Questionable timing
Academically speaking, the article was well written ("Despite being a modest man with modest achievements, Kalam captured the imagination of young India"). The author tells us a story by linking his own opinion to Kalam's list of successes and struggles. But I can't seem to understand the cynicism about the late former president. With most Scroll articles, there is usually valid explanation for the point you're trying to make. However, this seemed like a piece written merely to garner attention about what has been completely ignored by the print and digital media.

The timing of publishing a cynical article about a man who inspired millions left a bad taste in my mouth. It was half-baked, meandering loosely around topics such as the death sentence and nuclear warfare ‒ issues that need more explanation at a later, more appropriate time,

You attempt to criticise the man and also show adulation, but fail miserably on both counts. I hope such distasteful articles are not encouraged in the future.  Raghav Maini


Mohan Guruswamy's article on APJ Abdul Kalam is by far the best I have read from amongst the millions of words that have been written on the former President in the print media since he passed away. To me, this is what journalism should be.  Sharath Ahuja

Healthcare for all
The article aptly sums up the need for a pan-India public health scheme, perhaps something akin to an indigenous version of Britain's National Health Service ("South Africa moves towards universal health care, while India stagnates"). There are several gaps in the curreny system which are exploited by touts and middlemen.

There needs to be a structured system, one that connects all the medical colleges, nursing schools, diagnostic centres, hospitals, treatment and preventive measures, vaccination programmes, research institutes and healthcare workers.

It should be a system in which everyone gets healthcare facilities irrespective of their gender, class, creed or status. Healthcare should be a fundamental right and not a privilege.  Pratiti Nath

Cancer care
A lot of research has gone into this article ("It isn't just the disease that kills cancer patients in India - it's the wait"). I hope you will address the issues and difficulties of the patients who are unable to find an identical match for a transplant. There are also situations wherein a patient finds a match overseas but the expenses involved are too high.  Kapil Gupta


Increasing the number of transplant centres is not the solution to this problem. I am of the view that three issues need to be addressed:

1. The patient needs matching stem cells either from a bone marrow donor or cord blood donations. This is the raw material to start the treatment.
2.  The cost of transplant has to drastically reduce.
3. One component of the cost is medication and tests.

Treatment is a priority
I think there is only one solution: basic medicines should be provided at hospitals for free ("Why cancer patients in India are appealing to the Prime Minister, and to strangers for Facebook").  A fundraising programme should also be started. This may not be sufficient, but will provide some help.

Medical insurance should be provided to everyone. Also, treatment should be priority. A person should not be kept on the waitlist because of financial shortcoming. ‒ Madhuri Ashtekar


As a practising scientist in the field of oncology, I sincerely feel that the situation of cancer care in an ethnographically diverse setting like India expands way beyond registries and stem cell data banks.

The out-of-pocket expenditure on cancer treatment is exorbitant and most patients can't avail of primary line treatment such as radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Unlike most other diseases, cancer treatment involves a rotational cycle of therapy, making it much tougher for families to cope up with the total expenditure. As a result, most patients abandon the treatment in between.

If all these indicators were taken into account, we would see that inaccessibility to treatment and exprensive care is causing more damage than the disease in itself. Though there may be hospitals trying to provide subsidised treatment rates, the number of trained oncologists is less than the number of cases reported.

This makes the situation more challenging since most patients suffer long appointment lists. It looks like we need to change the way we look at this disease.  Gaurav Bhattacharya

Unfair comparisons
It's a strange article by Aakar Patel ("Most extremists in India are not Muslim, they are Hindu"). Through death statistics, he unknowingly tries to mitigate Islamic terrorism by comparing it with Maoist terror. But the writer misses the most crucial point, which is that the rebels are not killing people with the intention of imposing religious rule.

They don't declare a holy war to be fought in the name of Allah, Ram or Christ. Rather, it is secessionist or communist violence and religion is not a factor. Maoists draw followers from all religions.

It is the most obvious fact that Islamic terrorism is the biggest challenge facing India and the world. Hindu extremists are just a small group of deviants and do not pose a major problem. I don't agree with the statements made by Giriraj Singh and Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti. However, closing our eyes to the larger issues of terrorism is not going to solve anything.  Mihir Trivedi


I am shocked at how unabashedly you have associated Hindus with terrorism. Hindus have never picked up a gun in the name of religion. Muslims and Christians are safer in India than in Pakistan and Bangladesh.

More than the jihadists, it is the so-called liberals who pose a greater danger to the country and society because you bridge the gap between communities. You see and sensationally report everything through the prism of community or caste.

Journalists are as hypocritical as the opportunist leaders of pseudo-secular parties. You would not allow a Muslim to celebrte Holi or Diwali without raising community-based identity issues.

By publishing such highly inaccurate and cooked-up stories, you bring a bad name to the nation in light of the fact that online news is accessible to people across the globe.  Rahul Singh


It's pure ignorance on the writer's part. Maoist violence and terrorism in the northeast are in no way connected to religion. Their violent acts are a result of social and economic problems. Don't mislead people by classifying their acts as Hindu terrorism.  Ramesh Bodia


I wonder whether Aakar Patel understands Naxalism. He conveniently mixes terrorism with Naxalism, forgetting the latter is a fight for a cause and a principle. Though I do not agree with the philosophy of eye for an eye and changing society through guns, terrorism is completely different from Naxalism.

What Giriraj Singh said it highly irresponsible and his comments are in bad taste, especially as he is a Union minister. The writer is free to condemn these remarks too, but should refrain from unnecessarily targeting Hindus.  Chandrasekhar

Science, not fantasy
The writer doesn't understand the history of India, ancient literature and what you call "Hindu science" ("Why the BJP is appointing C-listers to head top institutions"). You cited the appointment of Gajendra Chouhan, which I agree is a condemnable step taken by the government. But as for your remarks on Sanskrit and ancient art, science and literature, I suggest you dig deep into history before creating controversy.  Ishandeep Gupta


The author's aversion to the Modi government is crystal clear. Although I agree with him on certain points including the appointment of Gajendra Chouhan, I reject the argument that Narendra Modi believes in Hindu science or that the concept is a fantasy.

Don't forget that ancient Hindu science has given rise to the schools of yoga and ayurveda, which even western societies have adopted. Hence, generalising Hindu science as a fantasy is wrong.

Narendra Modi's advocacy of Make in India, Beti Bachao Andolan, Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan, his thrust on science, technology and modernisation certainly can't be termed as regressive.

Attacking Hindus and Hindutva is very easy as Hindus are seldom known for violent backlashes. I'll regard the author a true secular and neutral if he were to even criticise the acts and malpractices of other religions and fomentors of hatred. There are deplorable elements in Hinduism , but condemning Hindutva is not the solution.  Akshay Ketkar

Land reform
In reality, the Centre has thrown in the towel on the land acquisition ordinance ("Why the Modi government must work on land reform before land acquisition"). Allowing the states to have their own separate law is a disingenuous move to cover up defeat. ‒ Gerald Fernandes

Gulzar's mystique
Gulzar is complex writer who always speaks through feelings rather than words ("Music history: The unknown story behind 'Woh Shaam Kuchh Ajeeb Thi'"). His words always contradict the feelings. The song is very difficult to understand, feel and enjoy.  srijantheatregroup on email

Harper Lee's second take
My views differ from those expressed in this review ("Go Set A Watchman: It's a sin to kill a mockingbird"). To me, this book is more realistic than the previous one. According to me, this original draft was enough to convey the message. There was no need for two books.  Pratiti Nath

Identity crisis
The articles states that "in some instances, the names of beneficiaries were simply struck off when they could not be located immediately".("India's Unique Identity Dilemma isn't about those who enrol in Aadhaar, but those who don't"). It is not merely "in some instances" as more than 80 million people were declared 'duplicates'. No attempt was made to locate them.

UIDAI does not try to locate or verify people. De-duplication is an automated process carried out by foreign private companies. Nearly everyone, include page 3 personalities who appear on the small screen to support UID, aren't aware of these facts or choose to ignore them.

In a RTI reply, UIDAI has confirmed to me that when a person's biometrics matches those of a person already enrolled, they simply delete details about the new person, considering it a duplicate. ‒ Mathew Thomas

Conspicuous by their absence
You seem to have missed out on quite a few notable bands who have made it big ("In Kerala, the new revolutionaries are bands fusing classical temple, folk and rock music"). For example, the folk-music-meets-death-metal band The Downtroddence.  Very earthy, yet very out of this world at the same time, their music is taking the metal world (not just across India, but abroad) by storm despite being very deeply entrenched in folk.

You’ve also left out the psychedelic group Kaav, who have brought out some very compelling anthems that are pretty dark, just as you have ignored Mother Jane and its scintillating Carnatic overtones by Baiju Dharmarajan.

It does seem like your article was based entirely on Kappa TV and Sumesh Lal, which is a pity because there is so much good music out there that hasn’t made it to Kappa yet.  Remember, Avial wasn’t cooked with Kappa!  S Menon

Gem from the past
I remember reading Mother India as a schoolgirl and Baburao Patel's acerbic comments on a wide variety of political issues of the day ("Most wretched, boring and amateurish hotch-potch: Meet Baburao Patel, pioneering film journalist"). I never had the opportunity to read Film India, but had heard about it from my father.

Although I never approved of what I read about his personal life, I just could not help but enjoy the wit and humour in his writing. Of course, I do not think it could have survived beyond a point; Mother India hardly had much else apart from the Q&A section, and some self-promotional hyperbole from the editor.

The printing quality was good; but there was nothing more to it.  If it had ruled at one time, it was because it lacked competition. The remarks he made about women could never have  been accepted by feminists today. His personal life would have made many mark him out as hypocrite.  Dr Rina Mukherji

Islam defines culture
Irrespective of whether Indian Muslims use the word "Ramzan" or "Ramadan", it's a matter of language, not religion, politics or economy ("Why are Indian Muslims using the Arabic word Ramadan instead of the traditional Ramzan?"). Even if Indians say Ramadan, it still relates to Muslims and is still Persian, not HIndi or Sanskrit.

Using the word Ramzan is not going to make Indian Muslims more patriotic. Shoaib Daniyal, you ended your article by saying that the word Ramadan and using "Allah" instead of "Khuda" creates cultural insecurity. I don't know who you are, but Muslims want to be Muslims. They want to be perfect in their faith and actions. To Muslims, Islam will define culture and not vice-versa.

Why do you call your country India and not Bharat? Don't you know that the word India is an anglicised form of the word Hind, which is also Persian? Since you seem to prefer culture over Islam, please find a Sanskrit word for Ramadan and Indian Muslims will start using that word.  Adnan Ahsan Shibib

Reading list
Amazing stuff and very informative ("Nine extraordinary books you didn't know were coming in 2015"). Apart from Hamlet, which is my all-time favourite, I am a fan of classics such as Crime And Punishment and other bestsellers and prize winners. I intend to read at least three of the upcoming books - Pamuk, Atwood and Eco. ‒ Sajjan Thakur

Spoiler alert
I agree that this movie isn't as good as the original ("Film review: In Drishayam, what you see is what you get"). However, when you are reviewing an film, keep it independent from its previous avatars. You are not here to draw parallels between the original and the remake as many readers may not have watched Mohanlal's version.

Also, you are reviewing a suspense film. Haven't you heard of the term spoilers? You have barely left mystery left for people who may decide to watch the movie after reading this review.

This may be a weaker remake, but Drishayam is one of the very few gripping movies of its genre in recent times.  Jayesh Adhyaru

Sparing the rod
The extremely violent nature of corporal punishment can never be condoned ("Teachers are still using the stick in Indian schools and parents aren't doing anything to stop it"). However, it seems that it has become a trend for writers like you to malign this traditional disciplinary tool.

Either you or your peers have chiildren studying in very expensive schools or it suits your profession not to writer against the prevailing trend. You simply need to connect with with some teachers and principals of some of the so-called good schools in any city. You will be surprised to discover the utter indiscipline and demeaning behaviour exhibited by some spoiled students from Class 9-12, who bully fellow students and teachers alike.

And it is hardly their fault because their wings were not clipped at an earlier age. The teachers were/are given strict instructions from the school management not to shout at and punish the children. The moment a teacher would take even a semblance of any disciplinary step, the violent parents would raise a ruckus and the management in all probability would come down heavily on the teacher.  Sharad Kumar

Net neutrality
The DoT cannot convice the country about their illogical paper ("India's net neutrality policy seeks inspiration from an unlikely source ‒ Buddha's middle path"). There is a famous adage, "If you cannot convince, confuse." That is precisely what the DoT is attempting to do. It is up to reasonable politicians to uphold consumer interests in the face of expected roadblocks by service providers. We bank upon you to ensure that citizens do not lose out to strong vested interests.  Brig Ranbir Sethi (Retd)

Elephant in the room
It was heartening to note that the writer has highlighted a very important issue in elephant conservation  ("How thoughtless development is killing both elephants and people in Western India"). As forests shrink and border areas get realigned, we must also be willing to make compromises and give up some space for animals.

Maharashtra's neglected elephants are a recent phenomenon, but the solution must also be rooted in the present and not in the past notions of "forest and non-forest".

While it is important to use the tool of state pride to garner support  which in some cases may involve rightly blaming neighbouring states ‒ it also essential to find stories of inspiration that urgle the people of the state to do the right thing.  Akshay Surendra

Tall claims
I consider this an example of the same old tactic used by American intelligence agencies to fool others ("Islamic State is preparing to launch attack on India, US publication claims"). Are we Indians gullible enough to believe such claims? Is the US capable of protecting its own people?

Why don't the Americans reflect on their own flaws first They have made several fake claims in the past as well in the name of ISIS. Who knows whether ISIS is an Islamic group? It is full of people behind masks and that doesn't prove its Islamic background. Who can guarantee that those militants and terrorists are Muslims?

In my opinion, the real terrorists are the CIA, who make such misleading claims to turn every country against Islamic countries. And now they are trying to turn India against Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq by using their same old tactic.  Mohammed Haseeb