Wheel deal

What the khadi and village industries ministry did by replacing the photo of Gandhi with that of Modi with a charkha is not at all appreciable (“Why the switching of Gandhi with Modi as India’s khadi icon is more than just symbolic”). Modi’s way of working is commendable but that cannot be appreciated at the cost of Gandhi’s image. Gandhi has discovered khadi as a means of self-dependency and Modi should not copy it. There can be different way to promoting khadi. – Ishan Sharma


Narendra Modi has all along been in self-promotion mode, an effort that his now reached its zenith. It seems he wants to dislodge Mahatma Gandhi from his exalted position as the father of the nation.

Mahatma Gandhi is a symbol of simplicity and self-sacrifice. Unlike Modiji , he never desired to wear customised attire. He dressed humbly and minimally, to identify himself with the teeming millions who could not afford even cloth to cover themselves.

The image of fully-dressed Modiji sitting in front of chakhara looks artificial. Can Michaelangelo’s The Pietà be re-sculpted with some other figures and yet retain the glory of the original? Never. Such will be the fate of a portrait of chakhra with someone other than Gandhiji. – P Vijayachandran


It isn’t a good thought that Modiji can replace Mahatma Gandhi as the father of the nation and of the Khadi movement. The calendar should have Gandhi as usual and a picture of Modi too in a corner. – Purna Rao


It is disgusting on part of the sycophants to put Modi’s picture in place of Gandhi. At least Modi should tell something to those sycophants. – Basappa Belawadi


How can Narendra Modi so blatantly advertise himself in the Khadi and Village Industries diary and calendar, ousting the father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi, without any remorse? This shows that our prime minister is a narcissist man who will go to any lengths to promote himself. How can a man who wore a Rs 10 lakh suit monogrammed with his name advertise for the simple, humble and low-cost khadi that Gandhi promoted by wearing it till his last breath.

What next? Will the selfie-taking Modi replace Gandhi on currency notes too? – Devadas V


The author sabotages his own credibility by selectively remembering the Gujarat riots and conveniently forgetting the criminal torching of a train carrying innocent people, killing around 60 at Godhra. – Dr Rajasekharan


There appears to be an overreaction on this issue. Marketing is more important than production in this era. If this change helps marketing, there is nothing wrong with it.

If demand increases, more khadi-spinning centres can be set up in villages, thereby strengthening the industry and the rural economy, which is the ultimate aim and what Gandhiji would have wanted.

You cannot survive on nostalgia, you need marketing potential to strengthen the base. We should concentrate the benefits in the present context and not be swayed by dogma or history. – Ram Niwas Jhanwar

Food for thought

This is a very informative article and shows in detail what’s happening in Khirkee extension (“A Delhi locality serves up food from Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan – and the bittersweet taste of loss”). It will be helpful if photos are captioned. – Kalpana

Subsidy question

The subsidy for the Haj pilgrimage should be stopped forthwith (“Apart from the Haj, India subsidises a range of pilgrimages – most of them Hindu”). There is no demand from the Muslim community for the subsidy. Nevertheless, it is thought that the subsidy is for the national carrier, Air India, and not for the Haj pilgrimage.

Tour operators of national and international repute may offer the Haj pilgrimage at the same price, if not lower. The money the government saves by removing the subsidy can be used to help the downtrodden of all faiths. The government, however, should regulate and monitor the activities of tour operator and provide assistance and guidance for a safe and hassle-free Haj. – SI Hussaini


Government should not spend people’s money for religious causes. It is strange that when there is criticism on subsidies to poor, we should spend money for religious causes. – PC Rao


The author misses the point that it is not a direct subsidy for Hindu pilgrims but is meant to ensure that the events are conducted safely. When will these pseudo seculars ever see the true side, they are always negative towards the majority community. – Ramkumar Shanmugasundaram


This is utter nonsense. I don’t know why this author tries to justify the huge and avoidable drain on our foreign exchange in the name of Haj subsidy. You cannot liken this one-sided largesse to one community to the necessity of providing a conducive environment when large crowds gather in India on an occasion. The latter is a civic responsibility and cannot be compared to the subsidy to Muslims to travel abroad. We need no enemies to secularism when we have friends like Ispita Chakravarty. How much did Scroll.in dole out to her for this anti-Hindu diatribe? – Krishnan


The most important thing is the location of the pilgrimage. If Haj were to be held in India, then by all means, make all arrangements for it. But this is a foreign trip, not an Indian one. There are so many non-Hindu festivals and religious places in India that are maintained and looked after with funds from the government. So where does the question of secularism arise?

I’d be with you if Hindus were getting travel subsidies to Pashupatinath Temple in Nepal, or for the Angkor Wat in Cambodia. But the idea is that the government should only look to provide for congregations of Indians within India. There is no question of secularism or selective application of this.

It would be nice if the state were completely oblivious to religion and caste, but expecting such a change from within the hearts and minds of the general population is futile. Bodies that influence public opinion, like the media in this instance, should promote a more neutral interpretation of issues, rather than painting conspiracy into everything. – Shyam

No reservations

It’s regrettable that people still have a caste-based ideology (“‘This is asatya bharat’: Watch what Bezwada Wilson said at Rohith Vemula’s first death anniversary”). However, I sincerely oppose unrestricted reservations in government posts. I have seen so many rich students from Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe categories flashing high-end phones but getting admission into MBBS and post-graduate posts through reservations.

These candidates are low on merit and not equipped to deal with complex decisions required in the fields. A professor or lecturer who gets a post solely based on reservation, despite not being meritorious for the post, results in deterioration of teaching standards. This, in turn, lowers the standards of students.

Until and unless the government doesn’t altogether abolish the caste system from the country and from the reservations, the 30%-50% students who lost out on seats in good institutes because of quotas will harbour hatred for the reserved category.

What i propose is that just like demonetisation, the government should overnight abolish caste-system based schemes and benefits. These must be replaced by reservations based on economic status, which too should be gradually phased out by providing economic and other educational aids to underprivileged children.
If we remove this caste system , there shall no longer remain anything to fight for. – Abhishek Savalia

Looking back

The author begins her article with an anecdote from her time in independent India, the India “untinged by shadows of slavery” (“Why Shashi Tharoor’s ‘An Era Of Darkness’ should be translated into every Indian language”). Unfortunately, what was a past for the author’s family is still the present for the overwhelming majority – the lower castes of India, who still can’t claim to be “untinged by shadows of slavery” and they are not given the respect that cows get in this country. This is a country , in 2017, where Dalits still can’t enter rural temples and walk in the main streets of villages even though they are given the freedom to do so on paper.

So, I would like to ask Shashi Tharoor and the author of this article, who exactly is untinged by slavery? Had upper castes allowed the benefits of education to trickle down to the lower castes, modern India wouldn’t have to face half the problems it grapples with now.

Why did BR Ambedkar say he was glad that the Marathas lost their war against the British? Why was Periyar EV Ramasamy against the Indian independence? He wanted the British to rule the Madras Presidency at least from London, because he felt the new India would be a Brahmin-Bania state. He was proved right. Tamil Nadu, which follows Periyar’s ideology, has improved not just economically but also in the social indicators.

I see this article as a rant of an upper caste Indian. Who are now madly looking for meanings that will emancipate them from the “shame” that their country was colonised. Politicians like Shashi Tharoor are not different from the Sangh; they both contribute to building the mass inferiority complex among Indian masses and reaping its benefits.

India’s economic improvement as the result of liberalisation was possible in the first place because Indians speak English. In a way, it’s neo-colonisation.

The Indian media should make Indians introspect rather than confirming their inferiority complex assiduously built by politicians for self-serving purposes. – Sriram RS


It is so sweet and soothing to call the rise of a mighty king or a mighty confederacy “an impulsion for unity”. I imagine the mighty kings and confederacies were not at all in the habit of plundering and taking home what belonged to the conquered. Yes, I can close my eyes at age 82 and vividly see the Maratha confederacy smoothly converting itself into the Indian Republic of today. Of course, with exactly the same political borders as that of British India in 1860s. With Sindhis and Baluchis and Andaman Island people, not to mention the people of North East, all singing Vande Mataram. – CM Naim

Choosing sides

It is quite clear that the BJP neither wants to understand India’s history nor of the Left movement the world over (“BJP picks a fight with revolutionary icon Che Guevara in Kerala”). Looking at everything through the Hindutva prism, it relegates reality to absurdity. – Sadhan Mukherjee

Flagging trouble

They have hurt our feelings even by just thinking of making a doormat designed on the tricolour (“‘Didn’t mean to hurt Indian sentiments’: Amazon apologises for selling doormats bearing tricolour”). You call this an apology? I don’t know about others but I’m Indian and I love anything and everything to do with my country. Josh John

Eye on UP
When will you stop your hypocrisy (“UP upper castes have only one reason not to support Akhilesh Yadav – their hypocrisy”)? Despite voting for Pakistan you are still living in India and demanding rights! Can you please stand up for the rights of non-Muslims in Muslim countries? Do not be an Ashraf. Be a Human and leave Islam, the adharam of the world. – Sandeep Singh Bajwa