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Sunday letters

india Updated: Jul 06, 2013 22:40 IST

Time to become a ‘smart’ user

Nisheeth Upadhyay in Smartphones come calling in India (The Big Story, June 30), rightly states that smartphones are fast becoming essential components of modern life.

With a smartphone in hand, one does not need to carry a laptop to access the Internet, book movie tickets or be in touch with friends via social networking websites.

Moreover, with live video feeds, smartphones have become a babysitter too. It is undeniable that smartphones have many uses but they are a big distraction also.

With a multi-useful device like a smartphone, one will be tempted to check emails, updates on social networking sites and browse the Internet, etc, constantly. This can lead to lower productivity at work and addicted children may neglect their studies. It is for us to decide on whether we want smartphones to be a utility item in our life or a distraction.

Kamal Anil Kapadia, Mumbai

The hidden cost of tourism

With reference to the article Let’s slow down now (Chanakya, June 30), the massive devastation in Uttarakhand triggered by unprecedented rainfall and floods must compel authorities in India to review their tourism policy, especially in the hilly regions where tourism is usually the mainstay of the economy.

The time has come when we must calculate the ecological, financial and social cost that we are paying for tourism. The magnitude of the Uttarakhand disaster could have been much less destructive, had the state authorities not slept on the Met department’s warnings.

Therefore, it is pertinent for us as a nation to invest in early warning systems and make tourism much more environment-friendly.

Bal Govind, via email

II

The gains from tourism are enormous and instead of exploiting it, we must preserve it because no one kills the goose that lays the golden eggs.

The need of the hour is a paradigm shift in our tourism policy. We must realise that we have limited natural resources and, therefore, we must enforce a cap on the number of tourists allowed to visit a particular site. This should also be done keeping in mind that India has witnessed several tragic incidents of stampedes during religious festivities.

GK Arora, Delhi

A misplaced sense of propriety

With reference to Indrajit Hazra’s article Shouldering on (Red Herring, June 30), I feel that the sacking of Narayanan Pargaein, a journalist with the local Uttarakhand television channel, News Express, who had filed a report on the devastating floods while perched on a man’s shoulders, was a misplaced sense of propriety.

Pargaein was doing his reporting assignment diligently. I feel that the man, carrying him on his shoulders, must have felt that he was being a part of realistic reporting of a tragic incident.

RD Singh, via email

Telling points about the telegram

With reference to Karan Thapar’s article Send the last telegram (Sunday Sentiments, June 30), I would like to point out that it is a very well-known fact that Charles Napier never sent the telegram attributed to him by the writer.

The pun — I have sinned — appeared in a cartoon in Punch magazine in 1844 with a caricature of Charles Napier. The true author of the pun was Catherine Winkworth, an English girl then in her teens, who submitted it to the magazine, which then printed it as a factual report.

Moreover, he was knighted and, therefore, he should have been referred to as ‘Sir’ and not ‘Lord’ in the article. I have the honour of being a close friend of Colonel Gerald Napier, a distant descendant of Charles Napier, who has confirmed in writing the facts that I have mentioned above.