regular-article-logo Monday, 15 July 2024

Letters to the editor: Santa Claus sounds too good to be true even for a child

Readers write in from Calcutta, Punjab, Maharashtra, South 24 Parganas, Hooghly, Nadia, Visakhapatnam, and Secunderabad

The Editorial Board Published 28.12.23, 10:32 AM
Representational image

Representational image File picture

Childlike wonder

Sir — Childhood is often characterised by unshakeable beliefs in wondrous phenomena — the belief in Santa Claus is one example. A recent study conducted by psychologists at the University of Texas found that the average age by which children begin to question Santa’s existence is eight. However, this incredulity comes later in households where parents strongly promote the idea of Father Christmas to preserve their children’s ‘innocence’. While there is no prescribed age to have a chat about Santa’s existence, parents should always encourage children to think critically and ask probing questions — after all, a man who traverses the entire world in a single night and knows exactly what to gift one wants sounds too good to be true, even for a child.


Ashmita Sarkar, Calcutta

Ruthless move

Sir — If the vice-president, Jagdeep Dhankhar, had an iota of self-respect, he would have resigned in protest against the criticism and the mimicry he has been subjected to by the Opposition (“Dhankhar agent of autocracy, says Kharge”, Dec 26). But it is unlikely that he will as he uses his august office to promote a political agenda.

The leader of the Oppo­sition, Mallikarjun Kharge, had made a simple demand before the presiding officers of both Houses: that the Union home minister, Amit Shah, make a statement on the Parliament security breach in the House. It is astounding that Dhankhar was unable to prevail on Shah to speak on the issue inside Parliament. Clearly, senior office-bearers in the ‘mother of democracy’ have no accountability.

P.K. Sharma, Barnala, Punjab

Sir — A total of 146 members of Parliament were suspended from the two Houses recently. Such large-scale suspensions are unfair. It is the Opposition’s prerogative to question the government. Jagdeep Dhankhar’s expulsion of so many Opposition leaders reeked of autocracy. Voters should now use the power of the ballot to help keep democracy alive.

Sudhir Kangutkar, Thane, Maharashtra

Crude fun

Sir — In the article, “The spoof masters” (Dec 26), Ruchir Joshi has narrated his childhood experiences of people in his social circle mimicking eminent personalities.
But mimicry ought to be free of spite. In fact, cartoons can also be called a form
of mimicry. It is thus worth noting that sketches by artists like R.K. Laxman, Kutty and Chandi Lahiri portrayed real-life situations without being malicious towards any of the people they were caricaturing.

Sanjit Ghatak, South 24 Parganas

Sir — Ruchir Joshi rightly rued the crude mimicry often practised in India. He has cited examples of people imitating movie stars and singers. But these instances were not weaponised politically. Narendra Modi and other members of his party put mockery to effective use to win elections.

Jayanta Datta, Hooghly

Powerful platform

Sir — The Bollywood movie, Bajrangi Bhaijaan, had depicted the power of social media. In the film, a girl who had got lost in India was returned to her family in Pakistan with the help of a viral YouTube video uploaded by a Pakistani reporter. Sevanti Ninan has rightly highlighted the ubiquitousness of YouTube in her article, “Brave new world” (Dec 25). As a travel vlogger, I find YouTube to be immensely useful — much-needed information about the condition of roads, means of transport, climatic conditions and hotels can be obtained from videos uploaded by travel vloggers.

Alok Ganguly, Nadia

Sir — While the new broadcasting services (regulation) bill — purportedly brought in to replace the Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act — will bring over-the-top media platforms under its purview, the extent of the interventions in the new law is still unclear. In her article, Sevanti Ninan highlighted an important point: 67 areas in this draft bill remain undecided.

Ninan also laments the growing practice among television news anchors to quit their jobs and open YouTube channels. While it is undeniable that YouTube can help supplement rural livelihoods, the article has also highlighted concerns raised by critics about the restrictions that the new bill will place on digital media. Only time will tell how the new regulation affects viewers’ freedoms.

Sukhendu Bhattacharjee, Hooghly

Work left

Sir — The Supreme Court should not bask in the glory of having disposed of a re­cord high of 52,191 cases this year (“SC disposed of ‘unprecedented’ 52,191 cases”, Dec 23). It is yet to give its final verdict in cases such as the one regarding electoral bonds, a case which has directly affected democracy in India and allowed crony capitalists to funnel funds into the coffers of political parties. Members of Parliament from the Opposition who have so much as questioned these dubious sources of funding — the Congress leader, Rahul Gandhi, for instance, or the Trinamul Congress leader, Mahua Moitra — have been attacked and even suspended from the House. The Supreme Court’s achievement has thus been dimmed.

Radheshyam Sharma, Calcutta

Team effort

Sir — The Indian women’s cricket team deserves to be lauded for recording its maiden Test win against Australia on home ground. This was the women’s first ‘home season’ of Test cricket in 28 years. The players excelled both with the bat and the ball.

K. Nehru Patnaik, Visakhapatnam

Sir — India’s emphatic Test win against Australia was a well-orchestrated team effort. The team did well against England recently too.

P.V. Srinivas Sreelekha, Secunderabad

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