Letters to the editor

Readers’ comments: ‘Kashmir belongs equally to Pandits who were driven out, Harsh Mander’

A selection of readers’

Kashmir question

Kashmir became a part of India because the (fortunately) Hindu Raja of a Muslim-dominant state chose to join the country (“Harsh Mander: The taming of Kashmir is seen to be essential for the establishment of a Hindu Rashtra”). The will of the Raja is the will of his people, so his people wished to be Indians. The wish to breakaway from the country, which we now see, is one imposed on people by a few separatists and militants funded by Pakistan.

When Pandits were driven out by militants, the locals and the government kept mum, the latter because it did not want to lose Muslim votes. Harsh Mander, this land of Kashmir equally belongs to the Pandits who were driven out, about which you have kept mum. Your heart never bled for Pandits but it is now bleeding for anti-national Muslims and Pakistan. It means your DNA belongs to them.

The government and the Army are doing the best they can to safeguard the interests of Kashmir, which is legally and constitutionally a part of India. You seem to be agent of Pakistan who is raising a separatist agenda under the pretext of freedom of speech. – Ashok Gulati


Again this anti-national whose name is also “Harsh” has been allowed to spew venom in your portal. This peacenik should understand that the accession of Kashmir is irrevocable. Why did the Congress governments allow a separatist policy of barring other Indian citizens from purchasing property and settling down in Jammu and Kashmir even though Kashmiris were allowed to settle down anywhere they liked? Should the Army be expected to be pelted with stones and silently sufferer?

And what about lakhs of Pandits who were thrown out of their native land.This gentleman refuses to acknowledge that Muslims regard their religion before their nationality. Does he want Kashmir to become another Iraq or Syria?

The author is never tires of accusing the government of working to create a Hindu Rashtra. Let Harsh take count of the millions of innocent people slaughtered because of religious frenzy in the name of Islam. Scroll.in is a mouth piece for anti-India tirades. If it publishes such articles in Pakistan, they would have been dealt with differently. Unfortunately, India allows the vilification by such of peaceniks who do not worry of billions of Indian tax payers’ money spent on Jammu and Kashmir. – Krishnan


Is the author even aware of the situation in Kashmir, where the Army is facing cross border terrorism and internal violence every day? Our Army is the most professional and restrained in the world. Why did the author not appreciate the CRPF jawan who was seen in a video showed restraint even as locals kicked, punched and abused him? He was carrying a ballot box as well as a gun, which he did not use. Major Gogoi, through his unique action, actually saved lives, even though he had an option to fire at the stone-pelters instead.

All the problems that exist in Kashmir today were created by the first prime minister of India, who left the Kashmir question open- ended. Subsequent governments then tried politics of appeasement, including bribing Hurriyat leaders who are basically extortionists and mercenaries.

The so-called independence demand in Kashmir is sponsored, fuelled and amplified by Pakistan and Saudi hawala funds. These sham separatist leaders are spoiling their own youth by instigating and paying them to pelt stones while their own children are well settled abroad. Fuelling unrest is a business for them. – Krutika Desai


Please don’t publish these communists’ opinions. These guys are the biggest internal security threat to India. Have a conscience. The election commission shall ban the Communist Party of India one day. – Dhananjaya


This article deplores the “excesses” by the Indian State in Kashmir and the flaws in the muscular policy being adopted. However, the author, suggests that India should respect the legitimate rights of Kashmiris, but doesn’t elaborate on these rights. What are these rights? – KB Nair

Academic autonomy

Thank you, Scroll.in, for a timely piece on the not-so-silent attack on higher educational institutions of the country (“Academic autonomy is gone, will funds be next? New UGC policy draft angers teachers”). To make education more industry-friendly, the UGC and MHRD are bent on sidelining disciplines that they feel are not market-friendly. The move towards autonomy means that higher education will no longer be accessible to weaker sections of our society. This in turn will block one of the means of social upliftment of marginalised groups.

The cutting down of MPhil and PhD seats, stopping research grants and scholarships and destroying the teaching-learning atmosphere of universities are the fallouts of this mindset. The withdrawal of government funds from higher education institutions is part of a larger agenda to privatise them. This will surely be detrimental in a country where the young have significant presence and whose lack of education would hamper their long-term participation in the country’s democratic processes and institutions.

Education is not just the achievement of literacy but a mode to create and shape human beings who think and who are responsible citizens. We seem to be increasingly moving away from these goals in today’s India. – Debjani Sengupta

Fly by

I was very happy to read about the history of Squadron Number 4 (“The lost stories of Number 4 Squadron: India’s flyboys in post-WWII Japan”). I was in Squadron 5 at Ambala and would think about them. – RN Sinha

Under attack

The attack on Sitaram Yechury is a sign of intolerance typical of fascist organisations (“Two Hindu Sena members arrested for manhandling Sitaram Yechury”). The democratic fabric woven by great democrats like Gandhi,Nehru and Ambedkar is being shredded to pieces by such acts. Let them shout their lungs out in their forums and spew venom through their mouthpieces, but that they are emboldened to take the law into their own hands is a dangerous sign. – Ramani BB

Yummy memories

Vikram Zutshi’s write-up on Kashmiri Wazawan not only tickles the taste-buds but also stirs up nostalgia (“How Wazawan came to Kashmir and the secret of its sensual flavours”). The tasty food in the picturesque land of our ancestors is something we all miss. The sprinkle of information about your maternal grandfather’s association with the Bakshi brothers and his engagement at the Sindh Valley Hydro-Electric Project at Ganderbal adds history to the palate-pleasing piece.

However, the Ganderbal power project was not the first hydro-electric project undertaken in Jammu and Kashmir, as your article claims. The first one was the Mohra Hydro-Electric Project, built in 1907 during Maharaja Pratap Singh’s rule. It was located at Mohra, about 25 km from Baramulla. In fact, during the 1947 tribal invasion of Kashmir, Mohra Power Station was crippled, leading to a black-out at the palace. The rest is history. It has been long since I have spoken to Zutshi, but he is always in my thoughts. I have always appreciated his intellectual mind. – SN Pandita

Diabetes watch

I agree with the modern-day lifestyle changes suggested to be risk factors for type-2 diabetes listed in this article but would like to add some more that are especially relevant to the Indian lower-middle class (“In India, diabetes is fast becoming a disease of the poor”). According to the late Professor David Barker, insulin sensitivity in established in the mother’s womb. Babies with a low birth weight have a higher chance of becoming insulin-resistant as adults than those who were born large. This means, if my mother was under-nourished when I was in her womb, I should try to maintain that status of my mother as much as I can when I become an adult (not actually undernourished but definitely not over-nourished). Fetal malnutrition causes reduced beta cell mass in the pancreas, which leads to reduced fetal growth. These pancreas (if my mother was undernourished when I was in her womb) will not be able to handle too much food. We all had our metabolic programming when we were in our mothers’ wombs.

Also, experimental evidence suggests that pesticides, plastic and plasticisers and flame retardants may also contribute to insulin- resistance. Food cooked using dry heat (like all fried food) generate increased amounts of advanced glycation-end products, which can produce many inflammatory molecules in the body. Like many other chronic diseases, type 2 diabetes is also an inflammatory disease. Therefore, we should try to eat food cooked in moist heat (boiled food). Cooking with a lot of tomato or tomato juice is also a good practice, because this procedure reduces the chance of advanced glycation-end production. – Chandan Chakraborty

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