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regular-article-logo Monday, 15 April 2024

Letters to the Editor: TikTok’s orange peel trend becomes litmus test of a relationship

Readers write in from Calcutta and Chennai

The Editorial Board Published 20.02.24, 06:55 AM
Representational image.

Representational image. Sourced by the Telegraph

Love’s labour

Sir — Be it Shah Jahan erecting the Taj Mahal for Mumtaz or King Edward VIII abdicating the throne of Britain to be with his beloved, history is replete with grand romantic gestures that have come to epitomise the ultimate proof of true love. However, a recent trend that has gone viral on TikTok mandates lovers to peel an orange to pass the litmus test of a relationship. It has been argued that small acts of service like peeling an orange or making coffee or doing the dishes for one’s beloved who might loathe these chores reinforce the individual’s commitment to the relationship. While it is true that little things sustain a lifelong partnership, should women settle for such quotidian tasks, which should be equally shared by men, as a litmus test for love?

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Roopsha Ghosh, Calcutta

Political honour

Sir — In “Eternal verities” (Feb 18), Gopalkrishna Gandhi draws a parallel between the former president, S. Radhakrishnan, and the prime minister, Narendra Modi, in the context of the India-Pakistan relationship. Such a comparison was off-putting. Expecting Modi to steer India towards a peaceful co-existence with Pakistan in his third term is a sign of Gandhi’s excessive optimism since the ground reality indicates that the ties between the two neighbours have been deteriorating.

While Radhakrishnan had espoused peace measures based on “moral force and truth”, the Modi government brazenly exploited the nationalist sentiments after the Pulwama attack to win the 2019 general elections. Further, Radhakrishnan’s conferring the Bharat Ratna posthumously on the former prime minister, Lal Bahadur Shastri, was a tribute to the latter’s inspiring leadership amidst the war with Pakistan. But the Modi government’s bestowment of the highest civilian honour on P.V. Narasimha Rao and M.S. Swaminathan is a bid to garner the crucial southern votes for the upcoming polls.

Kajal Chatterjee, Calcutta

Sir — Even though the agricultural scientist, M.S. Swaminathan, was awarded the Bharat Ratna posthumously, his recommendations on the minimum support price on crops remain unimplemented. The Swaminathan Commission had proposed that the MSP should be at least 50% more than the weighted average cost of production. This has also been one of the pivotal demands of the protesting farmers. His daughter, Madhura Swaminathan, an economist, highlighted the irony of honouring M.S. Swaminathan while ignoring his suggestions.

Another key recommendation of the panel was land reforms. China’s robust land reforms significantly boosted its economic efficiency. India should also follow suit in implementing such reforms to reduce agrarian distress.

Sujit De, Calcutta

Sir — While it is laudable that the Father of the Green Revolution, M.S. Swaminathan, was honoured with the Bharat Ratna, it is disappointing that the award has not yet been bestowed on Verghese Kurien, the Father of the White Revolution. Kurien, too, deserves the honour for his contributions to increasing India’s dairy output.

Tharcius S. Fernando, Chennai

Informed views

Sir — The Calcutta Club The Telegraph National Debate 2024 on the motion against India needing a new Constitution was illuminating (“The Preamble prevails”, Feb 18). It marked a new dimension in the deliberations on an urgent issue. The need for a new Constitution for India is a utopian idea. However, the ruling regime has been advocating for a new Constitution to further its majoritarian agenda. The fundamental principles needed for the functioning of a democratic apparatus are already laid down in the current document, which was ratified in 1949.

The clamour for a new Constitution thus indicates an inadequate interpretation of constitutional principles. More such debates should be organised to generate awareness about the Constitution.

Arun Kumar Baksi, Calcutta

Sir — The keynote address at the Calcutta Club The Telegraph National Debate 2024 delivered by the chief minister of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee, not only fascinated the audience but also encouraged speakers to present their arguments objectively (“Mamata rails against ‘one ruling ideology’”, Feb 18). Banerjee harped on the basic features of the Constitution which, she argued, are under threat from the current dispensation at the Centre.

However, there is a discernible gap between her words and the ground reality in West Bengal. Increased political violence and corrupt practices by the state ministers have dented the image of the Mamata Banerjee-led dispensation.

Jahar Saha, Calcutta

Sir — The Telegraph deserves praise for hosting a debate on an issue that is pivotal to the future of Indian democracy. The speakers, including illustrious dignitaries such as Prasenjit Bose, Sanjib Banerjee, Tathagata Roy, Arghya Sengupta and Sugata Bose, put forth compelling arguments that enriched our understanding of the Constitution and its relevance in the 21st century.

The Constitution safeguards the rights of every citizen, including social and religious minorities. The bid to replace it thus goes against India’s secular ethos.

Iftekhar Ahmed, Calcutta

Heavy burden

Sir — A recent study showing that one in six senior citizens in India has mild cognitive impairment is concerning (“Study fuels concern over dementia burden”, Feb 19). Dementia has emerged as a pressing health concern in the country which has a rapidly ageing population. Brain health check-up camps should be organised to raise awareness about the ailment. Encouraging individuals to engage in hobbies can also help mediate the risks of dementia.

Rupanjali Samadder, Calcutta

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