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regular-article-logo Friday, 19 July 2024

Letters to the editor: Emily Webb uses her 'pretty privilege' to battle rising living costs

Readers write in from Calcutta, Noida, Kanpur, Visakhapatnam, and Nadia

The Editorial Board Published 22.06.24, 08:01 AM
Critical situation

Critical situation File picture

Guest alert

Sir — The digital age, which offers people the freedom to live and work from anywhere on the planet, has redefined nomadic lifestyle. Take the instance of Emily Webb — this homeless Aussie woman recently went viral on TikTok for describing her rootless existence in which she uses her “pretty privilege” to go on dates just so as to camp at these men’s places for the night and avoid paying exorbitant house rent. While Webb’s way of sponging off strangers and jeopardising her own security have earned her criticism, does she really have a choice given the rising cost of living in the country?

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Sourav Datta, Calcutta

Frayed nerves

Sir — Swapan Dasgupta laboured to not call the INDIA bloc by its name but as “INDI Alliance” in his column, “Complex outcome” (June 20). He seems to be toeing his party line. This betrays the paranoia of the Narendra Modi-led government about accepting the INDIA grouping as its opponent. The saffron dispensation is nervous about having to fight against a coalition that stands for inclusivity and diversity that are characteristic of the Indian ethos.

Shibaprasad Deb, Calcutta

Exam crisis

Sir — After the cancellation of the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test on account of irregularities, the National Testing Agency has scrapped the University Grants Commission–National Eligibility Test 2024 on the pretext that its integrity has been “compromised” (“June NET cancelled over fear on ‘integrity’”, June 20). The fate of around 11 lakh students now hangs in the balance. Mismanagement of competitive-level exams has become commonplace. A Supreme Court-monitored probe should be initiated to address the alarming frequency of paper leaks. An overhaul of the NTA is the need of the hour to ensure the sanctity of pan-India tests.

Bal Govind, Noida

Sir — Whenever allegations of discrepancies are raised against the integrity of competitive-level exams, the authorities take the easy way out by conducting re-examinations. This is not the solution. Students being perennially engaged in an exam-re-exam cycle diminishes their career prospects.

Dimple Wadhawan, Kanpur

Major differences

Sir — The editorial, “Voices at war” (June 20), correctly outlines the conflicting voices of the 92 countries, which attended the Ukraine peace summit in Switzerland. The summit was conducted without the participation of Russia, the aggressor in the Ukraine conflict, but was attended by Israel, which is itself engaged in a genocidal war against Palestinians. With peace resolutions passed at the summit not binding on Russia, it is free to do as it pleases. It seems that the summit was bound to be a failure.

K. Nehru Patnaik, Visakhapatnam

Sir — Despite the majority of the attendees of the Ukraine peace summit backing the communiqué that called for the safety of all nuclear installations, some notable abstentions, like that of Russia, China and India, prove that the summit was a wasted opportunity. Russia’s unending violation of Ukraine’s territorial integrity cannot be addressed without dialogue.

S.S. Paul, Nadia

Dirty hands

Sir — It is disheartening that 35 people lost their lives and over 1.5 lakh were affected in the devastating floods in Assam. The relief efforts undertaken by the state government are commendable. However, some politicians tend to illegally profiteer from the relief material set aside for the affected. The government should crack down on these errant
leaders.

Jakir Hussain,
Kanpur

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