Stuck in the middle
Keeping in mind the forthcoming state elections and an eye on the General Elections in 2019, our Finance Minister has come out with some relief to the farmers and corporates (“India misses another opportunity with latest budget”, Gulf News, February 7). However, as in the case of the United Progressive Alliance’s (UPA) Finance Ministers, even the National Democratic Congress (NDA) has disappointed the salaried middle class. Incidentally, our Prime Minister had made a statement, during the elections in 2014, that if he is made the Prime Minister, no one would need to pay any income tax and it will vanish. But now, after four years, the middle class are the ones being pushed around.
From Mr N. Mahadevan
Celebrities should not get away
While the law takes their own sweet time in certain countries to make judgements in some cases involving celebrities, it should ensure that the income of celebrities and their assets should be seized from the date of filing of case to judgement, and sold if necessary. The sale proceeds of these assets should be invested to improve the judicial system and police machinery technically with help of information technology companies.
From Mr Nandkumar J
Social media boons
Apart from helping to connect with friends and relatives, it helps to discuss matters with them, which you wouldn’t give importance during personal interactions (“Is social media all bad?” Gulf News, January 30). But with social media, it helps to discuss and put forth your views and concerns. It helps to create awareness among family and friend circles regarding the environment, politics, social issues, religion and other educational matters. When people meet, they don’t have the time, interest or opportunity to sit and discuss these topics, despite the fact that these are topics to be discussed in gatherings. Especially for women, who have to cook and have other housekeeping jobs. Social media groups serve as a platform to voice their opinions, learn new things to refresh life and keep away from boredom and gain a lot of awareness. Social media is a very useful tool, when used rightly.
From Ms Yousufa Mohammad
Under threat of contamination
The concept of food safety standards has yet to catch up with India (“India’s farmed chickens dosed with world’s strongest antibiotics: study”, Gulf News, February 3). Although the World Health Organisation (WHO) does not specifically address the issue of intentionally altering and manipulating the quality of food products, with key principles of food hygiene, many unregulated practices have caught the attention of the world. Mass production of chicken for meat has been a recent phenomenon in India. The huge market for chicken products in India have made many farmers greedy and unscrupulous, each attempting to raise their profits through manipulation of meat quality by feeding the poultry with chemically altered techniques, in addition to injecting weight gaining hormones. Chickens raised at households are perhaps the only clean meat that people can rely on for healthy living. The commercially raised chicken are also kept in extremely poor and unhygienic conditions, often in crammed coops and treated unkindly. Over the last few decades the world population has changed the food habit with the inclusion of chicken in their daily diet where it used to be considered a luxury in the past.
From Mr Esmail Mohammad
Less sexism, more inclusion
Female artists constantly fight against body shaming and gender stereotypes (“Grammys slammed by female executives”, Gulf News, February 6). Artists, like Madonna, continue to push boundaries throughout their decade-long careers. Artists like them inspire thousands of young girls, like me, to achieve our goals in a misogynistic society. As a fan of music, not as a feminist, I believe that there are women out there making music that is on a par if not better than the Bruno Mars’ album that bagged a Grammy Award this year. I read about the Academy President and CEO Neil Portnow, exhibit A of the ‘misogynistic society’ I mentioned earlier, who suggested that it was the responsibility of women to “step up” if they want to win awards. We live in the 21st century and I am appalled at how someone can make such an ignorant remark. This comment is offensive, not only to the women in the industry but also to teenagers, like me, who are inspired and empowered by these artists because of the work they have done and are continuing to do. These women definitely do not need to ‘step up.’ In a statement of defence, the Recording Academy passed the increasingly important issue of women’s representation in the industry off as a result of just unconscious biases. After years of broken promises made by the Recording Academy that the Grammy’s nominations list would be more diverse, Portnow’s apology statement does little to reassure me that a corrective measure will be taken in order to recognise the work of female artists in the industry. Maybe it’s time for the Grammys to step up.
From Ms Disha Bobby
Try to play like the role models
Our Indian Under-19 (U-19) boys should try to emulate the likes of Indian captain Virat Kohli and former Indian cricket captain Saurav Ganguly (“Indian colts back home to rousing welcome”, Gulf News, February 6). The magnificient victory of the U-19 Indian Cricket team for the World Cup played lastly at New Zealand was a dramatic development in the Indian sports world. Ganguly’s comment to emulate the boys to try Kohli’s place is not an exaggerated one. All the players U-19 played very well, particularly the man of the match, Kalra. Coach Rahul Dravid deserves the appreciation for making the team come to this extent. Congratulations to the team players. Great cricket from India.
From Mr K Ragavan
Head on your shoulders
Congratulations to our Under 19 (U-19) cricket team for winning the World Cup, that too by defeating the Australian team with a mammoth margin. Definitely they have made the country proud with their achievements and richly deserve all the accolades and rewards. It is true that this present team has some talented youngsters, who could replace some of our aging players from the senior team. In fact, this bunch of players has been nurtured well by our former captain, Rahul Dravid and some might be ready to go to a higher grade. It is also heartening that some of them have already bagged the Indian Premier League (IPL) bonanza. We only wish that these boys kept their heads on their shoulders and not to get complacent like other players in the past.
From Ms Janaki Mahadevan
A romantic meeting
I met my first love after 25 long years. I never thought that I would meet her after so much time. Before this long awaited meeting, I was really nervous and did not want to embarrass myself in front of her. I had a lot of questions in my mind like: Was I still good enough for her? Was I too fat? But luckily it all went well. Age catches up with everyone. I have now moved from a fit body to a slightly unhealthy body and grey hair has replaced the earlier black hair that I had. I moved little slowly than earlier and was really exhausted when I left. Yes, I played cricket after 25 years and was happy to have found my first love again.
From Mr Ghanshyam Vasudeo Vyas
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