Docking trouble

I can say with certainty that timing had nothing to do with the INS Betwa accident (“Timing is everything: Watching the clock may hold a clue to the INS Betwa accident”). It could be that the dockyard workforce is at times lazy but when it comes to such critical operations, they always rise to the occasion and never let you down. This accident has nothing to do with the dockyard work culture. – Jawahar Jangir


This is one of the most bizarre and unbelievable mishaps. I have dry-docked my commands dozens of times during my sea-going years. The total capsizing of a fair-sized ship can happen only if the bilge blocks on one side collapse completely. It has nothing to do with weight distribution, since that will only list a ship when she is fully afloat.

Perhaps a number of causes acted together to cause this mishap, which is so huge that it may well mean total loss of one ship! – Dinkar Patwardhan


I do not know the writer’s background but he seems to have written the article with a prejudiced notion of defence civilian employees of the Indian Navy.

I myself am a defence civilian employee and I do agree that unions exist in the dockyard, but no one would leave the ship midway through a docking. The docking is based on tide timings and the employees adjust their lunch times with the same, so that at any given time, the docking is not affected.

Last but not the least, in this time of sorrow and grief, we civilians stand with our counterparts to represent the ship.

Please do check the procedure or standard operating procedure before blaming the entire defence civilian community. – Birendra Kumar


As a merchant naval captain with several years of experience in dry docking ships and who now teaches ship stability among other subjects, I believe that INS Betwa mishap was a result of it being in unstable equilibrium (negative meta-centric height) when it was being refloated. For a naval officer to understand this is not too difficult as it is certainly not rocket science – Sanjiv Verma

Cashless constraints

Thanks for this well-researched and informative piece on the challenges of going cashless (“Not black or white: It’s going to be really hard (and expensive) to go cashless in India”). Along with infrastructure and usage issues that the article describes, I would also like to add the comfort issues.

Like millions of senior citizens, my 82-year old father uses an ancient mobile phone and does not know how to send an SMS. He prefers withdrawing his pension every month from the bank and using cash for his expenses. He is in full possession of his faculties, is far from senile, yet cash is what he understands and is comfortable with. Will he be willing and able to switch to cashless?

The response of the so-called educated and enlightened class to demonetisation has been heartless – as seen by the flippant comments advocating that we all go cashless. A majority of the population is not cashless at the moment. It is as if going from cash to cashless is a transformation that can be brought about overnight by pressing a few buttons, or with a fairy godmother waving her magic wand! The insensitivity and hubris on display is appalling. – Arnab Basak

Money matters

The government is likely planning to curb market inflation by paralysing demand by de-legitimising the promissory note (“Recap: The aims of demonetisation have changed faster than an ATM running out of cash”). Now this is going to divert and pump bank credit supply to corporate.

Demand has fallen and purchasing power has reduced – so there is no chance for inflation to fluctuate shortly. At the same time, this could increase the possibility of a decrease in interest rate. In a nutshell, the government planning to lend corporate bodies enormous amounts in credit at all-time low interest rates.

Demonetisation is not a programme with a single objective, it has multiple purposes. – Riyas T Abdul Razack

Tough talk

Swami Agnivesh is quite obviously totally out of touch with reality if he feels this way even a month after demonetisation (“’Give the devil his due, Modi is making demonetisation the electoral issue’: Swami Agnivesh”). Kudos to Ajaz Ashraf for persisting with the tough questions – I even felt a tad bit sorry for the interviewee! Good work. – Arnab Basak

Shedding light

This article in’s new Magazine section is very well researched and well-written, offering some very important insights (“The hipster hunger for superfoods is starving India’s adivasis”). I have been working in the field of Panchayat Raj and community empowerment for the last 16 years, with particular emphasis on Panchayat (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act, which is an exclusive legislation for the tribal population in our country.

More media content on this topic needs to be developed and shared widely to create awareness and sensitise the larger population about that the so called pseudo-civilized world is doing to the lives of those who have been living in harmony with nature for ages. – Ramit

Marking history

This article on Trump’s victory is pompous and has no theme except to show how much this writer reads and knows about totally unconnected events (“From wars to Partition and 9/11: A writer reacts to Trump’s win in words, news clippings and photos”). Writers like him are giving people of Indian origin on US campuses a bad name.

They live in a world where they think that they know better than all Americans put together – and consequently, what is good for India than all Indians put together. – Neil Marathe


The author of the article sounds like the familiar, well-oiled propaganda machine of the US Democratic Party. I could not see any evidence of any link between his clipping collections and Donald Trump, though he tries to extrapolate some.

While he, and other tearful Democrats, have not provided any evidence of Trump being “a racist and misogynist demagogue” (he should feel challenged to attempt that in another article) he conveniently ignored the reasons why Trump won the primaries as well as the presidency.

His victory is partly a consequence of the corrupt political system that has been spawned by the Democrats and endorsed by Republican politicians, which has alienated a large number of middle-class Americans.

It’s also because of Obama’s disastrous policies and the creation of ISIS.

Wikileaks showed the nefarious links between the US State Department, Clinton Foundation, big donors and the media. Dinesh D’Souza’s film Hillary’s America established the link between slavery and the Democratic Party and also its role in the creation of the Klu Klux Klan.

After Trump’s victory, the vanquished, have embarked upon the most despicable hate/fear mongering. – Samuel Bastian

In the family

Why does Deepa Jayakumar think that dynasty politics should continue in a democracy (“Sasikala family attempting to hijack the AIADMK: Interview with Jayalalithaa’s niece”)? A political party is not someone’s personal property to be taken over on a hierarchical basis. – Vikram Sihag

Holding on

Through I want say something that is important to Tamilians – the BJP should not be allowed to enter Tamil Nadu (“Post-Jayalalithaa, BJP may play a role in ensuring that her party does not fall apart”). If that party steps into the state, then Thanthai Periyar’s dreams will be shattered. – Pridhvi

Ways of worship

This is a very fascinating account on the goddess Bonobibi (“In Bengal’s Sundarbans, the fading Bonbibi goddess cult straddles the Hindu-Muslim divide”). However, I’d like to add that Bonobibi is not only worshipped in Sundarban areas but also in adjacent districts like North 24 Parganas. In the Badarhat village in Habra, where I come from, there is a dargah of Badar Pir, which contains an over 200-year-old monument of Bonobibi.

Bonobibi, considered a saviour from the jungle’s dangers, is widely worshipped and is popular among locals. As you said, she is worshipped by Hindu as well as Muslim communities. – Azhar Uddin Sahaji

Prime time

I’m a big, big fan of CID (“Eighteen years later, it is business as usual on the sets of ‘CID’”). All my acquaintances make fun of me because I watch the show, but I have not missed a single episode since 1998! I simply love it and I hope it continues forever. – Amrit Bhatia