Sir — A study has concluded that the English actor, Robert Pattinson, has the most ‘handsome’ face in the world. The research is based on the ‘golden ratio’ and uses computerized mapping techniques to measure the shape of one’s face and the distance between different features. However, the golden ratio is ubiquitous is nature, and hardly has anything to do with beauty. Legitimizing such research could set unnatural standards of beauty, doing more harm to society than good.
Learn the lesson
Sir — It is absurd that the police in Karnataka have been repeatedly interrogating young school students for staging a play that questioned the Citizenship (Amendment) Act in January (“Children pay a price for play”, Feb 5). The management of the school has been slapped with charges of sedition. However, compared to this, hardly any action was taken when another school in the same state performed a play in December last year, depicting the demolition of Babri Masjid and the construction of the Ram temple. This event was not only attended by dignitaries such as the Union minister, D.V. Sadananda Gowda, but was also praised by the lieutenant-governor of Pondicherry, Kiran Bedi.
While the police are busy arresting critics of the Narendra Modi-led government, they seem perfectly fine with Parvesh Verma, a Bharatiya Janata Party parliamentarian, raising the spectre of the protesters of Shaheen Bagh entering the houses of the residents of Delhi to ‘rape and kill’ their families if they failed to vote for the BJP. Is it not a criminal offence amounting to blackmail when citizens are being threatened into voting for the BJP? The response of the police has been the same for Anurag Thakur, who shouted violent slogans inciting people to shoot “traitors”.
It is evident from the context that the anti-CAA protesters are being called traitors while the supporters of the government themselves claim to be patriots. It is one thing for the Centre to let Thakur and Verma get away with fear-mongering and threats of murder. But it is more distressing to find the lack of stringent action on the part of the Election Commission, which has sent notices to Thakur and Verma but not filed first information reports against them.
The prime minister had invoked the promise of “Sabka saath, sabka vikas, sabka vishwas” at the time of his re-election. In view of that, his inability to control members of his own party and cabinet who are bent on reducing his words to a joke seems tragic. Modi should have come down hard on such divisive elements in his cohort. On the contrary, some of them are being rewarded, be it Pragya Singh Thakur or Parvesh Verma.
A culture of communal hatred and intolerance against free speech is being abetted. As such, people from all faiths must come together to repair the fabric of Indian society.
Sir — The 41-year-old American astronaut, Christina Koch, must be congratulated on setting a new record for the longest stay in outer space by a woman by completing a 328-day mission (“Woman astronaut sets space record”, Feb 7). The Soyuz MS-13 capsule, which was carrying Koch, landed in Kazakhstan last Thursday. Koch has now broken the earlier record held by Peggy Whitson.
Sir — In most countries, including India, women are often discouraged from pursuing careers in science, based on the false notion that they do not have an aptitude for the field. In view of this, the achievement of Christina Koch will inspire many young women to prove such regressive ideas wrong. A woman’s place is truly anywhere she wants to be.