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regular-article-logo Sunday, 14 April 2024

Letters to the Editor: Japan’s Odawara Castle lets you experience the royal reality

Readers write in from Calcutta, Kanpur, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Hazaribagh

The Editorial Board Published 21.02.24, 06:31 AM
Representational image.

Representational image. Sourced by the Telegraph

Royal reality

Sir — There are few people who would not want to live their lives king-size. Odawara Castle in Japan is allowing people to live this dream. Visitors can dress, behave and live like a feudal lord of the powerful Hojo clan and even take part in the climactic battle that took place there in 1590. They can put on elaborate dresses, chest armours and katanas for a taste of the royal past. Royal experiences are offered in Bengal too at renovated heritage properties. While it can surely be fun to live like a king without having any of the real administrative pressure, women visitors may want to remember that the ‘authentic’ lifestyle for most ladies in these feudal, palatial households was slavish, belittling and dominated by misogyny.

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Sneha Biswas, Calcutta

Just demands

Sir — The plight of the protesting farmers is a matter of concern for the entire nation (“Farmer worry over talks delay”, Feb 19). The farmers’ demands for a pension and a stipulated minimum support price are justifiable. One hopes that the Centre will pay heed and frame policies to meet their demands. The Centre must formulate a viable solution with the same efficiency that it showed during the consecration of the Ram temple in Ayodhya.

Kirti Wadhawan, Kanpur

Sir — A panel of Union ministers had proposed to purchase pulses (tur, urad and masoor), maize and cotton at the old MSP for five years. The offer was made during the fourth round of talks between the Centre’s representatives and farmer leaders who later rejected the proposal (“Farmers reject 5yr MSP offer”, Feb 20). The farmers rightly want a legal guarantee for the procurement of various crops at guaranteed MSPs. The MSP regime and assured procurement have primarily remained confined to wheat, paddy and a handful of other crops. Long-term objectives of enhancing food security, increasing farmers’ income, and reducing dependence on imports can only be achieved if glaring anomalies in the MSP regime are removed.

Khokan Das, Calcutta

Sir — Farmer leaders have rejected the Centre’s proposal of buying pulses, maize and cotton at the old MSP and a portal being set up for this purpose as being inimical to the interests of agriculturalists. Besides the legal guarantee of an MSP, farmers are demanding the implementation of some of the Swaminathan Commission’s recommendations, such as a pension for farmers and farm labourers, and farm debt waiver. If the Centre does not come to an agreement with the farmers soon, the situation will only turn graver.

Bhagwan Thadani, Mumbai

Sir — The government should pay attention to the woes of the farmers in earnest. Farmer suicides have been on the rise in recent times. The government should not delay an agreement with farmers under the pretext of their agitation being politically motivated.

Jubel D’Cruz, Mumbai

Unfree domain

Sir — As the so-called ‘mother of democracy’, it is shameful that India has slipped down 11 ranks on the Press Freedom Index (“Different picture”, Feb 19). The press has proven to be untrustworthy in recent times and disregard for journalists is on the rise. A majority of media houses all over the world are now owned by business tycoons with political connections. The media must be protected at all costs. A successful democracy needs its critics.

H.N. Ramakrishna, Bengaluru

Risky flight

Sir — The annual Great Backyard Bird Count encourages people to learn more about birds and take the initiative to conserve avian species. The GBBC 2023 had 190 participating nations, bringing nature enthusiasts, students and ornithologists together to spot birds in their localities. West Bengal reported 489 species in this exercise. Bird watchers have been dismayed at the anthropogenic destruction of the wetlands around Calcutta. As a result, fewer migratory birds have been reported at the Santragachhi Jheel in the last few years.

Debaprasad Bhattacharya, Calcutta

Sir — The dwindling population of migratory species is a serious concern (“The others”, Feb 19). Birds and fish migrate to other regions to escape from extremely cold climates. Unfortunately, they fall prey to human activities. Humans, too, seek refuge in other countries when faced with hardships. We must therefore be considerate towards other creatures.

Sanjit Ghatak, Calcutta

Deep imprint

Sir — The renowned cricketer, Mike Procter, has passed away at the age of 77. He leaves behind an indelible legacy as an exceptional all-rounder. In the course of his impactful career, he amassed over 20,000 runs and claimed more than 1,400 wickets in first-class cricket. Procter’s influence extended beyond his playing days, shaping cricket through coaching and administrative roles. His legacy encompasses not only his on-field achievements but also his integrity, sportsmanship and global impact on cricket.

Amarjeet Kumar, Hazaribagh

Tired limbs

Sir — Shopping malls have become an integral part of urban life, evolving into community centres where people congregate for shopping and entertainment, food and leisure. Visitors to malls often bring family members, including the elderly. Although malls strive to go the extra mile to meet their customers’ needs and improve their shopping experience, most of them have not considered it worthwhile to provide chairs for seniors to sit and rest on. Even the shops have no chairs to offer. Every square inch of the mall caters only to commerce. Malls should think about this.

Kamal Laddha, Bengaluru

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