regular-article-logo Wednesday, 19 June 2024

Letters to the editor: Consumerism kills local vegetable dishes

Readers write in from Calcutta, Jamshedpur, Mumbai and New Delhi

The Telegraph Published 19.07.22, 04:52 AM

Tasty platter


Sir — Read the words, ‘mix veg’, on any restaurant menuand an image of pre-boiled, unseasonal vegetables dunkedin a nondescript gravy comes to mind. But across the country,home cooks expertly combine seasonal vegetables anduse uniquely regional styles of cooking to produce dishesthat are nothing like the ‘mix veg’ of restaurants. Beit undhiyo, rushichi bhaji, aamat or shukto, these dishesare ever-changing, depending on the vegetables that arein season. Indian kitchens have had a long tradition of celebratinglocally-available vegetables that is dying a slowdeath owing to consumerism and mass production.P. Sanyal,Calcutta

Grave concerns

Sir — The Chief Justice of India, N.V. Ramana, is right to be concerned about “hasty indiscriminate arrests” and “difficulty in obtaining bail” becoming the order of the day (“Sir, who’ll give urgent attention?”, July 17). In this context, the arrest of the journalist, Mohammed Zubair, comes to mind. That is not all. Not too long ago, an Assam Police team rushed all the way to Gujarat to arrest Jignesh Mevani, an independent member of the legislative assembly and a staunch critic of the prime minister, Narendra Modi, for an allegedly offensive post on social media. Calcutta Police, too, went all the way to Goa to arrest the YouTuber, Roddur Roy, on charges of having made derogatory comments against Mamata Banerjee. This list is illustrative, not exhaustive. In a democracy, those in public life need to shed their ego and learn to take criticism in their stride. S.K. Choudhury, Bengaluru „Sir — The CJI’s concerns about the difficulty in procuring bail are timely. Besides well-known journalists and activists like Teesta Setalvad and Mohammed Zubair, thousands of undertrials and accused are languishing in jail without proper hearings. The Centre’s stubborn refusal to accept criticism from any quarter is bringing shame upon the judiciary.

Murtaza Ahmad, Calcutta

Sir — Police departments all over the country should pay heed to the words of the CJI. Even in the past, N.V. Ramana had pointed out that the “threat to human rights and bodily integrity are the highest in police stations”. This is a matter of great ignominy.

Neha Sinha, Calcutta Rotten inside

Sir — On being asked what the United Nations is doing about the accusations of sexual harassment levelled against it, Stéphane Dujarric, the spokesperson for the UN secretary-general, said, “We’re... trying... to improve the system.” His acceptance of the problem is a heartening first step. More than a dozen former and current UN employees have said that there is an “atmosphere of fear” within the organisation. Those who complain against sexual harassment are fired. How can this institution be charged with protecting rights across the world?

Jang Bahadur Singh, Jamshedpur

Sir — The UN has said that it is tackling sexual harassment, sexism and a male-dominated culture within its ranks “head on”. It should make public the steps it has taken to this effect. If a body tasked with guarding human rights cannot protect its employees, then it can hardly expect anyone else to trust it.

Shivam Ahuja, New Delhi

Poor shape

Sir — Even though India won the recently-concluded one-day international series against England, the form of the former captain, Virat Kohli, is cause for concern. His performance has been consistently poor. Kohli’s batting is not even a shadow of what it used to be. However, this does not take away from the fact that Kohli is undoubtedly one of the best batsmen of his generation. Such phases of poor form have afflicted even the greatest cricketers. Scepticism about including Kohli in the T20 World Cup squad is thus misplaced. He will regain his form soon. The entire nation wants Kohli to live up to his potential before the big event.

Iftekhar Ahmed, Calcutta

Sir — Virat Kohli is not in the best shape. Kohli missed out on the first ODI against England owing to a groin injury that he sustained during the third T20 against them. He has withdrawn from the West Indies tour in order to rest. Questions have been raised by the former Indian captain, Kapil Dev, about keeping Kohli in the squad. Is it fair to question the career of a player like Kohli because of low runs in some matches? Sportsmen often suffer strain and injuries. But a player like Kohli is a long way from being done.

Dattaprasad Shirodkar, Mumbai

Parting shot

Sir — Private buses in Calcutta are in sorry shape. If the authorities conduct an honest assessment, many of these vehicles will be declared unfit for use. On the government’s insistence, there is a mad rush among owners of private buses to obtain ‘fitness certificates’ for their vehicles. Corners must not be cut in issuing these certificates. A complete revamp is needed to improve the public transport system in Calcutta.

Amit Brahmo, Calcutta

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