Letters to the Editor — November 18, 2020

India’s RCEP stance

Although there is no denying the grim truth that through its past trade agreements, India unwittingly allowed other countries unfair trade and manufacturing advantages leading to deindustrialisation of some sectors and a gaping trade deficit with them, it should not put the clock back now by embracing protectionism. India chose to join the globalisation bandwagon in 1991 and has significantly benefitted from it as the growth indicators indicate. As Japan, South Korea, Australia and many ASEAN nations have joined RCEP by setting aside their differences with Beijing to pick up the post-COVID economic threads, New Delhi too should consider rejoining the trade bloc after some tough bargaining.

As RCEP members have waived a key 18-month cooling period for interested applicants, New Delhi can first test the waters before taking the plunge by joining the negotiating table as an observer and also in economic cooperation activities undertaken by the signatory states.

Meanwhile, to narrow down the gaping trade deficit with many ASEAN nations, India should spruce up its industries with more economic reforms and ensure strict quality control to be able to withstand the healthy competition once trade barriers are lifted.

Nalini Vijayaraghavan,


Soumitra Chatterjee

Soumitra Chatterjee was one of those rarest of rare actors in the history of Indian cinema who excelled in critically acclaimed “arthouse” films as well “mainstream” vintage cinema (“Feluda is no more, Apu has said goodbye. Farewell, Soumitra”, November 16). He was one of the most malleable actors, portraying a wide range of characterisation with utmost conviction. From urban sleuth to rural teacher, struggling swimming coach to top-end doctor, romantic hero to unscrupulous villain, comedy to all seriousness, Chatterjee was at ease with any challenge. He was an integral part of Bengali life, completed by his impeccable humility and dignity.

Kajal Chatterjee,


In his heyday, he was often compared to the then reigning matinee idol of Bengali cinema, Uttam Kumar. Their acting styles were however as different as chalk and cheese. While Uttam Kumar was more flamboyant, Soumitra Chatterjee was rather subdued, preferring to underplay characters and investing them with just the right amount of histrionics. Like the late Satyan in Malayalam cinema who could convey a nuance with just a raise of his eyebrows, Soumitra Chatterjee too could encapsulate a whole gamut of emotions in a single glance. He will be sorely missed by his legion of fans and admirers.

C.V. Aravind,


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Printable version | Jan 28, 2021 7:54:10 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/letters-to-the-editor-november-18-2020/article33119983.ece

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