Sir — The announcement that a new novel, We’ll See Each Other in August, by Gabriel García Márquez will be published sometime next year has been greeted with jubilation by readers. But there is also trepidation that an unfinished book might taint the author’s legacy. There have been examples in the past of literary estates ignoring explicit instructions left by authors in the hope of making a profit: the publication of Vladimir Nabokov’s notes for The Original of Laura, which he had directed be burnt upon his death, as a “novel in fragments”, is an example. Yet, even if the new book offers glimpses of Gabo’s literary process, it will be an invaluable gift for readers.
Ritika Ghosh, Calcutta
Sir — The Supreme Court’s refusal to stay the Calcutta High Court directive asking the Central Bureau of Investigation and the Enforcement Directorate to interrogate the Trinamul Congress leader, Abhishek Banerjee, in connection with the school jobs scam is a major setback for the party (“No probe shield for Abhishek”, May 27). Another TMC leader, Kuntal Ghosh, who is incarcerated in the same case, has alleged that the Central agencies pressured him to name Banerjee.
There have been accusations and counter-accusations from both sides and even the Calcutta High Court has not been spared from being dragged through the mud. The case is mired in controversies and is costing both the Central and the state exchequer. The CBI must get to the bottom of the case so that all the culprits are brought to book.
S.S. Paul, Nadia
Sir — After nine years of the National Democratic Alliance being in power, the report card for the country looks bleak. Prices of all essential commodities have gone up astronomically — the price of liquefied petroleum gas cylinders has increased from around Rs 400 in 2014 to over Rs 1,100 in 2023. The costs of petrol and diesel are abnormally high too. Unemployment is rampant and food prices are through the roof. Yet, the NDA government is silent on all these issues. Controlling inflation and creating job opportunities need to be undertaken on a war footing.
D. Bhattacharyya, Calcutta
Too little, too late
Sir — The Union home minister, Amit Shah, is scheduled to visit violence-hit Manipur today to resolve the ongoing crisis in the state. One wonders if Shah’s visit is too little, too late. The state government’s inaction and the apathy of both the Central government and the Opposition have ensured that the conflagration in Manipur has dragged on for nearly a month and resulted in several lives being lost.
Jahangir Shaikh, Mumbai
Sir — Net migration has hit a record high of 6,06,000 in the United Kingdom in the year ending December 2022 (“Record high UK net migration”, May 26). Net migration is the difference between the number of immigrants and the number of emigrants. The Conservative Party’s 2019 manifesto pledged to bring down the rate of net migration. The prime minister of Britain, Rishi Sunak, has said that his government is tweaking visa rules for students to remedy this situation. Although the UK and India signed a migration partnership agreement in May 2021 in an attempt to boost bilateral ties, the new immigration policy would definitely affect Indian students’ future prospects.
Sukhendu Bhattacharjee, Hooghly
Sir — The India Meteorological Department has forecast a normal monsoon (“Forecast of normal monsoon rainfall”, May 27). It will certainly come as a respite from the intense heat waves sweeping parts of the country. But the monsoon comes with its own problems. Incessant rain causes waterlogging and floods, especially in states like Bihar, Assam and Kerala. Not only is normal life disrupted but there is also loss of life and property. One of the reasons for floods and waterlogging is that drains are choked with plastic. While housing complexes are mushrooming everywhere, the drainage systems of cities have not been updated to keep up. Civic bodies should take preventive measures before the monsoon arrives.
Ananda Dulal Ghosh, Howrah
Sir — It is heartening to hear that India will have a normal monsoon despite the El Niño effect. This will come as a relief for farmers.
Anwar Saeed, Calcutta
Sir — Residents of the smart city of Guwahati are at their wits’ end because of a large population of strays. There have even been shocking incidents of stray dogs eating up, or gnawing at, newborn babies. Attacks on children and pedestrians are also common. Monkeys are a menace too. Having been turned out of their habitats owing to rapid urbanisation, they are short on food and attack people on the streets and ransack homes in troops. Pleas to the government and the civic authorities to mitigate the problem have gone unheeded. The government should take immediate action instead of engaging in partisan politics.
A.K. Chakraborty, Guwahati