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Letters to the Editor: Road to self-discovery

Readers write in from Calcutta, Jamshedpur, Chennai and Mumbai

The Editorial Board   |   Published 22.01.23, 04:41 AM

Celebrate freedom

Sir — Popular culture is replete with films and books about people finding fulfilment after they quit their jobs and travel the world. One would be forgiven for thinking that this is a modern phenomenon linked to increasing work pressure. But the joy of being relieved of unwanted work is not new. Aulus Vettius Restitutus and Aulus Vettius Conviva, two slaves from Pompeii, built the House of the Vettii — known as Pompeii’s Sistine Chapel, it has been restored and reopened to the public recently — after they were freed. Their journey is much like the trips of self-discovery in modern films and books.


S.S. Chaudhuri, Calcutta

Let the past be

Sir — The BBC documentary, India: The Modi Question, has not only sparked resentment among Indians living abroad but has also run into stiff opposition within the country. The Centre has ordered Twitter and YouTube to take down links to the documentary on the prime minister. The makers of the series claim that according to an unbiased probe by the United Kingdom, the post-Godhra riots exhibited “all the hallmarks of ethnic cleansing” and had the involvement of the police and political leaders. The series also alleges that Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the then prime minister, wanted to hold the Gujarat government under Narendra Modi accountable but failed to do so owing to political pressure. The Supreme Court has exonerated Modi and all charges against him have been dropped. Such accusations, no matter how well-researched their basis, serve no purpose.

Tharcius S. Fernando, Chennai

Play safe

Sir — It is unfortunate that India’s top wrestlers were forced to take to the streets to publicly condemn the Wrestling Federation of India chief and Bharatiya Janata Party member of Parliament, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. The latter has now been asked to step down and the wrestlers have withdrawn their protest. Female athletes have complained about sexual abuse in the past. Recently, a national cycling coach was sacked following charges of sexual harassment. Sport is still a male-dominated sphere in spite of women excelling in it. It is unfortunate that women athletes are forced to compromise with personal boundaries for fear of jeopardising their careers.

Gregory Fernandes, Mumbai

Lights out

Sir — The report of the first ground-based global assessment of the dimming of the sky’s glow at night caused by light pollution is ominous. Even a few decades ago, the Milky Way could be seen in the night sky from many parts of the world. By allowing artificial lights to wash out starry night skies, we are losing out on ways in which nature could inspire future generations. Light pollution alters bird behaviour, affecting biorhythms, daily activity, and reproduction. Urban light pollution is also harming fireflies’ reproduction, putting them at risk of extinction. Long-term exposure to bright, artificial lights can affect our body clock and disrupt sleeping patterns. However, light pollution can be combated. Outdoor lights should shine downwards and not upwards and the amount of light can be regulated with dimmers. We should switch off lights when not in use and use lights of longer wavelengths — red or yellow in colour.

Dyutiman Bhattacharya, Calcutta

Boom to bust

Sir — The boom in the information technology sector was a sham. Google laid off 12,000 workers, Microsoft will sack 10,000 people and Amazon has confirmed the termination of 18,000 employees. Other smaller companies have also let go of staff. One hopes this is a temporary trend and not the start of the worst recession which the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank have warned about.

Jang Bahadur Singh, Jamshedpur

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