Ex-navy chief speaks out against intolerance
Three cheers to Admiral Ramdas for his open letter ("The RSS is leading a systematic campaign to create a Hindu rashtra, ex-navy chief tells Modi"). Not only do you have a brave past, but you are as brave, if not braver, today. You have stayed true to your commitment to serve the country by writing this heartfelt, anguished letter to the government.

It is sad that after a lifetime protecting India, you are seeking protection from communal forces within.

I hope that your letter is an eye-opener that echoes the sentiments of millions of Indians who fear that the country is hurtling towards a fearful and violent era.
I salute you for standing up on behalf of us and doing what we all should, which is fighting for our rights.  Sylvia


This is what you get when there is a choice between a chosen heir and an ideological man, who masqueraded as a secular leader. I nearly fell for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's rhetoric, but what a wasted opportunity. He has let every thinking Indian down. I am more sad than angry.

He has not said a word against the killers of that poor man who was murdered for allegedly eating beef. This is no sabka saath, sabka vikaas. It is plain and simple highhandedness.

The fact that Admiral Das had to write this open letter is proof enough that things are doing downhill.  Rasam


It is bizarre for a former navy chief to feel that he is "forced to hang his head in shame". Why did our respected former navy chief not hang his shame and maintain a deafening silence during the riots in 1984 and the ones in Assam and Muzaffarnagar, the attack on writer Taslima Nasreen, the ban on Salman Rushdie's book, and the Bhagalpur blindings.

Why was he silent when lakhs of Kashmiri Pundits were driven away from Kashmir by Muslims and became refugees in their own country? Were all these incidents "tolerable" to the ex-navy chief ? Why did he not write an open letter to the then prime minister when massive infiltration by Bangladeshis was taking place in Assam?

Is Admiral Ramdas being selective in writing an open letter, just because these incidents happened under a different government?  Vijay Dabade


Admiral Ramdas is 100% correct. But rest assured, his voice will be drowned out in the din created by the Shiv Sena. There will be so much abusing and mudslinging that most decent people will withdraw from any kind of public discourse.

In Tier 2 cities, the situation is worse. If you dare criticise the intolerance and irrational maxims of the Hindu extremists, you are threatened with violence, damage to property and attacks on your family in a variety of ways. I can see so many parallels with the rise of the Nazis in Germany. God save this country.  d132231 on email


As common citizens of this great country, we look to people like Admiral Ramdas for inspiration as an agent of positive change. I would never want him to hang his head in shame. He should hold his head up high.

Recent incidents are aberrations that have crept into our system and they must be set right.  Jagmohan Misra


It is unfortunate that Admiral Ramdas did not write a letter about the 1984 anti-Sikh riots and other incidents that resulted in the death of millions of Hindus. I do not understand what is wrong with the idea of a Hindu Rashtra. India's original inhabitants are Hindus and the theory of Aryan invasion has already been disproved.  Sri Kotti


Recent incidents are indeed disturbing, but Admiral Ramdas only offers a one-dimensional view of our times. We have to look at the big picture. There is growing intolerance in society. Who had heard of road rage-related murders in the times that Admiral Ramdas is talking about?

Earlier, one could disagree without being afraid of violence from the other side. You could criticise the state and its highest functionaries without fear of repercussions. Can I do the same thing today? It is a general deterioration that we have to fight, not condemn.

All other acts, howsoever deplorable and condemnable, are a manifestation of the times we are living in.  Selective condemnation will not change our mindset.  Suresh Chander


A particularly well-written piece that is lucid and to the point. It hits the bullseye.  Admiral Sureesh Mehta


This is a motivated article without substance that is written by an 80-year-old veteran who is targeting a patriotic party. He does not mention the parties fronted by Lalu Yadav, Mulayam Singh Yadav, Nitish Kumar, Jayalalithaa or Mamata Banerjee.

Has he collected data about the percentage of criminal acts perpetrated by Muslims and Dalits? Does he talk about how many temples were demolished or how many churches were vandalised? These are issues that the retired Admiral needs to consider.  titueshwer on email

I am grateful to you for writing this letter on behalf of the common man, who is peace-loving and respects unity in diversity. You have said what many of us dare not say, not because our views are wrong and vulgar, but because the fear of intolerance is once again becoming a reality. A feudal mindset is in our genes. But great personalities like you maintain equality in decision-making, transparency in deeds and morality in speech. However, conservatives, feudal forces and authoritarian individuals are now able to flourish.  Divakaran


Like Admiral Ramdas, I am also a veteran in my eighties. I am rather surprised that a former navy chief can make statements not supported by any evidence. He has not even defined the issue. Unambiguous condemnation can mean different things to different people.

Most secular people are pro-Muslim and anti-Hindu. They protest against the acts of Hindu fundamentalists and defend the heinous acts of Muslim fundamentalists.

Admiral Ramdas is unconvincing, especially because beef has been a sensitive issue with some Hindus over the centuries. Mangal Pande triggered our first war for independence because he refused to bite the tallow before loading the bullet.

For whatever reason, there is an orchestrated attempt to create dissatisfaction in the country.  Maj Gen (Retired) SCN Jatar


I salute Admiral Ramdas. His letter brought tears to my eyes. He is a man of integrity. – Mellany Gajjala


There is no doubting the intent of the BJP government under Narendra Modi. It is plain enough for all to see. Since this government has been in power, intolerance and bans and suppression of religious freedom have reached intolerable heights. This gravely threatens the social fabric of our amazing country. I salute the retired Admiral, who spoken as a true Hindu about his concerns for our great nation.

Many Hindus are wondering what has happened to our prime minister and his promise of development. They are also concerned about what this government is up to.

It is time that all Indians speak up and defend our Constitution, which is being threatened by such intolerance that is overlooked by the state.  Nigel Pereira