Letters to the Editor: United States' geoengineering project
Sir — It is human nature to meddle in things till they are beyond repair and then meddling some more in an effort to fix them. The United States of America, the second-highest contributor of greenhouse gases, has now launched a geoengineering project, which would involve largescale interventions in our planet’s natural systems — blocking the sun, for instance — with the aim of manipulating the climate to cool the earth. This plan seems dystopian and the ethical implications of such an undertaking are vast, not to mention the risks associated with meddling further with the earth’s atmosphere.
Anjana Bhowmick, Malda
Sir — IndiGo airlines has handled the egregious breach of regulations by Tejasvi Surya, a member of Parliament from the Bharatiya Janata Party, rather poorly. Opening the emergency exit of an aircraft can have serious consequences, putting passengers in danger. Instead of reporting the issue to the authorities concerned, the airline simply brushed it off as an accident that can happen to anyone. This is the same airline which had banned the standup comedian, Kunal Kamra, for allegedly heckling the journalist, Arnab Goswami, on one of its flights. On that occasion, the minister in charge of civil aviation, Hardeep Singh Puri, had called for a strict embargo on Kamra. Such double standards should not exist.
S.K. Choudhury, Bengaluru
Sir — Few have the good fortune of escaping harsh punishment after opening the emergency exit of a commercial aircraft. The BJP MP, Tejasvi Surya, has not received even a slap on the wrist for his actions. Do the roots of India’s VIP culture go so deep that public representatives are seen to be above the law? One hopes that all fliers will enjoy such leniency in the future.
Anthony Henriques, Mumbai
Sir — It was disappointing to hear the public defence of Tejasvi Surya by the minister of civil aviation, Jyotiraditya Scindia. Opening the emergency exit of an aircraft can lead to grave problems. As a public representative, Surya should have exercised caution. An impartial inquiry is required to get to the bottom of this matter. Arun Gupta, Calcutta
Sir — Swapan Dasgupta’s reiteration that dynastic politics was the reason for Congress’ past success is an insult to the electorate (“Towering figure”, Jan 18). His statement implies that voters in the past had been fooled by the charisma of the Nehru-Gandhi family. Is not something similar happening in the nation currently with the adulation for Narendra Modi, which Dasgupta boasts about in the context of the BJP’s national executive meeting? If the Bharatiya Janata Party claims to be the epitome of intra-party democracy, then questions need to be asked about the family members of different stalwarts who now hold high offices in the BJP. The sons of Rajnath Singh, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Maneka Gandhi and B.S. Yediyurappa are all powerful party functionaries.Additionally, the BJP has also inducted dynastic scions like Jyotiraditya Scindia and Jitin Prasada into its fold. Does the BJP hold itself to different standards than the Congress?
Kajal Chatterjee, Calcutta
Sir — During the BJP’s national executive meeting, the prime minister, NarendraModi, appealed to party leaders to reach out to minorities. The party president, J.P. Nadda, exhorted the cadre to work hard to ensure victory for the saffron party in the upcoming state elections. The BJP top brass might not publicly admit the impact that the Bharat Jodo Yatra has had on the populace, but it is clear that the elections will not be a cakewalk for the saffron party.
Bidyut Kumar Chatterjee, Faridabad