This discussion is futile (“Why are Indian Muslims using the Arabic word ‘Ramadan’ instead of the traditional 'Ramzan'?”). It has been the same always, it is just that people are now recognising the correct pronunciation. The word Ramadan is spelt in English this way because there is no exact substitute for the original Arabic letter. Both Arabic and Urdu have the same script. In Urdu, this letter is pronounced “za” whereas in Arabic, it is “dha”. This is why the difference has arisen. Why the brouhaha about this? – Jazeel
This article is the perfect example of what writing in the Indian media should be. Concise yet deeply researched, the article has the voice of a seasoned professor. Written in such simple language, it has the potential of opening the hearts and minds of thousands of Indians and Muslims by demonstrating not only a word's origins but also the origins of fundamentalism in the Indian subcontinent. Thank you for writing this piece. – Varun Shetty
The writer is creating an argument where there is none. The entire Arab world and for that matter much of the rest of the Muslim world use the word Ramadan to describe the ninth month in the Islamic calendar. The Holy Quran was revealed in Arabic and not in Persian, Urdu or any Central Asian language. Therefore if any Indian, Pakistani or Bangladeshi wants to call the month Ramadan instead of Ramzan, what's the harm? This is not a big deal. Ramadan-Ramazan, Toma(y)to-Tom(ah)to. – U Madha
Does the act of visiting the Tomb of the Unknowns not show the direction in which the world’s largest democracy is being led by its representative (“By visiting the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington, Modi crossed a sacred line”)? This indicates the mindset of the forces in this government. Forgetting all the moral values India stands for, how can we accept our prime minister paying his respects to soldiers who wreaked havoc in Vietnam? What is the guarantee that such crimes will not be perpetrated by such soldiers on other countries, including India? – R Mathialagan
The writer needs to check his facts first. Arlington National Cemetery is dedicated to soldiers who lost their lives in various conflicts. It starts with the American Civil War includes those who died during World War II (in which India was on the side of the US), and more recently, while fighting those who India also sees as enemies – the Al Qaeda and the Taliban. Even the Kennedy brothers, very popular with Indians, are buried there. It is a gracious act for any visiting dignitary to pay his respects there. – Vijay Jodha
Prime Minister Narendra Modi loves theatrics. Without realising implications of his visit to the Tomb of the Unknowns, he committed a blunder for the sake of publicity. Indian has always taken an anti-US stand on the Vietnam and he can't change history with this step. – Shahzad Z Ali
It is yet to be seen how the Essar tapes story will be killed as was seen with the Radia tapes (“From Radia to Essar: How corporate rivalries open a window on allegations of high-level corruption”). Niira Radia had close links with an NDA minister and that was perhaps why any further investigation was killed. The influence top industrialists exert over politics is nothing new. Corporates who are very close to the present establishment have also used their influence in various matters. –Srinivasan Iyer
This is well-written and one of the few unbiased views on the Jat quota stir that I’ve come across. The media has largely projected the community the way the Union government wants them to be seen. That is not journalism. I hope Scroll.in maintains its high standards. – Anurag
Films are a powerful medium and they dictate fashion trends and behaviour (“'Udta Punjab' row: Bombay HC orders film's release with one cut, asks CBFC to not act like a grandma”). It has been widely reported that Pakistan’s ISI has been pumping drugs into states like Punjab, to fund terrorist activities and also incapacitate the youth and thereby, the country. India’s intelligence agencies are aware of this.
Therefore, utmost care should be taken before allowing such a portrayal of decaying morals. The obligations to prevent and control the deterioration of the social fabric rest with all organs of the democracy, including the judiciary. – Anand Chandok
The Punjab government has failed to tackle the drug problem in the state. Pakistan is reportedly pumping drugs into India and the government at the Centre as well as the state is not taking action. Instead, the government seemingly wanted the film to be censored. This is a case of misplaced priorities. It’s good that the Aam Aadmi Party has made this an election issue. – PK Chaudhuri.Mythological mattersAshtavakra Gita, we are all an integral part a big game or a big being – like the waves of a cosmic ocean (“Are we living inside a cosmic computer game? Elon Musk echoes the Bhagwad Gita (and the Matrix)”). The learned sage Ashtavakra – believed to be the guru of King Janak, the father of Sita and father-in-law of Lord Ram – calls the being Parmatma or Brahm. As long as you view yourself as a separate entity, you are an atma, but once you have this awareness, you are also the Parmatma and Brahm. This realisation he calls moksha, or the ultimate achievement. – Kamal
Fighting others’ battles
Nowhere in world does the head of a country’s apex financial institute have as many proxies as India’s RBI chief. (“Raghuram Rajan's battle against crony capitalism: University of Chicago colleague defends RBI chief”). There’s Luigi Zingales, the author of this article and Rajan’s colleague from Chicago; Christopher Woods of CLSA; the print media; P Chidambaram and others from the Congress and the super-rich Indian business giants who pay paltry amounts as interest and yet create non-performing assets.
Such false accusations from these quarters will only ruin his reputation. Please understand that the reason for Rajan’s failure is not his intelligence. Our prime minister has acknowledged that Rajan is a great teacher. However, he lacks the wisdom to accelerate growth and be in tune with the government. He lacks the prudence to lower interest rates for small and medium enterprises. – Nitin Varia
Donation vs duty
This is not a donation in the strict sense of the term (“Sachin Tendulkar donates lakhs to boost West Bengal school's infrastructure”). This is the disbursement of funds under the Member of Parliament Local Area Development scheme. All MPs can and should disburse funds in their constituencies or where ever required, as per their discretion. – Chella Rao Rongala
An honest party that is fighting corruption and sincerely wants to rid the country of it is being given a hard time (“President rejects Delhi’s dual office Bill, 21 AAP legislators may face disqualification”). The disqualification of these MLAs will be a black day in the history of India.– Navtej Singh
Jasraj is a gem and there can be no other like him (“Music and lyrics: Jasraj's versatility is on display in these renditions of raag Yaman”). I have a vast collection of his music. Thanks for highlighting him and his versatility. – Neelima Pradhan
Man vs wild
I completely agree with Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar (“The debate over the culling of wildlife in India requires more than just sound and fury”). A number of districts in Uttar Pradesh are badly affected by the menace of nilgai and wild boars. The people who are making a hue and cry over the order permitting the culling of certain animals should come out of their air-conditioned rooms and see the ground realities. – Hassan
The Congress high command does not seem to be in the mood to form the next government in Punjab (“The Daily Fix: Kamal Nath U-turn is proof – Congress still has no idea what it's doing”). The decision to appoint party leader Kamal Nath as the in-charge of party affairs in Punjab, despite his alleged involvement in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, had given the Akali Dal and the BJP plenty of ammunition against the Congress. This was a foolhardy decision – evidenced by the fact that the party reversed it – given that in Punjab, anti-incumbency is strong and the people can lean towards the Congress. – C Singh
India’s entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group through the support of existing members will increase Pakistan’s desire to become a member of the elite group in later years (“Britain will support India’s membership to NSG, David Cameron assures Narendra Modi”).
This in turn might curtail Pakistan’s nuclear proliferation attempts with China’s help. Hence, this is a good opportunity for global powers to admit India into the NSG. China has been trying, for very long, to block India’s entry into the NSG by saying that Pakistan should be allowed in too. This is so that china can use Pakistan tacitly for its nuclear proliferation to checkmate India and the US globally.
The other members should understand China’s strategy and vigorously lobby for India’s entry into the NSG. Pakistan will then attempt to desist from further nuclear proliferation at the behest of China to secure the coveted place in the group. – Jay Nath
My exploration of wildlife started last summer with a sighting of the mighty Bamera (“An encounter with the mighty Bamera, star of Bandhavgarh”). My companions at the safari, hotel staff, the naturalist accompanying us drivers unanimously said that you will never see a tiger more beautiful than Bamera. Indeed, it took me a while to gather myself when I first saw him. He was standing just a couple of feet away, looking straight at us. I had long been thinking of going back and getting another glimpse – and hopefully a great picture – of him, but alas, the mighty Bamera is no more. – Rajeev Ranjan
The discrimination against homosexuals and the transgender community has been rife for as long as I can remember (“In addition to decrying the Orlando massacre, why not work to decriminalise homosexuality in India?”).
I had experienced homophobia at first-hand when in school, at the age of 13, and in later years, going to school was a nightmare. I was treated like an untouchable and called vicious names, but I never spoke to anyone about this trauma because I felt that no one would understand me and speaking to my family about this was out of the question.
I became a stronger person and by the time I went to college, I had learnt how to handle such incidents because I had moulded myself into a different person by pretending I was straight. I did make it a point to support LGBT issues, but I wasn’t strong enough to come out about myself because people around me were more homophobic than I expected.
When I went to London for higher studies, I met many people who inspired me, and I decided I could no longer live my life based on societal norms. I came out to my mother, who had a tough time accepting it, but she eventually came around. My father, to my surprise, was supportive the instant he found out.
I still encounter homophobia at times, but thanks to my education, I have managed to make a place for myself in society. However, I still fear what my neighbours will think if they found out, or how people at my workplace will react. I am not free in this country because I am not free in my mind and I’m not free to be who I really am. I know that one needs to be the change, but I am scared – and that’s why I want India to be a place where no one needs to be afraid of being themselves. – Mukut
No meat here
Please don't connect vegetarians to any political or religious factions (“Why vegetarian states love the BJP but non-vegetarian states prefer their own parties”). Elephants, giraffes, horses and deer are not members of political parties. Man started behaving as though he was the custodian of nature and started killing and eating animals and birds. I don’t think there is an argument beyond this. – Madhava K Padubidri
This is a highly divisive article whose actual intention is something else and not to show the correlation between vegetarianism and BJP. It is based on faulty premises. It is like saying that if the sun rises in the East, then everything that rises in the East is the sun. Please consider some points.
First, all upper castes are not vegetarian. All lower castes are not non-vegetarian. Most Brahmins in South and Western India are vegetarian, but almost all Brahmins in the East are omnivorous. The strength of the BJP are not the upper castes, it is the OBCs and the STs. The country is already suffering because of divisive caste politics. Do not exacerbate it. – VSG Chandra Sekhar
The Gujarat story has been told time and again, but there are always new twists and turns (“'Police was definitely involved, but got away': Survivors and activists rue Gulberg verdict”). In Crime and Punishment, Dostoevsky says when he murdered one woman, he was called a murderer, but what about the heroes of history who caused the killing of thousands of innocent people? This is what we see with the Gujarat riots.
Does a crime not remain a crime 14 years later? India is a great country because it has produced great people in plenty. But stray rogues can destroy it. I am a patriot and I am concerned. We have seen a brave woman like Teesta Satalvad, who was actively fighting for the cause of riot victims, being harassed – her NGO’s foreign funds’ licence has been cancelled. If voices like hers are supressed, the whole concept of justice will collapse. – M EhteshamRoyal row“War trophies: When Hindu kings raided temples and abducted idols”). For instance, the article says that Aurangzeb constructed far more temples than he destroyed. Can the author quote a few? In Karnataka, with which I am well-versed, I haven’t come across a single temple that was patronised by a Muslim king.
On the other hand, every district in Karnataka has temples that are entirely ruined, or the idols of which have been destroyed by Muslim invaders.
The article is extremely imbalanced and ignores the fundamental philosophy of the invaders, their motives, and modus operandi and compares rules with exceptions. - Nagaraja Gundappa
I have been a researcher at the Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science and my fellow researchers and I had found insufficient infrastructure and funding to be a major concern (“'Nature' magazine shows why India needs to urgently boost scientific research”).
However, we felt that the main reason India lacks research workforce is the absence of employment opportunities for those who return to India after completing a post-doctorate tenure abroad. My experience as an experimentalist was not too bad.
But due to some circumstances at home, I could not take the risk of going abroad for a post-doctorate and I am now working as an underpaid lecturer at a state government institution that doesn’t give me the scope for exercising even the minimum skill that I have developed. Countless fellow researchers of mine have similarly joined graduate colleges where research is a distant dream. These are the brains that India could not harness. – Arindam Karmakar
This is an excellent article that addressed what has been on my mind for a long time (“Why do we wait so restlessly for the workday to end and for the weekend to come?”) I have made the conscious choice of changing jobs to get some time to explore my talents and be with my children.
What's the point of life if earning money takes up all our time and leisure activities are done with guilt? Health, family, leisure, money – that should be our order of priorities.
The government should consider improving the work-life balance in India alongside its other initiatives. Parts of the West do this. In fact, we don’t even need to look that far. Neighbouring Bhutan places happiness above work, which reflects in its position as the world leader on the Happiness Index.
Let's create a paradigm shift in the understanding of life. And who better than our land of spirituality to show the way to the world! – Rajratna Jadhav
This is the silliest interpretation of allegory and symbolism and amounts to complete ignorance of Bulleh Shah and the Sufi style (“From Bulleh Shah and Shah Hussain to Amir Khusro, same-sex references abound in Islamic poetry”).
Sufis humanised God and a love affair with God is the deepest connection - it transcends distance elements of worship and makes God tangible - and the real murshid is not a human mentor but God. The writer does not understand imagery and philosophy of Sufism and is writing an opportunistic article timed with Orlando shootings.