regular-article-logo Thursday, 30 May 2024

Letters to the Editor: Gmail was launched on April Fools’ Day and many considered it a hoax

Readers write in from Calcutta, Jamshedpur, Maruthancode and Hooghly

The Editorial Board Published 06.04.24, 07:37 AM
Representational image.

Representational image. File Photo.

Fool’s paradise

Sir — April Fool’s pranks have been a source of annoyance for many. However, it is ironic that one of the most useful forms of communication today was almost dismissed as a practical joke on April 1, 2004. Gmail was launched on that very day but since Google’s founders, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, liked pulling pranks, many assumed that the email application with such a huge storage capacity — it was one gigabyte at the time of its launch — could only be an elaborate hoax. One wonders how many such inventions have been dismissed as trickery in the past owing to people’s disbelief about their existence.


Anjuman Raza, Calcutta

End the war

Sir — It was distressing to read that a drone strike by Israel killed seven aid workers of the charity group, World Central Kitchen, in Gaza (“Israel’s mea culpa for attack on aid workers”, April 4). This happened even though the group had reportedly coordinated its movements with the Israel Defense Forces and its vehicles bore identifying logos. One of Gaza’s largest hospitals, Al Shifa, is all but rubble today. These attacks on medical professionals, aid workers and civilians have prompted sharp reactions from Western nations. While admitting its fault, the Benjamin Netanyahu government has tried to explain away the attack on the aid convoy as collateral damage.

Israel’s actions have led to the deaths of over 30,000 Palestinians since the war began. In recent days, thousands in Israel have taken to the streets to demand a ceasefire. With the violence intensifying and support at home declining, Netanyahu’s grasp on power seems increasingly tenuous.

Khokan Das, Calcutta

Sir — Israel’s military action in the Gaza Strip since October 7 is nothing short of a genocide. Most Western nations have only extended token criticism thus far, but the death of seven aid workers — hailing from nations like the United Kingdom, Poland and Canada — has sparked international outrage. In a rare admission of error, Israel has promised a full investigation into the drone strike. But what will such an investigation reveal? Perhaps Iran, Hezbollah or Hamas will, once again, be labelled the culprits. The enquiry will matter little to Palestinian civilians who continue to bear the brunt of Israel’s wrath. It is time for the world to take decisive action against Israel.

Jang Bahadur Singh, Jamshedpur

Sir — Despite a United Nations Security Council resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire, Israel is continuing its assault on the Gaza Strip. The United States of America is as culpable for the war crimes committed by Israel. Its support for Israel exposes the hollowness of its professed commitment to human rights. If the death toll from disease and hunger is added to the official tally of those killed in war, the number of deaths would be far higher. Nations should work unitedly to ensure the imposition of a ceasefire.

G. David Milton, Maruthancode, Tamil Nadu

Parched state

Sir — The water crisis in Bengaluru has reached an alarming level with no possibility of rain in sight (“Sillycon Valley: Where you weep for water”, April 4). It is shocking that an advanced tech hub is facing a shortfall of such a basic necessity. If the authorities are unable to address the crisis, people should join forces to avoid wastage and save water wherever possible.

M.N. Gupta, Hooghly

Sir — The situation in Bengaluru is deplorable. The severe water shortage is a wake-up call for those who continue to ignore the dangers of climate change. Freshwater is a more precious resource than even fossil fuels and should be protected. Advanced technology should be used to preserve natural resources.

Anwar Saeed, Calcutta

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