You have only yourself to blame if you take Arnab Goswami’s show seriously (“The Daily Fix: Arnab Goswami must realise that journalism is about questioning, not blind acceptance”). One watches fireworks just for the fun of it – the noise and colour they produce. Soon after, you forget about it.
That’s all the importance Goswami deserves. Don’t take him seriously, but don’t ignore him either – he’s a class act. – Ravindranathan
I never watch Arnab Goswami’s channel because he thinks he knows everything and that others are fools. He only knows how to outshout everyone and claim that he’s asking what “India wants to know”. – Hamilton
While I’m with Barkha Dutt in that Arnab Goswami needs to show some restraint and limit himself to being an anchor and a moderator instead of assuming the role of a judge, I suggest that Dutt, too, should introspect over her conduct and the times that she has taken an anti-government stance just for the heck of it (“NDTV's Barkha Dutt slams Arnab Goswami's sinister call for journalists to be put on trial”). – RS
I don’t care about your views on Arnab Goswami or his channel. However, what I take offence to is your reading of the Kashmir situation.
The Indian Army and security forces are not responsible for the unrest. What does the author know about the army, or the situation on the ground in Kashmir?
It is very easy to churn out articles from the comfort of air-conditioned offices and rant about the excesses of the security forces.
But if you go and face the dangerous and hostile crowd for even a day, you’ll see how difficult things are.
Journalists like you would write about how Kashmiris are getting grievously injured by pellet guns – but do you have the courage to visit army and police personnel admitted to the Base Hospital Srinagar and see the kind of injuries they have sustained?
Stop spreading this journalism of hate against your own security forces. I am a proud army wife and a proud Indian. – Ashima
Enough has been written about Arnab Goswami’s style of functioning as an anchor. But he has not paid heed to the criticism and altered his style in any way.
But his latest tactic of toeing the government line – which was also seen in the way he went soft on Narendra Modi during the Times Now interview – is a marked departure from his days when he claimed to be the apostle of truth and honesty. Goswami needs to be true to his profession and should give all points of view equal or adequate weightage. – SN Iyer
Why should I buy the sabotage angle in the Narsingh Yadav case (“Doping, sabotage, scandal: The Narsingh Yadav saga has turned Indian wrestling into a farce”)? What does the Wrestling Federation of India stand to gain by sending Yadav for the Olympics? The country should send the best wrestler, whosoever it may be.
Vested interests and political interests of sports officials always end up playing a role. The losers are thus the sport and the country.
We need to insulate sports from vested interests and have more transparency in selection procedures. – Onkar Singh
A sleepless minstrel is gone – gone with the wind (“Mahasweta Devi (1926-2016) was a fighter all her life, through her books and through her activism”).
All we have now is the treasure of her creative works that can bring her back. Her love and empathy for the distressed will be immortalised. Her works can walk through the cunning passages of time. – Asok Chattopadhyay
This is one of the best remembrance pieces! – Aditi Pancholi
People the world over are paying rich tributes to Mahasweta Devi for her crusading zeal in defending the dignity of the oppressed and the tribal people in our country. Devi's empathetic portrayal of the day-to-day struggle of the tribal people will be cherished by the future generations.
The world of literature and the human rights movement have a lost a valiant crusader. For the younger generation, Devi's life and literary works would be a source of great inspiration. – Ashok Panda
Mahasweta Devi, the champion of the dispossessed, showed us the heights to which writers could rise to help mankind rather than confining themselves to elite enclaves.
Devi stayed rooted to the struggles of the masses and adivasis fighting for their rights. She won the highest honours in the country and the void that her death has created will be tough to fill. – Devdas V
When the law enforcement institutions are misused by the Modi government to provoke AAP, and furthermore prevent his MLAs from executing their duties, one has to sympathise with Kejriwal (“Arvind Kejriwal's paranoia is undermining his claims about Modi's anti-AAP vendetta”).
In fact even Modi, as chief minister of Gujarat, had claimed that the Congress government had given a ‘supari’ to the CBI to finish him politically. – Sriram Narayanaswamy
I believe Scroll.in should sanitise stories spreading such propaganda and should be ashamed about publishing them (“Diary of a Kashmir curfew: 'Our eyes are crucial to seeing ourselves, to envisioning our future'”).
I have visited Kashmir and find it to be a lot more liveable, secular, tourist-friendly and developed today – of course, with the presence of armed personnel everywhere.
Burhan Wani is a terrorist – it’s as simple as that. Only someone without a mind or intellect could call him a martyr.
The fight for freedom is misled. They are walking into a death trap. The Indian Army is sacrificing its life to keep Kashmiris out of harms way. – Akhil
While negotiating how to tackle the Kashmir issue, all the stakeholders – the state, citizens, separatists, security personnel etc – need to ask: What exactly does “azadi” mean? Who wants freedom and from what (“Why the 2007 Kashmir documentary ‘Jashn-e-Azadi’ needs to be watched again in 2016”)?
What has this bloodshed continued for decades and till when will it go on? We need to ascertain what it is that people want. After all, their desires need to be respected. – Bachan
Telling the tale
After coming across this story and its striking headline, I couldn’t stop myself from writing to Scroll.in (“Scenes from Anantnag: Broken glass, broken bodies, broken mothers”). This is not only a great story but also an example of good journalism where a headline speaks more than several paragraphs of copy.
At a time when media outlets are stooping to a new low every day, this stands as a bright spot. – Utsav Basu
For years, the Dalits have been doing a service to upper-caste Hindus, who will be the first to complain if cow carcasses are left to rot on the streets (“'Your mother, you take care of it': Meet the Dalits behind Gujarat’s stirring cow carcass protests”).
In my travels to India, I have seen the way cows are treated, left to their own devices to forage for food. In Scotland, we eat a lot of beef, but we treat our animals with respect.
Was it not Buddha who stopped animal sacrifices and was against violence against any living being? Yet in all the countries where Buddhism is state religion, people are allowed to it non-vegetarian food. – Roy Parekh
What this article fails to mention, and what is critical to understanding the issue, is the scale of the anti-drug campaign here in the Philippines (“The rising body count of the Philippines’ ‘war on drugs’”). 1,15,000 drug users and drug dealers have surrendered. Rehab centres are being tripled. Five of the top police officers have been suspended and 23 mayors identified for involvement in the drug trade. The drug trade and narco-state is being closed down and crime rates are falling. Corruption is being stopped.
By failing to acknowledge the truth of what is going on here the human rights groups, who have an important role to play, lose credibility. This is especially true when the president has the overwhelming support of the populace (a survey last week showed 91% trusted him whereas only 0.2% distrusted him). The human rights groups are isolating themselves and losing all influence and this is dangerous.
The focus of the international press on one issue, however important, is faulty analysis. The anti-drug campaign is just one part of a large, complex and integrated policy bundle. None of this is being reported or discussed. This is why President Rodrigo Duterte has such overwhelming support amongst all sections of the population including the poor, the rebels, the separatists, middle class, rich, the business and financial sector. – Graham Godfrey
Of all the south Indian stars, Rajnikanth was and still is the most successful and recognisable face in the Hindi-speaking belt (“Rajinikanth in Hindi cinema: We awaited his wanton assault on our senses and were not disappointed”).
People, and especially the youth, try to copy his mannerisms even in North India. Also, his run in Hindi movies was fairly successful because in those days, everything was over-the-top, in which he excelled. That is why he had the longest innings amongst south stars in Mumbai. – Vishal Jindal
Food for thought
This is an absolutely brilliant analysis of life after the economic reforms of 1991 (“25 years after liberalisation: India must realise that wealth isn't development unless it is shared”). It’s a brave and truthful insight that few can come up with. I hope readers can ponder over this and try to contribute in our own ways to reduce the gap between the rich and the poor. – Neville
To build a more equitable and better world, we need not just courage and compassion, but also vision, passion, and innovation.
Harsh Mander’s article, while being high on passion, seems to be low on both vision and innovation – just churning out the same hackneyed prescriptions that we have been hearing for more than twice the 25 years he seeks to survey.
Mander’s focus seems to be only on surface, specifically the fact that while the pie has grown in size, it has not been shared equally. Concentrating on GDP in terms of number or distribution hides one important aspect of human society – its culture and traditions as beautifully captured by Paul Samuelson in his essay “Free Blood in England, Bought Blood in the US” published in Newsweek way back in 1971. Samuelson concludes that, “In terms of quality, the blood you get for a buck is simply not as good as that you get for love”
How we manage our society in terms of the structures we evolve also matters and matters a lot. On one hand we have (as justly pointed out) large scale illiteracy and falling government support for primary education, on the other we have a large number of government schools with no students. Similar is the case of our primary health care – with thousands of crores plundered from National Health Mission.
So where is the problem? Is it just in inadequate funding by the government – or also how we design and manage the systems through which these essential organs of our society are managed? – Sushil Prasad
This is a very balanced response to the discussion on Kashmir (“'It's an existential fight': Watch MJ Akbar's viral Lok Sabha speech on Kashmir”). We should desist from idolising people who are misguiding the youth in Kashmir. The riots and stone pelting will only make the situation worse instead of arousing the sympathy for the misguided youth. Akbar is right in quoting the Prime Minister that terror and talks cannot coexist. That is a very good message to leaders of Pakistan who are trying to capitalise on the unrest in Kashmir. If this is how things are, there can be no amicable solution to the Kashmir issue. – Raj Dheer
The two back-to-back acquittals of Salman Khan shake our faith in the judicial system and give credence to the perception that it is skewed in favour of the rich and powerful (“Salman Khan acquitted in 1998 blackbuck and chinkara poaching cases”).
It shows that justice can indeed be bought, delayed and influenced.
It also shows that law is no longer a noble profession. It has turned into a money-making venture. Though it is the duty of a lawyer to provide best defence to its client, however, tinkering with investigation reports, presenting false evidence, harassing witnesses and indulging in court-room theatrics is akin to destroying the edifice of the criminal justice system.
Credible criminal investigation agencies and prosecution wings are missing in India. Investigative officers and evidence can be easily influenced through money and muscle power. Episodes like these calls for strict implementation of police and judicial reforms. Local investigation agencies must be insulated from the rich and powerful. The institution of District Attorney must be strengthened, and must supervise criminal investigations conducted by the police. – Gaurav Singhal
Naseeruddin Shah’s criticism of Rajesh Khanna reflects poorly on his intellect (“Whom do you prefer, Naseeruddin Shah or Rajesh Khanna?”).
How can he say that kaka wasn't a good actor when his movies like Anand, Amar Prem, Bawarchi, Dushman, Aap Ki Kasam, Kati Patang are popular till today?
Shah’s movies aren’t even in the same league. – Kumar
Naseeruddin Shah may be a good actor but that does not give him the authority to call Rajesh Khanna a poor actor.
People watch movies for entertainment and not only for performances.
There is no comparison between Shah and Khanna, who was a craze in the ’70s. – Kamal K Mehta
No laughing matter
Undoubtedly, we must be cautious about making jokes about a community (“I know the pain of Sardar jokes – but I won’t support a ban on them”). While some amount of humour can indicate love for the community, excessively harsh jokes and those in poor taste can make them feel targeted or insulted.
Sikhs are loved and respected – but for some reason Sardar jokes are very common.
Us Bengalis are also on the same boat and are often the butt of many jokes that are in poor taste. However, we have tried to laugh it off. – Anindya Dasgupta
Thanks for this amazing excerpt (“When my father, the famous playwright, disappeared, escaping the hatred of his family”). I’ve been a part of the world of theatre for the last eight years and Swadesh Deepak is still considered supreme. There are so many stories about him that one comes across. – Amit
"How could someone who seemed absolutely healthy physically pretend that something was seriously wrong with him?"
This line from the excerpt perfectly captures the wide chasm at the edges of which those suffering from mental illness and their loved ones find themselves. This is also a story of how someone whose play is still staged as an example of the best of contemporary theatre can be forgotten and fades into oblivion. How very heart wrenching. – Pooja Rao
As a psychiatrist, I know that it can indeed be difficult for anyone to accommodate a person suffering from a psychiatric illness who refuses treatment. I’m very sad for the writer’s loss – it’s possible that Swadesh Deepak was dealing with a lot of guilt and low self-esteem.
I thank his son for writing this story in a way that caregivers or family members of other patients of mental illness can relate to. But will the story make this world more tolerant to such patients? Or help in removing the stigma? What good will it do?
Lastly, it’s not very nice to hear the family relishing the loss of a gifted person who could have been treated. – Manisha Gopal
Rewards and recognition
TM Krishna’s Masaysay award is well-deserved (“An artist's view of politics: Five Scroll columns by Magsaysay award-winner TM Krishna”). Sometimes the universality of art needs to be spelt out, and Krishna has done that with passion. Bravo! – Kalpana Swaminathan