Surge pricing debate
I don’t know if you realise this or have lived in Delhi to experience this yourself, but Delhi public transport lacks tenfold in comparison to Mumbai and even Kolkata (“AAP vs app: Why odd-even makes no sense but Uber’s surge pricing does”). These cities have the privilege of local train networks and reliable bus services.

Delhi does not have any of those, and even if it does, the networks are not self-sufficient and there is no end-to-end connectivity. Delhi has become alarmingly unsafe as these public modes of transport cannot be trusted to the extent where you don’t know if you will reach home safe.

Uber and Ola provide a safety feature plus a public transport service with end-to-end connectivity. One feels safe travelling in these cabs even though these are not foolproof. But these apps have made life easier for a lot of outsiders to Delhi and its residents as well.

With odd-even in the picture, Ola and Uber count as a reliable public transport service. They cannot take advantage of people because the government allows only half the cars on the road.

These apps should rather put more cab partners on the road, encourage more people to carpool, encourage its drivers to stay in specific low demand areas as well to ensure a reliable service to its people. If the government has a duty towards people, so do the private app companies.

Delhi may have the Metro, but it does not suffice. You need cabs and the black and yellow ones do not run in all areas.

Delhi needs complete overhauling of its cab service and all other public transport services. More cars on the road will never solve the problem. Komal Goyal


The problem with the Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi is that it thinks of itself as extremely intelligent and oversmart. This was the same attitude when they were agitating against the previous government. It’s either their way or the highway.

They think that they know all the solutions and that there is no need to frame the policy covering all aspects of inconvenience and corruption. Only their face, some advertisements, and exhorting Delhiwallas as pioneers of some radical idea will make this scheme work.

They were once successful, but now the novelty factor of that scheme has worn off and practical problems are showing up. Vishal Jindal


Here’s a rebuttal to some of the points raised in your article.

1. Denial of livelihood to employees of car rental services

How could odd-even deny livelihood to employees of car rental services, when the chances of getting the rider are more because of odd-even?

2. But it is coupled with a shortage of cabs, because odd-even takes off the road half their employees, or driver partners as they prefer to call them

Cabs are not banned, sir. I have not seen either an Uber or Ola cab without a yellow number plate, and they are not banned in odd-even.

3. It would be different if Uber and Ola formed a cartel, drove out all competition through price cutting, and then raised their prices dramatically.

That is exactly what is happening. How long will the auto driver survive when the competitor is charging Rs 6-7 per kilometre. You will find tonnes of examples in Indian e-commerce alone. Ratan Dhorawat


The article puts forward some drawbacks of odd-even which lead to undesirable consequences for a few transport firms. But increasing charges is not the solution which can create a win-win situation. Instead, I feel that Ola and Uber should be exempted from the odd-even burden with certain conditions, clauses or charges.

It will then be a win-win situation for government transportation firms and the public. But care must be taken that odd-even doesn’t lead to excessive switching from public transport to private transport, as it would set a bad precedent and question the basis of the odd-even formula itself. Nilesh Bhosale


Girish Shahane’s argument in favour of surge pricing is flawed. When autos and regular taxis in metros charge extra fare during peak hours, it is condemned as illegal. But when this same practice is labelled as “surge pricing”, it becomes legal. Why these double standards? Sharit Bhowmik

Fruitful experiment
The headline perfectly sums it up ("Why praising odd-even for reducing traffic is like saying power cuts lower electricity wastage"). The odd-even scheme cannot be a permanent . Don’t you think, by that same analogy, if we had 12 hours of power cuts every day for 15 days, not permanently or happening every month, but just once, we would look out for alternative sources of energy? Won’t at least some of us look to curtail our rampant use of fossil fuels for energy creation? Surely, some entrepreneurs might come up with more efficient solar powered batteries or cut short wastages by improving current systems.

That is exactly what is happening right now as more and more people are switching to CNG, ride sharing is being explored by office goers, and some percentage of the affected crowd has shifted to public transport.

When curtailing measures like the odd-even scheme are implemented as a temporary measure, as to remind people of what assets they have and how to use them judiciously, I feel it will have positive, long lasting consequences. Vivek

Muslim marriages
There has been no dearth of articles in recent years on multiple platforms on the issue of triple talaq (“If Pakistan and 21 other countries have abolished triple talaq, why can’t India?”). But a common feature in most of them has been a total absence of the background on the ruling for three talaqs in a single sitting. In this respect, Ajaz Ashraf must be congratulated for not skirting the issue.

However, the arguments seem to be muddled up. Is it the author’s case that abolishing triple talaq is in accordance with Islamic jurisprudence? If so, the “ideal” legislations of Algeria and Tunisia cited by the author would be patently unIslamic, since even the author acknowledges that it goes beyond what even Ibn Tamiyyah ruled. Therefore, these cases would be irrelevant if the personal law is to remain “Islamic”.

If, on the other hand, it is the author’s case that unilateral divorce itself is the problem that needs to be removed, then the details over three being one are irrelevant. It then becomes an argument for secular reform, unfettered by the tradition of Islamic jurisprudence. In other words, the abrogation of personal law itself. If that is the author’s view, he should be upfront about it, instead of feigning concern for Muslim identity. Umair Azmi


The reckless oral divorce renders the marriage a joke. They are toys in the hands of the law itself – if you can consider them as laws that is.

Just pronouncing the words "nikaah" and talaq taking full effect shows how religion itself is formed on a whimsical idea and not any practical reason. It is evident that these laws were practised before the Muslim community learned to read and write. The Arabic script is the youngest of all scripts. That could be a reason for this state of oral laws being practised. Premakau

Failed systems
The NSS data is appalling to say the least. Having worked as a doctor in both public healthcare and at a private hospital, I can say that both have failed miserably (“The latest NSS data is a stark reminder of the alarming breakdown of public health services”).

The government sector has been rather indulgent of the proliferation of private chains of hospitals, which have profit as their only motivation and so tend to fleece.

However, government hospitals serve better than government schools. It is mismanagement of sorts in government hospitals. As for the lower strata of society, medical bankruptcy has already caught on.

As doctors, we are quite aware of the reasons. But those framing the public policy in health seem to be lost in their own clutter of wrong projections.

The middle class and the poor throng private hospitals to escape mismanagement and clutter, only to jump from frying pan to fire. I’m sure the policy people are aware of the ruckus that is created.

The hospital industry is spinning money courtesy the lack of awareness and helplessness among the poor. The momentum is too huge to reverse. Doctors didn’t play the leadership role expected of them.

Corporate social irresponsibility in healthcare should come under the scanner. And conscientious doctors should lead and manage the sector with an iron hand. It is not the government’s business anymore anyway. Kaberi Basu

Unenlightened souls
Supriya Sharma’s article claims to draw attention to the “treachery of the privileged” in our country (“Changing the name of Gurgaon will do nothing for its Eklavyas”).

But really, her article simply shows the treachery of unenlightened souls like her. Clearly, she is ignorant about the power of mantras.

If, instead of the names of our cities being changed only once in 70 years, we were to change the names of our cities every year, or every month (or better, every day), doesn’t she know that the workers’ hands and fingers would grow back again magically?

No, the issue of non-installation of modern gadgets has nothing to do with cost. It is, in reality, simply to give all unenlightened Indians the opportunity to be enlightened so that there can be political pressure to change the names of our cities much more frequently.

The energy generated by the chanting of the new names will repair not only the hands and fingers damaged in industrial accidents, but all limbs in our country that are damaged or deformed for any reason. Prabhu Guptara