Sir — A woman named Rocker Brocarde married Edwardo, the spirit of a Victorian soldier, last year and their marriage ceremony was reportedly attended by Marilyn Monroe, Henry VIII and Elvis Presley. But things seem to have gone south for this unusual couple, and Brocarde is having a hard time getting a divorce. A human spouse might drag one through tedious court proceedings but it turns out that ghosts can simply refuse to accept a breakup. Perhaps Brocarde did not know how unyielding Victorian men were regarding divorces; adultery was the only ground for divorce. Unfortunately, even death cannot do Brocarde and Edwardo apart.
Sir — The United States of America is rapidly being edged out by Russia as India’s largest trading partner, especially as an oil supplier. This is leading to the emergence of a new geopolitical axis where the dollar will no longer be apriority in international deals.
New Delhi has offered to trade in Indian rupees with countries facing a dollar crunch. Both Russia and China have done this with their respective currencies, initiating a process of ‘de-dollarisation’ of the world economy. The Reserve Bank of India’s attempts to strengthen the Indian economy, increase the share of the rupee in world trade and give the Indian currency an international status will definitely make the US sit up and take notice.
Rakesh Phan,New Delhi
Sir — In the 2019 general elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s vote share was 37.36%, implying that around 60% of Indians who voted were against it. But this section of voters remains unorganised. Only a reliable and united Opposition can bring them together in the interests of democracy. But this would need several parties that are opposed to each other at the local level to work together and let one national party take the lead. Leaders who are strong at the local level should rise above individual identity politics and function as stalwarts of democracy.
Sir — The decision of the National Council of Educational Research and Training to remove chapters on the Mughals and portions on M.K. Gandhi will impede a layered understanding of India’s history (“Deep cuts”, April 10). The sweeping changes in textbooks of various social science subjects have resulted in the distortion of facts owing to the biases of the ruling party at the Centre. While it is true that syllabi need to be periodically updated, this should be to incorporate new facts and not just to remove old ones. The NCERT’s alteration of Indian history seems to be aimed at ideologically brainwashing students.
Sir — Although Covid-19 cases are rising sharply, public health centres in Karnataka do not have vaccines to offer booster shots as the Centre has rejected its request for new doses. Reports have surfaced of one Covid death per day in Karnataka in April. The state should procure medicines directly from the manufacturers. Booster shots are urgent for people with comorbidities. The paucity of vaccines can wreak havoc in Karnataka.
Vijaykumar H.K.,Raichur, Karnataka
Sir — Ecocide — any conduct that causes severe damage to the environment — must be prevented by implementing robust laws to address climate change and the ecological crisis. A dedicated International Court for the Environment, as suggested by the editorial, “Walk the green talk” (April 9), should immediately be instituted in order to bring accountability among stakeholders. Strict laws with a clear target can bring about meaningful changes.
Sir — The environment must be saved at both the macro and the micro levels. In this regard, municipalities in and around Calcutta have been doing a terrible job of pruning and clearing trees in the state. The lack of proper scientific research into the methods of pruning has caused these trees to become weak and unbalanced. Unprofessional cutting and shallow pits on the stemscan cause trees to toppleover and crash on public property. Proper planning and expertise should gointo these pruning drivesundertaken by the municipalities in order to prevent such accidents as well as take better care of the environment.
Sir — Aniruddha Sen’s mouth-watering article,“The Lost Sweetness of Bengal” (April 9), will resonate with every sweet-toothed reader. The article details a number of sweet dishes that were abundant in Bengal before the Partition. Natore in Bangladesh, for example, was famous for its kancha golla. Mollar chak er doi, which was mandatory in weddings even until the 1970s, has now been replaced by ice-creams and frozen desserts. Sen also mentions ichamuda, which was sold by hawkers in the Dalhousie area and was popular among office-goers back then.
Sadly, whatever remains of Bengali sweet dishes, a cultural heritage of the state, will perhaps go out of fashion as lifestyle diseases like diabetes impose restrictions on the Indian diet. Gone are the days of those brave gustatory soldiers who could single-handedly devour dozens of rosogollas during family ceremonies.