Personal and political
It's really sad to see pseudo-intellectuals trying hard to question the BJP for taking a firm stand against triple talaq (“Triple talaq debate: Why does the BJP raise the need for modernity only when referring to Muslims?”)
Clearly, it’s high time to end the practice, so why are people questioning the BJP’s intentions? It points to a sick mentality. Those who are raising these questions don’t seem to want the practice to end. – Manoj Saini
Why have intellectuals like you and others never raised the issue in the last 50 years? Thankfully, some Muslim women have spoken about it. I think the BJP must have given courage to do this which might have been absent in Congress. – Shiv Khare
This is an excellent article and I agree with the writer’s point of view.
But there are some flaws his logic – such as extending Hindu personal laws to Buddhist, Jains and Sikhs. These religions are all covered under Hindu laws, wrong or right. There is no Sikh Marriage Act.
But as soon as somebody changes his or her religion to Islam or Christianity even through marriage, the person’s family matters come under the Muslim personal law or Special Marriage Act.
The BJP uses every chance to interfere in Muslim personal laws as in seen in the case of triple talaq. They have nothing to lose, either they cash in on the issue in the next state elections to polarise voters, or if the Uniform Civil Code is passed, they get the votes of Muslim women and a few men.
In the 21st century, why should we discriminate between citizens on the basis of religion. This is why all open-minded and secular citizens should support the Uniform Civil Code purely on the basis of humanity, equality, secularism and logic – not because BJP wants it but because this is what the makers of our Constitution also wanted. – PS Banerjee
Fire-safety is virtually non-existent in India (“Case filed against Bhubaneshwar's SUM hospital, four employees arrested after fire that killed 20”). Unless there’s a big mishap, no one bothers with it. Once disaster strikes and people are killed, everyone talks about it, then forgets – until the next disaster strikes and the cycle is repeated.
Ensuring fire safety is the job of a local fire officer, who answers to the head of the fire department who should at least have a basic understanding of the National Building Code and the state by-laws. Instead, most HoDs are IPS officers, not specifically trained in fire safety.
A fire officer should have specialised training, of the kind imparted in the National Fire Service College – the only such institute in the country. However, the institute is understaffed and in a bad condition. – Dawood Mather Khan
How free are we?
Girish Shahane's articles are usually always sensible and rooted in facts, but this time he seems to be off the mark (“A film cancelled, a TV interview canned: Competitive nationalism is eroding free expression in India”).
The freedoms he mentions are already damaged and are not in a situation where they "could be seriously damaged".
The question to be asked now is: are these freedoms damaged beyond repair, or is there still hope?
Let's recognise the situation for what it really is. The sycophancy is embedded in all areas: media, education and enterprise. If the BJP comes back to power in 2019, our country would have a changed Constitution and will then move toward total Hinduisation. We can bid good bye to such freedoms for our lifetimes.
Let's wake up to these possibilities and debate them. – Rajratna Jadhav
To say that we have an “increasingly politicised military” is inaccurate and unfair to our apolitical armed forces. Let us not take their dedication and sacrifice for granted by hurling baseless allegations. – BD Jayal
The present trend in the country is disgusting. Only god can help – not the god that has been interpreted, styled and misused by humans, but the true god who was, is and will always be the same. – Hamilton
Things turned bad for the likes of Karan Johar when they took a neutral stand on the India-Pakistan conflict (“Karan Johar’s video plea reflects our current crisis – and is a warning of things to come”). They thought that the so-called liberals will come to their rescue. But they forgot that it was the country in question.
This article also tries to harp on the same liberal tune. I hardly see any Hindi movies and I have not been living in India for 40 years now, but even I feel uneasy about the so-called liberal crowd. They are not doing anyone any good. They are getting exposed. – Ashok Bhagat
What can one say, especially when dealing with pseudo-intellectual gold diggers when their gratuitously-yielding gold-patch is being threatened! – Sanjay Saxena
The release of this film should not be disrupted. However, as long as Pakistan continues to foment trouble in India, their citizens should not be allowed to earn their bread and butter in our country.
Our soldiers give their lives protecting the nations against terrorist countries like Pakistan. Business as usual therefore cannot continue. People-to-people interaction is meaningless if the Pakistani establishment rakes up trouble in the country – this has been the case for nearly 70 years now. – Swapan
This is a bold and beautiful write-up. These are such unfortunate and oppressive times. Only a handful of media outlets like yours are courageous enough to speak out. All others are cowering at the feet of the high and mighty or falling like nine pins before the juggernaut of political powers.
Kudos and keep up the good work. – Vipin
This article shows us the ground reality of the Muslim community in India (“For Dalit-Muslim unity, Mayawati must focus on caste, not religion”). Across the country, there are many differences within the community. Unless we iron all these out, we cannot claim to be a monolith. Ajaz Ashraf’s articles look at some very important issues. – SM Ali
This story of an all-women food truck carries hope and inspiration to women everywhere (“Meet the woman driving Asia’s first all-female food truck in Bengaluru”). It shows that women do not need the support or encouragement of men and can be independent, happy and live a life of dignity.
This business might just spread like wild fire. I admire them and wish them the best. – Nanduri Rao
I loved the very fair and lively assessment of the Famous Five for the Hindu Lit Prize! (“An unusual five: The reader’s guide to the Hindu Prize shortlist”) Bravo! – Geeta Doctor
This is a well-written and tongue-in-cheek piece makes some hard-hitting points (“Nine questions about Arnab Goswami's 'Y' security cover that the nation should be asking”) – Ajay Kamath
On the line
We waste so much money in our day-to-day lives because we are blessed to have it (“What living below the poverty line taught an investment banker and an MIT grad”). But there are countless people who can’t even afford three meals a day.
All their time is been spent on thinking of hunger and food. Are those people invisible to us, or we are ignoring them? Thanks for a touching piece – Prasad Kulkarni
One rank, many pensions
I do not wish to be disrespectful to prime minister and I respect him for giving ex-servicemen a modicum of pensionary relief that was denied to armed forces veterans for many years, but I do not appreciate the half- truths stated by Narendra Modi since he took over (“Government has fulfilled promise to veterans by releasing Rs 5,500 crore towards OROP: Narendra Modi”).
What has been given to the armed forces is one rank, five pensions, not One Rank One Pension in the real sense. The formula sanctioned by the government implies that the pension of all ranks of the armed forces will be equated with the present retirees once every five years, which means that the pension which all ranks of the forces draw for five consecutive years will be less than their counterparts retiring every year. If the government is hard-pressed for funds, they should simply say so, and may be, the forces will understand the constraints of the government. But it is unfair to sat that OROP has been sanctioned when it hasn’t. – Ranbir Sethi