Letters to the Editor: Marie Kondo gives up on being tidy
Take it easy
Sir — Marie Kondo, the master organiser who prompted people across the world to purge their homes of possessions from books and clothes to knick-knacks, has apparently given up on being tidy after she had children. This has sparked a strange sense of schadenfreude among people who tried and failed to keep a clutter-free home after Kondo arrived on the scene. Of course, there are benefits to a good clear-out. In fact, there is evidence to show that decluttering can destress us. But Kondo’s extreme approach to decluttered living had the opposite impact — it caused stress levels to rise at being unable to live in homes that are always Instagram-ready.
Tanya Adhikari, Calcutta
Sir — The government’s apathetic attitude towards appointing judges recommended by the Supreme Court collegium is worrying (“SC gives govt 10 days on judge backlog”, Feb 4). Adverse remarks about the collegium system by the vice-president, Jagdeep Dhankhar, and the law minister, Kiren Rijiju, not to mention the prime minister’s silence on the matter, do not bode well for relations between the judiciary and the executive. The latest warning by the court that unpalatable orders would be passed unless the files are cleared soon indicates the frustrations of the overburdened judiciary. One hopes the government will heed the warning.
K. Nehru Patnaik, Visakhapatnam
Sir — It is heartening that West Bengal has received the highest budgetary allocation — Rs 11,970 crore — for its railway network in this year’s budget (“Railway budget allocations for Bengal”, Feb 4). The railway authorities have decided that by the end of 2023, pollution-free trains that are powered by hydrogen would be run in Bengal’s heritage circuit in Darjeeling.
However, in order to develop the railway network in Bengal, the state government’s support for land acquisition, law and order, and other necessary permissions is needed. With general elections looming on the horizon, both the Central and the state governments should work together to achieve this target.
Khokan Das, Calcutta
Sir — Cutting down on air travel is key to minimising our carbon footprint. The current budgetary allocation for the railways should help improve its services and its connectivity, not to mention reduce ticket prices and provide more employment, making trains the preferred mode of transport for people across the country.
Swati Pandey, Ujjain
Sir — The scientists and academics who have decried the Centre’s ban on the transmission of the BBC documentary on the prime minister, Narendra Modi, on social media are absolutely right (“Scientists decry block”, Feb 4). This has further led to respective authorities preventing the screening of the documentary in colleges and universities. While the Central government has the right to call the documentary one-sided, in a democracy there can be no bar on screenings.
Ashok Kumar Ghosh, Calcutta
Sir — The Chinese balloon that was spotted in the sky over the United States of America has now been shot down in a missile strike. The US president, Joe Biden, called this a breach of security of the American airspace. China’s underhanded tactics are cause for concern. For instance, Chinese vessels often cross into international waters to keep an eye on the enemy. India, too, has faced similar incidents of spying.
Stringent action must be taken against China in international fora to ensure global peace.
Kirti Wadhawan, Kanpur
Sir — Beijing has claimed that the balloon which had been floating over the US was a weather observation airship that had been blown off course. This drew derision from the Pentagon. If it was indeed a spy balloon, it raises questions about decision-making in Beijing. It was quite predictable that the balloon would be spotted, tracked and potentially shot down, and that all this would happen in the run-up to the Beijing visit of the US secretary of state, Anthony Blinken. That visit had been welcomed by Xi Jinping, who intended to meet America’s top diplomat. The talks were meant to address a series of potentially serious flashpoints between the two superpowers, most importantly the future of Taiwan.
Either this was a case of the left hand not knowing what the right was doing, or it was possibly a deliberate attempt to sabotage any soothing of tension that the Blinken trip might have achieved.
Bhagwan Thadani, Mumbai
Sir — It is encouraging to learn that over 1.17 lakh migratory birds have flocked to the Pong Dam Wildlife Sanctuary situated in the Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh this winter (“Migratory birds”, Feb 3). According to the report, this number is more than the last time. This increase in number is welcome.
Sourish Misra, Calcutta