discos where participants were given headphones that played songs by Spice Girls, Vengaboys, Eminem and so on. Officials hope that this will attract a new generation of worshippers to the hallowed cloisters. Debates regarding whether a disco in a church counts as blasphemy notwithstanding, using music to bridge the gap between the divine and the devotee is not new. After all, church choirs are well-known for rendering popular songs to entertain crowds.
Sambit Chowdhury, Calcutta
Sir — The decision of the Monetary Policy Committee of the Reserve Bank of India to keep interest rates unchanged does not come as a surprise (“RBI stands pat on rates”, Feb 9). While retail inflation, as measured by the consumer price index, had reached 5.69% in December, core inflation, which excludes the more volatile food and fuel components, had dipped lower to 3.8%. However, since threats from the adverse events impacting food prices and the ongoing geopolitical tensions disrupting global supply chains still loom, the MPC of the RBI ought to remain focused on the withdrawal of its accommodative stance. With rural demand continuing to gather pace and investment activity gaining steam from a sustained push in government spending, the RBI expects the Indian economy to grow by 7% in 2024-25.
M. Jeyaram, Sholavandan, Tamil Nadu
Sir — According to an RBI report, the inflation rate between April and December in the current financial year was an average of 5.5%. The inflation rate is likely to come down in the next financial year to about 4.5%. However, despite the efforts of the
RBI and the claims of the government, inflation could well increase further. While the growth rate of our economy has been around 7%, employment opportunities have not increased adequately to help Indians beat inflation. Mere data cannot help people.
Jahangir Shaikh, Mumbai
Sir — The 2024-25 West Bengal state budget presented by the finance minister, Chandrima Bhattacharya, was also an aggressive political attack on the Narendra Modi-led government prior to the elections (“Mamata rolls out pre-poll dole”, Feb 9). The state government’s largesse is indicative of the desire to woo the people of Bengal through various schemes instead of by presenting a roadmap to increase revenue collection. The budget addresses the concerns of poorer segments to reap political benefits.
Arun Kumar Baksi, Calcutta
Sir — In a bid to appease the Trinamul Congress’s vote bank ahead of the Lok Sabha elections, the Mamata Banerjee-led government has announced various doles, especially for women. The government has overlooked the aspect of job creation which could have been achieved by setting up new industries that would lead to employment. The cash-strapped government has presented a Rs 3,66,166 crore budget but is silent about the source of the money despite alleging that the Union government has not paid the state its dues.
S.S. Paul, Nadia
Sir — Gupinath Bhandari has donated Rs 15 lakh for the treatment of cancer among existing employees of Jadavpur University (“JU prof gives Rs 15 lakh for cancer treatment of colleagues”, Feb 8). The professor extended this benevolent gesture in memory of his wife who had passed away due to cancer. Unlike many donors, Bhandari has even denied publicity for his noble deed. Very few people truly commit to such charity.
Ratan Kumar Halder, Calcutta