On the edge

I went to the US as a student about 20 years ago (“Trump’s threat to limit H-1B visas should remind Indians what they share with other immigrants”). Communication was through land lines and fax machines then. I was to exit JFK airport for my connecting flight and was completely disoriented, never having traveled by aircraft ever before.

At the end of the immigration queue as I was stepping out, an officer asked me for my visa. I showed it to him. He saw it and wished me luck. I asked him where to go next. He looked away and did not respond. I waiting thinking he did not hear. I repeated the question. He did not bother. Even for an Indian used to rude behavior on the streets, rickshaws, taxis, trains every day at the time, his attitude came as a shock.

During my few years there, I was subjected to some racist taunts, but by and large, the Americans I encountered were wonderful people.

What surprises me is that many Indians take offence when a foreigner does something that we do so often and so nonchalantly. Many of us seem to feel we have the right to live and work in the US. Trump’s decision might make us feel hurt, but similar treatment meted out by our politicians to coloured foreigners will make us feel proud.

Indians, by and large, have always been hypocritical. And these contradictory feelings only confirm that observation. – Rajratna Jadhav


I’m concerned about the Indian IT industry, which is very dependent on outsourcing from US. We Indians seem to have gotten used to slavery, having spent more than 100 years under British rule. So, after independence, we started become enslaved to the West. So many Indians are working in internal companies like Google, Facebook etc, but have failed to setup a self-sustaining company at our home. Companies like TCS and Infosys went so heavily on profit booking that they did not invest in future technologies. The result is in front of us.

We are termed as cheap labour and seem to be happy with that tag. We are not trying to expand our own local market for software and are instead so dependent on companies like Google, Facebook and the like. Why don’t we try to improve the conditions at home and set up something that can compete with Google, Microsoft or Facebook? – Talwinder Singh

Cash clean-up

More than 70 years after Independence I have to wonder: are we really independent (“Will the Rs 2,000 cap on cash donations for political parties bring more transparency in the system?”) All systems continue to work as they did when the English had power and wielded control over the law. Today’s politician and bureaucrats do the same, without bothering about the laws. If any law is passed in Parliament, why should it not be apply to all citizens of India? I am worried about the future of India. – RK Dhiman

Thank you very much for shedding at least some light on this controversial issue and on Hindu-Muslim relationships in history. It is now very easy for a communal-minded person to portray this relationship in black and white terms – Muslims as oppressors and Hindus as the oppressed. But no narrative of history can be as linear, simplistic and lacking in nuance as the Hindu revivalists’ version. – Sunil Yadav

Halfway home

In the name of safety, we end up justifying so much, from ethnic cleansing to targeting innocents (“From inspiring ‘Swades’ to being questioned on immigration status: Aravinda Pillalamarri’s journey”). This is a sad state of affairs. The world needs more people like Aravinda Pillalamarri, as politicians alone may not do enough to improve the situation. – Abrar Sheriff M

Double standards

This observation may seem to be in poor taste, but it is true (“Maharashtra textbook says ‘ugly and handicapped girls’ have to pay more dowry”). We are all extremely hypocritical. To improve the situation, we first need to accept the real picture and the text book does just that.

Immunity question

None of the diseases mentioned in the article need vaccination (“Bengaluru parents question the need for a measles-rubella vaccination drive”). Vaccines destroy the immunoglobulin ratio in a child hence break open the immune system, making to vulnerable to outside food, dust, cold etc.

Immunoglobulin G and E are reduced in the body once it is exposed to vaccines. Doctors know this but still they give vaccines as this helps the pharma lobby. It’s a pity that govt is forcing this on the population. Certain things should be left to the people to decide. The government must not interfere too much. – Ruthu Homeo

New light

This is one of the finest first-hand accounts on the life of a tribe I have come across, where the writer is empathetic (“By grabbing a cobra by its head, one woman changed her Pakistani tribe forever”). This shows us a glimmer of hope in an otherwise gloomy scenario, where human values are diminishing. Many have seen this happen in our part of the globe but only a few can paint them with words. I congratulate the writer on his exceptional outlook towards life. – MC Nagaraj

Cultural integration

I love to watch Turkish soaps as their stories strike a chord with our Indian way of life (“Missing Fawad Khan on Zindagi? Here’s who else to crush on“). They’re down to earth and realistic. Their content, the natural way of presentation and beautiful scenery make it a great experience. Indian serials on the other hand have become unbearable as they seem to be running out of stories and don’t know how to end a soap after starting it and running it for years at a stretch. – Aashraya


I am happy to read about Turkish dramas airing on Zindagi channel. I thought that none of the print media recognised the diversity of content shown by this channel. I have been watching Zindagi from the time it was launched and I like all the dramas shown by it.

I respect art and cultures of different countries whether it’s Pakistani or Turkish. I like that Pakistani dramas are short and sweet, with controlled performances. But Turkish dramas are my favourite, because they have a strong script written after detailed investigation, are well shot and have no mo melodrama.

My favourites are Fatmagul, Feriha, Little Lord and Kuzey Gurney. I’m big big fan of Engin Akyurek aka Kerim. I hope Turkish actors also get a chance in Bollywood and that Turkish dramas never get banned in India. – Divya Raid


It is unfortunate that PTV dramas have been banned on Zindagi channel. Where Indians shows lack in quality and presentation, Pakistani dramas were so enchanting and engrossing, while also imparting a strong message too. Zindagi’s slogan was “jode dilon ko,” but they’ve now broken our hearts. The hearts must mend again and love will prevail in the end, paving the way for things to go smooth sailing for both the nations. – Aggarwal

Toll of development

Thank you so much for highlighting issues that mean a lot to the people of Sikkim, who have been fighting for a long time (“Locals in Sikkim are fighting to save their community and the environment from hydropower projects”). Today, the river has turned into the stream and one cannot estimate the toll of this on the animal life. Sikkim needs more attention in this regard and there is massive corruption in the name of development. Please write stories on health, education and transport concerns in this area too. – Prashant

Together in celebration

Though I agree with most of the points raised in the article, certain erroneous assumptions have been made (“Unesco tag for Mongol Shobhajatra reminds beleaguered Bangladesh of its common Bengali-ness”). The article claims that people of West Bengal do not treat Mongol Shobhajatra as an important event. But that is not so. It’s not that the celebration is toned down, but it is more of a domestic affair. In Bangladesh this is a carnival. But we have a much bigger carnival in Durga pujo, an event that can be beaten only by the Rio carnival. And Durga pujo has religious as well as secular aspects. In recent years in fact, the religious aspects have faded and people of all religions celebrate it. – Sukrit B

Bullish argument

The growth of civilisation is tantamount to taming and domestication of animals (“SC refuses to stay order on jallikattu law, slams Tamil Nadu for failed law-and-order situation”).

Animals are animals, they require certain amount of slapping and beating. To call such disciplining of animals as cruelty must be extreme hypocrisy and boundless stupidity. Further, while extreme cruelty is permitted in slaughter houses and religious festivals, patting, slapping and hugging a bull is slammed for bieng cruel. With regard to jallikattu, the master and bull grow as father and son, but the court is unnecessarily raking up morbid pictures of Roman gladiator sports.

Crocodile tears

Were you invited to sit and declare your nationalism (“Hated having to sit there and declare my nationalism: Karan Johar on ‘Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’ video”)? You went there purely to salvage your business. So why shed crocodile tears when you achieved your objective by paying peanuts? Those were your business dealings, pure and simple. Don’t try to be a hypocrite. – Amit

Interpreting deities

This is a very well-written article on the goddess of learning (“Saraswati’s life was one of a million mutinies – but she always had the last word”). Lovely choice of words and confluence of tales. However, I find one thing missing – respect.

I see you have tried to glorify her in many cases by contrasting her with others or showing others in a different light. Bt one thing I know crystal clear: Indian Philosophy and ideology believes in the absolute and not relatively. – Allaukik


This amazing information on goddess Saraswati really makes sense and explains why she always appears as a loner. That Brahma chased is hilarious but also contemptible but I guess he was a god so in his kingdom, “all is fair in love and war”. Thanks for an interesting read. – GJ

Forces unite

Somehow, articles with provocative headlines like this one conveniently leave out the poll numbers, which indicate that South Asians of all religions decisively supported Clinton over Trump in the 2016 election (“A quest for whiteness: What explains the Hindu-American support for Donald Trump?”) Even if you assume that Muslim, Sikh, and Christian Indians voted unanimously for Clinton (a questionable assumption at best, given Christians’ affinity for the GOP), this still leaves a clear majority of Hindu Indians who also supported Clinton.

The poll numbers and anecdotal experience of anyone who has mingled in the Indian-American community bears this out. I suspect the author knows this, and chooses to leave this tidbit out in order to get page views. – Sanjay