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regular-article-logo Wednesday, 17 April 2024

Letters to the Editor: Study shows men outspend women when it comes to online shopping

Readers write in from Calcutta, Nadia, Jamshedpur and East Burdwan

The Editorial Board Published 27.02.24, 06:41 AM
Representational image.

Representational image. Sourced by the Telegraph

Myths busted

Sir — Shopping, it is believed, is a women’s thing. Such stereotyping has been reinforced by the portrayal of female shopaholics in popular culture and in the media. However, a recent study conducted by the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad has turned this age-old myth on its head — it found that Indian men outspend women on online shopping by a whopping 36%. Furthermore, men are likely to spend more on fashion than on gadgets and utilities. It must be noted that in most Indian households, women usually buy clothes for their male family members. That men are increasingly taking the initiative to do their own work is indeed reassuring.

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Subhranjali Das, Calcutta

Power tussle

Sir — Ramachandra Guha deserves plaudits for calling a spade a spade in “Undesirable strain” (Feb 24). The intensifying hostilities between the Narendra Modi-led dispensation at the Centre and the governments led by Opposition parties in states such as Kerala, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Punjab and Karnataka make a mockery of the principles of federalism and democracy that are enshrined in the Constitution. The Modi regime has been depriving these states of their rightful financial dues and unleashing investigative agencies against the state administrations.

The saffron party’s harping on ‘double-engine sarkar’ in every assembly election serves as a subtle warning to the electorate that the state will receive the short end of the stick unless the Bharatiya Janata Party is at the helm of the governments in the state and at the Centre.

Kajal Chatterjee, Calcutta

Hollow words

Sir — Abhishek Banerjee, the national general-secretary of Trinamul Congress, asserted that his party was not protecting Sheikh Shahjahan, who has been accused of land-grabbing and sexual misconduct by the villagers of Sandeshkhali (“TMC brigade bugle to counter Sandeshkhali”, Feb 26). His statement is at odds with the ground reality. The revelations against Shahjahan deserve immediate government action.

Strongmen like Shahjahan are emboldened to commit atrocities because of the prejudicial system. The Calcutta High Court has thus rightly reprimanded the state government for failing to arrest Shahjahan who has been on the run since January 5.

S.S. Paul, Nadia

Sir — Questions are being raised about how Sheikh Shahjahan could accumulate a fortune and commit malpractices without the tacit blessing of the ruling dispensation. Vast tracts of agricultural land have been forcibly converted to bheris for pisciculture on the alleged orders of Shahjahan. The Mamata Banerjee-led administration faces a herculean task of absolving itself of Shahjahan’s crimes as well as returning normalcy to the state.

Murtaza Ahmad, Calcutta

Sir — Were it not for the whistleblowing by Kaushik Bhattacharya, a former block development officer of Sandeshkhali, Sheikh Shahjahan’s misdeeds would not have come to light (“Absconding Shah of Sarberia”, Feb 24). Protests demanding Shahjahan’s arrest have been raging for the past few days. However, no concrete step has yet been taken by the state government in this regard.

The Mamata Banerjee-led administration rode to power in the state on the back of the Singur-Nandigram movement. It is thus ironic to see the dispensation being tolerant towards Shahjahan’s crimes (“Sharks on land”, Feb 23).

Chandan Sinha, Calcutta

New plan

Sir — In a landmark move, the Central Board of Secondary Education announced its decision to deliberate on open book examinations for Classes IX to XII. This is welcome. Such an initiative will likely usher in new learning methodologies for students to ace exams without much trepidation. However, the move could create unforeseen hurdles in the learning system in the future. Rote learning, a much-abhorred method of knowledge acquisition, indicates the application of good memory by a student and should not be completely discouraged.

Further, the introduction of OBE will make the role of invigilators inconsequential. But the biggest challenge will be to provide adequate infrastructure to every school and to ensure that each student has access to the requisite study material as and when needed.

Iftekhar Ahmed, Calcutta

In a bind

Sir — The controversy surrounding the recent ruling of the Republican-controlled Alabama Supreme Court — it stated that frozen embryos should be considered children — is significant. The conservative ruling immediately prompted some medical facilities to suspend in vitro fertilisation treatments and put the Republican election campaign on the back foot with women voters.

While Republican leaders, including Donald Trump, who is the frontrunner in the presidential nomination race, have been scrambling to mitigate the negative fallout from the ruling, the Democrats are seeing this as an opportunity to step up attacks on their opponents for their anti-abortion stance. It seems that the issue is going to emerge as a major plank in the upcoming elections.

Jang Bahadur Singh, Jamshedpur

Magical creation

Sir — The recent calendar launch marking the golden jubilee of Satyajit Ray’s iconic film, Sonar Kella, was a commendable endeavour. The film has become part of Bengali culture and identity. The unforgettable characterisations of Feluda, Topshe and Lalmohanbabu, the engrossing plot, and the scintillating cinematography created magic on celluloid.

Tushar Kanti Das, East Burdwan

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