Sir — Sleep is no longer just about rest and rejuvenation (“Eyes wide open”, May 17). With technology infiltrating sleep, it has transformed into a lucrative business opportunity. There is now technology to track, analyse and optimise sleep. But research says that the constant monitoring of sleeping patterns in order to perfect them is adding to the existing anxieties around sleep and leading to greater self-diagnosis of sleep disorders. The pursuit of ‘ideal sleep’ based on data from trackers has even been named as a condition of its own — orthosomnia. As our awareness of sleep issues grows, so do the business prospects of sleep tech, which, in turn, will fuel more sleepless nights. The best way to break this vicious cycle is to not lose sleep over sleeplessness.
Surender Mehta, New Delhi
Sir — It is unfortunate that a historic occasion like the inauguration of the new Parliament building has been embroiled in petty controversy (“Cong says PM reducing presidency to tokenism”, May 23). Under Article 79 of the Constitution, the Union Parliament consists of both the president and the two Houses of legislature. If the inauguration is performed by the prime minister alone, it would be a serious breach of constitutional protocol. The Opposition parties are justified in accusing the government of reducing the stature of the president’s office. It is not too late for the prime minister to extend an invitation to the president — that would only affirm his image as a leader open to suggestions.
S.K. Choudhury, Bengaluru
Sir — It will be indecorous if the inauguration of the new Parliament building is performed by the prime minister, Narendra Modi, instead of the president, Droupadi Murmu. An astute politician like Modi should have been able to gauge what the public sentiment would be in this situation.
K. Nehru Patnaik, Visakhapatnam
Sir — The inauguration of the new Parliament building will be a significant moment in independent India’s history. It is thus disheartening that the president, Droupadi Murmu, has not been invited to grace the occasion. As the official head of State, she represents every citizen, and a building dedicated to the people’s representatives should be inaugurated by her.
Hassan Khan, Mumbai
Sir — It was hypocritical of the prime minister, Narendra Modi, to pay obeisance to a statue of Mahatma Gandhi in Hiroshima, while remaining silent on violent acts committed by religious fundamentalists in India (“Old icon”, May 23). Shockingly, Hindutva icons like V.D. Savarkar seem to be glorified by the Bharatiya Janata Party in today’s India, while Gandhi’s ideals of non-violence and religious harmony have been forgotten. The BJP member of Parliament, Pragya Singh Thakur, had even referred to Gandhi’s assassin, Nathuram Godse, as a patriot. Saffron groups seem to be intent on tearing the country’s secular fabric into shreds, completely decimating the Mahatma’s legacy.
S.S. Paul, Nadia
Sir — Can it be proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that V.D. Savarkar was opposed to the idea of a secular India? Did he have no contribution in India’s freedom struggle? Opinions may differ, but secularism cannot be selective. Celebrating the contributions of Savarkar does not automatically translate into hostility towards Islam.
Aranya Sanyal, Siliguri
Line in the sand
Sir — The Congress is justified in attacking the Union government for ceding ground along the Line of Actual Control to China (“Congress to Modi: Stand up to China”, May 23). The Centre has remained in denial about regular incursions by Chinese soldiers, especially in Ladakh, as is evident from its official statements after the June 2020 clashes in the Galwan Valley. China has been trying to bring greater stretches of land along the LAC under its control on the pretext of maintaining buffer zones. The Narendra Modi-led government should immediately look to nullify such claims diplomatically, because India can ill afford a full-blown war with China.
Hemanta Sasmal, Howrah
Sir — The Grand Old Party has rightly blamed the Union government for failing to restore the status quo in Ladakh in the last few years. This is in spite of the fact that the prime minister had claimed after the clashes in June 2020 that no foreign forces had entered Indian territory. The very fact that China’s much-touted Belt and Road Initiative passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir makes it evident that Beijing has no respect for India’s territorial integrity. Khokan Das, Calcutta Clean up Sir — It is demoralising to see the pitiful condition of the Gariahat market complex. The premises of the market are filthy and the walls are covered with stains of paan. The general lack of cleanliness also contributes to the spread of vector-borne diseases. The municipal authorities should conduct a cleanliness drive there immediately and make arrangements to spruce it up.
Madhuri Bose, Calcutta
Sir — Dishearteningly, the safety and welfare of passengers were jeopardised after the Vande Bharat Express travelling from Puri to Howrah met with an accident due to a thunderstorm. The passengers were deprived of access to clean washrooms and had to sit in the dark for hours while a diesel engine was brought in to rescue the high-tech train. Numerous such incidents involving the train bring to question its structural integrity.
M.N. Gupta, Hooghly