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regular-article-logo Wednesday, 19 June 2024

Letters to the Editor: Chinese zoo dyes dogs to resemble panda cubs

Readers write in from Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Dewas, Calcutta, Sholavandan, Lucknow, Hooghly and Secunderabad

The Editorial Board Published 14.05.24, 06:21 AM
A chow chow dog painted as a panda.

A chow chow dog painted as a panda. [Reddit]

Copy cat

Sir — China is known the world over for making cheaper copies — be it of electronics or of entire Western towns. But the country might have taken things a step too far recently. Zoogoers in China were surprised to find two rather strange specimens of pandas — the country is famous for this species — at the Taizhou Zoo. On closer inspection, it was revealed that the two animals were not pandas at all but chow chow dogs, yet another species that is popular in China. The zoo had dyed the dogs to resemble panda cubs as the former are inexpensive to maintain and need a lot less space than actual pandas. This relatively harmless incident of making the best use of available resources shows that perhaps China has also copied India’s famous spirit of jugaad.

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Nidhi Sharma, Mumbai

Frenemies

Sir — Some friends are worse than enemies. Sam Pitroda, the former chairman
of the Indian Overseas Congress, is one such friend for the Congress (“Sam gifts BJP new gaffe, quits”, May 9). The language he used to describe Indians was racist and unfortunate. The Congress has never been short of albatrosses around its neck. Mani Shankar Aiyar is another such example. Leaders like Pitroda and Aiyar are not helping the Grand Old Party’s poll prospects.

C.K. Subramaniam, Navi Mumbai

Sir — It is unfair that the portion of Sam Pitroda’s comment highlighting that all Indians are “brothers and sisters” in spite of the differences in their appearances was selectively and deliberately ignored. The prime minister and his spin doctors were quick to spot racism in Pitroda’s statement and use it as a stick to beat the Congress with. The truth does not matter; it is election season and all is grist to the Bharatiya Janata Party’s mill.

Avinash Godboley, Dewas, Madhya Pradesh

Sir — The prime minister wasted no time in using Sam Pitroda’s comments to attack his bête noire and the Congress leader, Rahul Gandhi. But what is more distressing is that the Congress acted in haste and accepted Pitroda’s resignation instead of defending him. This gave strength to Modi’s accusations.

Jahar Saha, Calcutta

Sir — Sam Pitroda should have exercised caution while speaking. Unsurprisingly, his comments have not gone down well with many and the BJP has quickly denounced them as racist. Pitroda’s comparison of South Indians with Africans is even more unfortunate given the long history of racism against the latter.

M. Jeyaram, Sholavandan, Tamil Nadu

Grave charge

Sir — The Trinamool Congress government in West Bengal has filed a formal complaint with the Election Commission of India against Rekha Sharma, the chairperson of the National Commission for Women, for allegedly forcing women in Sandeshkhali to lodge fake rape charges. A heinous crime of this sort, if proven, should not go unpunished. The EC must leave no stone unturned in probing the veracity of the allegation.

Arun Gupta, Calcutta

Broken morale

Sir — Countless individuals in India have been searching for jobs for years without any success (“Denial of hope”, May 10). The lack of opportunities is not the only stumbling block. Overpopulation and falling standards of education are significant challenges as well. The impact of unemployment goes beyond just financial struggles; it affects the self-worth of individuals. It is time society acknowledged the attendant problems of unemployment. Instead of simply throwing numbers around, we need to start addressing the systemic issues that keep people out of work. Most importantly, society needs to hold out hope to the unemployed.

Fateh Najamuddin, Lucknow

Perfect pair

Sir — It was wonderful to see the illustrious Spanish football club, Sevilla FC, recently honour Chuni Goswami, arguably one of the greatest Indian footballers, by imagining him playing alongside the footballing legend, Diego Maradona, who was a former player of the club, in a post on its official Facebook page (“Spanish club’s tribute to Chuni”, May 11). It was a fitting tribute to Goswami and a moment of great pride for Indian football.

Sourish Misra, Calcutta

Sir — Sevilla FC has not only honoured Chuni Goswami with its tribute but it has also imagined the magic that could have unfolded on the field if the Indian legend had played alongside Diego Maradona. There is no doubt that in terms of skills, Goswami matched the international standards of football. Sevilla FC should be thanked for acknowledging this.

Kajal Chatterjee, Calcutta

Narrow miss

Sir — The Olympic gold medallist, Neeraj Chopra, must be praised for putting up a brave face in the Doha Diamond League after finishing in second place in the men’s javelin throw (“Neeraj wows to win next meeting”, May 11). Ups and downs are part and parcel of any competition. Although the outcome of the event was sad, it was still thrilling to watch.

Jayanta Datta, Hooghly

Age of loneliness

Sir — International Mother’s Day is celebrated on the second Sunday of May. But people rarely have time for their parents nowadays. Parents either suffer from loneliness or are left in old-age homes. Instead, if every apartment complex had a place for senior citizens to meet and spend time together, be it with each other or available family members, they would be less lonely.

P.V. Madhu Nivriti, Secunderabad

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