Sir — Even a novice investor, with limited knowledge of the stock market, is aware of the use of animal references — like bulls and bears — to indicate market behaviour. Now, researchers have come up with the idea of a stock market exclusively for animals that would work like a regular stock market, but with animals instead of money. Conservationists can assign value to species and determine the effect of human activities on them. This is a noble idea. But given the penchant of Homo sapiens for commercialisation, researchers must ensure that this model is not co-opted by the market for monetary gains.
Geeta Sahai, Mumbai
Sir — The Trinamul Congress member of Parliament, Mahua Moitra, recently sparked a controversy with her remarks on the Hindu goddess, Kali, by stating that she has every right to imagine the goddess as a “meat-eating, liquor-accepting deity”. The Bharatiya Janata Party has called for Moitra’s arrest, accusing the lawmaker of hurting religious sentiments. The hue and cry raised over the comment is a sign of the burgeoning religious intolerance in the country under the aegis of the sangh parivar. This is dangerous for India’s pluralistic tradition.
While Hinduism allows for a myriad forms of worship, the proponents of Hindutva promote an idealised and monolithic version of the religion in order to weaponise it for political gain. We must speak up against religious intolerance.
G. David Milton, Maruthancode, Tamil Nadu
Sir — There are parallels between the comments made by the former BJP spokesperson, Nupur Sharma, on Prophet Mohammad and Mahua Moitra’s remarks on Kali. Moitra was asked about her opinion on the row over a poster depicting an actor dressed up as the goddess while smoking a cigarette. The lawmaker has said that Kali is worshipped in different ways across India and she imagines the goddess as someone accepting both alcohol and meat. Unfortunately, just like Sharma’s faux pas, Moitra’s words, too, have hurt religious sentiments. Political leaders must think before making such statements.
K.V. Seetharamaiah, Bangalore
Sir — A fistfight broke out between the police forces of Chhattisgarh and Uttar Pradesh when the former arrived to arrest the Zee News anchor, Rohit Ranjan, for airing a misleading video about the Congress leader, Rahul Gandhi (“State fights state over fake news”, July 6). This reflects poorly on the law-enforcement agencies. The Noida police eventually arrested Ranjan but soon released him on bail.
The absence of clear guidelines on inter-state police jurisdiction seems to have led to this tussle. The Supreme Court could consider directing state police apparatuses on the right conduct in critical situations.
Khokan Das, Calcutta
Sir — West Bengal has witnessed a steady rise in Covid-19 infections — 2,889 cases and three deaths were reported on Thursday. This has prompted the state government to strictly enforce Covid-19 protocols (“Covid jolts govt into action”, July 7). Public apathy as well as the lackadaisical attitude of the authorities are responsible for the resurgence of the coronavirus.
Most people have stopped wearing masks in public. This is disconcerting. The festive season is approaching. The government must ensure that people adhere to Covid-19 safety measures.
Arun Gupta, Calcutta
Sir — Several districts of West Bengal have recorded a spike in Covid-19 infections. It is heartening that the state government has taken prompt measures to check the spread. The common people, too, should be careful.
Iftekhar Ahmed, Calcutta