Sir — It is not uncommon for romantic partners to influence each other’s opinions and actions. Is that true for their perspectives on climate change as well? Interestingly, a 2022 Yale study found that couples can function as each other’s sounding boards when it comes to views on the climate crisis and that romantic conversations about climate change can actually accentuate support for pro-climate policies. While such an alignment of opinions sounds heartening, it has been disrupting the dating scene in Singapore — environmentally-conscious singles have been struggling to find matches who share their passion. But given the insurmountable challenges that climate change poses for humanity, perhaps swiping right for green is not such a bad thing.
Drishti Kohli, Delhi
Sir — The first visit of the Congress leader, Rahul Gandhi, to Wayanad after being reinstated to Parliament received an overwhelming response (“Modi unable to shake off Rahul”, Aug 13). It is hoped that Rahul Gandhi will become more vociferous and upfront in censuring the Narendra Modi-led dispensation. The government has responded to the Manipur crisis with only silence and utter disregard. This will provide ammunition to the leaders of the Opposition alliance to step up their attacks on the government in the coming months.
As pointed out by Rahul Gandhi, the prime minister dedicated only five minutes of his more than two-hourlong speech in Parliament to talk about the Manipur conflict. The rest of his speech was spent on whataboutery and rhetoric, which amused his colleagues in the House. The proverb, ‘Nero fiddled while Rome burned’, may be appropriate in this case.
K. Nehru Patnaik, Visakhapatnam
Sir — Rahul Gandhi should be lauded for his continuous tirade against Narendra Modi which apparently forced the latter to finally address the Manipur violence during the no-confidence debate in Parliament. The prime minister being evasive to the sufferings of Manipuris for this long is bound to dent his credibility before the general elections.
Arun Gupta, Calcutta
Sir — A fresh set of data suggests that Rahul Gandhi’s speech in Parliament during the no-confidence debate attracted more viewers than that of the prime minister, Narendra Modi. The Congress has claimed that Rahul Gandhi’s speech got 26 lakh views whereas Narendra Modi’s got only 6.5 lakh views on YouTube. It shows that there has been a surge in Rahul Gandhi’s popularity. This will boost the Congress leader’s confidence ahead of the second leg of his Bharat Jodo Yatra and also provide fresh impetus to the Opposition’s activities.
A.K. Chakraborty, Guwahati
Sir — There is no doubt that the proposed restrictions on the import of laptops and mobile phones may boost domestic manufacturing (“Step back”, Aug 14). However, since India has been importing as much as 65% of these products, the new rule will severely stretch the limits of domestic production. While the ProductionLinked Incentive scheme had a budgetary outlay of a sum of 17,000 crore rupees, it is not yet known how much of the fund has been utilised to date. It seems that the government has got a formidable task cut out for itself when it comes to ensuring domestic growth despite several challenges.
Bal Govind, Noida
Sir — The celebration of the 76th Independence Day will be a sombre occasion for the student fraternity. Two recent incidents — the death of a Jadavpur University student owing to ragging and the rape of a minor girl in Meerut by two Class XII students — have cast a shadow on the country. The government should ensure the safety of students at all costs. The country cannot go forward without securing its future.
Surabhi Jha, North Dinajpur
Sir — It is unfortunate that the spirit of Independence Day will be dampened this year by the communal conflagrations in Manipur and Haryana. India has witnessed a regression from its secular heritage under the aegis of the Narendra Modiled dispensation. The former American president, Barack Obama, recently cautioned against the dangers of religious discrimination in India. This Independence Day should thus provide an occasion to reflect on the problems plaguing the country such as poverty, religious fissures and unemployment.
G. David Milton, Maruthancode, Tamil Nadu
Sir — India’s struggle for independence was marked by a value-based movement that made brotherhood and amity between communities its cornerstones. It is sad that these values are gradually being eroded from the mosaic of society.
Shriya Khanna, Mumbai
Sir — In a fresh bid to stoke tensions, the Lakshadweep administration has introduced a new code for school uniforms. The directive, which is silent on hijabs, is meant to destroy the Islamic culture of the archipelago. It is apparent that the Bharatiya Janata Party is attempting to disrupt religious harmony in the islands just as it did in Karnataka.
Jang Bahadur Singh, Jamshedpur
Heed the warning
Sir — The floating sea ice around Antarctica has hit a record low for the second year in a row. This has caused concerns among scientists. The reduced ice cover means less of the sun’s energy will be reflected back to space, causing more warming of the ocean. It can also affect the distribution of oxygen and nutrients. Experts should investigate the matter and prevent any apocalyptic event from occurring.
Arka Goswami, West Burdwan