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Letters to the Editor: USA’s Delta Airlines announces special flights for passengers to view total solar eclipse on April 8

Readers write in from Calcutta, Mumbai, Visakhapatnam, Siliguri, Jamshedpur, South 24 Parganas and Ujjain

The Editorial Board Published 01.03.24, 07:40 AM
Representational image.

Representational image. Sourced by the Telegraph

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Sir — Scientific advancements have transformed the way people perceive celestial events. Watching a solar eclipse, for instance, has become a global festival with enthusiasts making extravagant arrangements to view the spectacle. This has provided big corporations with conducive business opportunities. For example, Delta Air­lines in the United States of America has announced special flights for passengers to view the total solar eclipse on April 8 from a vantage point of 30,000 feet in the air. However, does the choice to experience a natural phenomenon from a flight, which produces massive carbon emissions, not go against the principle of sustainability?


Disha Maity, Calcutta

Elusive peace

Sir — Russia launched its all-out invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022. Two years on, the conflict seems to be far from over (“Solemn date”, Feb 28). The Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, has been desperately seeking aid from the United States of America and other Western countries to counter Russia’s aggression. On the other hand, the Russian leader, Vladimir Putin, has vowed not to cease the military operation until Russia has established complete dominance over Ukraine. Russian forces capturing Avdiivka in Donbas last month after more than a year and a half of fighting has would certainly bolster Moscow’s spirit.

India must mediate between the warring sides to establish peace. Failing to rein in Russia would have geopolitical consequences — if Ukraine falls to Russia, China may follow suit and attack Taiwan. This would destabilise peace in the Indo-Pacific region.

Gregory Fernandes, Mumbai

Sir — The editorial, “Solemn date” (Feb 28), takes stock of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war on its second anniversary. The United States of America has been waging wars in foreign countries to orchestrate regime change and then abandoning them as it deems fit. Afghanistan has been at the receiving end of this strategy — it fell into the Taliban’s hands once again after the Joe Biden administration ordered the withdrawal of troops from the country in 2021. With the prospect of Donald Trump — a Russian ally — returning to power in the US looming large, it seems that Ukraine is headed towards a fate similar to Afghanistan. India must emerge as a sane voice and help achieve peace in Ukraine.

K. Nehru Patnaik, Visakhapatnam

Sir — The chances of Russia’s defeat in the Ukraine war are slimming by the day. The West has been sending arms and am­munition to Ukraine since the beginning of the war. The pertinent question is this: how will the West sustain this supply chain of weapons and aid? With the United Nations’ calls for an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine going largely unheeded, peace seems more elusive than ever.

Aranya Sanyal, Siliguri

Sir — Volodymyr Ze­len­sky stated that Ukraine has lost more than 31,000 soldiers in the two years of its war with Russia. The civilian death toll is perhaps higher. The French president, Emmanuel Macron, recently discussed the possibility of sending European troops to fight for Ukraine. However, his proposal was met with a tepid response from the other European Union and NATO members. This is disconcerting.

Ukraine is in dire need of crucial military aid to block Russia’s aggression. The coming together of the Allied powers had thwarted Adolf Hitler and put an end to the Second World War. A similar consensus about reining in Vladimir Putin, though, seems to be lacking among the European powers at the moment.

Jang Bahadur Singh, Jamshedpur

Free, at last

Sir — The editorial, “Just relief” (Feb 28), objectively assessed the implications of the Centre’s proposal — it was recently approved by the apex court — of providing financial help to poor prisoners who are seeking bail. The prolonged incarceration of undertrials violates their fundamental rights. India’s burden of undertrials is worrying. Many of them die before being convicted. Still others are found innocent after serving time. This reflects poorly on India’s justice system.

Sanjit Ghatak, South 24 Parganas

Sir — It is heartening that the Supreme Court has accepted the Centre’s proposal to help poor prisoners by reimbursing their bail amount. This will not only decongest
the prisons but also mitigate the problems faced by socially and economically disadvantaged prisoners.

Subhash Das, Calcutta

System overhaul

Sir — The digitisation of India’s healthcare system has increased the country’s digital dominance and boosted its knowledge economy. The digital shift has led to telehealth consultations and the development of health apps and digital tools has empowered individuals to monitor their health independently. Further, Artificial Intelligence-powered treatments have enhanced diagnoses, ushering in personalised treatment plans based on patient data analysis.

Dheeraj Namdev, Ujjain

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