Letters to the editor

Readers’ comments: ‘Hindu mobs have become more permissive after Modi’s election’

A selection of readers’ opinions.

Mob violence

Vasundhara Raje did condemn Pehlu Khan’s death, according to the report in the Hindustan Times that your piece linked to (“A story of two lynchings – and the silence of Hindu India”). However, I do agree with the larger point – it’s disgraceful that there hasn’t been enough of a reaction from BJP and Hindu mobs have become more permissive after Modi’s election. – Harsh Parasramka

***

Modi got away with murder in Gujarat as chef minister now he is getting away with murder as prime minister of India, but for how long? – Paramjit S Basi

***

Those who are not condemning this cruel incidents are do not represent the Hindu majority. About 99% of common Hindus are seriously uncomfortable about these incidents. But they are helpless and don’t have as much presence on social media as the 1% so-called Hindus who spout hatred on social media, with covert government support. – Anil Laad

***

We are on the way to becoming a Hindu Rashtra. The recent killings of Muslims across states seems to be the tipping point. No Opposition party is willing to confront the monster that the Modi government has unleashed on society. We are becoming a mirror image of Pakistan, and many Hindus seem to proud of this Hindu-nation in the making. Alarming days are ahead...we have reached the point of no return. – Vrijendra

***

The news of a Muslim biy being stabbed to death is very disturbing. However, Hindus were and are the most tolerant and accommodating community of the country and it’s evident from your article that you are spreading propaganda. The author is parroting psuedo-seculars. The man responsible for the brutal murder is behind bars and the law is taking its course. I am sure most commoners like me have already lost their patience with people like this author.

Most Hindus are peace-loving and tolerant, which is why our country functions as a secular democracy. Maligning the reputation of the largest community is not in the country’s best interests. – Tarun Kumar Dash

***

The reason for this silence by the ruling party is nothing but political arithmetic. Many BJP leaders know that Muslims don’t vote for them. So, they have little incentive to care for the community. That apart, they will always be afraid of alienating their Rightwing supporters by taking a strong pro-Muslim stance.

Here one can argue that the liberal and tolerant Hindus like us should give them some kind of incentive to speak up. But again leaders are top grade mathematicians. They know in democracy like ours, whosoever garners just 10-20% votes in his or her area can be a winner. Who cares for remaining 80%? – Piyush Singh

Kohli question

India’s games against Sri Lanka and Pakistan during the ICC champions trophy are proof that Virat Kohli is not the super hero he is made out to be (“Numbers don’t lie: For all his bravado, is Virat Kohli really a big match player?”). He is just as gullible as others before him have been. The only difference is the previous captains were humble and did not allow their success to get to their heads. Kohli, on the other hand, expects everyone to toe his line. His pride has brought him down and I hope this will be a learning experience for him, so that he too will one day be remembered as one of the greats. Rollin Gonsalvez

Meira Kumar for PM

Foreseeing the inevitable defeat for Meira Kumar in the Presidential election, Neerja Chowdhury gives an excellent idea (“Meira Kumar may not have the numbers to be president – but could she be prime minister?”). Having resurrected the ex-Speaker from obscurity the Opposition must continue the momentum for the 2019 elections, campaigning for her at the helm. She fits the bill eminently under the circumstances. This must have crossed the minds of Opposition leaders while projecting her as the Presidential candidate and as a dress rehearsal for the most important job in the country rather than the ceremonial position in Rashtrapati Bhawan.

Opposition leaders should down to business immediately and prevail upon Sonia Gandhi to shelve the dream of having her son as prime minister for now. After all, Rahul Gandhi is young and of the Congress does manage to come to power in 2018,, he could cut his teeth with a Cabinet post and aspire for the top job later. – Kanchan Mukherjee

***

Meira Kumar has been nominated by Opposition parties who have disregarded aspects of her personal life. She overstayed on government accommodation and is yet to clear her dues. Her father too had “forgotten” to pay income tax for a long time. As I recollect, he father was in fact propped up as a counter to Dr Ambedkar. It cannot even be claimed that she is an improvement over Pratibha Patil. – Suresh G

***

This is a lazy article with no substance. The author clearly has no idea about what constitutes leadership. Just being someone’s daughter and getting into a job through the quota system is not sufficient qualification in an increasingly meritocratic India. – Subhasis Ghosh

Valley violence

What a paradox to the strife-torn scene in the Kashmir Valley (“‘We are victims of media propaganda’: Hotels go empty and workers jobless as Kashmir tourism is hit”). They want azadi from India because they are Muslim-dominated but yet want Indian and foreign tourists to visit and sustain their economy. They displaced Kashmiri Pandits from their homes and over the years have been pampered beyond belief. – Shibani Kaul

Mosque demolition

The mosque demolition is sad and nothing better could be expected from Hindutva-leaning police (“How WhatsApp and Facebook were used to incite a mob to demolish a makeshift mosque in Delhi”). This is how democracy dies. – Wasim Bashir

We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

“My body instantly craves chai and samosa”

German expats talk about adapting to India, and the surprising similarities between the two cultures.

The cultural similarities between Germany and India are well known, especially with regards to the language. Linguists believe that Sanskrit and German share the same Indo-Germanic heritage of languages. A quick comparison indeed holds up theory - ratha in Sanskrit (chariot) is rad in German, aksha (axle) in Sanskrit is achse in German and so on. Germans have long held a fascination for Indology and Sanskrit. While Max Müller is still admired for his translation of ancient Indian scriptures, other German intellectuals such as Goethe, Herder and Schlegel were deeply influenced by Kalidasa. His poetry is said to have informed Goethe’s plays, and inspired Schlegel to eventually introduce formal Indology in Germany. Beyond the arts and academia, Indian influences even found their way into German fast food! Indians would recognise the famous German curry powder as a modification of the Indian masala mix. It’s most popular application is the currywurst - fried sausage covered in curried ketchup.

It is no wonder then that German travellers in India find a quite a lot in common between the two cultures, even today. Some, especially those who’ve settled here, even confess to Indian culture growing on them with time. Isabelle, like most travellers, first came to India to explore the country’s rich heritage. She returned the following year as an exchange student, and a couple of years later found herself working for an Indian consultancy firm. When asked what prompted her to stay on, Isabelle said, “I love the market dynamics here, working here is so much fun. Anywhere else would seem boring compared to India.” Having cofounded a company, she eventually realised her entrepreneurial dream here and now resides in Goa with her husband.

Isabelle says there are several aspects of life in India that remind her of home. “How we interact with our everyday life is similar in both Germany and India. Separate house slippers to wear at home, the celebration of food and festivals, the importance of friendship…” She feels Germany and India share the same spirit especially in terms of festivities. “We love food and we love celebrating food. There is an entire countdown to Christmas. Every day there is some dinner or get-together,” much like how Indians excitedly countdown to Navratri or Diwali. Franziska, who was born in India to German parents, adds that both the countries exhibit the same kind of passion for their favourite sport. “In India, they support cricket like anything while in Germany it would be football.”

Having lived in India for almost a decade, Isabelle has also noticed some broad similarities in the way children are brought up in the two countries. “We have a saying in South Germany ‘Schaffe Schaffe Hausle baue’ that loosely translates to ‘work, work, work and build a house’. I found that parents here have a similar outlook…to teach their children to work hard. They feel that they’ve fulfilled their duty only once the children have moved out or gotten married. Also, my mother never let me leave the house without a big breakfast. It’s the same here.” The importance given to the care of the family is one similarity that came up again and again in conversations with all German expats.

While most people wouldn’t draw parallels between German and Indian discipline (or lack thereof), Germans married to Indians have found a way to bridge the gap. Take for example, Ilka, who thinks that the famed differences of discipline between the two cultures actually works to her marital advantage. She sees the difference as Germans being highly planning-oriented; while Indians are more flexible in their approach. Ilka and her husband balance each other out in several ways. She says, like most Germans, she too tends to get stressed when her plans don’t work out, but her husband calms her down.

Consequently, Ilka feels India is “so full of life. The social life here is more happening; people smile at you, bond over food and are much more relaxed.” Isabelle, too, can attest to Indians’ friendliness. When asked about an Indian characteristic that makes her feel most at home, she quickly answers “humour.” “Whether it’s a taxi driver or someone I’m meeting professionally, I’ve learnt that it’s easy to lighten the mood here by just cracking a few jokes. Indians love to laugh,” she adds.

Indeed, these Germans-who-never-left as just diehard Indophiles are more Indian than you’d guess at first, having even developed some classic Indian skills with time. Ilka assures us that her husband can’t bargain as well as she does, and that she can even drape a saree on her own.

Isabelle, meanwhile, feels some amount of Indianness has seeped into her because “whenever its raining, my body instantly craves chai and samosa”.

Like the long-settled German expats in India, the German airline, Lufthansa, too has incorporated some quintessential aspects of Indian culture in its service. Recognising the centuries-old cultural affinity between the two countries, Lufthansa now provides a rich experience of Indian hospitality to all flyers on board its flights to and from India. You can expect a greeting of Namaste by an all-Indian crew, Indian food, and popular Indian in-flight entertainment options. And as the video shows, India’s culture and hospitality have been internalized by Lufthansa to the extent that they are More Indian Than You Think. To experience Lufthansa’s hospitality on your next trip abroad, click here.

Play

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Lufthansa as part of their More Indian Than You Think initiative and not by the Scroll editorial team.