A land divided
I am really hurt by the news of a girl’s molestation in Talegaon and if the Dalit teenager is indeed responsible the crime, he should be harshly punished (“Despite heavy police presence, Dalit families in Nashik village attacked by mob are yet to return”). I belong to the scheduled caste, but I am a human being first and would never condone such a shameful act.
But because of one person’s shameful acts, why should an entire community be punished?
I know of two cases of molestation, involving the Patel caste, and in both cases, the victims have been silenced and forbidden from coming out.
We don’t need to clean up the country through Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan and the like – we first need an initiative to clean up our value system.
For instance, two days ago, I accompanied by friend to a navratri garba function, but because of my caste, the organiser insulted me and asked me to leave – and my friend didn’t even speak up for me. Because when it comes to caste, friendship comes second.
I don’t want to identify myself as a scheduled caste of a Hindu or a Gujarati – we are all humans first, why are we creating so many divisions? – Jainik Makwana
Praying for peace
I agree with the views expressed in this article and realise that no organised institution – whether its religion or the army– can wipe off bloodshed, hatred and animosity in the world (“Why gloating over the surgical strikes will not do any good”).
Surgical strikes are just the tip of the iceberg and we are likely to witness more bloodshed in the time to come.
I pray that sanity prevails. – Jayaram
This is not “gloating.” It is India making a point to Pakistan. It is about telling them to take serious note of the fact that they are vulnerable and that India can clean out the terror camps sheltered by their establishment. – Munnaprasad
There seems to be a hypocrisy inherent in this situation (“The desperation of Indian housewives in the United States of America”).
Let’s assume that 40% of the women who come to the US on a dependent visa are highly educated. How much thought are they putting into taking the huge step of migrating to another country?
If they are going there to improve their social status and visit national parks, thereby ensuring a constant supply of gorgeous profile pictures on Facebook, their priorities are clearly not well defined. In India, every second house has a son who is either studying in the US or working there and is waiting to get married to the person his parents are searching for him back home. Are those profile pictures and the false sense of prestige worth it?
The inability to truly understand the consequences and effectively analyse how useful it would be to move to a different land, and just doing it because everyone esle seems to be doing so, is sad.
It is considered a social achievement to get your daughters married to people working in the US, not realising that the grass always looks greener on the other side. It is an extremely sad state of affairs and a hypocrisy that our generation shouldn't be allowing. – Sravani Nyayapathy
I disagree with the article. At least they are allowed to accompany their spouses right away with an H4 visa. On the contrary, if you marry a green-card holder, it takes three years to come to the US.
The women have made the choice to come with their husbands – the American government has not forced you. The US government is showing them courtesy by allowing them to come as their husbands’ dependents.
Try going to Gulf countries where many Indians spend their whole life as married bachelors while their wives live in India. – Praveen Karanjkar
I agree with each and every word of this piece. The loneliness doesn't end at not being able to work. I have been in the US since 2002, one of the lucky few who had a chance to go back to school, receiving three degrees. I am a nurse practitioner after nearly 10 years of additional education and have a work permit because of it. But I lost the prime of my life getting additional education degrees over and above my existing qualifications when I moved to the US. But that was the only way to save myself from depression and utter despair.
In retrospect, I did something that I would not have done in India. I believe if you have will there are ways to make the life better no matter where you go. – Pankty Desai.
Music and lyrics
Why is an artist being judged on whether or not he matches your political stance or lives up to your idealistic viewpoint (“I used to love him but it's all over now: Filmmaker Anand Patwardhan on Bob Dylan's Nobel”).
Good is too small a word for Robert Zimmerman aka Dylan. You have every right to stop listening to his music but believe me when I tell you that you are losing out on immense something of immense beauty. Listen to his recent albums (or hear them again if you have already) and if not even a single song seems out of this world to you, only then give up on him. – Kartik Dhiman
Bob Dylan deserves this Swedish prize, but will he accept it? The prize money comes from dynamite, weapons and gunpowder production and the Nobel Prize Group is still sponsored by the weapons industry in direct connection to Alfred Nobel
In Dylan’s own words:
Come you masters of war
You that build the big guns
You that build the death planes
You that build all the bombs
You that hide behind walls
You that hide behind desks
I just want you to know
I can see through your masks
– Bo Lagerqvist
It’s difficult to convey how much this article has helped me as I’m about to get married to an Army officer (“These fauji wives are building careers despite the uncertainties of their lives”). I'm a Human Resources professional with a leading company and I’ve been worrying about how my career will pan out after marriage and multiple transfers.
This article addresses many of my concerns and I thank you for motivating me. – Sagarika Ranjan
I really loved the article. As a young wife of a US Coast Guard official, I felt isolated and very conflicted about finding a job. This was back in 1984, when there were no computer or cell phones! – Serena Bussell
Children should never bear the “brunt” of religious fervour – you seem to be insinuating that religion is a negative things (“Jain fasting or Bohra female circumcision, why should children bear the brunt of religious fervour?”). I disagree with this notion of yours.
Children bearing the brunt of the whims of strangers under the guise of protecting them from religious fervour through laws is much worse than this. Reforming the parents is the best solution. However reforms can be made by identifying the problem, not by singling out "religious fervour” as the culprit. – Mujahid Jafri
What this article says is correct to some extent, but on the other hand, the cheaper oil prices are saving the precious foreign exchange of the nation (“Cheap oil is spoiling India’s remittance party this year”). If we equate the two, then the net result is that forex is being saved. – Chhaya Agarwal
Arnab Goswami’s show is just a one-sided harangue where the opposite side is not given an opportunity to discuss their point of view (“Full text: Arnab Goswami violates norms of professionalism and fairness, say activists in open letter”). He decides which side is right and then favours them, so it can’t be called a debate. – Anu Kuncheria
Wild wild west
Like his mentor Narendra Modi, Arnab Goswami too seems to harbour ambitions of becoming an international figure (“Arnab Goswami: 'Western media never questioned their narrative about Iraq's WMDs'”). He seems himself as the crusader of the third-world media who is out there to challenge the hegemony of the West and earn a place in history.
But what he does not realise is that the western media is least bothered about us. He ignores the fact that you have to relevant in the international media, your country has to either have some rich resource (like oil) or be a trouble-maker, harbouring terrorists. – Preeti Jindal
The hegemony of Arnab Goswami in the Indian media is worse than what the western media exercises. He should practice what he preached. He does exactly what he accuses the western media of doing. He is highly impartial in debates regarding national as well as local politics. – Joseph Y
I completely agree with Arnab Goswami. In fact, even with regard to the current Nato tensions with Russia, we only get to read the western perspective. The Russian version never reaches us! – Seenghal
It's wrong to believe that the Ramayan is anti-Dravidian (“Why a Dravidian fringe group burnt effigies of Ram and Sita in Chennai this year”).
The Valmiki Ramayana states that Ravaan was not born in Lanka – he took the place from Kubera by force. He is the grandson of Rishi Pulastya, who is Lord Brahma's son, and is thereby a Brahmin.
Vibhishana, Ravaan's brother, is a noble personality with a natural dislike for adharma. Also, rakshasis like Trijata & Sarama are kind ladies with noteworthy traits. Shurpanakha attempted to devour Seetha Devi and was therefore injured by Lakshman. Maricha, Raavan’s mother and grandfather advised him against holding Sita captive.
Lord Ram honoured Guha and Shabari (a Dravidan!) for the nobility
they demonstrated. Anjaneya, revered as the centre-piece in the Ramayan, (and all other vaanars like Sugreeva and Angada) are from Kishkinda, a Dravidian place!)
Also, the Vishnu Purana clearly mentions that Hiranyakashipu was the son of Rishi Kashyapa Prajapathi (and thereby a Brahmin) He was a ruthless dictator who coerced people to worship him. Prahlada, the son of Hiranyakashipu, is celebrated as a role model for those who wish to be devoted to Lord Vishnu. Prahlada was the only one who could appease Lord Narasimha.
Srimad Bhagavatham celebrates Dravida Nadu as the place where true devotion to god flourishes and also and prophecies on the birth of 12 Azhwar saints were made on the banks of Dravidan Rivers – Kaveri Paalaaru, Vaigai, Porunal and Periyaaru. Only three of these 12 are Brahmins.
These Dravidan Azhwar saints sang 4,000 Tamil hymns that are recited in the 108 Divyadesams even today. On Lord Ranganatha's orders, Kavi Chakravarthi Kambar composed Shatakopar Andadhi (eulogising Nammazhwar, a non-Brahmin) before performing the Kamba Ramayana arangetram in Srirangam! – Sudha Ramaswami
This was a deplorable act. They have no business hurting the sentiments of believers.
They should be dealt with the strictness that their act deserves, so that it is not repeated.
The existence of so-called Dravidian parties is a myth because they’re only prevalent in Tamil Nadu and their belief in atheism is blown to bits when their leaders visiting places of worship all the time. – Sampath
***In this article, you have mentioned the founder of the Dravidian movement as "EV Ramaswami Naicker or Periyar". Periyar lead a huge movement against having caste names as surname. It is because of him we Tamils does not have caste name as surname now. But you have added caste name "Naicker" to his, which is unacceptable. – Nandha Kumar
Reviving the economy
I have a few observations on the state of the Indian economy (“Indian industry is on life support – and the government’s denial of this isn't helping”).
The 2008-2013 period was one of a growth bubble and bad policy. We had huge paper profit but cash profit was missing as a large percentage of the profit was written as non-performing assets by banks.
Now banks are recovering, but corporations are not. The lifeline of economy is cash flow and to revive that, the government and reserve bank and do a few things. The first is to reduce incident costs, such as the EPF percentage. The second is to relax credit norms and the third is to reduce tax compliance and rate of interest charges on it. – Tapan
Cleopatra used donkey milk, not cow milk, and even if these absurd claims were true, it’s such a wasteful and shameful practice (“Use cow urine and dung to look like Cleopatra, says Gujarat gauseva board”). – Dhakadakshin Sylhe
The Supreme Court has honourable judges entrusted to uphold the Constitution for which they take the oath of office (“Is it rape only when the victim screams and fights back? A Supreme Court verdict calls for a debate”). So, the judgment should be considered an aberration and some concerned citizens should pray the court for review.
A campaign for sending an application to the Honourable Chief Justice of India in this regard on social media may also be considered. – Ram Naresh Jha
Words come alive
I felt like I was travelling alongside the author, Arundhati Subramaniam, step by heavy step and through every difficult breath, shifting between the ephemeral world and the real, hard, material world (“Would going to Mount Kailash be worth the journey? Here’s what I found”).
Through her eyes and words, I felt like I could really see the magnificence of great Mount Kailash embedded in sacredness of Shiva! – Pramod Chinchankar