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regular-article-logo Saturday, 25 May 2024

Letters to the Editor: Urge to immortalise one’s love

Readers write in from Calcutta, Alappuzha and Coimbatore

The Editorial Board Published 07.12.22, 05:54 AM
The predecessor of modern lovers who vandalise monuments was afraid of being caught by authorities. Research suggests that the monk was begging god for help to avoid temptation in the form of a glamorous woman, Eadburg.

The predecessor of modern lovers who vandalise monuments was afraid of being caught by authorities. Research suggests that the monk was begging god for help to avoid temptation in the form of a glamorous woman, Eadburg. File picture

Timeless mark

Sir — The desire to immortalise one’s love is timeless. School kids from the 1990s will perhaps remember the coveted invisible ink pens, which allowed them to make stealthy declarations of affection on desks and chairs. The Bodleian Library is displaying a copy of Acts of the Apostles, a Latin religious text dating back to 700 CE, with several tiny — nearly invisible — scribbles of a woman’s name on it with a drypoint stylus. The predecessor of modern lovers who vandalise monuments was afraid of being caught by authorities. Research suggests that the monk was begging god for help to avoid temptation in the form of a glamorous woman, Eadburg. While no one knows if Eadburg knew about the monk’s feelings, his passion has surely left a timeless mark.

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Sambit Chowdhury, Calcutta

Iron hand

Sir — It is unfortunate that cases were lodged against 3,000 ‘identifiable persons’ — mostly fisherfolk — and 15 Catholic priests after those protesting against the construction of Adani group’s Vizhinjam seaport clashed with the police. Instead of focusing on the problems being faced by the fishermen, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) government in Kerala is ignoring them. Using force to subdue the protests will not yield results. The Pinarayi Vijayan-led dispensation must understand that the fishermen are fighting for their lives and their livelihood.

K.A. Solaman, Alappuzha, Kerala

Lost treasure

Sir — The Wellcome Collection, a museum and library in London, recently asked a pertinent question on social media: “What’s the point of museums?” In a series of tweets that followed, the museum went on to discuss the problems with one of its own displays, which was centred around the wealthy owner of the artefacts. It said nothing about the actual provenance of the items. For quite some time now, the world of art and culture has responded to problematic questions about the empire and its loot with contextualisation — a footnote here, a curatorial reflection there, and occasional exhibitions devoted to exploring these issues. But the actual cultural artefacts continue to remain where they are. Except for a minuscule few that are perceived as less valuable, such treasures do not go back to where they came from. This needs to change.

Rik Chakraborty, Calcutta

Unclear stance

Sir — Iran’s morality police, which was tasked with enforcing the country’s dress code, is being reportedly abolished after nationwide protests that started after the death of a young Iranian woman, Mahsa Amini, in police custody. The uncompromising stance of Iranian women on personal liberty left the government with no choice but to concede.

Jayanta Datta, Hooghly

Sir — Iran’s notorious morality police force has been disbanded if the Iranian attorney-general, Mohammad Jafar Montazeri, is to be believed. But his vague and ambiguous remarks have left citizens confused and sceptical about the truth. The widespread protests are unlikely to die down unless the government makes its stance clear.

Ranjini Das, Calcutta

Help delayed

Sir — Even six months after the death of seven fishermen in Kanyakumari owing to Cyclone Phyan, the Tamil Nadu government has failed to compensate the families of the deceased. Such delays are not expected from the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam government led by the chief minister, M.K. Stalin. The cyclone-affected fishermen seem to have disappeared from the State’s radar. One hopes that media attention will compel the government to do justice to the fishermen’s families.

N. Viswanathan, Coimbatore

Switch off

Sir — The Madurai bench of the Madras High Court has directed the department of the commissioner of Hindu religious and charitable endowments to ban mobile phones inside temple premises in Tamil Nadu. The court was hearing a public interest litigation, which argued that cell phones spoil the sanctity of places of worship. This is a step in the right direction. Temples across the country should consider similar steps.

Jayanthi Subramaniam, Coimbatore

Grey area

Sir — Twin sisters in Maharashtra have married the same man (“Twins marry 1 man”, Dec 5). Netizens have expressed concerns about the legal validity of this marriage. The police are investigating this marriage, even though it seems like both the sisters consented to being married to their childhood friend at the same time. Previously, similar incidents in West Bengal had revealed that polygamy exists in our society in spite of being illegal.

Khokan Das, Calcutta

Laboured breath

Sir — The air quality index of Delhi is appalling. Construction work around the capital should be banned immediately. It is blamed for Delhi’s pollution each year but no remedial steps are taken. A few people raising their voices against pollution will not change anything. M.R. Jayanthi, Bengaluru

Creative creatures

Sir — The article, “The tiny titans” (Dec 4), left me awestruck about the creativity of ants. Humans have much to learn from them. While ant bites can be painful, I never kill the ants in my garden as they are an essential part of the ecosystem.

Alok Ganguly, Nadia

Sir — The article on ants was fascinating. It reminded us of the importance of the smallest creatures.

S.A.K. Sinha, Gaya

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