The craze for organising seminars, summits, conclaves and conferences is not confined to media organisations and universities (“Conversation flows, ideas don’t,” Nov. 24). Schools, non-governmental organisations and even government departments have taken a fancy for such ‘intellectual exercises.’ As an active conservationist, I am under obligation to attend many such events.

As part of the audience in one such seminar, I found that more time was spent on welcoming the delegates, conferring titles and thanking everybody. Students, who also formed part of the audience, were yawning while all this was on. The chief guest, a forest official, gave an excellent speech on conservation which was lost on the audience because of the boredom that had already set in. In another government sponsored event, there were excellent discussions which were delivered to an audience which was neither receptive nor appreciative. There are also seminars where there is neither conversation nor idea. The speakers struggle to express themselves or repeat the same sentences. The purpose of such seminars? To waste time, energy and money, of course.

R. Karpagam, Coimbatore

T.M. Krishna has rightly questioned the need for summits/conclaves by newspapers and magazines funded by corporate houses. The conclaves invite only politicians, film stars, cricketers and socialites. The discussions that follow are irrelevant and disappointing. They benefit only the sponsors. The organisers should start inviting the aam aadmi for such discussions.

Raghuram Ravishankaran, Bangalore

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Conversation flows, ideas don’tNovember 24, 2012

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