Letters to the editor

Readers' comments: Bengaluru's elevated road project, Hindi as a national language and GM mustard

A selection of readers' opinions.

No go

The proposed elevated road cutting across Bengaluru sounds like bad news (“The steel road that will rip out Bengaluru’s heart – and set a dangerous urban precedent”). Gustav Krumbiegel, the botanist who played a big role in beautifying the city, was my great grandfather and this would have made him so sad. – Alyia Phelps-Gardiner

***

Does the city really need an elevated road on priority? The government should consider burning issues, such as the absence of footpaths, damaged or bad roads, slums, lack of drinking water, waste disposal and the like.

This project will help a select few reach the airport, but that’s about it.

Has expert opinion been taken on the project, or ecological issues taken into consideration? And has the government taken into account the inconvenience the damage to property and heritage?

The issue should be placed before the High Court. – Bache Gowda R

***

Dear chief minister, the steel road is no solution for the city. It will just add to traffic jams. Instead, the government should look at widening roads and building alternative links roads. – Ahamed Mohamed

***

The Congress has always been self-destructive. The builders lobby is ruling the roost in the city. We, the people, have got to stop this and we should do this together. Harsha Sridharan

***

It is very unfortunate that Bengaluru residents have to stand by and watch as the city looses precious green cover to unmindful and unplanned growth. The government does not seem to have a long term plan in place to make money and secure their seat. Shivaprasada Varanashi

***

I do not want a steel bridge at the cost of hundreds of trees. This is just another way for politicians and contractors to make money. Also, congestion in the city will increase as people will be encouraged to drive their vehicles. There will also be a resultant increase in pollution.

A better solution would be to develop the Metro or build a high-speed rail. Pawan Bangre

***

I was outraged to learn of the proposed flyover close to the Bengaluru’s golf club, as anyone with common sense would be. How can concerned citizens like me can organise, protest and take action against this ill-advised flyover that only serves vested interests??

It’s horrifying and we just have to do what we can to stop them. – Ajay S

***

A story from Charles M Schulz’s Peanut comic strips sums up what has happened to my once beautiful city, Bengaluru.

Snoopy the dog goes to visit the place he was born – only to find that a multi-level parking lot has been built on what was once a puppy farm. Disgusted, he looks at the steel-and- concrete monster and exclaims: “You stupid people! You’re parking on my memories!”

Need i say more? RIP, Bengaluru of old. – Sharath Ahuja

***

The citizens of Bengaluru object to this move by the government. We do not vote for them so that they can go against public opinion.

This flyover is not the solution to traffic jams. If the government really wants to do something about the congestion, it should improve the public transport system and the roads. Do not ruin Bengaluru any more. – Aarthi

***

This is madness! As a Bangalorean through-and-through, it breaks my heart to see them destroy my city like this. – Achala

***

This is undoubtedly a senseless project, and the government also knows that. But who cares, when there is so much money to be made. This project sounds the death knell for the soul of Bengaluru. – Parthasarathy V

Peace talks

Our rulers once carried out a surgical operation of sorts that divided our Motherland into two (“Utterly butterly reprehensible: When violence is as normal as butter”). This led to the birth of two step-children, who continue to fight with each other even today, instead of coming together and becoming stronger and mightier.

Instead of targeting each other’s military strengths, the focus of India as well as Pakistan should be on militants.

Instead of trying to outdo one another, Pakistan and India need to combine their military strengths and governments to restore peace and harmony.

In fact, all of Asia should come together and form a common military forum, where each every issue pertaining to defence can be negotiated.

The governments of both countries should step up stop playing the blame-game.

The Indian military has always shown restraint and it’s time for the Pakistani military to reciprocate, in the interest of solidarity and peace in the continent and the world as a whole. Ramanuj Sen

One-way road

Pakistan’s ailing economy will take another hit with the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (“How Chinese money is going to transform Pakistan into a major logistical hub”).

The country cannot even pay the cost of the thermal power projects to come up under this. Pakistan neither produces coal nor does it have significant export items to offset the balance of trade for the purchase of coal. The project is a misfit for the economy.

Ultimately, the Pakistani economy will be sold out to China. Further, Gwador is not a viable trade route. Its low water level does not make it a good seaport like Karachi.

China is pushing CPEC in its own interest. – Gopal Das

State’s concern

Don’t the people of Tamil Nadu have anything better to do than spend their time speculating about their chief minister’s health and praying for hours on end for her recovery (“As rumours swirl about Jayalalithaa’s health, social media users hit out against rumour-mongering”)? Imagine the number of man hours lost. No wonder our country is still a developing one. – NS Neelakantan

Word power

Great reflections on John le Carré (“Good news: John le Carré’s ‘memoir’ is a set of short stories. Bad news: they could be his last”). This article makes me want to go back and read his works that I have missed out over the years. The writer of this article should take on where le Carré left off; he writes well. – Jaya Abraham

***

I am reading the John le Carré’s books for the second time. They are timeless. After reading Chapter 33, “Son of the author’s father” of The Pigeon Tunnel: Stories From My Life, I developed a better understanding of his writing and where it came from. I wish his books would never end.

Language views

The author of this article does not seem to be a resident of India – that is why he is claiming that a majority of Indian citizens do not understand Hindi (“It’s time for the government to stop spreading the lie that Hindi is India’s ‘national language’”).

I have been staying in Bengaluru for 14 years and almost everyone understands Hindi here. Except in a few states such as Tamil Nadu, residents of almost all Indian states are familiar with Hindi.

Making Hindi the national language will not reduce the status of other regional languages as people continue to speak in those with their friends and family.

I belong to defense background as my father was in Indian Air Force. We have traveled all over country and I have not come across any city or state where people did not understand Hindi.
As it is most widely spoken language in our country, I do not hesitate to consider it our national language. – Vikas Singh

***

I think the Centre should make Sanskrit the national language and make it mandatory for all. Then all those who are against Hindi will learn a lesson and will accept the language People are ready to die learning English which was forced on all Indians hard way.

The entire agitation against Hindi is because the Centre has gone too soft on it. – Ranjan Kumar

***

The writer makes a strong argument. Why can’t Hindi-speaking people take the trouble to learn local languages if they have to take up jobs non-Hindi belts? Why should Hindi Day be observed in government departments? – Avinash Khanwalkar

On the screen

MSG The Warrior – Lion Heart is a good film, better than the first and second MSG films (“Film review: ‘MSG The Warrior – Lion Heart’ is every bit as terrible as you expect it to be”). Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh is coming up with good films. The dialogues are fantastic and memorable.

The VFX wasn’t great. I am waiting for the fourth film in the series.
Jashan Insan

Quota debate

The biggest loophole of the reservation system is that those who reaped the benefits it are holding top posts as government officials, district court judges, Indian Administrative Services and the like (“The Narendra Jadhav interview: ‘Caste system is the most brilliantly administered scam in history’”). Their children have faced any limitations or financial difficulties.

It is these children who go on to fill most of reserved seats in educational institutions and jobs.

Children of those who have already been given a government job through reservation should not be given the same benefit.

Unless these major changes are introduced in the reservation system, it will always be out of reach of those who truly need it. – Garima Agrawal

GMO uproar

What the Dhara Mustard Hybrid-11 fiasco managed to do is lift the lid on India’s unpreparedness, scientifically and legally, when it comes to dealing with topics such as genetically modified organisms (“Beyond ideology, why scientists disagree on GM mustard”).

There is no excuse for not having firm regulations regarding this. GMO crops have been around for a long time now and not having solid guidelines to dictate their every aspect – from research and funding to implementation – is appalling, at the least.

As a largely agrarian country trying to boost its international standing through science and technology, India should be at the forefront of GMO-tech. Instead, with Dhara Mustard Hybrid-11, we have been caught with our pants down.

Both pro- and anti-GMO sides have been making a lot of noise on the topic, but rather than clarifying the picture they are merely muddying the water even more.

Even the ethics aspect of it has left most people scratching their heads.

One wonders if we would even be having this conversation if a mega-corporation like Monsanto was responsible for Dhara Mustard Hybrid-11. Certainly the corridors of corruption that allowed Bt-cotton to hit the market would have also laid out the red carpet for it. Also, is the genetically modified mustard really that bad or is the negative reaction to it merely a knee-jerk response to the fact that it is a GMO?

It is time the government actually did something useful for the farmers and used this as an opportunity to lay down the law on how GMO crops should be dealt with.

Kudos to Mridula Chari on this lovely article. – Ranjan Mukerjee.

Until next time

Sunday Sounds had become a very important part of my weekend (“The final cut: Songs that never say goodbye”). It introduced me to new worlds, opening my mind and my soul. Thank you for so many wonderful pieces and I hope the column is back soon. – Satrajit Bhattacharya

Clear cut

Thanks for explaining how the Indian military’s actions across the LoC cannot exactly be termed a surgical strike (“What a surgical strike really is (and why the Army action across the LOC may not qualify as one”). Semantics apart, our politicians should be respectful towards the Indian Army and not politicise the issue.

The media has made mockery of army’s actions on prime-time debates. The military knows its job and we should not pass judgement on their actions. – Hema

Star struck

The artist is never the enemy but in times of heightened tensions and hostilities, people become symbolic of the countries they belong to (“Is the handsome Pakistani guy dancing on an Indian screen really the ‘enemy’?”).

This is not a personal attack on the artists. Since news about them
(especially handsome ones) grabs eyeballs, media houses play it on loop and make sure it stays in the news.

Fawad Khan is no less loved today in India than in the days before the Uri attack and Pakistanis surely continue to watch Indian TV while keeping up the din about the enemy country and its artists. Vandana Mittal

Water woes

The Ken-Betwa river linking project is not the answer to the water problem in Bundelkhand (“Interview: ‘You can either save the Ken-Betwa link project or the Panna Tiger Reserve’”).

There is not enough water in the Ken river to make the project a success. What we need are small check dams, cleaning of existing water bodies and more ponds, instead of false promises of water after 15-20 years.

These measures would also not compromise the existence of Panna Tiger Reserve and would be much cheaper and faster to execute. Most of the populace in the affected area of the project is unaware of the consequences of the Ken-Betwa river linking. They will be left without the tiger reserve and without water as well, worse off than they are at present. – Bhavna

***

Congratulations to Scroll.in and Rashme Sehgal for bringing this out. MK Ranjitsinh is a great man and I have immense respect for him. The tragedy of the Ken-Betwa river link needs to be thoroughly examined. Peeyush Sekhsaria

War and peace

I don’t want war with Pakistan, but don’t want love either. Choosing peace does not mean choosing love (“Dear India and Pakistan, can’t we convert our grudges into love?”). I want to neither hate nor love Pakistanis – I want no relation with the country. This culture-sharing will not work. – Bikram Pratap

Right note

Thank you for this article on Praveen Kumar (“A director sets out to learn the saxophone and finds a doughty tribe of horn players in Mumbai”). However, he makes one inaccurate statement about the history of the saxophone: it is not just over a hundred years old, it was invented in 1840 by Adolphe (not Adolf) Sax, and it is not really a bridge between the flute and a trumpet, but a reed instrument like the clarinet with a brass body like the trumpet. – Anand Doraswami

Left or right

I do not concur with Vikram Johri’s long monologue eulogising the Right and lambasting the Left (“I am a gay Indian man and still lean to the Right. Here’s why”). I don’t care whether he is gay or not – his sexual orientation has no bearing on my opinion of him.

First off, who is Johri to judge the Left? Secondly, has Johri forgotten that the Gandhis, whom he’s been dissing, have been among the few politicians to support the legalisation homosexuality in India?

So many prominent rightwing leaders have openly mocked the queer. In fact, if any political ideology has taken up the cause of the queer in the country, it is the the Left.

If any gay man supports the rightwing knowing all this, then I really don’t care for his opinion. – Ashish

Leading the way

Thank you, Scroll.in, for bringing to us the story of these brave girls who are challenging state-sponsored violence in Bastar (“Extrajudicial killings: How two teenaged girls in Chhattisgarh are leading a fight for justice”). We need to learn about sustainable living from Adivasi communities. – Shikha Bhattacharji

Wrong number

The employees who have been arrested are not at fault (“’Do you want a dispute?’: How thousands of Americans lost money to fake call-centres in Thane”). They were paid to make these calls and simply said what what they were told to. – Ram Singh

***

There’s also a fake call centre operating in Delhi. From the UK and pretend to be from a big software company. They tell victims that their computer has virus and the data in it has been compromised. They then agree to remove the virus for a fee. – Ignatius Fernandes

Gone unnoticed

Nowhere in the article is it explained why boycotting Chinese goods will hurt Indian trade and businesses, which was the premise of the article (“Think before you fall for #BoycottChina. Breaking trade ties will hurt Indian business”). If you continue to publish such click-bait stuff, then spam is the best folder for your articles. – Arunesh Gupta

There must be a law so that such practices are reported to authorities and permission is sought before “purification”. Independent medical exam also needed. I wonder why the parents did not undertake this process, letting the child only suffer! What a sacrifice!

If not reformed, this will be a case for public debate like triple Talaq! With time, each community living amongst others must evolve: if a old muni starves and dies, it is less problematic for a society, but not the death of a minor girl! (But please do not ask for a separate homeland so that you can do these such things, India cannot afford it; moreover, we like you to be with the rest of us). I am sure the richest and most-educated community of the country understands these feelings! Why so many are silent?

Surely, we need such purification rituals, but first start with all our parliamentarians and state level politicians!

We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
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