The royal baby has little to do with racial equality
Sir — Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor is being held up as a symbol of hope in a very divided world. As the first African-American born in the British royal family, the first-born of Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan has been shown as proof of the possibility of racial unity in Britain. But, mixed-race children have little to do with racial equality. In fact, it only creates another class of citizens — such as Anglo-Indians — deepening the divisions.
Worth a visit
Sir — In a move that is almost unheard of, the Netherlands Board of Tourism & Conventions will not promote tourism actively and will begin diverting visitors to less well-known destinations (“Dutch no to tourists”, May 8). The country is apparently teeming with more tourists than it can manage.
Trillions are spent globally on tourism per year. But one wonders how much of this comes to India. Many countries have capitalized on their national treasures and their history to turn tourism into a sector that forms a significant part of the economy. India, given its vast area and its rich past, would stand to gain a lot if it could do the same.
What it lacks for in infrastructure — although this needs to be built at the earliest — it can make up for in the diversity of tourist attractions that it has to offer. Moreover, India has a large number of unemployed youth, who can be employed as guides to discover and then conduct tours of local sites. The tourism ministries of states and the Central government should tighten their belts and work in tandem to strengthen the industry in the country. It has the potential to provide employment to thousands, both directly and indirectly.
Asit Kumar Mitra,
Sir — Antibiotics are one of the miracles of modern medicine (“Bug alert”, May 8). But the inventor of penicillin, Alexander Fleming, while accepting the Nobel Prize warned of a future in which the indiscriminate use of antibiotics could become counterproductive by giving birth to resistant strains of bacteria. That warning seems to have come true. Each year about 700,000 people around the world die owing to drug-resistant infections like tuberculosis. If no action is taken immediately, drug-resistant infections could kill 10 million people a year by 2050. In future, even a minor injury or a routine surgery could prove fatal.
One of the reasons for this dire state of affairs is that the high cost of medical care combined with the lack of access to free government clinics forces thousands of poor citizens to purchase antibiotics without prescription on the advice of chemists. Even when it is prescribed by doctors, administration of an incorrect dose, over use, are causes of concern.
But medical research gives us cause to be hopeful. New antibiotics are being developed along with other innovative methods to kill infections. It is also heartening that rapid, point-of-care diagnostic tests are being devised to help in the detection and prevention of antibiotic overuse.