Letters to the editor

Readers’ comments: Yoga is 100% Hindu, it’s our gift to the world

A selection of readers’ opinions.

Yoga Day

Certain vested interests are making every effort to ensure Hinduism is denied its rightful place (“Yes, we should celebrate yoga – but not for the reason Modi and his admirers want us to”).

They are being told they have no worthwhile traditions, philosophy and culture so that they do not derive any pride in their religion. Such spineless societies then slavishly serve foreign interests.

We must recognise this campaign and expose it. As for celebrating Yoga Day, don’t people across the world celebrate their birthdays? But had they contributed in any way to that day? We must encourage positive sentiments in everyone. Undermining heritage and waging psychological war serves only a handful. – Sanjeev

***

Regardless of what the author says, yoga is 100% Hindu. It is Hindu civilisation’s gift to the world. – Shreevalsan

GST unready

How about a ground report from tier-2 and tier-3 cities on how prepared they are for the GST (“10 days before GST launch, nobody is sure whether the new tax regime will roll out on time”)? The umbrella tax will make conducting business in small cities and towns a painful process and it may come as a surprise if some close down entirely. Internet connectivity, chartered accountants who understand GST compliance rules and skilled workforce is required to help businesses become more technology-friendly.

The GST awareness camps at different location merely has representatives reading out from slides. Even the speakers do not have a clarity on queries from the business community. A pan-India roll out of GST will be a revisit of the blunders made by the government owing to their poor preparation of demonetisation. The government is becoming increasingly corporate-friendly, forgetting small traders and merchants who are backbone of economy. – Satyajit Kumar

Insecure Indian

When the Congress and other so- called secular parties were in power, there was no mention of the insecurities faced by Hindus in Muslim-dominated areas (“Meet the insecure Indian: His favourite adjective is true – True Indian, True Picture, True Patriot”). That is real insecurity, in every sense of the word. The author, Priya Ramani, makes fun of Hindus who for almost 70 years had been under a government that was dispassionate about their issues.

I would sincerely suggest that Priya Ramani live in Behrampada or Mallapuram, or then Bangladesh or Kashmir with a teenaged daughter to understand the real meaning of insecurity. – Mahesh Nayak

Battle ready

I appreciate that you stated upfront that this is an opinion piece (“Opinion: Army Chief Bipin Rawat should know that India is not prepared for a two-front war”). Now for the facts: numbers don’t matter, it is only courage and confidence that matters in the battlefield. And no one would know the Indian Army’s strength’s and abilities better than its chiefs.

If of our commander shows such courage we, the citizens of India, should stand with him. Like India, Pakistan and China too have neighbours and need to be prepared for a war on four sides. In comparison, we can easily assume that India is in a better position as it only needs to handle a two-sided war. – Dilip Kumar

***

Some people consider themselves to be better informed than even the Army Chief to comment on the Indian Army’s preparedness. This amounts to spreading lies, helping enemy countries and demoralising the Army. – Sardesh TV

***

It is really insensitive of you to publicly post an article that talks about the deficiencies in the Indian Military. Please take this down before severe action is taken against the website. – Raj Gaikwad

Modi and the media

This is the kind of rubbish to be expected from an “eminent” journalist (“Media in the Modi era: How did India’s watchdog press become so docile?”). Are there any statistics to back your claim that women are going back to wood-based stoves? So many people are badmouthing the prime minister and his party on social media and nobody is arrested.

The prime minister tried his best from 2002 to 2007 to explain his side of the Gujarat situation but the media didn’t bother to listen. So why should anyone in the government talk to the media? And is Amit Shah rude just because he renders mediapersons speechless? – Mahesh Nayak

Aadhaar imposition

The author raises the right questions (“If Supreme Court made PAN-Aadhaar partly optional, how can a bank-Aadhaar link be mandatory?”). Particularly vexing is the separation of powers issue. How can a bill be passed without giving adequate notice even in the Lok Sabha. If Aadhar act itself says it is not mandatory to get entitlements, how can it be made mandatory to file taxes? While the lack of privacy issues are reasonably published and debated on, there are practical issues that plague identification itself with Aadhar. As people get older, lines fade and eyes develop problems, thus rendering biometric verification ineffective. The plight of pensioners who are unable to get their pensions because of this is needs to be publicised. The steady eroision of civil liberties is extremely disturbing. – Chitra

***

This is harassment – an atmosphere of fear has been created. If my PAN is not linked with Aadhaar, does that mean I can’t file returns? – Prem Mehra

***

Yes, forcing citizens to obtain an Aadhaar card is a violation of the fundamental rights as per the Constitution. Aadhaar was mainly launched for distribution of doles to the poor under various social welfare schemes. Later, various departments started insisting on the Aadhaar number property registration and the like. Hence, even the middle class was forced to obtain Aadhaar cards.

Now, banks have started insisting on Aadhaar number as well as PAN details, even to poor people trying to open an account whose income is below the taxable limit.
Don’t make Aadhaar mandatory for people earning well, let it only be for the poor. – PP Juneja

***

The government notification is wrong. The PAN card and Aadhaar card are both recognised government documents. Freezing one’s bank account because it is not linked with their Aadhaar number is unconstitutional. – Dinkar Garg

French feast

Congratulations and many thanks for a well written and very interesting article on the renaissance of French classical cuisine in India (“Pizza-loving Indians are taking another stab at liking French food”). The fate of French cuisine in India is in congruence with the seemingly slow growth of French food the Philippines, which otherwise has a booming restaurant space. At best, it is working as fusion cuisine, where the croque monsieur has become just another sandwich next to the itinerant American grilled cheese sandwich. The onion soup, crepes, beef bourguignon have long been integrated in menus that offer continental fare. Maybe this is a good thing?

I am a Filipino American residing in the US and I visit the Philippines annually for long sojourns, flying to different islands researching unique indigenous regional ingredients and homespun dishes not generally known in the country. I have published a cookbook on Philippine cookery, using classical french cooking techniques.
Like Indians, Filipinos love to dine outside their homes. And like your people, my people love food – dining five times a day excluding sweet and sour nibbling snacks is quite normal. Corporate meetings, reunions, family milestones are centered around elaborate dinners and feasts. I take great interest in trends of restaurant dining in my home country.

This article is prodding me to look at why French classical cuisine is not a big hit in the Philippines. I wonder if the findings of this subject could entice a rebirth of fine French classical cuisine in the country. Thank you for the inspiration! – Gerri Korten

Free speech constraints

Has anyone been ever been put behind the bars in Independent India for demanding a Hindu Rashtra (“Readers’ comments: If demands for azadi in Kashmir are free speech, so are demands for Hindu Rashtra”)? Now, compare this with the response to demands for azadi in Kashmir? JNU students were arrested and booked on sedition charges, merely for raising slogans or just being present at an event where such slogans were purportedly raised. – Sukla Sen

Right note

This article is superb. As a sitarist I always think about what an important role the mizrab plays in making that definite stroke (“Sitar maestros demonstrate how the mizrab is more than just a tool with which to strike strings”). – Aniruddha Joshi

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