Letters to the editor

Readers’ comments: ‘Step-motherly treatment of West Bengal has fuelled Gorkhaland demand’

A selection of readers’ opinions.

Gorkhaland demand

Gorkhas have been living in North East India since time immemorial (“‘Bengal is our coffin’: In Darjeeling, food stocks run low but support for Gorkhaland is undimmed”). They have fought and died for the country – be it during the World Wars, the 1962 Sino-Indian war or the 1971 war with Pakistan.

Gorkhas are simple, peaceful and co-operative people who play politics and stay in harmony. But the step-motherly treatment of the West Bengal government towards them has given rise to the Gorkhaland demand. The hills are deprived of growth and people have to go elsewhere for jobs. The tea gardens are in a shambles, so much more can be done to promote tourism, the municipality is non-functional. There has been no infrastructural development.

So, I think it would be fair to give Gorkhas their separate land. Nobody should have a problem with the creation of the Gorkhaland state. – Aneel Thapa

Body politics

I do not agree with the writer’s opinion about Kashmir (“I was a human shield: In Kashmir, India is surrendering its humanity”). Why is he silent on the torture and rape of Kashmiri Hindus at the hands of militants? They were chased out of Kashmir.

Are bomb blasts and murders by militants ethical? What about the acts of stone-pelters? If someone is not happy being in a particular country for whatever reason, they should find a new place to stay. – Hemantkumar Kulkarni


The Army you talk about is the same that has saved lakhs of Kashmiris during floods and other natural calamities. May be we should have allowed Pakistan to occupy Srinagar in 1947. Then you and your ilk would have realised what it means to be trampled by Islamabad. Balochis and Sindhis are suffering 70 years after Independence in Pakistan and so are the people of Pakistan occupied Kashmir. – Mahesh Nayak


It’s not entirely true. Many of us are aware of what happened in Kashmir. It’s gut-wrenching and breaks our heart. – Shashank Singh

Yoga day

The writer seems to have taken a stab at a topic of which he clearly has no understanding (“Yes, we should celebrate yoga – but not for the reason Modi and his admirers want us to”). It randomly quotes a few writers and reaches conclusions. I would encourage the writer to practice and see the difference himself. Patanjali never prescribed suppression of mind, rather it spoke about how to train the mind to be under one’s control. I am surprised at the editor’s choice to publish such a poor piece of writing. – Srikanth


I feel sickened by your views in this article. There is so much negativity in it that it have the word “yoga” in the article makes no sense. You leave no opportunity to criticise the BJP. You think that since you’re the English media, your views will resonate with the English-speaking Indian population, but that is not the case. Understand the way in which national political opinion is flowing to stay relevant, else you won’t last long. – Mayank

Presidential race

This is a biased article (“Not a masterstroke: BJP picked Kalam for president after 2002 riots, Kovind after attacks on Dalits”). Why are all the government’s good initiatives given a casteist tinge? Atrocities are a result of the acts of uncivilised and immature citizens. We need to educate those people instead of blaming the government for each and every thing. That is the the responsibility of press. – Iyer Sivaramakrishnan

Left out

This is regarding the piece titled “Watch: Sign language interpreters are bringing music to the hearing-impaired.” The first line of this reads: What if people with impaired hearing, could hear and experience music as we know it? Who is the “we” that you are referring to? Are you assuming that everyone in your reading audience has perfect hearing?

I am deaf and have been reading newspapers and magazines for some 50 years. I am tired of the assumption that deaf and hard-of-hearing people could not possibly be reading these things. Please stop with the “us” vs “them” outlook. – Tom Willard

Bitter pill

The Karnataka private medical establishment act is a draconian law that apparently vilifies all private doctors (“In Karnataka, revamp of medical regulations in the name of citizens is only hurting their interests”). Providing quality healthcare to people is the duty of the government and cannot be thrust upon the private sector. I wonder why people expect doctors to do charity even though we run hospital or clinics on shoe-string budges.,

If there is no profitability in it, a business cannot sustain itself. Becoming a doctor is not easy, we put in more than 15 years in studying without earning any income, and yet people expect charity from private doctors.

Are we not living in a democratic country? This suggests that we are living in a communist country. If people want quality healthcare from the private sector, they should understand that it comes at a price, as in any other business. Articles like this instigate violence against doctors.

People always have the choice of going to government hospitals. – Rathan Shetty

Wrong note

The author either forgets or does not know that dhrupad is a verse form (“What German composer Bach has in common with the Indian dhrupad genre”). The suffix “pad” says so. As Abul Fazl describes it in Ain e Akbari, it is a verse form consisting of four rhyming lines, each in free metre. Nothing more or less.
Jyoti Pande

Lost years

It came as such a relief that Asrar Jamayee’s pension has been restored and he will get what’s due to him (“Delhi government orders pension of Urdu poet ‘incorrectly declared dead’ to be restored”). The amount, however, is meagre. – Arpita Ghosh


What about his retroactive pension? What about all those years he was denied his rightful income? That must be restored too. – Najeeb Khan

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