x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

The glamour of lost treasure

The forgotten treasure unearthed at an Indian temple reminds a reader of the vanished glories of India's princely states. Other lettter topics: teacher retention, American fiscal brinkmanship, 3D movies, food prices, and plagiarism

Devotees visit the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple in the Indian state of Kerala. A letter-writer comments on the vast and ancient treasure found in the temple's vaults. Aijaz Rahi / AP
Devotees visit the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple in the Indian state of Kerala. A letter-writer comments on the vast and ancient treasure found in the temple's vaults. Aijaz Rahi / AP

The news that teacher turnover is up to 30 per cent (Why do teachers not stay?, July 6) is no surprise.This problem is a reality for even the best and most effective private and international schools.

Teachers take up an overseas assignment because of three linked factors: location, benefits package and most significantly, the quality of the professional experience they receive.

I would urge Dr Al Karam and the Knowledge and Human Development Authority to challenge all private and international schools to establish outstanding opportunities for teacher professional growth. On this basis the teachers will come, and the best will stay.

Christopher Edmunds, Abu Dhabi

Stubbornness will prompt new crisis

Your business section article on the US government's debt crisis

(14,000,000,000,000, July 6) made me very angry.

Will the whole world  really be plunged into another financial crisis because one party in the US Congress is resisting modest tax increases for the wealthiest Americans? This is a high-stakes game of ego-driven Russian roulette where what's needed is compromise.

What's wrong with American voters? Don't they understand that the rich  are getting richer at a frightening rate? Really, the quality of decision making in US politics should scare the entire world.

Mark MacGuigan, Abu Dhabi

Story comes before graphics

I refer to the letter to the editor 3D no substitute for story, acting (July 5).

I find it sad that the "uninterested" average viewer enjoys the movies' gimmicky graphics but totally misses the story or the message behind the story.

The Avatar storyline, for example, has a message that touches one of the biggest issues in our lives: the relationship between the strong and the weak, between the military powers and the helpless people of some nations, or those who had a country but are consistently driven out of it. Ring any bells?  Many, I hope!

Ahmed Elnaggar, Dubai

Rising food prices must be avoided

I have a comment on the story UAE price freeze unsustainable says Unilever boss (July 5).

Mr Sanjiv Mehta, do not make us do what is being done in India, where the poor and the middle class are shrieking over rising prices they have to pay for vegetables, fish and milk.

The hoarders and the so-called big dealers are minting money while the poorest struggle. Please let the middle class and the poor have some good news.

Irfan Ahmed Iftekhar, Dubai

India's history full of glamour

I found the story about the Indian treasure (Temple's treasure trove captures the imagination,but who owns it?, July 6) to be wonderfully evocative.

It really is, as you said in your editorial (Kerala's treasured past, July 3) like something out of a Kipling story.

To a westerner like myself, this story really makes me want to learn more about India's princely states.

I'm sure the people are better off since those states were absorbed into India, but there's mystery and glamour in that history.

Harry Ryder, Dubai

No justification for Hari's defence

Like a Greek tragedy, Tim Footman's wretched apologia for Johann Hari in his plagiarism scandal (The Hari scandal tests the limits of what we know, July 5) comes in two parts.

In the first Footman vainly and absurdly strives to destroy the possibility of a meaningful interview between journalist and subject, and - given the organ by which he is published, without apparent shame or irony - even the idea that as readers of a national newspaper, one could even want or expect such a thing or dare know what one wants by expecting it.

In the second he concocts an arbitrary definition of plagiarism for the sole purpose of excusing Hari from the true meaning of the word by which Hari should be judged.

In both cases Footman attempts to demean the journalistic enterprise, and fails abjectly. By quoting one of Truman Capote's hackneyed aphorisms capriciously and out of context, Footman shows himself unduly forgiving of journalistic malfeasance elsewhere.

Hari has been shown to have consistently used, without attribution, quotes from not only the subjects of his interviews, but from other journalists and third parties.

To be a plagiarist in Footman's world, one must transgress his arbitrary, imaginary, unique, insulting and absurd claim of prior ownership: a journalist "to be seen as victims of plagiarism" must first "make clear what their creative input was".

Patrick Osgood, Dubai