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Exciting revival of oldest known animation film

The Adventures of Prince Achmed is gaining popularity through social media nearly a century after its release

By The Telegraph

  • Published 31.10.19, 2:21 AM
  • Updated 31.10.19, 2:21 AM
 A still from the movie, The Adventures of Achmed
A still from the movie, The Adventures of Achmed (YouTube)

Sir — Animated films are among the most fascinating forms of storytelling. I was thus excited to learn that the oldest known animation, The Adventures of Prince Achmed — made by a woman named Lotte Reiniger, who had fled Nazi prosecution — is gaining popularity through social media nearly a century after its release. Although animated films were not taken too seriously in the past, it is important to remember the role they played in fostering imagination in a world where conforming with the mentality of the herd is the norm, discouraging people from thinking out of the box.

Asha Mishra,
Calcutta

On trial

Sir — The editorial, “Heavy burden” (Oct 25), has rightly revealed a problem in India’s judicial system. The delays in getting justice in India can safely be said to be a denial of justice. This delay increases at every stage of the judicial process. It is caused not only by a shortage in the number of judges but also owing to other unreasonable delays like adjournments and the non-availability of lawyers or witnesses.

Quite often, persons detained in custody pending hearing spend more time in prison than what the penal code mandates for their particular crimes. At times, the number of undertrial detainees in prisons is more than that of actual convicts serving jail term. Who is going to compensate for the time lost from the lives of the detainees if they are acquitted? Further, such detention costs the exchequer dearly and is against human rights.

Worse, criminals can extend their case indefinitely even after being convicted by lower courts by appealing to higher courts. Ordinary Indians thus cannot expect swift justice unless Parliament makes it mandatory that each and every case be decided within a given time period, failing which will invite punishment for all those responsible for the delay.

Asit Kumar Mitra,
Calcutta

Sir — If justice delayed is indeed justice denied then the judicial process in India needs an urgent overhaul. The finding of the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta that on an average it takes around two-and-a-half years to get judgment for a litigant is putting it mildly. Often criminal and civil cases take 10 to 15 years to reach their conclusion.

Some of the reasons for the inordinate delay in justice are the frequent tugs of war between the government and the apex court over the appointment of judges, political interference in cases and even the acceptance of false reports of criminal and civil cases by the police, who may have vested interests or might be working at the behest of their political masters. In order to remedy the current situation, a judicial commission needs to be formed, comprising stakeholders including public representatives. The commission can then formulate a road map to strengthen the Indian judiciary.

Swapan Kumar Raha,
Calcutta

Abhijit Banerjee speaks during a news conference at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge on October 14, 2019.
Abhijit Banerjee speaks during a news conference at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge on October 14, 2019. (AP)

Poor view

Sir — It was surprising that Piyush Goyal, a Union minister with an important portfolio, stated that this year’s Nobel laureate for economics, Abhijit Banerjee, is a Left-leaning individual who had endorsed the Nyuntam Aay Yojana, the Congress’s poverty alleviation scheme. Goyal’s words show his ignorance and are unacceptable.

It is irrelevant whether the recipient of the Nobel Prize is Left-leaning. In fact, as far as poverty alleviation is concerned, even capitalist countries have programmes to alleviate it, even though their politics is not dictated by socialism. It is unfortunate that many Indian ministers and political leaders pass such ignorant comments. They bring shame to the country, which becomes the laughing stock of the world.

Debasish Mukherjee,
Calcutta

Sir — Although Piyush Goyal congratulated Abhijit Banerjee on winning the Nobel Prize, the former called the laureate “Left-leaning”. Is being a Leftist a crime in New India? Goyal’s comments also mistakenly assume that the elections were just about Nyay and that the Congress lost solely because of it.

Kajal Chatterjee,
Calcutta

Sir — Piyush Goyal accused Abhijit Banerjee of supporting the Congress’s Nyay scheme. But Banerjee has clarified that he only provided the Congress with data and would have provided the same had the Bharatiya Janata Party government asked him for it. It is thus heartening that Narendra Modi has met and discussed the economy with Banerjee. This is a golden opportunity for the government to involve Banerjee in its policy interventions.

Bidyut Kumar Chatterjee,
Faridabad

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