Letters to the editor: Love for stationery in an increasingly digital world
Sir — Papyrophilia is an obsessive love of paper. But in common parlance, it means an obsessive love of all things stationery. Whether it is the aural pleasure of a well-sharpened pencil gliding along crisp paper, the smell of a fresh notebook, the glorious shades of fluorescent highlighters or the efficiency of colour-coded sticky notes, stationery items are far more than just a means to stay organised. These knickknacks can turn a dull workspace into a creative environment on a budget. However, does papyrophilia stand a chance in a world that is increasingly going digital? Writing rarely entails putting pen to paper anymore. Perhaps the love for pretty stationery can lure people away from the digital and back into the analog world.
Sir — The Enforcement Directorate is questioning the Congress leader, Rahul Gandhi, in connection with a money laundering case related to the National Herald newspaper. It is no secret that the Narendra Modi-led dispensation at the Centre misuses government agencies to silence its critics. The Congress is well within its rights to question the motive behind the ED’s summons. But it will be foolish to rally its members to protest outside the ED office (“D-Day for ‘vendetta politics’”, June 13). This not only amounts to an attempt to intimidate a government agency but will also violate prohibitory orders from the police — around 800 people have been arrested or detained so far. Besides, this may interfere with the investigation. Cooperating with the investigators is the wise thing to do at this stage.
Sir — It is disheartening that the Bharatiya Janata Party has been unleashing government agencies like the ED to intimidate Opposition leaders. This highlights the government’s vendetta politics. The misuse of Central agencies will ruin their credibility.
Sir — A caste census is crucial to formulating welfare measures. It will not only shed light on the numerical strength and socio-economic conditions of the various castes but also reveal inequalities among them. Comprehensive data are needed to achieve the goal of proportional representation in education, employment and elected bodies for those in the lower rungs of society. While several political parties have joined the chorus demanding a caste census, the Bharatiya Janata Party government seems reluctant to undertake this exercise. The Centre must reconsider its stance.
G. David Milton,
Maruthancode, Tamil Nadu
Sir — The Nagaland police have charge-sheeted as many as 30 army personnel of the 21 Para (Special Forces) in the botched counter-insurgency operation in the state last year (“Nod test as Nagaland cops charge 30 soldiers”, June 12). This is the right first step. On December 4, the soldiers killed six coal miners in Mon district after mistaking them for extremists. Seven other civilians and a jawan were killed in the firing when the villagers retaliated. The incident deepened the schism between the Indian army and the people of the Northeast. It also renewed demands for the repealing of the draconian Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act. A governmental sanction to prosecute the army officers is now needed to ensure that people get justice.
Janga Bahadur Sunuwar
Long way to go
Sir — It is heartening that the infant mortality rate in India has declined considerably in the last few years. However, the success is uneven as there are wide disparities among the states (“Some cheer”, June 10). High IMR has been one of the most pressing health concerns in India. Infants in rural areas with low literacy rates are especially vulnerable. More so since such regions have poor neonatal services. Factors like poor sanitation and a lack of access to safe drinking water also aggravate problems. The government must ensure vaccination and adequate institutional care in these parts.
Sir — The West Bengal government has extended summer vacation in staterun schools till June 26 citing extreme heat. However, weather forecasts predict that the monsoons are likely to hit the state in the next couple of days. Such prolonged breaks from school will upset the academic calendar and can be detrimental to students. The two years of the pandemic have already led to school dropouts and an aversion to institutional learning among students. These are worrying signs for the quality of education in the country. The government must review its order.
Arun Kumar Baksi
Sir — The Archie comics, with their teenage drama offset by humour, were like sitcoms before the first sitcoms started airing. Their biggest strength was not their silly protagonist, but the quirky, goofy, and relatable supporting cast. To read Archie now feels like opening up an old yearbook, or attending a school reunion — a mixture of nostalgia for the capers of the past and relief from the maturity of the present. Sunidhi Singh, New Delhi
Sir — New findings from regional climate model studies conducted on the Ganga predict a rise in water temperature. This will lead to the proliferation of invasive species of fish like the common carp, the Nile tilapia and the African catfish. India’s National Biodiversity Authority lists these as great threats to the country’s freshwater biodiversity. This cannot be good news for the fish-loving Bengali.