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Letters to the Editor: Spotlight on photographer Arne Piepke’s project named ‘Based on True Events’

Readers write in from Noida, Kanpur, Howrah, Ujjain, Tamil Nadu, Calcutta and Visakhapatnam

The Editorial Board Published 10.10.23, 05:07 AM
While the attempt to challenge the reception of war histories is always welcome, the lacing of reality with fiction does not seem to do justice to the photographic truth.

While the attempt to challenge the reception of war histories is always welcome, the lacing of reality with fiction does not seem to do justice to the photographic truth. Sourced by the Telegraph

In conflict

Sir — Images and stories of war have long captivated the world. From paintings to photographs, literary fiction to cinematic reimaginations, such representations of conflict in media are a dime a dozen. The photographer, Arne Piepke, in his project, Based on True Events, utilises this public fascination with warfare to question the conventional understanding of wars by documenting the reenactments
of battles, such as the Napoleonic wars, the American Civil War and the two World Wars, for public as well as private audiences. While the attempt to challenge the reception of war histories is always welcome, the lacing of reality with fiction does not seem to do justice to the photographic truth.


Debopam Majhi, Noida

Vicious cycle

Sir — The decades-long conflict between Israel and Palestine has touched a new low. Responding to the surprise barrage of rockets by Hamas, a Palestinian militant outfit, Israel launched Operation Iron Swords against Hamas targets in Gaza (“900 dead, horror flames across Israel”, Oct 9). Significantly, the Hamas assault seems to have been inspired by the military ambush operations that Israel has been carrying out in the West Bank for years. Hamas has emerged as the singular face of the Palestinian cause in light of the recent flare-up. The escalation also comes at a time when Israel’s domestic politics has been fraught with challenges.

Most of the global community, including the West and India, has supported Israel. But these countries should also ensure that the war over religion ends as soon as possible.

Dimple Wadhawan, Kanpur

Sir — The ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine is a matter of grave concern. While the immediate priority should be to ensure the safety of all civilians, both sides must focus on finding a comprehensive peace plan for this never-ending cycle of violence that has resulted in the loss of millions of lives over the decades.

Maimul Safui, Howrah

Sir — At a time when Russia and Ukraine have been engaged in a conflict, the world could do without another war. The surprise attack on the Gaza Strip by Palestinian militants has reopened old wounds on both sides of the border. This will not only make international cooperation difficult to achieve but also destabilise West Asia and the global order. The United Nations should rise above its partisan attitude and condemn the counter-attacks by Israel. The global peacekeeping body needs to declare an immediate ceasefire on the ground to prevent any escalation hereon.

Vikramaditya Panwar, Ujjain

Sir — The ramifications of the Russia-Ukraine war are being felt around the globe. Amidst this, Hamas has launched rockets on Israel, plunging West Asia into chaos. With the Benjamin Netanyahu-led government resorting to a counter-offensive and vowing to put an end to the militant organisation, the crisis is bound to aggravate further in all likelihood (“Bibi pushes menacing war button on Hamas blitz”, Oct 8).

While Hamas is no match for Israel’s sophisticated military infrastructure
and weaponry, the scale and the machinations of Saturday’s attack have stunned Tel Aviv. The only solution to this long-standing crisis seems to be the creation of an independent Palestinian State.

M. Jeyaram, Sholavandan, Tamil Nadu

Uneven recognition

Sir — Jon Fosse being awarded the 2023 Nobel Prize in Literature does not come as a surprise (“Norwegian master wins literature Nobel”, Oct 6). Fosse’s name has been discussed as a potential winner in the past but he has never emerged as the top contender for the prize even though his works have been lauded the world over.

Significantly, among the 116 Nobel laureates in Literature so far, 95 are Europeans or Americans. Only 16 women have won it thus far. The prestigious honour has eluded writers of diverse nationalities. While proportional representation in literary awards is indeed difficult to maintain, such honours should not also invite persistent concerns about fairness and commitment to the best standards.

Shovanlal Chakraborty, Calcutta

Bad precedent

Sir — Binoy Viswam’s article, “A hollow claim” (Oct 8), rightly pointed out that “it may take 10, 20 or even 30 years” to implement the women’s reservation bill. Two riders — population census and delimitation of the parliamentary seats — have been attached to the implementation of the bill. However, this seems to be a job cut out for the next elected government. The bill thus sets a dangerous precedent for the legislative system. This will embolden the governments to introduce similar bills without guaranteeing their immediate implementation.

Sujit De, Calcutta

Just criticism

Sir — The Supreme Court’s reprimand of the Enforcement Directorate’s cavalier style of functioning — arresting alleged financial offenders without following the norms — is heartening (“Pulled up”, Oct 9). In the past, the Central Bureau of Investigation was similarly castigated by the top court for being a ‘caged parrot’. There have been numerous cases where these Central agencies have exercised bias towards their political masters.

The rift between the judiciary and the executive has been worsening. The attempt to remove the Chief Justice of India from the selection panel for the Chief Election Commissioner is an example. The government should take corrective measures to ensure working relations between the two pillars of democracy.

K. Nehru Patnaik, Visakhapatnam

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