Sir — Mughals are perhaps the most abhorred lot with saffron parties in India at the moment. But the Mughals have left invaluable lessons to combat climate change for the current prime minister, who recently highlighted the need for a “behavioural change” to tackle the problem. In Madhya Pradesh, a 400-year-old unique water supply network, kundi bhandara, which was pioneered by the Mughals, is now solving the water crisis in many cities. There are other studies to show that Mughal gardens helped reduce the temperatures of cities at the local level and improved air quality. Perhaps what is really needed now is for the prime minister and his government to change their behaviour towards the Mughals and learn from them.
Sir — The senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader and former chief minister of Karnataka, Jagadish Shettar, has joined the Congress ahead of the May 10 assembly elections in the state (“‘Shocked’ Shettar joins Cong”, April 18). Soon after, he was given a ticket from the Hubli-Dharwad Central constituency, exactly what the BJP had denied him. Before Shettar, the former deputy chief minister, Laxman Savadi, joined the Congress for similar reasons. Shettar is the second strongest Lingayat leader after B.S. Yediyurappa.
People will keenly look out for the BJP’s next move. Will it entice these leaders back with a bribe or will it use Central investigative agencies to arm-twist them? Only time will tell whether Shettar or Savadi improve the Congress’s prospects, especially with the Lingayat community.
Bidyut Kumar Chatterjee,Faridabad
Sir — Jagadish Shettar’s resignation from the BJP is uncalled for. He has been a chief minister, a cabinet minister, the leader of the Opposition, and held several important positions within the party. It is time he gracefully stepped down from leadership roles. His rebellion is an expression of pure greed. Shettar should have realised that he had won from his constituency because of the BJP. If Shettar thinks thathe is the architect of the BJP’s fortunes, he is wrong. People will not be impressed with him defecting to the Congress for a party ticket. He may end up losing the seat anyway.
C.K. Subramaniam,Navi Mumbai
Sir — The editorial, “Just a start” (April 17), laments the inability of Opposition parties to put up a united front. The major deterrent to this is the ego of regional satraps and their desire to occupy the prime ministerial chair. History bears witness to the fact that when such competing ambitions are at play, unity is unlikely to be had.
Sir — It is no secret that if the Opposition is to stand a chance against the Bharatiya Janata Party in the 2024 general elections, the Congress cannot be left out of the equation. Neither should the regional players be sidelined. The less fragmented the Opposition, the better its chances of winning. For this to happen, all sides will have to shed their egos and be realistic about the situation at hand.
Sir — At least 15 people died and scores were injured at a government-sponsored event in Navi Mumbai owing to extreme heat. While the VIPs on the covered dais, including the chief minister of Maharashtra, Eknath Shinde, and the Union home minister, Amit Shah, had the privilege of air coolers around them, over one lakh common people at the meeting had absolutely no covering over their heads even as the temperature touched 42 degrees.
It was grossly irresponsible of the Shiv Sena-Bharatiya Janata Party government in the state to not arrange for a shamiana for the meeting and make adequate arrangements for drinking water. Can one imagine the consequences of such an incident for a state government had it happened in a non-BJP state?
See the evil
Sir — It is shocking that as many as 26 people from six villages have lost their lives owing to the consumption of spurious liquor in Bihar (“Hooch claims lives in Bihar”, April 16). Nitish Kumar’s election promise to impose Prohibition was to protect women from the fallouts of alcoholism. But Prohibition has become the reason for a nexus among political leaders, bootleggers and the police, resulting in more than 300 deaths since the law came into force. It has also led to a huge loss of revenue. Prohibition does not seem to be helping anyone in Bihar.
Sir — Just 10 months after the assassination of the former Japanese president, Shinzo Abe, his successor, Fumio Kishida, was attacked with a smoke bomb. These developments are shocking and worrying. They are hampering Japan’s image as a peaceful country. Enhanced security measures need to be put in place immediately along with steps to remove social discontent. Japan also needs to find out if such unrest is being stoked externally or internally.
Sir — Overthinking is not a disease but it is a symptom of disorders like depression, anxiety or other mental ailments. A large number of people suffer from this. When thoughts inhibit one from functioning normally on a daily basis, it cannot be treated lightly. What is worse, overthinking leads to sleep deprivation, which only perpetuates the cycle of overthinking. People thus fritter away their lives brooding privately about their past/future owing to overthinking.