regular-article-logo Saturday, 20 July 2024

Letters to the Editor: Fine for slow eaters

Readers write in from Calcutta, Maruthancode, Jamshedpur, Sholavandan, Jamshedpur, and Mumbai

The Editorial Board Published 27.01.23, 04:40 AM
However, it was not the restaurant but the parking company that fined him for exceeding the 90-minute limit allocated for McD customers.

However, it was not the restaurant but the parking company that fined him for exceeding the 90-minute limit allocated for McD customers.

Unhappy meal

Sir — A full stomach may not always lead to satisfaction. A man in Cambridge was recently fined a whopping 100 pounds after having a meal at McDonald’s — the customer apparently took too long to finish the burgers, fries and cold drinks. However, it was not the restaurant but the parking company that fined him for exceeding the 90-minute limit allocated for McD customers. While lingering at a restaurant table after finishing food is frowned upon, eating slowly and relishing the meal are integral to digestion. No wonder, then, that asking a Bengali to finish a full panchabyanjan platter quickly would only invite wrath.


Swatilina Bhowmick, Murshidabad

Restricted freedom

Sir — It is disheartening that the Delhi Police detained around 40 students of Jamia Millia Islamia University to prevent them from screening the BBC documentary, India: The Modi Question (“Jamia calls cops over BBC film”, Jan 26). The way the students were treated — police were deployed on campus and entry points to the university locked — reeks of totalitarianism and is an insult to democratic values such as free speech. The detention of students who were peacefully protesting the ban also speaks to the government’s increasing practice of criminalising dissent.

G. David Milton, Maruthancode, Tamil Nadu

Sir — The public screening of the BBC documentary on Narendra Modi at Jawaharlal Nehru University was disrupted by a power cut (“JNU defies powers and power cut on BBC film”, Jan 25). This was an alleged bid by the university administration to prevent the students from watching the film — the power outage was restricted to the campus. When the students finally managed to watch the film, they were pelted with stones by those allegedly affiliated with the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad. This is condemnable.

Jang Bahadur Singh, Jamshedpur

Fresh trouble

Sir — The leader of a far-Right group in Sweden, Rasmus Paludan, recently burned a copy of the Quran and chanted anti-Muslim slogans in front of Turkey’s embassy in Stockholm. This will, undoubtedly, aggravate tensions between the two countries. It must be noted that in the aftermath of the Russian attack on Ukraine, Sweden made a bid to join the United States-led North Atlantic Treaty Organization. However, this has repeatedly been opposed by Turkey, a key member of the group, over Sweden’s support for Kurdish groups that Turkey considers to be terrorists. The fresh spat between the two sides can thus significantly mar the Nordic country’s prospects of joining NATO.

Jayesh Khasgiwale, Ujjain

Unstable situation

Sir — The widespread layoffs by technology behemoths, such as Google, Microsoft, Amazon and Facebook, have forced thousands of Indian workers, living in the United States of America on H-1B and L1 visas, out of jobs. They are now scrambling for options to stay back in the country by finding a new job within the stipulated time frame permitted by their work visas. Such intense job insecurity can lead to more uncertainties. Many among the laid-off are already struggling to pay off their educational loans. The authorities must put in place an effective mechanism to guide the unemployed in their search for jobs.

M. Jeyaram, Sholavandan, Tamil Nadu

Attack on dissent

Sir — The Nobel laureate, Amartya Sen, has been accused by the Visva-Bharati University of unauthorised occupation of 13-decimal land inside the campus. This comes days after Sen had criticised the Narendra Modi-led dispensation as “one of the most appalling in the world”. It is not uncommon for those critical of the divisive policies of the Modi regime to be accused of false charges. Indeed, the vice-chancellor of the VBU, Bidyut Chakrabarty, has been often accused of saffronising the institution. It is heartening that the West Bengal government has directed the Birbhum district officials to investigate the matter.

Iftekhar Ahmed, Calcutta

Regulate them

Sir — The Calcutta High Court has scrapped the orders of the municipal corporations of Calcutta and Bidhannagar that had cancelled the licences of hookah parlours in the two cities. However, the decisions taken by the civic bodies were not unwarranted. Hookah bars have come up in the vicinity of most colleges in recent years owing to their popularity among young adults. The tobacco mixture used in hookah contains nicotine and can cause several health hazards. Stricter rules must be enforced to regulate the sale and consumption of hookah.

Kiran Agarwal, Calcutta

Parting shot

Sir — It is heartening that three Indian films, namely RRR, All That Breathes and The Elephant Whisperers, have received nominations at the 2023 Academy Awards. This will widen the reach of Indian cinema.

Dhruv Khanna, Mumbai

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