Sir — Winter is the season of melas for Bengalis. However, soon after the cancellation of this year’s Pous Mela, the annual Biddhannagar Mela, too, has now been postponed till after the conclusion of the Book Fair. This will lead to financial losses for dozens of merchants who come from far-off villages — some even from foreign countries — as they will be unable to ply their trade. Perhaps, in the age of the internet, the authorities responsible for organising these fairs can arrange for an online space for the traders to sell their goods. Such a plan could also reduce the ecological impact of these fairs.
Pranjal Bhowmick, Nadia
Sir — The swearing in of Anumula Revanth Reddy as the chief minister of Telangana in the presence of many stalwarts from the Congress should be a cause for celebration. Since Telangana’s creation in 2014, this is the first time that the Grand Old Party has formed a government in India’s youngest state. The Congress’s victory, leaving a regional party like the Bharat Rashtra Samithi behind, indicates that it is still the first preference for many people in South India. The party must remember that with power comes responsibility — looking after the needs and the welfare of the local people must be its priority. The new chief minister must be congratulated for his achievement. But he should also remember to deliver on his promises.
Kirti Wadhawan, Kanpur
Sir — The Congress’s victory in Telangana was its sole consolation in the recent assembly elections. It was a historic moment as Anumula Revanth Reddy was administered the oath of office by Tamilisai Soundararajan, the governor of Telangana. The swearing-in ceremony, where 11 other politicians were appointed as ministers, including Mallu Bhatti Vikramarka as the deputy chief minister, was also attended by senior Congress leaders like Mallikarjun Kharge, Sonia Gandhi and D.K. Shivakumar. Expectations from Reddy will be high.
Bidyut Kumar Chatterjee, Faridabad
Sir — One of the most disliked features of the erstwhile BRS government in Telangana was the presence of metal barricades around the chief minister’s residence, wherein common people were treated as intruders. In a symbolic move, these barricades were torn down just as Anumula Revanth Reddy came to power. But with such a sweeping change people’s expectations will rise too. The new Congress government has enormous challenges ahead. It has won the people’s mandate against all odds, now it must ensure the development of the state.
Khokan Das, Calcutta
Sir — The impressive triumph of the Congress in Telangana has presented it with an opportunity to consolidate its support base in South India while laying the groundwork for a development model free from corruption. Anumula Revanth Reddy, who led the party’s charge, has his task cut out to fulfil a slew of promises, ranging from a loan waiver for farmers to free travel on state-run buses for women. He needs to balance populism with pragmatism.
M. Jeyaram, Sholavandan, Tamil Nadu
Sir — The editorial, “Truly free” (Dec 8), has rightly pointed out that dissent and free speech should be inalienable rights in a democracy. Yet both are under growing threat in New India. One of the many reasons for this is a delay in the delivery of justice. After the priest, Stan Swamy, the student, Umar Khalid, has now become a victim of the glacial pace of the justice system. Having already spent more than a thousand days in jail, he has now seen his bail plea further adjourned to January 2024. Khalid’s wait for justice continues.
Sujit De, Calcutta