Letters to the editor

Readers’ comments: On OBOR, are West Bengal’s interests superior to those of India as a whole?

A selection of readers’ opinions.

Of roads and bridges

I understand that for the writer, Garga Chatterjee, West Bengal’s interests are more important that those of India as a whole (“OBOR: As Mamata seeks Chinese investment for Bengal, why is Delhi bent on playing spoilsport?”). I can also guess that he wants India divided along the same lines as Europe, so we can be as developed as them. But believe me, a divided India will not be a Europe, it will be a much bloodier version of Africa.

To keep India united, its individual parts will have to make sacrifices. I agree that the freight equalisation policy was not good for West Bengal, but Nehru was not anti-Bengal. Please work for a united India. – Gaurav Soni


Of course there are benefits of joining OBOR, but the fact that is passes through Pakistan occupied Kashmir makes it contentious. The question of Chinese investment in Gujarat and other states cannot be linked to this as the PoK issue doesn’t come into the picture there.

I can understand that Bengal stands to benefit from this project, and thus India, but what will happen if a truck from Bengal reaches China through PoK? That would diminish the legitimacy of India’s stand on Kashmir. Mamata Banerjee and Modi should sit together and figure out an engagement that would not hurt India’s stance on PoK. – Sumit Raizada


After failing to attract foreign investments to West Bengal despite running across the globe, the West Bengal chief minister is eyeing China. This despite the fact that China has proved to be an enemy country. It has blocked India from getting permanent membership at the UN Security Council. It has refused to acknowledge the terrorism unleashed by Pakistan. It is insensitive to India’s reservations over China’s plan to build a road through Pakistan occupied Kashmir, which belongs to India. The Chinese army has made repeated incursions into Indian territory in Ladakh as well as Arunachal. It has refused to accept Arunachal Pradesh as a part of India but while also refusing to grant autonomy to Tibet.

Indians are trying to avoid Chinese goods and are vehemently against any sort of engagement with the country. In such an environment, the West Bengal chief minister should refrain from seeking Chinese investments despite being in an unenviable position. – NK Bose


Is Garga Chatterjee Chinese or Indian? – Amitabh Kanekar


I am shocked to read this article. Maybe this writer is advocating that Bengal should cut off from India and run its affairs separately. Everyone knows that financial matters are closely linked with foreign policy. Bengal cannot have its own policy for everything as long as it is a part of India. So perhaps its separation is more suitable for Scroll.in and the writer. Delhi is not playing spoil sport, but foreign relations are in federal domain. Please recommend the rewriting of Constitution to include the states right to secede, if this is how you think. – Ashok Bhagat


The only plausible reason for the NDA government to boycott the OBOR summit was to play to the nationalist and patriotic gallery (“India’s boycott of One Belt, One Road summit in China was self-defeating”). It was a way of showing them that only a prime minister like Narendra Modi has the pluck to rebuff the Asian giant. That India has lost out in a great opportunity to secure a place in the global market is of no importance. But by doing so, India has pushed itself into a corner, to Pakistan’s advantage. – Kanchan Mukherjee


I appreciate the writer for bringing out the truth masled by the false sense of power and position we enjoy in the community of nations. The boycott of the OBOR summit is like cutting one’s nose to spoil our neighbour’s trip. It’s a sad reflection of our leaders’ incapacity to rise above the petty game of one-upmanship even as the world surprasses us. India, if she intends to make a difference to her 700 millions poor and hungry citizens’ lives, must rise above the pettiness of her self-serving, poorly educated and short sighted politicians that have been holding her back for the last 70 years. – Dilip Borah


There are certain things we have to stand up to irrespective of what the rest of the world feels. The OBOR project infringes upon our land without taking a consensus on the legitimacy of our claim over the place.No country can start developing land held captive by a third party.

Over centuries, India has generously allowed invaders and squatters to plunder its resources even as countries like China go about acquiring land and sea belonging to others. Why should we be party to their hegemony when too have been affected by China’s expansionist tendencies? – Binoy Sreedhar


OBOR is of no use to India as none of it will pass through territory controlled by India. The project is a way to increase employment opportunities for the Chinese by bringing in funds from other countries and a way to put Chinese revenue to better use.

If we participate in this intiative, we will put our nation’s security at stake as China has an aggressive expansion policy. No Indian would want to be ruled by another country.

Lastly, India has the capacity to withstand and overcome challenges posed by OROP, considering its present political, economic and environmental situation. Instead, you should write an article on how India could turn the OROP challenge into an opportunity. – Mehul Sheth

Under pressure

I am deeply pained by the death of a IIT-JEE aspirant who committed suicide after he couldn’t crack the test, but Kota’s coaching classes are being wrongly targetted (“Success and suicides: The two sides of the IIT-JEE story reflect the failure of the education system”). I am a medical aspirant who had studied hard and joined coaching classes in Class 9. I did not clear the entrance test in the first round, but one look at the question paper told me that I wouldn’t have even stood a shot had I not gone for coaching classes.

The classes are not to blame. In most cases, it is the parents that put undue pressure on the child. We all know the fear that exams like NEET and JEE invoke. Children from across the country give these exams and not all of them get selected, but they don’t necessarily commit suicide. Many accept that they may not have the potential to crack the test and look for other career options. However, sometimes parents continuously pester and tormenting the child. All parents can recognise their child’s potential and will know at least within a year of coaching whether they are cut out for the field. But most do not want them to drop out of the race and hence push them to their limits.

And if the problem is that the entrance exams are to difficult and the competition too much, the blame lies with the council that sets the papers. Coaching only helps children improve their performance to make better doctors and engineers out of them. – Arpa Srivastava


Thank you so much for raising this extremely important issue. JEE is something that no one dares to criticise. I gave the JEE Main this time and although I passed by a large margin, I’m still a victim of this terrible, terrible culture. I can’t even mention how many times I’ve thought of suicide. Thanks again and keep fighting the good fight! – HT


As the mother of an IIT aspirant, I would like to advise all students that they should not look at IIT as the end goal. All coaching institutes should have counselors who can address students’ concerns. Moreover, parents shouldn’t push their children too hard. Nowadays, children have a wide choice of careers. Students should know that their life is more important than their degree.They should think of their parents before committing suicide. Life can be very beautiful without IIT too. – Aradhana Bhatt

Media man

Yogendra Yadav is cunning and always wants to be at the helm of affairs, even for matters he has no expertise on (“Does Yogendra Yadav consider Kejriwal and AAP to be a bigger ideological foe than Modi and the BJP?”). His latest passion is the agrarian crisis. He talks about “drought duty” programmes even though he has not ploughed a field in his life. For him, farmers and Dalit are bait, to be used and thrown at will. The idea is to remain in the spotlight, with the warped assumption that airtime leads to popular support.

Everyone who knows Yadav closely can vouch for the fact that he is self-serving and clever. Stop entertaining him please. He can’t even claim the support of 100 people. – Lash BV


Thanks for this in-depth analysis that exposes Yogendra Yadav’s hypocrisy. – Venkat

Delhi gangrape verdict

This is so well-expressed (“The TM Krishna column: Should the ‘collective conscience’ override the spirit of the Constitution?”). It gives voice to the thoughts that we were not being able to articulate. It is tough to not feel a mounting dismay in about the direction in which we are headed! – Sita Naik


The author’s view on “collective consciousness” and its selective legal application merits a careful read and a wider debate. However, what follows exposes his latent biases – against a political spectrum au contraire to his stance.

Is he aware of the Supreme Court’s decision to re-open the Babri Masjid demolition case against LK Advani and Uma Bharti? Does he agree that this is a case of judges exhibiting “liberal energy and the ability to be creative human beings”?

So what is creativity in the legal sphere? Law, as far as most of us understand it, is based on facts and not creativity, everything else being equal.

To quote DW Winnicott, “Artists are people driven by the tension between the desire to communicate and the desire to hide” The author scores on the first and falters on the second count. – P Raghavendra


This is a wonderful article that touches upon several aspects of a judgement that was otherwise only being seen as a cause for celebration (“Delhi gang rape verdict: By invoking ‘collective conscience’, the Supreme Court sidestepped justice”). Kudos for the great work. – Sumit D

Bengal poll violence

What else can you expect in a state where the chief minister backs a man like Imam Barkati, allows him to use the lal batti, and grants him and his followers government contracts (“The Daily Fix: Violence in Bengal civic polls betrays a new panic in the Trinamool Congress”)? This is the outcome of mixing politics with religious terrorism. – MN Rao

Millet movement

Hats off to the Karnataka government for this initiative (“Will Karnataka’s millet superheroes actually encourage more farmers to grow the superfood cereals?”). I hope others states follow suit. Millets are a healthy option for humans and for the earth! While urban populations re-learn this, I hope rural communities will continue to grow and eat what is best for them. Shikha Bhattacharji

Left and Dalit unity

Anand Patwardhan’s films and writings has always fascinated me and this article is no different“Common ground: Why the Liberation Theology of Gandhi and Ambedkar is as vital as ever”). I appreciate how he features his own family links to the Independence movement in this article. His views on the theology and his dissection of both Gandhi and Ambedkar are plausible. – Kesang Tshering Bhutia


I pity this man because this article is full of wishful thinking and a hope against hope that the present dispensation in Delhi will not last long. Surprisingly, there is not a single comment on triple talaq and its impact on Muslim women and children in this.

This is an article for the liberals, by the liberals and of the liberals, who are a minority in India. The nation has moved on and Adityanath is chief minister of Uttar Pradesh. There is a deliberate attempt to completely disregard the feelings of crores of voters.

Wake up, Anand Patwardhan and smell the stench of Mumbai’s slums, a legacy of socialist Nehruvian garbage through which nobody flourished except a small group including included people like you.

We have had enough of you and liberals. – Mahesh Nayak

Mega exam

This is a great initiative and should reach as many children as possible (“30 lakh primary-schoolers to be tested in India’s largest ever learning assessment exercise”). IQ tests should also be taken for teachers. I hope children learn and understand. The system should be equal for all. – S Sham

Political ploys

The raids on Karti Chidambaram seem to be purely politically motivated (“Raids on Karti Chidambaram: What the CBI has not answered”). If I have taken an step after getting an approval on it from my boss, I am no longer the only one at fault. If the action was criminal, I would be liable, but so would my bosses, for having okayed the action. In this case, the Foreign Investment Promotion Board cleared the investments in question. So the blame, if any, lies entirely with the officials of the Board. Therefore, here is a case someone is being targeted unfairly for reasons that can only be assumed to be political. The concerns could have been presumed to be legal only if all such irregularities that took place under the current regime and the BJP’s previous tenure were pursued with equal vigour. – Prabhu Guptara

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