Sir — Multitasking has become par for the course in the 21st century. Worryingly, the more people multitask, the more work they take on, adding to their burden. But juggling several things at once has its downsides. Multitasking kills creativity and makes us more prone to errors. A neuroscience professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology recently found out that the human brain is not wired to multitask. Yet, multitasking became a way of life during the pandemic-induced lockdown with people balancing remote work and household chores, leading to increased cases of burnout. However, women have multitasked since before the pandemic. The wiring of their brains notwithstanding, years of practise have made them experts at this sort of juggling.
Dhruv Khanna, Mumbai
Stone of contention
Sir — Parts of the British media have claimed that India may soon begin a diplomatic mission to bring back the Koh-i-Noor diamond and hundreds of other treasures that were looted during the raj (“Campaign to reclaim Koh-i-Noor”, May 14). Although official sources have since denied this as a rumour, the plan to retrieve such artefacts was a heartening one. The Koh-i-Noor has remained a bone of contention between Britain and India. Its controversial past was the reason it was not exhibited at the coronation of King Charles III.
The Koh-i-Noor is a symbol of the British plunder of the subcontinent. Repatriation of the famed jewel and other artefacts is a mission that must be actively pursued by the Indian government.
Bhagwan Thadani, Mumbai
Sir — If the Narendra Modi government at the Centre is indeed going to launch a campaign to repatriate the Koh-i-Noor diamond, it will be the height of irony. The Koh-i-Noor’s lineage is inextricably linked to the Mughal empire. Claiming it to be ‘Indian’ after ordering the deletion of chapters on the Mughals from the history curriculum is thus steeped in irony.
Srestha Sarkar, Pune
Sir — In “Unintelligent design” (May 12), G.N. Devy highlighted how the Bharatiya Janata Party has been rewriting the past to suit its Hindutva agenda. The removal of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution from the science textbooks of Classes IX and X by the National Council of Educational Research and Training is an example of this. Distorting well-established scientific truths will have detrimental consequences on the education system. Imposing political beliefs on the curriculum can hinder the growth of the nation. It must be avoided.
Ranganathan Sivakumar, Chennai
Stop the bloodshed
Sir — The United States of America has a long and tragic history of gun violence. The recent mass shooting at a mall in Texas which led to the death of nine people, including an Indian woman, should serve as a wake-up call for the US Congress, which has been divided on taking decisive action to prevent such incidents. According to reports by the Gun Violence Archive, mass shootings are on the rise with 200 cases recorded across the country this year alone.
Multi-faceted measures, such as stringent gun control laws and implementing background checks for all gun purchasers, are needed to address this issue. The government must also ensure affordable and effective mental healthcare services to those in need.
Bishal Kumar Saha, Murshidabad
Miles to go
Sir — The Himanta Biswa Sarma-led Bharatiya Janata Party government in Assam celebrated two years in office last week with much pomp and fanfare. However, the slew of promises that the party had made before coming to power remains largely unfulfilled.
Apart from increasing the number of beneficiaries of welfare schemes, the government has not been able to solve the unemployment problem. Syndicate raj still remains an issue that plagues the state. Sarma’s claim that the state has made progress under the saffron regime is belied by these shortcomings.
A.K. Chakraborty, Guwahati
Sir — It is disheartening that the kin of the freedom fighter, Sukhdev Thapar, have been struggling to get a direct access route sanctioned to the martyr’s ancestral home. The beautification of the building in the Naughara Mohalla area in Ludhiana which began a year ago has not yet been completed. Owing to the lack of direct connectivity, visitors often face difficulties reaching the place. The nation owes more to the freedom fighter.
Brij Bhushan Goyal, Ludhiana
Root it out
Sir — The CalcuttaMunicipal Corporation has notified that junior-level engineers of the building department will be held responsible if an illegal building is erected within areas of their supervision (“Illegal buildings”, May 14). This is laudable. Junior officials often hesitate to act against influential real estate tycoons. There is also an alleged nexus between property developers and law enforcement. The CMC should thus monitor the issue closely. The demolition of unauthorised buildings can be a step forward.
Khokan Das, Calcutta
Sir — The Hooghly district administration has installed a plaque at the Sukharia zamindar palace in Somra Bazar, where the film-maker, Mrinal Sen, stayed for two months to shoot his classic, Akaler Sandhane (“Mrinal Sen film location revisited”, May 15). This is a fitting tribute to the legendary film-maker.
Sourish Misra, Calcutta