Let’s have less noise, more light
Crackers cause much pollution, so this Diwali let us light more diyas instead of bursting crackers. We could even light candles, but the traditional diyas are really colourful. It is true that the smoke from the burning of crackers helps to ward off mosquitoes. Another aspect that we should rethink is exchanging gifts. This practice has become a means to keep some government officials and other people in high office happy and this is not the spirit of Diwali.
—Mahesh Kapasi, by email
The festival of lights is around the corner. But how I wish that we could control the terrible noise levels caused by bursting crackers. Already the Bombay High Court has issued a directive to the police to curb noise pollution during the festival. During Navratri, there was no such control enforced which resulted in noise levels beyond what is permissible. One hopes that the public at large, especially the student community, realise the detrimental effect of noise on the elderly and infants, and the infirm who are ailing in hospitals, and refrain from bursting high-decibel crackers. Let us have more peace and quiet this Diwali and let our city be a shining example for others!
—Veena Edmunds, Mumbai
Flying through fog
Apropos of ‘DGCA: Only fog-trained pilots for winters’, the authority monitoring the movement of flights is right in this respect and it has taken a well-thought out step. It is incumbent on the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to ensure safety of crew members and passengers. It augurs well that the civil aviation minister has instructed the people concerned to provide information, food and beverages, in the event of flights being rescheduled to help travellers cope with the inconvenience caused. The authorities are also taking various steps to clear the encumbrances on busy routes.
—HP Murali, Bangalore
Give kids space
Apropos of ‘No scope for kids to let their hair down’, children are burdened by studies and under pressure from parents, so they do not get enough time to relax or to spend time with friends. Regular surveys have revealed the stress on kids, from the demand on them to produce good results at exams. We must become more aware about the situation of our children. Learning in the early years should be centred on activity rather than books which will reduce the study load. Our children are human beings too and we must give them the space and time they require.
— Akash Vishwakarma, by email
Voice of opposition
The ceiling on subsidised LPG cylinders is a big blow by the ruling Congress government on the common man. Over the past couple of years, the middle class has been harassed by various decisions of the central government, with the opposition parties hardly raising any serious protest over these issues. Yes, Mamata Banerjee asked the railway minister, who was from her party, to resign after he announced a fare hike that was against her wishes. But how much longer will it be before the fares are increased by the new railway minister? The common people are paying dearly for the absence of a strong opposition. We need a leader like the late Jayprakash Narayan who will unite the opposition and give a voice to people’s problems.
—S Chandrasekar, by email
Apropos of ‘Obama wins; planet relieved’, the euphoria surrounding his victory four years ago was missing this time. Today, the focus is on unresolved issues and there will be more demands on performance. While the US president deserves appreciation for the manner in which he has dealt with and contained terrorism, the job of bringing about peace in Afghanistan and Iraq is not over. Barack Obama has promised Americans that the best is yet to come. He is expected to bring about distinctive change in social security and health care, and improve employment. We in India hope Obama will work on Indo-US relations with a balanced mind and not leave us with an empty spoon.
— K Chidanand Kumar, Bangalore
Barack Obama will return to the White House smiling. But that smile will not stay for long. This was a tough election to win for Obama, who got just half the popular vote, and he might well find it tougher to govern, as the House of Representatives is still dominated by Republicans. One of the issues that tilted the balance for Obama was his rival Mitt Romney’s strong position against immigrants, and they consequently voted virtually en bloc for the president. It remains to be seen whether Obama finds a way to break through on major issues that were unresolved in his first term.
—KS Jayatheertha, Bangalore
After witnessing the US elections and the hope-filled speech by Barack Obama on his re-election, I am saddened for our country, as our leaders have very little to offer us. So many of them are involved in scams and are busy throwing muck at each other. We call ourselves the largest democratic country in the world, but we have made a mockery of the democratic system.
— Sudhakar SG, Mumbai