Sir — Shakespeare might have thought that a name is not important but the Bharatiya Janata Party leader, Anupam Hazra, would disagree. Hazra was shocked to receive commiserations in the middle of a busy workday before the elections and feared the worst. However, the bachelor was flummoxed at being consoled about the remarriage of his ‘ex-wife’. Hazra soon realised that he was receiving messages meant for a well-known musician of the same name. People’s obsession with the lives of the rich and famous can be hilarious unless, of course, one is the recipient of messages of commiserations out of the blue.
Seema Desai, Mumbai
Sir — The results of the exit polls for the recently-held elections in five
states give the Congress an edge in Chhattisgarh and Telangana (“Exit polls predict two big surprises”, Dec 1). But in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh — two states it won in the previous elections — its fate remains uncertain. What is certain, though, is that the Bharatiya Janata Party’s desire for a Congress-mukt Bharat might elude it. Today’s poll results will reflect Narendra Modi’s popularity versus public support for the INDIA bloc. The election results will also shed light on the extent to which religious and caste polarisation has swayed the voters.
G. David Milton, Maruthancode, Tamil Nadu
Sir — The exit poll results for Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Telangana and Mizoram appear to be a ray of hope for the Congress. It might not win in all these states but it seems to have a close edge in most of these. This is a promising sign before the general elections.
N. Mahadevan, Chennai
Sir — Various media houses have predicted a tough fight between the Congress and the BJP in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan in their exit polls. The outcome of these assembly elections might predict the electoral fortunes of the two parties in the upcoming general elections. However, it would be good to remember that state outcomes often do not reflect national realities.
Aayman Anwar Ali, Calcutta
Too little, too late
Sir — Sultan al Jaber, the president of CoP-28, has claimed that reaching a consensus on operationalising the ‘loss and damage fund’ on the very first day of the conference is unprecedented. However, the $400 million or so pledged for the fund is a drop in the ocean given the scale of the crisis (“Act now”, Dec 1). Moreover, there is no mechanism to decide how much each country’s entitlement will be. One of the biggest emitters, the United States of America, has only agreed to contribute a paltry $17.5 million and China is yet to commit to the fund. Most of these climate conferences amount
to nothing more than rhetoric. The ecological ground reality is far more serious. Our reluctance to act will leave the planet barren and dead.
Jang Bahadur Singh, Jamshedpur
Sir — Any achievement at the ongoing CoP-28 might be too little, too late given that 2023 was already one of the hottest years on record. Just limiting the usage of fossil fuels is not enough to mitigate climate change. Humans must radically change their way of living — consuming less electricity, travelling sustainably and spending less on luxury items that are disastrous for the environment. It is thus unlikely that CoP-28 will achieve much. Humans are far too selfish to pay heed to the crumbling ecosystems around them.
Anwar Saeed, Calcutta
Sir — The CoP summits are, by nature, self-congratulatory. All they deliver are agreements with elaborate caveats. Yet, the decisions made in Dubai will affect the planet for years to come.
Khokan Das, Calcutta