Identity project

Aadhar authorities need to clearly spell out what a consumer can do if their number has been used without authorisation (“What the Aadhaar authority needs to learn from Zomato’s response to hacking”). It would go a long way if they prominently displayed a web/mobile-based “adverse events reporting system” and how Aadhaar proposes to address such problems. – Jayanth Devasundaram


I understand the frustration of teachers and I agree that perhaps more staff needs to be provided by either the Unique Identification Authority of India or the enrolling agency or someone, but the problem of disparate, duplicate and incorrect data, lack of accounts, insensitivity to data integrity is exactly the problem the Aadhar programme is supposed to be solving (“All we’ve done for two years is help students with Aadhaar, say Delhi government teachers”). That it is taking time is no surprise and not a bad thing. We do have a population that is behind on literacy, but that should be no reason to not attempt to move them forward. Even if it takes time and effort. – Karan Bedi

One Belt One Road

Great piece (“Forget One Belt One Road, India should worry that China’s competitor to Boeing, Airbus has taken off”). I would like to add that the Indian skill development policy for many years has been to just generate jobs, of any kind, which has brought the market to a place where you can hire fresh MBA-holders and engineers for less than the salary of a driver. Plus, the industrial policy provides no protection from political vandalism, so that any major technical capital expenditure-incentive project will remain wary of starting operations in India. I have experience of one such project – a semi-conductor fabrication facility that was being set up in Hyderabad. The permission process took so much time and bribing that the core promoters ran away. – Avinash Mehrotra


It is indeed a silly boycott without any rational grounding since India is with BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) and perhaps the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank too (“India’s boycott of One Belt, One Road summit in China was self-defeating”). Shanti is the most beautiful Hindi word and it should reverberate across One Belt One Road. Instead, we have news of an Indian and Singaporean Navy drill in the South China Sea, a reactionary move calling for deteriorating relations. Most Indians, I know, do not support war, nor are they anti-OBOR, anti-Asian, anti-Eurasian development. They want friendship and economic growth with the rest of Asia, America, the European Union and the world, not least Africa. Talks with Pakistan should be renewed – if we cannot bring peace to the world, going to war is a desperate, useless and stupid option, for to bring death and untold suffering to humans is surely the most evil of all options. – Teoh Yan Yan Anne

Mad about mangoes

Thank you for this incredible piece of information (“Nobody in India is as mad about mangoes as the Sheherwali Jains of Bengal”). Wondering if and how we mere mortals in Mumbai can get to taste these exquisite gifts of nature so lovingly worked on. – Jinendra Shah


What fantastic coverage on the Sherwadi mango tradition (“Nobody in India is as mad about mangoes as the Sheherwali Jains of Bengal”). Something all Indians should be proud of and cherish. I am in Canada but my mouth is watering just reading this great story and the passion for mangoes it talks about. I do not know if any other nation has such a love for mangoes. Thank you for giving mangoes the respect they deserve. – Ahmed

Kulbhushan Jadhav case

What can you expect from a government whose every step is to score political points (“Opinion: Is the Indian government over-promising on Kulbhushan Jadhav (perhaps in a cruel way)?”)? In this case too, it knows it will be difficult to get Jadhav released but it wants to assuage his family and its nationalist supporters that it is taking action. Thus, a minor victory has been projected as a big victory. Even India’s advocate taking a one-rupee fee is big news for some channels. This government is adept at messaging and posturing and it knows that Indians are emotional. Any news of a setback to Pakistan in the international arena is touted as its victory by its social media trolls and by media channels. – Vishal Jindal


Visceral hatred for India and Indians has made Pakistan blind to the damage it is causing both countries, but particularly itself (“How Pakistan’s press reacted to ICJ stay on Jadhav execution: Setback, unprepared, Jindal connect?”). It is also blind to China’s creeping acquisition of its territory and economy, which will in the near future endanger Pakistan’s existence as a free country. Pakistan must be reminded of the Panchatantra tale where the frog king in the well invited a snake to devour his enemies but the snake ended up devouring the frog King’s supporters and family as well. – Ravichandran

Cow politics

Will the chief justice of Gujarat take note of the fact that one of the four victims of the Una assault still suffers from pain in his body (“Metal cows and attacks: Ten months since the Una assault, cow politics still stalks Gujarat’s Dalits”)? I hope as a human being that the judges give exemplary punishment to so-called gau rakshaks all over the country. Human beings should be more important than cows and their bhakts. In some state legislatures, laws have been passed making cow slaughter punishable with life imprisonment. But what steps or legislation have you introduced by way of punishment to gau rakshaks? – Onkar Singh

Rajini and politics

Ruling a country like India, and a state like Tamil Nadu, is difficult and full of snares and pitfalls (“Will Rajinikanth finally enter politics?”). So Rajinikanth should not enter politics. The reputation he has earned as an actor will be lost. – R Venkat

Liquor down the ages

A very interesting “resume” of alcohol, from the pre-vedic and vedic days to today (“From the Vedic age to the Mughals and the Raj: The colourful history of alcohol consumption in India”). The modern economy depends on revenue for governments from two addictions – smoking and drinking. Anything in moderation is acceptable; this includes drugs and sex. With strict enforcement of policy and monitoring, the money earned from taxes on tobacco and alcohol can be used to improve infrastructure, education, healthcare for the poor, and for the promotion of the arts. – Bala Sugavanam

Language politics

I don’t think the state government should impose Bengali language on non-Bengali students (“West Bengal: Government makes Bengali compulsory from Class 1 to 10 in all schools”). Hindi is our national language. If you are not in favour of making that compulsory, how can you force someone to learn a language that has a boundary? Also, there is no sense in teaching three languages to children when they already have vast academic courses to cover. It is a tanashahi decision. – Sweta Dutta

Kashmir question

No, Rajnath Singh, Kashmir is not yours (“‘Kashmir is ours’: Rajnath Singh says NDA government will find solution to the unrest in the Valley”). It belongs to the Kashmiri people. Give it back to them and share it with the world. Let Kashmir go and end the pain and suffering. The world needs to experience this great country called Kashmir. – Ahmed

New Rushdie read

This reviewer does not know the difference between fiction and memoir (“With a new Salman Rushdie novel coming, it’s time to re-read his memoir ‘Joseph Anton’”). Joseph Anton is a brilliant memoir, candid and honest, not at all gossipy, and interesting not only for what a world-class writer like Rushdie reveals about himself but for what was historically an important chapter in Iranian politics, publishing history, the way western writers fought censorship. It is the first time Rushdie reveals himself totally (more honestly than most kiss-and-tell memoirists) and his work is full of the pain of years of house arrest – the poignancy of not being able to see his son grow up, not meeting his friends, giving up his personal freedom. If your reviewer did not get any of that, he should not write reviews and should not publish whatever it is that he writes. If he has not even read Satanic Verses and has forgotten whatever else he read of Rushdie’s work, he should stop parading as an authority on this writer. I am disappointed in for publishing a piece I would not dignify by calling a review. – Vibhuti Patel

Book love

I have never been an avid reader, but Ruskin Bond’s novels and short stories have always cast a magical spell on me and I have often ended up picking up the book from the shelf and devouring its contents in no time (“Ruskin Bond is 83 today. He reveals where he found the novels he wrote”). Something similar to what voracious readers do.

His description of the people next door, the warmth and simplicity of the characters, descriptions of nature at its best have always attracted me towards this phenomenal writer and today if I have a couple of writings to my credit, it is thanks to Ruskin Bond, who has been my inspiration. It may not be wrong to say that we possibly share an Eklavya-Dronacharya chemistry, with the exception that I may not be ready to part with my thumb. I wish for an opportunity to meet this legend and if I may ask for more, a chance to be under his tutelage. – Prabha

EVM controversy

The challenge over electronic voting machines is now between political parties and the Election Commission of India (“The big news: Election Commission announces EVM ‘hackathon’ from June 3, and nine other top stories”). The question is, who will be the judge? It cannot be the Election Commission. – kumar1950886

Asur Adivasis

Thank you for highlighting the plight of the Asurs (“The Asur Adivasis, India’s first metallurgists, now struggle for daily wages in Jharkhand’s mines”). It is a sad story for several reasons. First, for the plight of the Asurs, who seem helpless and underpaid with nowhere to go and recourse to justice seems to be expensive, cumbersome and difficult without backing from non-governmental organisations.

Second, the loss of their traditional occupation since the advent of modern industrial technology. Serious effort needs to be made to document the processes they used to obtain their metals. Maybe, preservation of their skills through special schemes could be encouraged at an official level.

Third, they are the defamed Asurs of mythological Hindu texts. They are not devils incarnate but just like any of us. They happened to lose a battle between two groups, and history is written by the victor and twisted and biased against the vanquished.

Please publish more stories of such forgotten people. – Rajratna Jadhav

Dealing with hate

India must learn from the United States (“US hate crime: Two Americans sentenced to three years in prison for assaulting Indian-American man”). Instead of denying that there are rampant racist attacks against people from the Northeast and Africans, we must first acknowledge the problem does exist and then come to a solution. – Vashti Suantak

New Congress leadership

This was a well-written article (“As Congress showcases its next line of leaders , it fails to shake off the tag of the party of dynasts”). As mentioned in this article, in India, there is always some family or the other that builds a party with their blood and sweat and it is only natural that their sons or daughters or relatives usually take over.

At the press briefing on Tuesday, however, there were only a handful of youth leaders of the Congress. Jitendra Singh, the one who travelled extensively across the states in 2007-2009 and made Rahul Gandhi a youth icon, was missing. Singh had later been made a Union minister. Even Meenakshi Natarajan was not around. That shows the idea was to organise a quick press conference to reflect the party’s position while the Modi government completed three years in office on that day. – Manohar Yadav

Delhi gangrape sentencing

I think the death penalty is apt in this case (“2012 Delhi gangrape: Supreme Court upholds death sentence for all four convicts”). We have to consider that Nirbhaya was a physiotherapy student who would have supported her parents financially. And justification for a more lenient punishment for the accused as they have families to support is not valid as they should have thought of that before committing the crime. Collective consciousness is important because justice is for sending a message to society too. – Nishant Kale

Why go there?

I stopped reading this article when the author mentioned morning business (“What will you see if you visit the precise point where India ends and Sri Lanka begins?”). Is it really necessary to include that matter? – a emm

Climate challenges

The greatest danger to humanity is from capitalism and not from the United States (“Climate change: The Arctic’s Global Seed Bank, humanity’s food safety net, has just flooded”). – Malkeet Singh