No laughing matter
Sir — Historically, several canonical texts and films have misrepresented women as feeble-minded creatures serving a mostly decorative purpose in the plot. Women characters are made to appear fragile and in need of assistance so that the heroes can shine. A recent social media trend, ‘#womenwrittenbymen’, caricatures the unrealistic tropes — glossy hair, melodious laughter and desirable physique, for instance — used by male authors to describe women protagonists. Hearteningly, women are now reclaiming the narrative by using such literary generalisations to poke fun at the misogynist sentiments of famous writers and filmmakers. After all, given the sexism women have to face regularly, there is hardly any reason for laughter, melodious or otherwise.
Pritish Debnath, Jamshedpur
Sir — The Haryana government has done well to deny the Vishwa Hindu Parishad the permission to take out a shobhayatra in order to avoid a recurrence of the violence at Nuh last month. It has acted responsibly by imposing Section 144 in Nuh, tightening security and sealing entry points to the district to prevent riots. India is a multicultural country and religious riots tarnish its image and its credibility as the host of important global summits. The government must prevent communal tension by taking action against mobs that incite religious violence.
G. David Milton, Maruthancode, Tamil Nadu
Sir — The editorial, “Too foggy” (Aug 28), highlights the false hype created around the Rozgar Mela by the Centre. Out of the thousands of job appointments handed out at the events, many were simply promotions gained by people who were already employed. This is a political gimmick to garner votes. It is futile to hope that Narendra Modi will clear the air and admit his government’s mistakes.
K. Nehru Patnaik, Visakhapatnam
Sir — The prime minister is yet to address the problem of unemployment. The promise of creating lakhs of jobs has long been forgotten and the government gets away by merely giving the impression of having done its part to improve the situation. It is humiliating that the Centre has used taxpayers’ money to organise Rozgar Melas to scam the people.
Anthony Henriques, Mumbai
Sir — The Uttar Pradesh Police has booked the journalist and co-founder of Alt News, Mohammed Zubair, for allegedly disclosing the identity of the child who was targeted by his teacher for his religion in Uttar Pradesh (“Shoot messenger, suppress video truth”, Aug 29). Despite there being several clips that were circulated by other media organisations, a first information report under Section 74 of the Juvenile Justice Act was lodged against Zubair. It is clear that Zubair was singled out for his vocal stance against oppression as well as his minority identity.
Md. Imdadullah, Hyderabad
Every drop counts
Sir — The Niti Aayog’s initiative to set a standard definition for ‘water neutrality’ can help identify and reward businesses that focus on water conservation and sustainable water management and encourage others to adopt such practices. Additionally, businesses that consume excessive amounts of water or lack adequate conservation measures can be held accountable. An unbiased assessment of water consumption has the potential of bringing about a positive change in the way businesses approach water management.
Harshit Trivedi, Ujjain
Sir — It is an achievement for India to be able to host the G20 summit with the theme, ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam or One Earth, One Family, One Future’. What also seals India’s importance to the West is the announcement of the strategic relationship between India and Greece. More Western nations will see India as a potential trading partner soon.
Along with this, the recently proposed expansion of the BRICS will also help India enhance its bilateral ties with other countries and emerge as the voice of the Global South. Unlike China, India must not misuse its strategic relations, which need to be developed on the principle of mutual prosperity.
Kirti Wadhawan, Kanpur
Sir — The chief minister of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee, has increased the funds allotted to each local club for celebrating Durga Puja to Rs 70,000. This does not include the electricity subsidy. While this might seem extravagant, the economic benefits of the festival are undeniable.
A 2018 study pegged the economic returns of the creative industries associated with the Durga Puja at Rs 32,377 crores. The state government’s financial aid would provide jobs for around two lakh artists. The public, too, will not be pressured by the clubs into doling out hefty donations. Moreover, with several factories and offices closed during the Puja, an electricity subsidy can easily be provided to the Puja committees.
Although these resources would have been better spent on health or education, the state government’s decision to invest in the Durga Puja is not without reason.
D. Bhattacharyya, Calcutta
Sir — The Indian president, Droupadi Murmu, recently released a special coin of
Rs 100 denomination to commemorate the birth centenary of the late Telugu actor and former chief minister of Andhra Pradesh, N.T. Rama Rao. His admirers will surely be touched by the gesture and will collect the coin featuring Rao.
Rahul Das, Hooghly