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regular-article-logo Saturday, 18 May 2024

Letters to the Editor: Worry over ‘rain theft’ as Middle East temperatures soar

Readers write in from Calcutta, Faridabad, Dewas, Kazipet and Chennai

The Editorial Board Published 18.04.24, 07:39 AM
Representational image.

Representational image. Sourced by the Telegraph

Cloud wars

Sir — Things are heating up in the Middle East but it has nothing to do with the conflicts involving Israel, Palestine and Iran. As climate change causes temperatures to soar in the Middle East and countries like the United Arab Emirates experiment with cloud seeding to make it rain in the desert — a recent such endeavour led to a flood in Dubai — nations such as Iran are worried about ‘rain theft’. This may sound bizarre. But when upwind areas like Dubai extract rain from clouds, downwind regions like Iran receive less than their share of rainfall. Ironically, Iran too has its own cloud seeding programme. This brewing conflict gives a whole new meaning to the idiom, war clouds are gathering over the horizon.

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Kalpana Mukhopadhyay, Calcutta

Contested plate

Sir — The fact that the nation’s political discourse has fallen abysmally is evident from the attacks by Bharatiya Janata Party leaders on Opposition politicians like Tejashwi Yadav for consuming fish during Navratri (“BJP finds out: All’s fish that comes to Tej’s net”, April 11). Yadav later clari­fied that he had eaten the meal on April 8, a day before Navratri began. But the BJP’s desperation to present a monolithic Hindutva culture is disheartening. Hindus in states like Bengal, Odisha and Assam do not refrain from consuming non-vegetarian food during the month of saawan; many of them have faced difficulties procuring fish recently owing to a nationwide obsession with vegetarian food. It is deplorable that the BJP has weaponised food, clothing and religion for political gains. Such propaganda only perpetuates division.

Bidyut Kumar Chatterjee, Faridabad

Sir — Narendra Modi is not the only politician who likes fishing in muddied waters. He recently took a jibe at an Opposition politician for eating fish during Navratri. Modi’s barb was quickly answered by the chief minister of West Bengal, Mamata Ban­erjee, who warned Bengalis that if the BJP came to power, fish would become more difficult to procure. It remains to be seen if the voters of Bengal will take the bait.

Avinash Godboley, Dewas, Madhya Pradesh

Sir — It is disgraceful that Narendra Modi introduced a Mughal angle while castigating Opposition politicians for consuming non-vegetarian food during saawan. The Congress leader, Rahul Gandhi, and the Rashtriya Janata Dal leader, Tejashwi Yadav, have consistently raised bread-and-butter issues like unemployment and inflation. Instead of discussing these issues, Modi deliberately tried to sow religious discontent. The BJP has failed to deliver on its promises of development and, thus, needs to polarise the electorate to gain votes.

Zakir Hussain, Kazipet, Telangana

Poll promise

Sir — During an election rally in Jammu and Kashmir, the prime minister declared that if the Bharatiya Janata Party comes back to power, statehood will be restored to Jammu and Kashmir. With the Model Code of Con­duct in place, such a promise should not have been made and votes should certainly not have been de­manded on the basis of this. It is surprising that the Opposition did not hi­ghlight the issue and that the Election Commission of In­dia, usually quite proactive in censuring the Opposition, also failed to take any action.

M.N. Gupta, Calcutta

Sir — Statehood should be a foregone conclusion for Jammu and Kashmir, irrespective of which party wins the elections. But Article 370 should not be restored.

Murtaza Ahmad, Calcutta

Still burning

Sir — It will soon be a year since the conflict in Manipur began (“From Manipur, searing questions and a peace plea”, April 16). Marked by harrowing reports of plundering, arson, mass rapes and lynching, it has been one of the deadliest ethnic clashes under the Bharatiya Janata Party’s rule. The prime minister, Narendra Modi, has shrewdly sidestepped this treacherous issue by not speaking about it. Ironically, the Union home minister, Amit Shah, recently visited the state as part of his electoral campaign. Had the Centre shown such dedication towards addressing the crisis, much of the violence could have been avoided.

Aayman Anwar Ali, Calcutta

Stark inequality

Sir — Galib Munna, a resident of Chhattisgarh and a tuberculosis patient, is one among the millions of underfed people in our country (“Viksit Bharat, where they cry for a hospital”, April 16). On the other hand, ‘Viksit Bharat’ today is also home to 271 billionaires. The top 1% of the population earns 22.6% of the national income share and holds more than 40% of the wealth. It is shocking that while the bank loans of the rich are written off, welfare schemes for the poor are derided as freebies.

Sujit De, Calcutta

Lopsided battle

Sir — It is clear that despite its best efforts, the Bharatiya Janata Party could not find a better candidate for the Diamond Harbour constituency than Abhijit Das, who had lost to the Trinamool Congress leader, Abhishek Banerjee, in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections (“BJP’s ‘David’ Das Vs TMC Goliath”, April 17). Voters in Diamond Harbour should have no complaints against Banerjee.

Arun Gupta, Calcutta

Spin master

Sir — Barely six months after the demise of the le­gendary spinner, Bishan Singh Bedi, the world has lost yet another illustrious left-arm spinner, Derek Un­d­erwood (“Deadly Derek, tor­mentor of Gavaskar”, April 16). Underwood was one of the sharpest spinners of his era and highly regarded by his contemporaries. Underwood is the only English spinner to have taken 297 Test wickets in 86 games.

Ranganathan Sivakumar, Chennai

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