This is with reference to the news story “Nepali migrant worker dead in Qatar” (THT online, February 20). I would like to ask the concerned as to why our citizens abroad, particularly in the Gulf countries, end up their lives for the reasons that could have been otherwise be fixed if the human rights organizations and our government put earnest effort into what makes the contractors, manpower companies and the factories more accountable for unnecessary deaths of these kind. There is a direct or indirect orchestral contributions of all parties involved for what had happened in the first place. I am really concerned about why our government is not very accountable to at least curb these sort of nerve racking issues, while countries like Australia and Canada seem to be reluctant to import cattle meat from Indonesia on some occasions due to their inhumane way of slaughtering animals. The world is very concerned about the plight of the animals, but in our country the lives of humans is even not that important. What could be more horrendous than this in the twenty first century? Shiva Neupane, Melbourne.


Consumerism Kudos to Saikat Kumar Basu for his letter titled “Merchandise” (THT, February 16, Page 8). The simplicity of yesteryears have absolutely yielded place to gross consumerism due to “liberalisation” and “globalisation” which have brought a drastic change in the lifestyle of society. Individuals, who were careerists and earned high degrees are flooded with new money. Almost the whole erstwhile middle class have got promoted to the status of the rich. Costly cars, high-end villas, air travel, foreign tours - all forms of luxury have become easily accessible to the “successful” lot. In contrast, life has become hell for those who have missed the bus of “liberalisation”. Despite lack of resources, they will have to splurge money on luxurious items on the demand of discontented family members. Right from newspapers to TV to hoardings - it is a call for enjoying luxuries all the way. Yes, all the vested interests have come together to transform luxuries into “necessity” even for those with limited means. And the greatest misfortune lies on the fact that consumerism has no limit. Whenever a consumerist urge gets fulfilled, another item knocks on the door! Far from appreciating the greatest treasure named contentment, the unsatisfied lot among the middle class is splurging their limited money on luxuries so as to boost the treasury of the advertisers. And Valentine’s Day forms one of the latest brain-washing programme of the masses. Today the divine feeling of love depends upon showers of precious gifts, dining in restaurants and public exhibition of affection in a particular day. And if anybody desists from engaging in such manufactured market-driven lunacy, s/he definitely does not love his/her partner! Oh what a yardstick for measuring the magnitude of love! People are mindlessly succumbing in the altar of consumerism and the “merchants of love” are laughing all the way to bank! Kajal Chatterjee, Kolkata