Colour concerns

BJP leader Tarun Vijay’s statement about the South Indians is outrageous, racist and divisive (“Tarun Vijay’s claims that India isn’t racist actually emphasise our deep-seated problem with racism”). He clearly implies that Indians who live in the southern part of the country are the “others”. His comment betrays his thinking that people who live in northern states, who have fair skin, are the legitimate citizens of this country and the darker-skinned people who live in southern are tolerated by the purported real citizens. This takes the divisive politics of the Rightwing BJP to the next level, after their attacks on Muslims and the dalits. Is this any short of fascism? – Sathya S


His statement implies that only fair people are the real Indians, the privileged class, and can talk about being tolerant, while darker skinned people are not Indians and don’t have this privilege! – Jayanth D


Tarun Vijay seems to the brand ambassador for fairness cream for South India. – Lakshmikumar


Clearly many Indians are not aware they are racists. A class system is the perfect incubator for racism. – Rudolph Boyce


The very fact that the class and caste system exist in India even today shows that our society is racist. Forget about the political and religious divide created over the past few decades. When I was young, I celebrated every festival with my neighbours and friends. However, its no longer that way in many parts of India. Or is it Hindustan? – Melanius Mc Bain


Till recently, I had not even heard of Tarun Vijay. But thanks to his “brain fade”, now all of us know him. So, congrats Mr Vijay. If only his English was better, this confusion would not have happened. – Bipin Nair


Tarun Vijay, we may be black, but we are honest and clean people unlike the others...I mean North Indians. – Usha Kumar

Speaking out

It is true that India has not condemned in clear words the happenings in Syria (“Why has India been silent about the chemical attacks in Syria?”). As a layman, it is difficult for me to compare foreign policy, but seeing the photos of dying children, I feel both Narendra Modi and Sushma Swaraj should speak up against these terrible crimes.

I’m one of the few people in India who wants to see rational solutions to domestic issues too. The Kashmir question is a grave one and the number of people arrested for protesting is inexplicable.

Whatever be the case, it is impossible to rule over people with guns for a long time. History has taught us that. Good Kashmir policy and better self-rule strategies with minimum armed intervention can help ease the situation. – Rajiv


It’s refreshing to see news articles that hold out against the prevailing “we want development, everything else is secondary” mindset that has overpowered Indians to such a large extent that they continue to vote anti-nationals to power. In a world abounding with cynicism and selfishness, we desperately need leaders to give the country hope and to demonstrate that decency and humanity aren’t relative and optional. – Divya

Temple talk

I was delighted to read this response to Chetan Bhagat on the Ayodhya issue (“Dear Chetan Bhagat, here’s why we do not need a new Ram temple in Ayodhya”). I felt exactly the same. I usually claim that I will not be able to survive in a totally Hindu State. I would feel suffocated while talking to my Christian and Islamic friends. I was not being able to remember us as beautiful, diverse and tolerant country. I could only see a once-pure Ocean filled with toxins. You gave me a ray of hope. – Nirmala Kashyap


I am a non-practicing Hindu and have nothing to do with any political party. Yet, Ruchir Joshi’s views seem ridiculous to me. He has forgotten the Astha of every Hindu, the firm belief about Ayodhya and the spirituality in the land called India. Such people may also deny the Ramayana. He probably takes leave from office on Ram Navami and Diwali but denies a Ram temple. – Pavan Kumar


I feel from the bottom of my heart that the destroyed Babri Masjid site should become Ground Zero and should house a botanical garden with the most beautiful flora in the world. It could symbolically have grottos and niches where citizens of every faith can sit peacefully and think about the dastardly acts that have taken place over centuries. This should be a Centre of Excellence for the performing arts and for celebrations of the diverse cultures of our country. – Jayanthi Jaisimha

Refugee report

Sure, it’s sad that we have to deport Rohingyas but India already more than 1,50,000 Tibetans​ refugees, more than a million Bangladeshis, 60,000 Afghan refugees and 1,00,000 Sri Lankan refugees (“‘It is like feeding us to the sharks’: India’s plan to deport 40,000 Rohingya refugees draws flak”). Plus, we are planning to deport just 10,000 of 40,000 Rohingyas. Why do we always have to be so idealistic? We already have more people than India can handle plus we are already in a financial crisis. Inviting more at the expenses of Indian citizens is stupidity. – Vatsal Saxena


If deporting Rohingya muslims is a violation of their human rights, as you claim, is not their continued stay in India a violation of the human rights of Indian citizens, particularly Hindus? – Shreevalsan


Be that as it may , these criminal refugees need to be thrown out of India as soon as possible. These Urchins have no place in any civil society. That’s why they are not welcome anywhere, not even in Muslim countries in the world. Who knows if these gutter scums are throwing stones at the Indian Army in Kashmir. To cover up their identity, they say they are from Bihar and not that they are Rohingya refugees. They need no mercy, throw them out of India. – BM S

Lawless lands

The law should deal with the cruel murderers in the harshest possible manner to send out a strong signal that no ordinary citizen can take the law into their own hands (“Man killed by gau rakshaks for allegedly smuggling cows in Alwar was a dairy farmer: Report”).


They are not gau rakshaks but gau rakshas, because they are killing human beings. If they are really rakshaks or protectors, why don’t they stop cow slaughter in Northeast India.They want to spoil peace and harmony of Bharat. They are the agents of our enemies. – Ghouse Mohiuddin

Eating habits

This report is funny and wrong (“‘No one eats non-veg openly here’: Ahmedabad’s food lovers on the city’s cultural aversion to meat”). Gujarat is a gold mine of stories, why sell fake ones?

Bhakt journalists and those who write such erroneous, silly reports are two sides of the same coin. We respect, please maintain it. – Abhishek Pande

Battling depression

I have been undergoing treatment for depression for the past three years and as a patient, I could relate to everything the writer said (“Interview: A depression survivor talks about her guide to living with the disease”). Having a relapse after six or seven months, when you have almost forgotten about your scary days and nights, is one of the worst things about depression. I would like to put it this way: depression is death in intervals. Great article.

Star gazing

Kamal Haasan is truly an icon (“Despite columnist’s gaffe, Kamal Haasan wasn’t born Muslim – his original name was Parthasaraty”). He is cut from a different cloth and is the creator of amazing celluloid classics, some of them unconventional and all on his own terms. Hats off to him. He stands out among his peers, never gives up and speaks his mind. He is undoubtedly a great showman of our times. – Viswanathan


Haasan meants seat, and the actor’s name means “one who is sitting on a lotus.” It is a graceful name depicting some of gods of Iyengar family and has nothing to do with Islam.
It is up to each one to read it in their language and draw inferences. – Nirmal Toshniwal

Nationalism movements

Naga nationalism is best understood in the oneness that the Naga people share (“Nagaland peace accord: Could more autonomy be in the offing?”). This oneness is in the physical appearance of the people, in their geograpy, the language they speak and the religion they follow. Naga nationalism had been strong and gaining momentum with the signing of the peace accord in 2015 with the Government of India.

The United Nations has recognised the right to self determination. A nation has to be respected by any member of the UN in any part of the world. Their untold stories need to be heard. – Lolly Bashu