I was absolutely thrilled to read the article on TM Krishna's annual music fest at the Kuppam, and the eloquent voices of the three authors of the article (“Media got it wrong in its coverage of TM Krishna's Magsaysay award, say fishing village residents”).
They are right. They have a culture and art form that is rich in itself. It's we – the general public – who have a prejudiced view of what so-called high culture is. It's us who needs to be educated and have our horizons widened. Kudos to Scroll.in for giving the organisers a forum to express themselves and to TM Krishna for his innovative ideas. – Ajitha
This is a beautiful message and its substance is universal. However, I would love to read the original Tamil letter written by residents of the fishing village.
Thank you for publishing such a gem. The authors set out on what looks like prose, but it wafts across, silhouetted with the ethos of a poet at the helm. Their words are received with sincere gratitude and admiration, and are highly treasured. – Supraja Ganapathy
This is an amazing response to the media. I loved this article as I learnt so much about your community. You have inspired me to attend the festival. – Chandra Kumar
I just loved the account and response from this fishing village. We the people are so ignorant about what happens outside our little cocoons. This festival and the preparations for it were the epitome of teamwork of villagers and volunteers. – Jayanthi Jaisimha
I completely agree with this analysis on manual scavenging (“Mind the gap: Why the decline of Harappan civilisation sent India's sewage system down the drain”). I visited the Lothal archaeological site about 10 years ago as a tourist and was awestruck by the nature and precision of the brickwork and the sewers.
It was in stark contrast to the neighbouring contemporary town we passed and served as proof that there were the ancient and modern civilisations are completely unlike one another. – Sumati Surya
What comes out in Mihira Sood’s article on treason is her professed nationalism and lack of wisdom on the price we have to pay to be a part of a democracy (“Dissent isn’t treason: A few things that got drowned out during my appearance on Arnab’s debate”).
The basis on which India got its Independence is non-violence and secularism.
In the current context, when there is a total breakdown of civil society, you need to have blind faith in your institutions and support them on the war on terror.
Armchair critics and the sheer cacophony on television news has to be silenced.
Let the experts do the job. Leave Kashmir and the Army alone – they don’t need your advice.
Once things settle down, then there can be a debate. But right now, all I can see is publicity strategies and a feeding frenzy. – GSK
The writer has rightly raised issues on which Arnab Goswami and the government are silent. To accuse one who questions the government on inaction or delayed action of being antinational is wrong. Goswami, who invokes his right to freedom of speech, doesn’t think others have the same right.
Sorry, Arnab Goswami, if all those who agree with you and the government are anti-national, then this government needs to first change the Constitution that gives every citizen the right to free speech.
What the nation really wants to know is – what has led the situation to be so fragile in Jammu and Kashmir? And despite being a part of the Jammu and Kashmir government, what action has the BJP taken to ease the situation in the state? Why have they not listened to the voice of its people? Have they tried to talk to various groups in the state to make them feel that their interest is being looked into?
Narendra Modi is a man of action, but instead of trying to embrace leaders from across the border for commerce, he should spend some time trying to find out what has to be done on the ground.
Before Goswami accuse of me of being antinational, let me clarify that I say this because I know that Jammu and Kashmir is a part of my country! – SN Iyer
I agree that Arnab Goswami went overboard in lambasting your petition. However, even your dissent has to be timed properly.
When Pakistanis are taking advantage of the Kashmir situation, one should not bring up such issues. You can’t justify a terrorist, especially in situations of conflict. – Chintan Mokashi
Anchors who are moderating debates should not have such rigid ideas. They ask and answer questions themselves, without giving panellists the chance to speak. Debates with such anchors often become shouting matches – but that somehow seems to rope in viewers, probably out of curiosity.
As a result, anchors on other channels also try to imitate the arrogance of their counterparts – leaving viewers fed up and put off by TV news in general.
The anchor cannot become judge and jury – leading to a virtual trial by the media – and hurl allegations and insinuations.
The passive anchor accepts that there are two sides to everything and patiently allows the different points of views to be expressed. – Burjor Poonawala
The dramatisation of the death of a young person is so typical of our society (“A high-profile death of a teenager exposes Kolkata’s self-conceit”). The police, especially the IPS cadre, are no longer trustworthy or believable (compliments of our didi).
The media gets more circulation by pushing doubts and questions and generating a frisson of excitement among the bored readers. —
I think that society's reaction to the death of this boy is tragic. People are questioning Abesh Dasgupta's upbringing. Such a response by the media and public was not expected.
On social media, I read an article stating that Aabesh's Dasgupta's parents should have been more strict. Another said that his death had become more sensations than that of “innocent farmers” who commit suicide owing to debt – indirectly blaming the teenager for his death.
Every death is as tragic and sensational as any other. Making a fuss over someone’s death because they hail from a wealthy background and the media giving it 24X7 coverage shows only how biased our society is. Aabesh's death needs to be investigated and facts to publicised quickly. I hope I see a better Kolkata. – Amrita
What’s in a name?
Garga Chatterjee's argument on the renaming of West Bengal is lopsided because it is made to appear that the whole story of the state is to be understood mainly through the partition - the defining region for the author appears to be eastern Bengal (Bangladesh today) (“Mamata Banerjee's plan to drop 'West' from the state's name is a blow to Bengali identity”).
This wholly neglects the many people of the western districts and regions of West Bengal. This neglect has been reflected in the entire politics of West Bengal right up to today. This is nonsense. – Parthasarathi Mondal
The National Green Tribunal wants to phase out diesel cars in Delhi and has asked cabs running on diesel to switch to CNG, but I have read studies saying that CNG contains nano carbons, which cause cancer (“No law to ban 15-year-old diesel vehicles in Delhi, Centre tells National Green Tribunal”).
How can we prove that a well-maintained 10-year-old diesel car is more polluting than a petrol or CNG car that has not been kept well?
The average Indian has to work very hard to purchase a car and such a move will put them under great hardship. – Jithin Sebastian
In his arrogance, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar revealed what many already know – that there are trolls on the internet that do the BJP’s bidding and abuses anyone opposed to it (“Troll army: Manohar Parrikar's comments suggest that the government smiles upon internet bullies”). It also fuels lies, exaggeration and misinformation.
But what I find baffling is that why media is not taking up this issue. Because these trolls have also silenced mediapersons. This is a very dangerous and sinister campaign to shut your critics out and it shows a dictatorial tendency. – Vishal Jindal
I couldn't agree more with the author’s views and on how peculiar it is that there has been no in-depth study of Mohammed Rafi and his legacy (“On Mohammed Rafi’s 36th death anniversary, the question lingers: How did he sing so effortlessly?”).
Rafi’s popularity is unmatched, even to this day. He is loved by many who were born after his death too.
On Rafi's birthday or death anniversary you will find many programs organised in his honour.
Even though there has been no professional attempt to record his legacy, he has been immortalised thanks to the love and appreciation of people. – BS Praveen
Show of strength
The show of strength by Dalits in Ahmedabad is very encouraging (“At massive rally in Ahmedabad, Dalits pledge not to pick up Gujarat’s carcasses”). Their anger is justified and their demands are valid and must be addressed.
This should inspire millions of Dalits and other marginalised people to push for their cause.
May all of us live and relate to each other as equal citizens and cherish the rights of all. – Stan Swamy
Wild wild mess
The situation of Gurgaon is hardly a result of wild-west capitalism as the writer says (“The unsmart city: Gurgaon remains a tragic case study in how not to urbanise”). It’s more like old-fashion Indianism, where the state works towards its own benefit, rather than that of the people.
Over the last 25 years, the state has earned thousands of crores through development charges on the buildings that have come up in Gurgaon. Stamp duties on registration of sale and rental deeds in this high-end market add further to its kitty every year. These external development charges were for providing security, roads, sewage lines, storm drains, and public parks etc. – areas in public domain that the authorities have failed to provide, as has been reiterated again this monsoon.
Residences and offices have been forced to fend for themselves by arranging their own security and garbage disposal. The authorities have, for most part, sat on this money in what is one of India's wealthiest districts. Many of the gated communities (that the writer paints as villains) have even taken to beautification of external areas. For example, all the road dividers, road signage and parks near mine residence have been paid for and are maintained by my society.
In the absence of public dustbins, we have provided bins on our own in the entire area, including near the metro station. Although used by the public, these have to be emptied and disposed of by our staff because the government deems this as a private facility! – Vijay S Jodha
Why do we always have to see RSS as the mastermind for everything (“What does the fall of two of the three key Modi picks tell us?”)?
Prakash Javadekar has done nothing so far to suggest that he is on his way to saffronising education. I have no loyalties towards the RSS but don’t see any reason to believe the claims that this article makes. – Kaushik Kasodariya
I really liked this article (“Read what Ambedkar wrote on why Brahmins started worshipping the cow and gave up eating beef”).
It not only gives an idea of Ambedkar’s views on the matter, but also an understanding of religion and anthropology.
I think current charged religious environment in the country, it’s important to understand how some widely held beliefs and practices came about. – Akash Raha
Who better than Ambedkar to address this issue? His well read, precise, rational and clear arguments are indisputable and this needs to be read by as many people as possible, given how much the cow can stoke passions in the country today.
Ambedkar also brings to light a lesser-known aspect of our history – of the threat Brahminism felt over Buddhism.
Only someone like Ambedkar, a well-rounded intellectual who was well-versed in history, religious studies, economics, sociology, politics, law and culture could make such a detailed and enlightened argument. – Rajratna Jadhav
The assistance by NGOs to Self Help Groups is a part of the problem (“A tsunami of debt is building up in Tamil Nadu – and no one knows where it is headed”). Over time, these groups functioned as women moneylenders who would not use the loans for productive activities but would instead lend it at a higher interest rate.
The Pudhu Vazhu project of the Tamil Nadu government saw that the purpose of the SHGs meant women’s empowerment and not just borrowing and repayment. The NGOs did not look into training, administration and education of members of SHGs, but the Pudhu Vazhu project did this. So, many SHGs content with borrowing and lending, could not take the rigour of such a programme and SHGs went down at most places. Though there are some NGOs who are doing good work in this field, they are a minority. – Karthik
Right to choose
It’s really refreshing to hear a voice of reason in a world where people refuse to talk sense (“Why motherhood is a choice I decided not to make”).
I have two children, but I understand what you are saying because I had them very late and was disgusted with kind of scrutiny and judgement my decision received. – Moushumi
This headline is misleading (“Did you know that these changes in hockey rules helped end India's domination over the game?”). Indian athletes were very good at the sport – so much so that they had the world in awe.
India's slide from a powerhouse in the world of field hockey is lamentable. However, these rule changes were not put in place to end India's domination on the sport.
They only suggest at a systematic, well thought out effort to make the sport more exciting and popular.
This article seems to take an apologist stance for those in charge of the sport – how does this helps making Indian hockey relevant again? – Ravi Kant
The most important shift has been missed out. The player is allowed to lift the stick above the shoulder. The importance of the wrist has been downplayed. As per the old rules, during penalty corners the ball had to hit the boards. No push scoops. The evenness of Astro turf allows the player to lay his stick on the ground and stop the ball. No need to calculate bounce, speed, etc. – Arvind Krishnaswamy
I am fascinated, but somewhat baffled, by this article (“The ghosts of the Savoy: The Mussoorie murder mystery that inspired Agatha Christie’s first novel”).
The first line says: “An unresolved mystery at Mussoorie’s Savoy Hotel gave Agatha Christie her first novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles (1920).” What is the basis for this sweeping and completely unsubstantiated assertion?
As the author of two books on Agatha Christie I am mystified how your writer has made such a definite connection; I have never come across any mention of this real-life mystery among the Christie papers.
Where is the proof that the story “travelled to” Christie, and that “the germ” of her novel “was sown in the summer of 1911”? Is coincidence not a far more likely explanation? Also, how did “aspects of the Savoy’s architecture” influence Styles Court?
Proof of the sort that would satisfy Hercule Poirot is sadly absent from this wildly speculative article. – John Curran
This is an inspiring story and allows one to be optimistic (“Meet Kajubai, the health worker who has been saving Gadchiroli's babies since 1994”). If education and healthcare are tackled with such a perspective, change can indeed come about. – RB Jadhav
Not just fun and games
Thank you for sharing this view (“Are we living inside a cosmic computer game? Elon Musk echoes the Bhagwad Gita (and the Matrix)”).
I practice non-dual meditation using self inquiry. The goal is to realise what or who we are. Long story short, my experience is that we are a formless entity, in a body with the intention to express ourselves, create and have earthly experiences.
Hinduism calls it a "play" or a "dream" so I prefer to call it the role-playing experience game. To play the game well, it seems, would be to fully energize the host body and power it up to cosmic proportions.
Mix this up with quantum theory, the holographic principle and computer science and you have a game (this reality) with a very sophisticated Artificial Intelligence (the body and mind) and the gamer inside of it. – Eric
Dear Star Sports broadcasters, it is extremely disappointing to note that there four of your channels running on TV but all that cricket fans can get out of them are old telecasts (“Why Star Sports is showing kabaddi reruns instead of the England-Pakistan Test, amusing no one”). Reading that even the 4th test match won’t be highlighted because of scheduling conflicts makes us all feel worse and this excuse is seriously absurd as you didn't even try getting the broadcasting rights.
First, spend an entire week waiting for the match and then we get the news that the channel won’t be broadcasting it – that too when we’ve turned on the TV and are anxiously flipping through channels. We need a better explanation or the direct action.— N Swathi Sarma
Dr Sanjay Nagral needs to be commended for this article (“Better buy than die? The unfortunate enduring saga of organ sales in India”).
Most press coverage on organ donation usually bemoans the shortage of organs. But it is unethical to promote organ donation among a class of people that do not have equitable access to organs. Costs of transplantation and lifelong immunosuppressant drugs make it unaffordable for many.
It is also good to examine other ethical issues surrounding the donation process. While financial incentives for organ donors are frowned upon because the human body cannot be treated as a commodity, there is no parallel cap on charges of the transplant surgeons and transplant hospitals.
Organ donation is altruistic, but organ transplantation is a roaring business. The donation process is regulated to eliminate possible commercialisation, but what about the organ transplantation process? If surgeons and hospitals are making money, why shouldn’t donors? – Dr Astrid Lobo Gajiwala
East and West
Your documentation could have been better without the foolish commentary (“Cooch Behar in north Bengal has an Italian Renaissance palace so beautiful it will blow your mind”). Indian royals didn't ape the Europeans. They took inspiration from the things they liked – and they did it with elan.
They maintained their culture and heritage and yet enhanced it with open eyes and minds. – Somali
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