Letters to the editor

Readers’ comments: Major Gogoi used an exceptional method in an exceptional situation, that’s all

A selection of readers’ opinions.

Shielded from blame

Have you ever thought of what would have happened had the man not been tied to the jeep (“The Daily Fix: India can’t hope international law applies to Jadhav but ignore it for human shields”)? Do you think that the mob of 900 would have spared 30-40 personnel. None of us were present at the conflict zone and hence cannot pass a judgement. What we do know is that had the major not made a prompt decision at that nerve-wracking moment to tie that man to his jeep and escort his men out safely, the mob could have lynched 40 personnel. – Ram Pandya


There is only so much anyone can tolerate. Army officials are human beings too. If a soldier is being pelted with stones and is being harassed and there is no one to shield them, what choice do they have? There is a threshold for everything. Had you shown a humane face to the army officials, they probably wouldn’t have done this. But sometimes, it is important to take one strong step as a deterrence. – Kriti Jain


In this piece, the author laments the brutality of relying on a human shield. However, a little research would have told the author of the hundreds of missions conducted by the Indian Army with heroism and honor, at great risk to their lives, including the during the Jammu and Kashmir floods of 2014.

Major Gogoi used an exceptional method in an exceptional situation, nothing more. He absolutely deserves a medal for avoiding bloodshed. Would the author have preferred the major to use the only other alternative: ordered his men to use pellet guns or real bullets? Or maybe Major Gogoi should have just let the mob brutally kill his men? People like Omar Abdullah are opportunists who need to spend a few days in shadowing the Indian Army. – Dr Gupta


Even hardened criminals adopt this strategy as a last resort. How can a soldier be blamed for saving the lives of civilians using the same technique? No dual standards: one for criminals, one for patriots. Well done, major. – Badhawan

Ghar wapsi

The RSS should declare that all those who desire ghar wapsi will be treated as Brahmins in Hindu society (“Yogi effect: RSS men convert 43 Muslims in Uttar Pradesh to Hinduism”). This will serve as a big impetus for conversion. Lower caste people who convert to Hinduism will become Brahmins and will get the chance to marry other upper castes. – Tapaswee


“I had been working on them for several years, but once Yogiji became the chief minister, convincing them that they could live without fear...if they converted to Hinduism became easier for me.”

The above line from the article, and another quote, “I could easily explain to Muslim members of the community about the risk of continuing to follow Islam and the benefits they might get by becoming Hindus,” shows clearly that this was a case of conversion by fear. The district magistrate should file a case against religious conversion as this certainly wasn’t voluntary.

We are quick to file charges against Christians for conversion to Christianity, why not against persons doing Ghar Wapsi? – Ramani Atkuri


I have never seen you publishing an article about Christian Missionaries converting Hindus to Christianity, often by luring them with benefits. So why didn’t you post an article about that? Is it fair to write about only on aspect? – KLR Simha


This is what Modi sarkar’s sabka saath, sabka vikaas is. Minorities, especially Muslims and Dalits, are being hounded goons under the guise of gau rakshaks. Muslims and Christians are converting for fear of their lives in Uttar Pradesh. This is Modi’s real democratic India! All sane citizens of this great country and civilization known for its multiculturalism and tolerance need to wake up and fight the bigotism and communalism. Let us cease to be Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians and Jains or Left-or Right-wing. Instead, let’s be true Indians who have lived and let live for centuries. – Bashir Dar


If Scroll.in wants to be a balanced, mature, serious and forward-looking news publication, it needs to look at religious conversion across the globe and in India as a whole. Forced and organised religious conversions by Abrahamic religions are biggest sin against mankind. You need to research, expose and oppose that as it is bigger global problem than some insignificant re-conversions.

Scroll.in should encourage re-conversions to native religions as they need to be protected and nourished. Think big and go after the global problem. – Ravi Rangaraju


Leftists’ objection to SRP Kalluri attending an IIMC event is hardly surprising (“Chhattisgarh cop Kalluri attends IIMC event amid protests, says he wants to ‘change perceptions’”). It is another sign of their own declining intellectual capital and their intolerance to other views.

In the recent past, we witnessed the “azaadi” sloganeering in JNU which was justified on the grounds of freedom of expression. All dissenting voices were branded as fascist or intolerant. So, why can’t the same hold true for SRP Kallur’s right to express his views on Naxalism? As he pointed out, the allegations of law-and-order or human rights violations against him are under investigation. He hasn’t yet been convicted.

The public at large should judge his views, not a handful of people sitting in ivory towers! – P Raghavenda

Desi dogs

Thank you for this lovely piece. I adopted my first Indian dog in November 1995 in Goa and flew her to Germany five month later (“Abused on Indian streets, desi dogs are finding loving homes in the West”). Her name was Anjuna but she was better known as Princess of India. She died in a tragic accident in December 2006 while we both were on a holiday in Goa. I flew back to Goa three month later to take another Anjuna back to Germany. She is now 10 years and six months old, still healthy and fit. Desi dogs are the best. – Anjuna

Taxing agriculture

Instead of taxing farmers, the government should work towards increasing income stability from agriculture (“Why the Centre should tax agricultural income (but may not be able to)”). When the British tried to tax farmers, many quit agriculture for other vocations, resulting in widespread migration and famines. Taxing agricultural income is just not a good idea in the context of our sub-continent. – Karthik

Valley crisis

The only person who should be tied to a jeep is the architect of the PDP-BJP alliance (“‘Tie Arundhati Roy to army jeep’: Actor and BJP MP Paresh Rawal’s tweet sparks row on social media”). After a honeymoon, the situation in the valley has steadily worsened. They should be held responsible for death of innocent people and our patriotic forces. – S Kumar

Lone view

Abdul Ghani Lone’s assessment that “Musharraf is still the best man on the Pakistani side with whom the Indians can deal on Kashmir.” seems suspect and largely bogus (“‘Would you also like to take us over and occupy our lands?’: A Kashmiri who questioned both sides”). What did Lone know about Musharraf that we Indians and AS Dulat didn’t? Wasn’t Musharraf the Chief of Army Staff of Pakistan when the Kargil intrusions took place in 1999? So, as the author himself points out, how could Indians trust him?

Don’t we again also Musharraf’s national televised address promising (and failing) to rid madrassas nurturing extremists? – P Raghavendra

Money spinners

Someone please ask Anil Kumble if he knows the salary of his sweeper, or a an employee at a private firm working 12 hours a day for a pittance (“From Rs 2 crore to Rs 5 crore: India’s Grade A cricketers could get 150% hike if Kumble has his way”). India coach is seeking a 150% hike for an already high annual payment of Rs 2 crore. Cricket is worshiped in India, ad agencies and companies are flushing out money for endorsements, the BCCI takes care of several expenses, so what is the hike for? What does the Indian cricket team need that Rs 2 crore a year cannot provide? – Gaurav Agarwal

Battle of the sexes

There are two main reasons why all-girls’ teams should not play all-boys’ teams (“‘Barbie dolls can play too’: All-girls football team wins local boys’ league in Spain”). The first is that it is not fair to boys! Girls mature three to five years earlier than boys, which gives them a huge advantage. This sets our boys up for humiliation because they have been raised to believe that boys are better athletes than girls. In reality, because of the maturity advantage, girls have better until boys mature in their late teens. Until the maturation process is well underway, boys are not males. They are specialised females who will mature into males under the influence of the big T.

Therefore, when boys don’t win against girls, they suffer embarrassment, ridicule and shame.

The second reason why its wrong is because it makes it a contest between genders. Headlines will proudly proclaim that “girls have beaten boys”. Such headlines are sexist. Sport should be about individual and team performances, not about which gender is better than the other. Isn’t there enough already that divides genders? Shouldn’t we as a society be doing things that bring the genders together rather than make them compete? If this is allowed to continue, we could see as girls realise they can beat the boys have an avalanche of girls going out for little league. Coaches wanting to have an advantage will realise girls are better athletes and seek to fill up their teams with girls. As a result, the little league will become an all-girls show. Are we, as a society, willing to see boys being ridiculed and shamed so that girls can be glorified?

Let’s get rid of boy or girl leagues and have all co-ed leagues. – David

Food diaries

I want to congratulate Archana and her husband for this wonderful blog (“Meet the anonymous Indian blogger who has built a food video empire with only a digital camera”). I particularly admire how they shunned publicity and dedicated themselves to their calling. I’m not a foodie by any means but I do enjoy tasty dishes from South India’s vegetarian larders. Not a Hebbar myself (although an Iyengar by birth), I have been blessed with Hebbar friends whose affection has often come to me in the form of delectable food. – Krishna Chari

We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
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