Name blame

This is an outstanding article and exposes the shallow and defensive intellectual base of popular Hindutva and all such supremacist movements (“The Taimur controversy illustrates Hindutva’s self-inflicted neurosis regarding Islamic history”). – Nathan Rabe


This is a great article! I especially loved the last line. Kudos! – Kalpana Swaminathan


Saif and Kareena should just use the Westernised version of Taimur Lang, “Tamerlane”, and all will be well! Tarek Fatah should also berate his parents since he has obviously been named after the Muslim General Tariq, who landed in Gibraltar, hence the name (Jib al Tariq). – Ghazala Akbar


I am delighted to read this view on the naming of a boy whose mother is Hindu and father Muslim. The religious bigotry has divided nations and people and it’s time we clear the myth and uplift humanity. Kudos to the writer. — Zaheer Parvez


The narrative given by the author is distorted. Everyone knows Taimur was a cruel Turkish man. It was not necessary for Kareena to give this name. This appears to be brainchild of Saif and distorted Muslim mentality throughout the world. – Ashok


The writer has tried very hard to project Hindu rulers to be as brutal as the Islamic rulers like Taimur. Ashoka was himself devastated and struck with grief and sadness after the battle of Kalinga, so much so that he renounced his throne and became a Buddhist, spreading the message of love and peace. Taimur never had such self-realisation, so the comparison of Taimur with Ashoka is unfair. Taimur was brutal and his act has not brought any glory to Hindustan.

Parents may have the right to chose their child’s name, but they should at least find a name that projects a positive and inspiring attitude. Names such as Taimur, Aurangzeb and the like are reminders of Hindustan’s brutal past. – Nagendra Bachav


It is the parents’ prerogative to name a child but responsible parents should ensure that their actions do not become a lifelong burden for the child (“Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor learn the hard way that Taimur is not just another name”). Taimur will be hard pressed to explain why he carries the name of one of the cruellest king who killed many Hindus. I am sure Saif came across the name Taimur in school history lesson. I am curious to know reaction of Taimur’s grandmother, Sharmila Tagore, related to Rabindranath and is hailed as sensitive and intelligent.


It is highly condemnable that the offspring of a Hindu mother is named after a plunderer. The tragedy is that converted Hindus pose more threats to Hindus than the original fundamentalists. – Krishnan


Taimur is not a pleasing name. It might be that of a warrior but have we ever heard of a Ravan or Kans in our society? – Arjun Agarwal

Mind the gulf

This is not a good practice because patients do not get to develop a rapport with the surgeon treating them (“As Indian surgeons make monthly visits to the Gulf to practice, are patients getting a fair deal?”).

What’s more important – patient care or the desire to be famous and earn money while compromising on pre- or post-op care?


Thank you for highlighting this important issue. Authorities concerned need to take care of this. The same applies to foreign doctors visiting India to practice. Patients should not be exploited in the name of medical tourism. – Dr Prasad Kulkarni

Cashless claims

Does Modi think that he can make fool every Indian just as he did through his Make in India or Swachh Bharat campaign (“Cashless economy: 70% of rural citizens are using digital modes of payment, claims government”).

Today, I visited a shop in central Kolkata’s business district to purchase some household goods. The shopkeeper refused to accept card payment as he did not have the required technology and I know he was lying. Banks will deduct at least 2% as service charges from his cashless. This is the other aspect of digitisation – credit and debit cards are not free, banks charge an annual fee on them. In addition, there are service charges. So, we have to bear additional cost whenever we use plastic money. Secondly, sellers will eventually increase the price of commodities to compensate for the bank charges on their transactions.

Digitisation will impose further hardship on people. It will never be able to eradicate corruption. Bribery will continue, black money will continue, fake currency will continue – because those who are corrupt are also the ones who control governments, both inside and outside inside. – Anjan K Basu

Friend or fiend?

This government is talks more, works less (“Readers’ comments: ‘This government and the prime minister no longer deserve our trust’”). It bombasts and dupes the people of India. It feigns to be the friend of the poor but is actually the fiend of the poor. It has betrayed them all through. Demonetisation is nothing but declaring war against the general interest of the downtrodden people of India. More than 100 people are said to have died so far in bank and ATM lines, but these deaths have failed to touch the heart of the prime minister.

Now, he should go. And the sooner the better. – Asok Chattopadhyay


Thanks for publishing this thought-provoking piece (“Why some Scandinavian schools don’t teach ‘Snow White’ to children (and why the world should follow)”). It has some great ideas. We need more such articles – not just read them once or twice, here and there, by one or two media outlets. – Sunil Yadav

On the pulse

Prime Minister Modi has his ear to the ground, aided obviously by social media and party workers. (“Why the chattering classes can’t fathom the vast support for demonetisation”) Besides, he works 24X8, which is what all politicians should be doing. At the other end you have Rahul Gandhi, who cuts a sorry figure as a politician and is far removed from ground reality. However the biggest gain from demonetisation will be compression of currency in circulation which should lead to lower prices, which impacts the middle class and poor. KG Surendran

Novel approach

Sex education has never been given enough importance in India, even in this modern era (“Using pornography for sex education: It’s not an outrageous idea”). Parents and teachers abhor “the talk”. But teens must be taught about sex before they leap into the real world. I guess taking up pornography for sex education is a breakthrough idea! If initiated in Indian schools, it would be a radical approach for the development of adolescents. – Divya Velusamy

Wrong aim

Rahul Gandhi’s allegation will backfire for the Congress party (“Allegations against Modi: Will Rahul Gandhi’s gamble pay off?”). At present, the people of India do not have faith in him. The timing of this allegation is totally wrong. After demonetisation, why was he silent for last 2.5 years? This is a childish act by the Congress vice president. – Ramadas Kanumarath

Road block

Instead of controlling the purchase of cars, our honourable minister should concentrate on building multi-storey parking lots as well as widening and improving roads, to provide a fillip to car industries (“Car buyers will soon have to prove they have parking space, says Venkaiah Naidu”). In India, the ratio of automobiles to the population is much below the global average. – Dipankar Gupta

Standing up

Is the ruling CPI(M) in Kerala now sharing the Anthem industry (“National anthem arrests: Is Kerala’s Left struggling to hold its own against rightwing politics?”)? The Supreme Court order has given more power to the BJP and goons. They have got it a unique chance to target so-called anti-national. It’s pity that in a state under CPI(M)‘s rule, the police are free to arrest anyone. – Asok Chattopadhyay

Cash availability

Is Snapdeal doing this with the permission of the government or the RBI (“People can now order cash on Snapdeal in parts of Gurgaon, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Surat”). This may lead to black-money laundering and I have my doubts about this move. The government should take swift action. – Sathish GN

Unclear information

The comments in this article on using satellite imagery are misinformed (“The government releases rosy data on wheat sowing – but no one knows who has collected it”). It is possible to procure high-resolution satellite imagery even if India does not own the satellite and then conduct spectral analysis to identify crop sown.

Nobody who understands this space would look at a satellite image and try to identify what kind of seed is being sown with their naked eyes. There are sophisticated algorithms to do this which are used world over and also those by ISRO.

It would be better if were to conduct an investigative study to actually use satellite imagery and spectral analysis to verify the government claims. Ill-informed comments don’t add value or differentiate from run-of-the-mill publications. – Shreya Deb

Ideological divide

This is an excellent and clever article on labelling “black” money (“Why anti-corruption politics always end up strengthening Right-wing forces”). It leads to the strengthening of rightwing forces (of course one can ask what is wrong in strengthening rightwing force, but I am a Leftist and so do not like the rightwing being strengthened). You must allow “black” money for the sake of economy. The taxpayers (salaried and pensioners) may be jealous of those who dodge taxes. The taxpayers deserve that. They should learn. – R Venkat


There are millions of rented premises in the country. No landlord accepts the full rent in cheque. It is always cash and a small portion in cheque. So, every month, a huge amount of money is generated for landlords in unaccounted forms. How can demonetisation stop the generation of black money? This is a state bluff and also, it must be mentioned that black money is not kept in bags and suitcases. It is utilised in myriad forms, including real-estate and bribery. – Sadhan M