Cry from the Valley

Thanks for an excellent, balanced report (“Kashmir viral video: How a man headed to a death ritual found himself strapped to an army vehicle”). – Prem Jha


First, I strongly oppose what was shown on the video. But I don’t entirely believe what this report claims either. Every culprit will say they are innocent, even a Tiger Memon or Kasab would, and would claim to have been framed. And why have you not reported on the stone-pelting industry and their funding, or the atrocities on Kashmiri Hindus in PoK’s Gilgit-Baluchistan, or how Pakistan flags are hosted? – Dipu Desai


I think the army has done a good job in teaching a lesson to stone pelters. Why is there so much hue and cry over this incident? And why is such outrage absent when a CRPF man is thrashed by locals? – Sandeep Jhavery


Farooq Dar may be a good human being and not one of the stone pelters. I hope the truth comes out. What’s important is that unwittingly, a way to deal with stone-pelters may have been found for the time being. – Subhash Dar


Kashmir crisis

This sounds very fake (“‘I will never vote again’: Kashmiri man used as ‘human shield’ describes his journey of humiliation”)! The Army works on the line of sight principle. They do not conjure up incidents. This Kashmiri must have pelted something to invite their attention, and they are the authorised peace keepers in the region.

If they beat him up, he deserved it! I have lived in Kashmir before and I know these people very well, they just can’t be trusted. – Anjan Muhury


Who cares whether this Kashmiri Muslim will vote in future? In fact, it will be better if he and he co-religionists do not vote in any election. India will do well without a Muslim vote bank. – Shreevalsan

Mother of All Bombs

I am shocked – not by the Americans but by what you have written (“Did the US cross a red line by dropping the Mother of All Bombs on Afghanistan?”)!When did the IS or the Taliban earn the right to be called “combatants”? Would the writer have been happy if the American forces had dropped 19 one-tonne bombs at the very spot? – P Raghavendra

Snap judgements

Dear Indians, we have more pressing issues for which we need to take a stand that what the Snapchat CEO supposedly said (“Snapchat meant for ‘everyone’, says company after CEO’s ‘poor India’ comment sends ratings crashing”). The harsh truth is that most people just need a reason to post a status that will enough likes! Matters such as the crisis in Syria, or conflicts within India, sexual harassment, child abuse or marital rape need much more attention. Boycotting a stupid app will not make any difference to the world. – Sourav Bhakat

Presidential race

So far, no person from the North East has assumed the top post (“Kaun Banega Rashtrapati: Buzz over probable candidates gets louder in run-up to July election”). This is the best opportunity for Modi to change that, so that the region can feel represented. – M Sreedhar Rao

Party pooper

That late night parties and drugs go hand in hand is no news to us (“Goa: No parties after 10 pm, police will crack down on drugs and gambling, says Manohar Parrikar”). But the Goa chief minister must also consider that such activities also take place in the broad daylight.

So, just imposing a 10 pm deadline on parties will not be enough. Manohar Parrikar must ensure a complete crackdown on drug trafficking and make lives difficult for peddlers as well as users. Rope in the families of addicts for anti-drug efforts. I’m sure the chief minister;s office will do everything in its power to completely stop the narcotic trade that corrodes the lives of millions. But just stopping late night parties saying they are against our culture won’t stop this.

Culture evolves. India is a now a global country. People party late into the night in all modern countries and that’s the culture of the new generation. Is our government ready to tackle the new culture while not sacrificing the freedom of the individual? – Nayan Samani

Powerful yogis

The Yogis of Adityanath’s sect have been active in politics (“Far from Hindutva, Yogi Adityanath’s sect comes from a tradition that was neither Hindu nor Muslim”). Mahant Sherioy Nath, head of Baba Mast Nath Math at Asthal Bohar in Haryana, was a minister in the Haryana government. His successor Mahant Chang Nath, head of the same Math, is a BJP MP from Bikaner. It is said that Mahant Mastnath was the incarnation of Gorakhnath. The Baba Mastnath Math is running an Ayurvedic and Dental institute at Rohtak. – Raj Singh Malik

Fading culture

It is true that the traditional Goan temple architecture is diminishing and what we see now is garden-variety temple architecture (“Goa’s temples are losing their local features, and the rise of money power may be to blame”). The worry is that nothing remains distinctly Goan about these temples after their renovation.

Not just architecture, even other Goan traditional symbols such as the the nine-yard saree adorning the goddess and the traditional “makharotsav” seen during the Navaratri festival seem to be either diminishing or becoming unpopular. – KB Dessai

Skin deep

Very well articulated (“The TM Krishna column: News flash, Tarun Vijay critics – we South Indians are racist too”)! It is difficult to eliminate sub-conscious biases and may take several decades. A sustained campaign and education from pre-school level onwards is necessary. – Dharmarajan

Going to the root

This is a great analysis on organic farming in Sikkim, which is my research topic (“Sikkim’s switch to organic farming yielded none of the promised fruits for its orange growers”). It would have been useful to see a comparison of the pest control methods, the core of organic mission, in the two states that are being compared, Sikkm in West Bengal, if that’s to be blamed. You rightly point to the lack of scientific methods available to farmers. But whether the lack is of methods or chemicals is not clear. Sikkim had banned chemicals since early 2003, how has it dealt with crop loss since then? It would have been useful to understand that if the transition is responsible for the loss. – Anar Bhatt


Of course we must adopt modern techniques to combat the growing disease and pest population that damages this fruit both in Sikkim and Darjeeling, but though the latter follows conventional farming methods, they do have similar problems, particularly in this.
The need of the hour is proper orchard management with regular inspections, which are farmers rarely do. A year-round calendar has to be prepared for proper management.

There are several reasons for the decline of this fruit, such improper manuring, improper irrigation and harvesting and the like. Climate change is also a factor. – Taken Thapa

Religion and State

As a Pakistani who, though living abroad for nearly over two decades, has kept a close watch on all the political developments in my country, I can attest that religious politics have miserably failed in Pakistan (“(“From India to America, countries are adopting Pakistan’s model of mixing religion with politics”).
General Zia experimented with this but with his demise, those adventures failed. That is the reason why over last 30 years, religious parties have not secured more than 5% of votes and very few seats in parliament. That is proof of how much religion is liked by people.

We have other sorts of religious problems that the world generally doesn’t understand For instance, there is no State control over religious institutions, which has empowered mullahs. The spread of dogma in the name of religion, the state’s capitulation to extreme elements and the encouragement of militants by establishment to achieve supposed strategic objects are some of these. But when it comes to the political process, you can see how religious parties fail to make a mark. – MW Memon

Church controversy

Beyond the scandal of the Syro-Malabar and Syro-Malankara clergy of Kerala refusing the papal injunction to wash women’s feet, there is a scandalous theological aspect as well: why has foot-washing never been acknowledged by the Church as an actual sacrament (“Feet-washing ritual: Women step forward after two Kerala churches refuse to follow Pope Francis”)? Jesus is credited with instituting seven of these, but none as clearly and emphatically as the washing of feet (John 13:8, 12-17) – a fact reflected in the term Mandatum for this practice. John’s account of the Last Supper even gives it the central place, to the complete exclusion of mention of the institution of the Eucharist!

Liturgically, this would be an ideal sacrament for commissioning people for ministry of all sorts. In any case, Jesus made it clear that all his disciples were to do this; and wouldn’t it be a welcome antidote to the disease of prideful clericalism that Jesus clearly wished to forestall? There is no reason not to proclaim this the eighth sacrament of the church. – Daryl P Domning

Different tune

I am one of TM Krishna’s ardent fans and I keep devouring his pristine and pure music. But I find it intriguing that his reasoning and intellect work so differently when it comes to political analysis (“Through Yogi Adityanath’s rise, democracy has held up a mirror to us. Now, it’s our turn to reflect”). I, for one, am really disappointed to find that he has bought into the views and deliberate misrepresentations of the sold media and press!

Before passing sweeping statements on Yogi Adityanath, he should spend some of his precious time on getting to know the facts and background. Being pro-Hindu doesn’t necessarily mean being anti other religions or a fanatic .

My insatiable love his music is what compels me to air my views on the other, unpalatable side of him. – Viswanatha Subramanian

Temple tussle

I really liked Ruchir Joshi’s letter to Chetan Bhagat (“Dear Chetan Bhagat, here’s why we do not need a new Ram temple in Ayodhya”). I too feel stifled in this environment and am really worried about the direction in which our leaders are taking our wonderful country. I would like to believe I am as patriotic as any of these men who yield swords and sticks, who are following the directions of these so-called leaders for petty gains and trying to destroy the fabric of our country. I hope and pray that there are more people like this author out there and that they find a medium to express themselves. – Amarjeet Singh