Sir — Tooting one’s own horn has become a trend of sorts with the proliferation of OTT platforms. More and more people now have the opportunity to create content that is propaganda and label it ‘docu-series’. The Prince Harry and Meghan Markle documentary was a prime example of this. The latest addition to this ‘docu-series’ bandwagon is The Romantics, produced by Yash Raj Films Entertainment. The overwhelming takeaway from the series was that it was used as a vehicle to deliberate on the genius of YRF. Such OTT shows call themselves documentaries but resemble ad campaigns instead.
Roshni Sen, Calcutta
It is a sign
Sir — In a big blow to the Uddhav Thackeray-led faction of the Shiv Sena, the Election Commission has awarded the disputed party symbol and name to the group led by Eknath Shinde (“EC gives Shinde Sena’s name and symbol”, Feb 18). Thackeray has said that this decision amounts to a murder of democracy. But the EC’s order is not surprising as Shinde’s faction has already been recognised in the assembly.
Thackeray has his task cut out for him if he is to remain a political force to reckon with in Maharashtra. The price that he paid for distancing himself from the Sena’s old ally, the Bharatiya Janata Party, has been great.
N. Sadhasiva Reddy, Bengaluru
Sir — The chief architect of the Maha Vikas Aghadi and Nationalist Congress Party founder, Sharad Pawar, feels that the loss of the traditional Shiv Sena symbol will not affect Uddhav Thackeray. Pawar recalled that when the former prime minister, Indira Gandhi, lost the Congress’s symbol, people had accepted her new symbol. Only time will tell which faction people support.
Bhagwan Thadani, Mumbai
On the boil
Sir — Karnataka seems to be on the boil before the upcoming assembly elections in the state. A Bharatiya Janata Party minister has issued a call to “finish off” the leader of the Opposition, P.C. Siddaramaiah, like the 17th-century ruler, Tipu Sultan (“BJP leader: Finish off Sidda like Tipu”, Feb 18). Tipu’s vilification must stop. Like most rulers of his time, Tipu had two faces — one of boundless benevolence and the other of excessive ruthlessness. In Karnataka, both the Congress and the BJP have used Tipu to attack each other, especially during the elections to polarise voters.
S.S. Paul, Nadia
Sir — Nalin Kumar Kateel, the Karnataka BJP chief who is notorious for making contentious statements, has urged people to execute any fervent supporters of Tipu Sultan. This is no different from Muslim clerics issuing illogical fatwas. Such behaviour cannot be accepted.
S.A.K. Sinha, GayaSpeak freely
Sir — The breach of privilege motion notice issued against the Congress leader, Rahul Gandhi, for his speech alleging links between the chairman of the Adani Group and the prime minister is undemocratic. As a member of Parliament, Rahul has every right to hold the executive accountable. The growing intolerance towards dissenting views does not augur well for the country’s standing as a vibrant democracy.
M. Jeyaram, Sholavandan, Tamil Nadu
Sir — The Government of India has shown the importance of fast reflexes by speedily delivering aid to Turkey and Syria. But the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria have done us a great favour by waking us from our sleep before the fault lines wake from theirs. The earthquakes have reminded us of the real and imminent danger that lurks beneath our feet.
The Indian Plate and the Eurasian Plate, which sculpted the Himalayas by colliding, have a razor’s edge right along the great Himalayan arc, stretching from Kashmir to the Northeast. This zone is a disaster waiting to happen. If the government does not take steps immediately, the first thing to come crashing will be the Central Vista.
Jharna Sen, Calcutta
Sir — Cancer treatment has become extremely costly. The prices of life-saving medicines have skyrocketed beyond the reach of the common man. The average cost of cancer treatment in India stands roughly at Rs 5,00,000. A single dose of chemotherapy or radiotherapy can sometimes cost one lakh rupees and most patients need a minimum of six doses.
Once diagnosed, patients and their families have to use everything at their disposal for their treatment. The government must take steps to make medicines affordable to common people. At the very least, price caps should be put in place.
Anem Shravya, Hooghly
Sir — A teenager in Delhi apparently committed heinous crimes after taking inspiration from a Bollywood character. This is alarming. The Central Board of Film Certification should censor content that can lead the youth astray.
Muzakkir Khan, Mumbai