regular-article-logo Wednesday, 17 April 2024

Letters to the Editor: Kellogg’s CEO under fire for suggesting poor can have cereal for dinner

Readers write in from Calcutta and Maruthancode

The Editorial Board Published 29.02.24, 07:31 AM
Representational image.

Representational image. Sourced by the Telegraph.

Let them eat flakes

Sir — Marie Antoinette has probably been reincarnated as Gary Pilnick, the chief executive officer of the cereal company, Kellogg’s. Just as Antoinette had callously asked peasants to eat cake if they did not have bread, Pilnick suggested that people struggling to make ends meet should look at Kellogg’s relatively inexpensive breakfast cereals as dinner options. Pilnick’s comment shows how out of touch with reality he is — not only do the poorest families in the United States of America not earn enough money to buy even the cheapest box of Kellogg’s cereals regularly but cornflakes are also hardly an adequate source of nutrition. Pilnick should be careful about making such insensitive comments and remember the fate that befell Marie Antoinette.


Subrata Saha, Calcutta

Bitter pill

Sir — It is astounding that Patanjali Ayurved, a company co-founded by the yoga proponent, Ramdev, has violated the Supreme Court’s explicit order restraining it from advertising products as valid treatments for serious diseases until further notice (“Ramdev earns Centre rap from SC, ads banned”, Feb 28). The apex court has also taken serious exception to the indifferent attitude of the Central government, which failed to take action against the false claims made by the company regarding the efficacy of its medicines. It seems that the Centre has no concern for public health; it is only protecting certain vested interests. Nothing justifies the publication of unverified claims regarding medicines.

Arun Gupta, Calcutta

Sir — Acting on a comp­laint filed by the Indian Medical Association, the Supreme Court has res­trained Patanjali Ayurved and its management from releasing advertisements or holding press conferences in which false representations are made about the efficacy of their medicines in treating diseases like asthma and diabetes. It is annoying that the company flouted an undertaking that it had submitted earlier. The two-judge apex court bench issued a stern warning and banned such advertisements. At the same time, the top court also demanded to know why the Centre had not taken steps against Patanjali Ayurved to curb the “misleading” claims. The court’s action is justified.

Iftekhar Ahmed, Calcutta

Loss of trust

Sir — Cross-voting has marred the latest Rajya Sabha elections and dented the legitimacy of the process. The normalisation of cross-voting does not augur well for democracy. When poaching of legislators, whether through force or the lure of financial gains, is praised as political acumen, it demonstrates the sharp drop in India’s democratic values. When a lawmaker is elected to power from one party, he should not betray the trust of the voters and support a rival party. The cross-voting engineered by the Bharatiya Janata Party belies its claims of being a ‘party with a difference’. It seems that there is no morality in politics anymore; it is just a game of convenience.

G. David Milton, Maruthancode, Tamil Nadu

Turbulent nation

Sir — Pakistan’s military establishment has suffered a jolt from the results of the recent elections. The myth of its omnipotence was shattered when a vast majority of the voters backed independent candidates aligned with the jailed former prime minister, Imran Khan. Subsequent accusations that the voting process was rigged to deny the independent candidates an outright majority have dealt the reputation of the armed forces a body blow. It is now becoming increasingly isolated. Young Pakistanis refuse to be intimidated and social media has outpaced censorship.

Shovanlal Chakraborty, Calcutta

Sir — The political alliance that has come to power in Pakistan is a marriage of convenience between the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and the Pakistan Peoples Party. Shehbaz Sharif has been selected as the prime ministerial candidate of a country in economic turmoil. Ironically, the independents backed by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf who won the highest number of seats in the National Assembly have now been sidelined. There have been widespread allegations of vote tampering. The already turbulent nation seems to be slipping further into chaos.

Amit Brahmo, Calcutta

Hunger pangs

Sir — The Supreme Court has left the suggestion of starting community kitchens for providing nutritious food free of cost to address malnourishment and hunger-related deaths with the government (“Stomach this”, Feb 27). The National Family Health Survey-5 shows that 35.5% of children under the age of five are stunted and 19.3% suffer from wasting. The figures presented by foreign hunger indices are as bad or worse. The National Education Policy’s recommendation of providing breakfast to schoolchildren in addition to the usual mid-day meal must be implemented without further delay.

Sujit De, Calcutta

Repair it

Sir — Bishop Lefroy Road is one of the most famous roads of Calcutta. The residence of the legendary filmmaker, Satyajit Ray, is one of its most prominent landmarks (“Mahanagar’s Ashani Sanket of neglect”, Feb 24). It is thus disheartening to learn about the sorry state of the road with the replicas of film posters designed by Ray almost peeling off. One hopes that the authorities will take up the task of maintenance soon.

Sourish Misra, Calcutta

Sir — The report, “Maha­nagar’s Ashani Sanket of neg­lect”, exposed the apathy which the once-grand Bishop Lefroy Road has suffered from. The road is a pilgrimage site for Bengali cinephiles. The municipal corporation should take immediate steps to restore it to its former glory.

Anjan Majumdar, Calcutta

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