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Letters to the Editor: Here’s how 353 ballet dancers in Manhattan set a world record

Readers write in from Howrah, Andhra Pradesh, Calcutta, Chennai, Maruthancode, Visakhapatnam, Mysuru, Lucknow, South 24 Parganas

The Editorial Board Published 23.04.24, 05:41 AM
Representational image.

Representational image. Sourced by the Telegraph.

Pain of perfection

Sir — Artists are often forced to push past their physical limits in order to achieve their potential. But such achievement at times comes at the cost of pain and sacrifice. For instance, ballet, one of the most strenuous dance forms, involves dancers going through rigorous training to attain perfect balance and posture. Recently, 353 ballet dancers set a Guinness World Record at the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan by simultaneously perching on their toes and holding the gruelling pose, en pointe, for more than a minute. While the ballerinas must be lauded for accomplishing this near-impossible feat, it would undoubtedly have taken a physical and emotional toll on them. Artists should instead be encouraged to embrace the beauty of the imperfections in art.


Disha Ghosh, Howrah

Notch lower

Sir — It was heartening to learn that the first phase of general elections witnessed an average voter turnout of more than 60% amidst scorching heatwave-like conditions. This implies that a good number of voters are keen on participating in the electoral process.

Meanwhile, the standards of political exchanges and public speeches during poll canvassing have been falling. For instance, the vicious remarks made by the prime minister, Narendra Modi, against Opposition leaders do not suit his stature. On the other hand, the Congress leader, Rahul Gandhi, instead of attacking the rival party, has been training his guns at Pinarayi Vijayan, who is an important member of the Congress-led INDIA coalition. Political expediency seems to be in the driver’s seat during this election.

D.V.G. Sankara Rao, Andhra Pradesh

Sir — The first round of polling that had 102 seats in the fray recorded a turnout of about 65.5%, a decline from the 70% recorded in 2019. The fall can be attributed to several reasons. In strife-torn Manipur, at least three candidates complained about proxy voting whereas in Tamil Nadu, the names of long-time voters were omitted from the electoral rolls. Almost zero voting was recorded in six districts in Nagaland owing to their demand for a separate administration while barbarity rocked polling in West Bengal (“CM flays ‘biased’ EC, forces”, April 20).

The Election Commission of India had made loud claims about ensuring a 100% voter turnout. But it seems that thousands of voters have been denied their right to exercise their mandate. The media, too, have been preoccupied with covering insignificant narratives instead of focusing on the allegations of rigged electronic voting machines.

Aayman Anwar Ali, Calcutta

Sir — Despite the initiatives taken by the ECI to ensure maximum polling, the reduced voter turnout in the first phase of the general elections is a cause for concern. Apart from the extreme heat that may have deterred voters from stepping out, cynicism seems to have set in among the voters owing to the corrupt practices of the political candidates. The ECI should devise ways to overcome these challenges.

N.R. Ramachandran, Chennai

Justified criticism

Sir — There are no prizes for guessing what may have led to Doordarshan’s decision to change the colour of its iconic logo from ruby red to orange. The change is in line with the saffronisation agenda of the Narendra Modi-led dispensation. The justification given by Doordarshan that it was meant for ‘visual enhancement’ has few takers. The change indicates the complete erosion of the public service broadcaster’s autonomy. The Hindutva brigade’s ploy to co-opt the saffron colour goes against India’s multicultural ethos.

G. David Milton, Maruthancode, Tamil Nadu

Sir — The reservations expressed by the former Prasar Bharati CEO, Jawhar Sircar, over Doordarshan’s decision to change the colour of its logo are justified given that it was done on the eve of the Lok Sabha polls. Moreover, the change also appears to be a clear violation of the Model Code of Conduct. The ECI must take cognisance of this.

K. Nehru Patnaik, Visakhapatnam

Big bully

Sir — Israel’s military adventurism against its neighbours and its eye-for-an-eye strategy have created a mess in the Middle East. Tel Aviv’s aggressive encroachment of Arab territories led to tensions which have, in turn, resulted in the continued and surging terrorist actions by Hamas, Hezbollah and other extremist outfits.

With the ongoing crisis in Gaza showing no signs of abetment, Israel has opened newer fronts of conflict with Lebanon and Iran. The attack on the Iranian consulate in Damascus in which two Iranian generals were killed was completely avoidable at such a time. Thereafter, Iran’s retaliation and Israel’s counter-attacks have ushered in a period of great uncertainty in the Middle East.

S. Kamat, Mysuru

Precious rain

Sir — The editorial, “Cloudy horizon” (April 21), highlighted how scientific enquiry into climate change has brought science closer to faith. The complexities of climate change have revealed the limitations of human knowledge. We are faced with the humbling realisation that our understanding is incomplete and that the natural world holds secrets beyond our comprehension. This convergence should not be about pitting science against faith, but rather acknowledging their shared spaces.

Fateh Najamuddin, Lucknow

Sir — Rainfall is essential for the survival of life on Earth. Hence, humans have been forced to resort to methods like cloud seeding to cause rainfall. The editorial, “Cloudy horizon”, elucidated how different civilisations in the past had adopted varied practices like sacrifices to induce rain.

Sanjit Ghatak, South 24 Parganas

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