Letters to the editor

Readers’ comments: ‘Kejriwal cannot fight a giant without growing up or showing some maturity’

A selection of readers’ opinions.

Writing on AAP’s wall

If the achievements of the Kejriwal government that you have detailed in your article are true then why is the AAP is not going to public with this information, instead of blaming everyone else, including EVMs and most trusted election commission, for their failures (“Why Arvind Kejriwal must quit as Delhi chief minister after the civic polls, never mind the outcome”)?

A man who was talking about the law before coming to power has made a mockery of the law. The problem with Kejriwal is that he thinks he is god and whatever he says is true – everyone else is a liar. – Dipak Shah

***

The article appears to be by anti-BJP but that’s okay: the author has freedom of speech and opinion.

But the phrase “BJP’s religious nationalism propaganda” is quite surprising. If something was missing and the party brought it to the fore, why should it be propaganda?

Indians have been always attached to “their” community, caste and people. And this never included the definition of India. So what the government is building is not nationalism but a responsibility to your nation. Else it is so easy to break your home, make people fight and then rule easily. So whats wrong in the concept of nationalism being introduced?

If the writer has been on the field in the past, he would have noticed that the sentiment of being Hindu, Muslim or Dalit carried more weight then being Indian.

I am not a bhakt or anti-Congress but I want to know: why do we focus only on the negative aspect of the government and bring in Hinduism? In that case, was the past not an example of Islamism, where the government used the politics of appeasement for votes?

As for AAP, Kejriwal needs maturity: you cannot fight a giant without growing up or at least showing
some maturity. The article says that the AAP did not look for votes on religious lines, but the times have changed. He should let his work prove his worth. He needs time, articulation, political knowledge and the right attitude. – Vikram Mehta

***

Are our journalists completely cut off from ground realities? Isn’t it almost satirical to ask Kejriwal to take on Modi? Doesn’t the author know what happened in Punjab and Goa? Apart from that, resigning as chief minister will be suicidal for Kejriwal. – Chinmay Dhengle

***

You messed up this article by raising an alarm on Hinduvta. People like you polarise everything by reacting very selectively. And Netas use this to their advantage. When Akhilesh Yadav was chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, there were other problems. But these perhaps bothered you less or were more appeasing for you.Please stop acting as a Hindu or a Muslim. Please act like an Indian. – Jyoti Loomba

WhatsApp schooling

I can completely relate to the experience of an Indian mother of school-going children shared in this article (“Indian schools are using WhatsApp to enslave mothers and crush children’s independence”). I have just moved to Gurgaon from Melbourne with my two little boys. The mum’s whatsapp group (created by the school teacher) and the fact that we are being asked to do things at a day’s notice is something I’m still trying to come to terms with.

In Australia, if we had to send something with out children, we were given a note at least a few weeks or a month in advance. We had coffees, lunches and move nights for mums where we could go out and have a relaxed few hours. I’m still trying to digest how crazy things are here and how the school expects that you have nothing better life than constantly be on call or monitoring your child’s work. I’m surprised to see that parents are not even standing up against this kind of attitude but are happily giving in.

Reading this article made me realise I’m probably not the only one who has a problem with this; it’s just that most parents don’t want to speak up because they worry that they will come across as not taking enough interest in their child’s life. I wish parents understood that by being so overly involved they are actually handicapping their children and not letting them develop some very important life skills. – Nupur

***

There’s a line in this article: “We are on it. We are so on it that we put home-schoolers to shame.”

I would not have commented had it not been for the above line. That’s because I took home-school my kids. What intrigued me was the author’s misconception about homeschooling moms being “on it”. What is it ?

I can only assume that she thinks homeschooling families control their kids 24x7. Oh the poor kids. They don’t even get a break from their parents for a minute. Why? Becase we are so “on it”.

Perhaps she might be interested to know that the very reason that many Indian families are home-schooling their kids it to avoid the many pitfalls about school life that she so eloquently writes about.

Also, our children are not micro-managed, they learn to be pretty self driven. Not because we neglect them, or force them to be independent. It’s because they learn that no one needs to pre-determine what and how they need to learn.
After the line shaming home-schooling families, the author says:

“We give our children no real space in which to mature, no real sense of responsibility, no real shot at failing, and learning from failure – because, as mothers, we seem to have internalised that their business is our business. We are raising sons who are used to throwing up their hands, sons with moms who sort out every detail of their lives. We are raising daughters who learn a woman’s domestic role is being the scheduler of other people’s lives”.

Wow! Does she truly think home-schooled children don’t mature and have opportunities to learn from their mistakes? Has she not read about home-schooled children who have pursued their passions and created real careers by exploring interests? Some have even set up empires from mistakes that they learnt from during this process of learning.

It’s time people are educated about the alternative methods of education. We are on it for sure. But that “it” is not control and not letting our children mature. What we are on it is a process of learning and living life together. – Pushpa Ramachandran

***

This is an absolutely accurate account and something most women can relate too.We are spoon feeding our children, instead of making them independent. So instead of letting them deal with the consequences of a missed assignment, we do it for them. This touched a nerve and made one ponder. – Rupali Sinha

***

As a former school principal, I am horrified at the use of a new app to keep in touch with parents. A public Facebook page for communications with parents and limited email and phone contact, subject to strict protocols, is all that should be allowed. – Andrew McNicol

***

This article struck a chord with me. I am so sick and tied of being on the “supermom” group. I have two children, ages 6 and 7, and if i have to do this for another 10 years, I will certainly need medication.

But I also blame mothers like myself. Why don’t we raise our voices? Why don’t we tell schools that it is not our job, it is that of the child and the school? I’m simply an investor, investing in the school to secure my child’s future.

I’m definitely going to make a greater effort to function less as a robot and more of an aware parent passing the responsibility back to my child. Thank you for writing! – Aulina

***

While going through this article, I felt as though I was reliving my life with my children. My children are young enough but still I feel every child should be given the responsibility to take relay the instructions given to them at school to their parents. Knowing that my parents will get a WhatsApp message everyday from school would make me carefree and I would feel no need to remember. Today’s society is making robots out of our children. Everything is spoofed to them.

But we can’t blame our children for this because we ourselves are setting a wrong example with technology. – Vidhi Lahori

***

I’m glad to read the other perspective, but as a teacher with a reputed public school, I have a different side to share. I am expected to be available on call 24×7. Parents expect us to be ready with each and every piece of information about their child. Asking them for our space and privacy is as difficult as it is for parents, as you describe in your article. I also think its the job of the couple (mother and father) to divide child-rearing responsibilities between themselves and not that of the teacher. – Khushbu Jain

India for Hindus

India is a Hindu country and will remain one will the end of the time (“Sonu Nigam is right – blaring azaan is ‘forced religiousness’. And it doesn’t stop there”). Hindutva is a way of life in India. There are just a couple of Hindu-majority countries in the world and seeing the rate at which the Muslim population is growing, India won’t remain one in the near future.

If you still think Hindus are outraging against your dearest Muslims, go ahead and hang them. If you all call yourself journalists, please change your profession, because if this is journalism, it will certainly consume the country.

Well, why don’t you all join the separatists in Kashmir and throw stones at the men who are protecting us from your landlords? How much do you earn each month from ISI? If you think you can break the secularism of India then go ahead. And yes nobody has right to disturb others thorugh prayers, be it Hindu or Muslim. I, being a Hindu, condemn the practice of using loudspeakers in public places, be it by a temple, mosque, or gurudwara or a non-religious event. Saahil Kapoor

BJP for vikaas

I am not a political pundit and neither do I understand the politics in all Indian states. but as an ordinary citizen, I have some views. BJP won because they promised development and they are making honest efforts in this regard (“Forget what a Hindu rashtra will mean for minorities. What will it mean for Hindus?”).

I agree there are instances of religion-related crimes. But these have always been there. The ruling government steadfastly opposes these crimes and they clearly communicate that.

It is the journalists who are hung up on or possibly even creating the religious divide. The Congress and these secular parties claim to be minority-friendly just to get votes. They will at best give more reservations to minorities, nothing else.

All Indians are equal, let’s focus on development. That is the message of BJP, one I agree with. – Ram SM

Intolerant times

The life of a cow is more precious than human life in this country (“A country for the cow: The chronicle of a visit to cow vigilante victim Pehlu Khan’s village”). The BJP always creates divisions between Hindus and Muslims and plays with people sentiments to win elections. If the Congress government was corrupt, the BJP government is communal, orthodox and intolerant. – Ayesha Farhad

***

The so-called gau rakshaks are well-known gundas. Why doesn’t the prime minister ban such groups? They want to create fear among Muslims.

Any peace-loving Indian will not stand for such acts. We should come forward to oppose the gundagiri inthe name of gau raksha. The day may not be far when people come together to defend the country against them. – AU Khan

***

This story made my heart bleed. I felt as though I was hearing it from the lips of the opressed themselves.

I am a Muslim but I’ve never harboured hatred for my non-Muslim friends. And why should I? Muslims believe that Allah is watching over our deeds and we will only carry good deeds and blessings to the grave. I surprised that so many educated youngsters (be it Hindu or Muslim) are getting influenced by the devilish plans of petty political parties and Rightwing leaders. This has to change before it culminates into a storm which has no direction and all it understands is the word destruction. – Anwar

Tackling drought

In our old house in a village in Kasargod Talak, we had suranga furnishing us water for drinking as well as all other household purposes (“How farmers in North Kerala are using an age-old water system to beat the drought”). Some water was also used for the gardens. Later, we sold this property and the new owner is the lucky person using this suranga now. – MN Rao

Sahayak support

It is true that the sahayaks are being used for odd jobs to help officers, but not forcibly (“Supreme Court issues notices to Centre, Indian Army over misuse of ‘sahayak system’”). The work voluntarily or on medical grounds are doing light work till they can be fit for field duty. If officers do small jobs like cleaning shoes, then who will prepare war strategy and other paper work? – Charan Bhullar

Let’s talk

I lost my sister when I was a child; she drowned in the sea off Juhu beach during a picnic in 1950 (“Watch: UK royals William, Harry, Kate open up on the private struggles of parenting, loss and grief”). But in those years, there was no awareness about dealing with grief and mental health issues. My mother had two nervous breakdowns as a result of this terrible tragedy and eventually my parents separated because of this. There was no one to console my mother, whose life had come to a complete stand still.

If only mental issues were addressed and if people suffering from them were consoled and heard out, life may have taken a different turn for her. Thank you so much Prince William for spearheading such a wonderful imitative which encourages people to discuss their trauma and mental upheaval without feeling humiliated. – Penelope Bajaj

Family ties

This is an absolutely wonderful story about my grandfather, Dina Nath Kapur (“Kapur and Kapoor: Two friends survived Partition and changed the way Indians drank tea and coffee”). Thank you so much for writing this and giving us a picture of our family history of which we previously only knew bits and pieces. As a child, I rode one of their bicycles in the courtyard of that home in Karol Bagh and when we were leaving for Canada, my uncle Pran Nath Kapur presented my brother and me with our own jeweled clocks, which we proudly kept on our night stands. – Neel Sehgal

Healthcare scare

It pains me to the difficulties that the common man faces in getting quality health care (“Those who can’t afford to live are left to die: A doctor’s experiences at Karachi’s elite hospitals”). It’s the same story all over, be it Asia, Africa or Latin America. On top of that we have millions of displaced people due to mindless fighting. Can’t we sit and think coolly instead of spending resources on arms and ammunition? Can’t we use this money for the betterment of our people? I personally appeal to all countries to do some thing for humanity. – Opander Krishandhar

Made in India

Indie dogs are the best and that has been well brought out by the writer (“Puppy love at adoption camp for desi dogs in Lucknow”). This is the best and most well-researched article I have come across in the recent past. – Kamna Pandey

Statue row

Bangladesh is losing its glory. I have my roots in the country and my family fled Bangladesh and took refuge in India during the war of liberation, and I have a few relatives there (“In Bangladesh, a movement against a statue of Lady Justice reveals the dangers of rising Islamism”). Whenever my grandmother tells me stories about Bangladesh (then East Pakistan), I always find examples of secularism, religious tolerance and love. If Bangladesh is giving in to those Islamists, it is losing its secular front. And the Islamists need to understand that a mere statue cannot challenge Allah. Nothing can. – Amrita Mazumder

Bringing down

If the bungalow of Dr Homi Bhaba can be razed, then the house of Mr Jinnah, who was responsible for the division of country and murder of millions​ of Muslims and Hindus, should also be demolished and​ erased from memory (“Jinnah succeeded in creating Pakistan but failed at another onerous task – selling his Bombay house”). The sooner it happens the better it is. – Madan Jain

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“My body instantly craves chai and samosa”

German expats talk about adapting to India, and the surprising similarities between the two cultures.

The cultural similarities between Germany and India are well known, especially with regards to the language. Linguists believe that Sanskrit and German share the same Indo-Germanic heritage of languages. A quick comparison indeed holds up theory - ratha in Sanskrit (chariot) is rad in German, aksha (axle) in Sanskrit is achse in German and so on. Germans have long held a fascination for Indology and Sanskrit. While Max Müller is still admired for his translation of ancient Indian scriptures, other German intellectuals such as Goethe, Herder and Schlegel were deeply influenced by Kalidasa. His poetry is said to have informed Goethe’s plays, and inspired Schlegel to eventually introduce formal Indology in Germany. Beyond the arts and academia, Indian influences even found their way into German fast food! Indians would recognise the famous German curry powder as a modification of the Indian masala mix. It’s most popular application is the currywurst - fried sausage covered in curried ketchup.

It is no wonder then that German travellers in India find a quite a lot in common between the two cultures, even today. Some, especially those who’ve settled here, even confess to Indian culture growing on them with time. Isabelle, like most travellers, first came to India to explore the country’s rich heritage. She returned the following year as an exchange student, and a couple of years later found herself working for an Indian consultancy firm. When asked what prompted her to stay on, Isabelle said, “I love the market dynamics here, working here is so much fun. Anywhere else would seem boring compared to India.” Having cofounded a company, she eventually realised her entrepreneurial dream here and now resides in Goa with her husband.

Isabelle says there are several aspects of life in India that remind her of home. “How we interact with our everyday life is similar in both Germany and India. Separate house slippers to wear at home, the celebration of food and festivals, the importance of friendship…” She feels Germany and India share the same spirit especially in terms of festivities. “We love food and we love celebrating food. There is an entire countdown to Christmas. Every day there is some dinner or get-together,” much like how Indians excitedly countdown to Navratri or Diwali. Franziska, who was born in India to German parents, adds that both the countries exhibit the same kind of passion for their favourite sport. “In India, they support cricket like anything while in Germany it would be football.”

Having lived in India for almost a decade, Isabelle has also noticed some broad similarities in the way children are brought up in the two countries. “We have a saying in South Germany ‘Schaffe Schaffe Hausle baue’ that loosely translates to ‘work, work, work and build a house’. I found that parents here have a similar outlook…to teach their children to work hard. They feel that they’ve fulfilled their duty only once the children have moved out or gotten married. Also, my mother never let me leave the house without a big breakfast. It’s the same here.” The importance given to the care of the family is one similarity that came up again and again in conversations with all German expats.

While most people wouldn’t draw parallels between German and Indian discipline (or lack thereof), Germans married to Indians have found a way to bridge the gap. Take for example, Ilka, who thinks that the famed differences of discipline between the two cultures actually works to her marital advantage. She sees the difference as Germans being highly planning-oriented; while Indians are more flexible in their approach. Ilka and her husband balance each other out in several ways. She says, like most Germans, she too tends to get stressed when her plans don’t work out, but her husband calms her down.

Consequently, Ilka feels India is “so full of life. The social life here is more happening; people smile at you, bond over food and are much more relaxed.” Isabelle, too, can attest to Indians’ friendliness. When asked about an Indian characteristic that makes her feel most at home, she quickly answers “humour.” “Whether it’s a taxi driver or someone I’m meeting professionally, I’ve learnt that it’s easy to lighten the mood here by just cracking a few jokes. Indians love to laugh,” she adds.

Indeed, these Germans-who-never-left as just diehard Indophiles are more Indian than you’d guess at first, having even developed some classic Indian skills with time. Ilka assures us that her husband can’t bargain as well as she does, and that she can even drape a saree on her own.

Isabelle, meanwhile, feels some amount of Indianness has seeped into her because “whenever its raining, my body instantly craves chai and samosa”.

Like the long-settled German expats in India, the German airline, Lufthansa, too has incorporated some quintessential aspects of Indian culture in its service. Recognising the centuries-old cultural affinity between the two countries, Lufthansa now provides a rich experience of Indian hospitality to all flyers on board its flights to and from India. You can expect a greeting of Namaste by an all-Indian crew, Indian food, and popular Indian in-flight entertainment options. And as the video shows, India’s culture and hospitality have been internalized by Lufthansa to the extent that they are More Indian Than You Think. To experience Lufthansa’s hospitality on your next trip abroad, click here.

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This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Lufthansa as part of their More Indian Than You Think initiative and not by the Scroll editorial team.