Letters to the Editor: The 'cost' of social media
Every penny counts
Sir — Most children are given piggy banks in order to inculcate the habit of saving money early in life. But it is becoming increasingly difficult for youngsters to save money. With the advent of social media, young people are spending a significant portion of their earnings on maintaining a certain lifestyle. This is especially true of millennials: research shows that almost 70 per cent of them do not save regularly. The rising cost of living, poor pay, debt, impulsive consumption and the ease of digital transactions have made it difficult to hold on to wealth. This is dangerous in the uncertain times that we live in. Perhaps the philosophy of the piggy bank can be a way out. Saving a little money whenever possible can guard us against future hardships.
Neel Purkait, Calcutta
Divide and rule
Sir — The Delimitation Commission has submitted its final report on the restructuring of assembly seats in Jammu and Kashmir (“Next step in Operation Jammuisation”, May 6). This will pave the way for the resumption of the electoral process in the region which had been stalled since 2019. The panel has recommended six additional seats for Jammu and just one for Kashmir. As far as the Lok Sabha seats are concerned, it has merged Poonch and Rajouri districts, which were part of Jammu, with Anantnag in Kashmir. These recommendations fit in with the Bharatiya Janata Party’s attempt to force a parity between Muslims (68%) and Hindus (28%). The Commission has done itself a disservice by not taking into consideration the concerns raised by Valley politicians.
S.S. Paul, Nadia
Sir — The editorial, “Risky move” (May 9), highlights the dangerous steps taken by the BJP to alter the electoral map in Jammu and Kashmir. The saffron party is pursuing bigoted politics to convert India into a Hindu nation. In doing so, it is trying to deflect attention from the real issues affecting the people.
Sanjay Agarwal, Calcutta
Sir — It is disheartening that the price of LPG cylinders increased by 100 rupees within just 45 days. Additionally, the price of commercial cooking gas also rose by more than Rs 100. The price hikes have burned a hole in the pockets of consumers, who are already struggling with the rising cost of living. The Central government stopped the direct LPG subsidy in 2020 owing to the fall in global energy prices due to the pandemic. This has burdened people even more. The LPG subsidy scheme must be reintroduced to provide some relief to the common people.
Khokan Das, Calcutta
Sir — Article 21A of the Constitution guarantees free and compulsory education to all children till the age of 14. However, official data show that the number of government schools in the country fell by 51,000 between 2018 and 2019. That is not all. The number of private schools has increased by 11,739 during the same period. This is a dangerous trend. The Central government has been on a privatization spree. Schools must not fall prey to this drive. Handing over education to the private sector would mean that only a section of children will be able to access it while the poor and the underprivileged will be deprived. The authorities must see to it that education remains free and accessible across all classes.
Jang Bahadur Singh, Jamshedpur
Sir — The president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, Sourav Ganguly, recently hosted the Union minister, Amit Shah, and several Bharatiya Janata Party leaders at his home. Soon after, he praised the West Bengal chief minister, Mamata Banerjee — an avowed BJP-critic — at a public event in the city. Ganguly’s balancing act has raised eyebrows (“Sourav menu: Dinner for Shah, sweetener for Didi”, May 8). Shah’s visit to Ganguly’s home has, once again, triggered speculation about the latter joining the BJP. But by maintaining cordial relations with leaders from rival camps, Ganguly seems to have kept his options open.
M.C. Vijay Shankar, Chennai
Sir — The BCCI president’s behaviour has shown how difficult it is to separate cricket and politics in India.
Reshma Hassan, Calcutta
Food for thought
Sir — The chief minister of Tamil Nadu, M.K. Stalin, must be lauded for announcing a free breakfast scheme for primary school students in the state. The decision was taken on the occasion of the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam completing one year in power. Along with the mid-day meal, the breakfast will not only help in overcoming malnourishment — a major hurdle to education among the poor — but also help bring down the drop-out rate. Tamil Nadu has shown the way; other states should follow suit.
G. David Milton, Maruthancode, Tamil Nadu
Sir — It is unfortunate that the biggest lake in Purulia district, known as Saheb Bandh, is in poor condition. The authorities have taken restorative steps from time to time. It is public apathy that is responsible for the deterioration. Saheb Bandh is the only source of clean water at the heart of Purulia. Yet, people can often be seen casually throwing plastic bags and other pollutants into the lake. This spells doom for aquatic flora and fauna. The authorities must take immediate steps to prevent further destruction of the lake.
Debkumar Chakraborty, Purulia
Sir — Civic authorities in Purulia should take lessons from their counterparts in Calcutta. The latter have done a splendid job with the Rabindra Sarobar.
Rima Roy, Calcutta