Letters to the editor

Readers’ comments: One nation, one tax is acceptable, but one language is not

A selection of readers’ opinions.

Language politics

You are absolutely right, Hindi is not our national language (“Hindi in passports is yet another step towards imposing a single language on a multilingual India”). Besides, each state in North speaks different kind of Hindi. In most cases, for railway reservations or bank forms, most prefer English over Hindi. – Talak Shah

***

One nation one tax is acceptable, but one language is not. Bharathvajan Subbarao

Tense Bengal

It’s high time President’s rule were imposed on West Bengal (“No one believes a Class 12 student could have created Facebook image that sparked violence in Bengal”). Mamata and her Trinamool Congress are sure to cause many more problems for the state and the country and also create trouble with the Bangladesh government. – MN Rao

Water crisis

It is unfortunate that the government does not have the courage to accept its failure in implementing austerity measures to mitigate the drinking water scarcity (“Tamil Nadu government says there is no water scarcity problem in the state”). If the monsoon fails, we will need alternate-day supply and mobile water supply which can be done with proper planning and implementation, but all this has been cast aside in the power struggle at the state. – Arumugam PK

Taxing times

The media is creating more problems for Modiji than those who have no clue about GST (“Upset by GST provisions, will small traders finally lose their ardour for the BJP?”). I live in Australia and our government implemented the GST in 2000, which everyone seems to like because they pay a fair amount of tax. – Neil Somaya

***

I am not a fan of the BJP or Modi but GST is the right step even for small traders. I help run a pharma industry and we have been often stymied by the need to get road permits and other clearances for inter-state supply. Under the GST regime, there are no such trade barriers within the country.

One can legitimately argue that the preparations before the GST roll out should have been better, that there will be chaos initially and that there should have been lower and fewer tax brackets. But the tax per se is not bad. – S Srinivasan

Temple dispute

As Uttar Pradesh is under BJP rule, the creation of a mandi at the disputed site where the Babri Masjid once stood in Ayodhya will be in the media glare for the months to come (“Ayodhya dispute: VHP brings in three more truckfuls of stones to construct Ram Temple”). The new government has indicated that it will use administrative powers, though covertly, to facilitate the creation of a temple in disputed territory. Voices from the Muslim camp and political opposition will prove meaningless. The judiciary of the country also may not be able to see this issue in a proper light. – Bilal Ahmed Mir

Economy watch

Why do you always see it as a glass half empty (“‘6% GDP is disappointing’: Noted economist Paul Krugman blames demonetisation and RBI policies”)? If loose monetary policy had led to higher inflation, the poor would suffer more and you would be out there complaining. A growth rate of 6.9% growth is very good when you look at the rest of the world, and the GDP growth is expected to increase to 7.2% in 2017-’18 and further accelerate to 7.7% in 2018-’19. And the rating agencies expect the recent introduction of GST or goods and tax regime to boost India’s growth. Try to be more balanced in your coverage. – Amit Sheth

Medium of education

With regard to your views on teaching in the mother tongue, I’d like to share my experiences as a teacher and father of a school-going child in West Bengal (“Switching medium of instruction in schools from local languages to English is not educational reform”). The problem is not so much about the medium of instruction as in the quality of education in Bengali-medium government schools versus CBSE and ICSE schools. There is a difference in the curriculum as well, which is why I’m unsure of where to send my son. – Monojit Hazra

Running on fumes

The environment ministry is the most important ministry in any country (“Lab notes: A 10 microgram rise in air pollution particles can cut a life short by 10 years”). The radio, TV and every known resource should be used to make their work public. Schools are the starting point of learning. Countries have to cut budgets and spend on cleaning the air. Along with this, we also need solutions to make the water and soil clean. Fossil fuel use needs to stop.

The air is so polluted that children may soon not be able to play outdoors. Ultimately, untimely deaths will rise if the situation is not corrected. – Venu Advani

New friendships

Why do you want favours from Israel (“The Delhi-Tel Aviv relationship is all hard cash and Israeli guile, so let us not lose our cunning”)? Would they do it for, say, China or Pakistan? You get what you pay for. We are not beggars. The “favour” they are doing is creating a credible relationship in a dangerous world. – Ajit Joshi

Strong words

This speech must be circulated to one and all in India (“‘Are you vigilant enough, proactively, to save the basic tenets of our country?’: Pranab Mukherjee”). The younger generation must ponder over it, think of where we stand today and what’s in store for our future generations. This also seems a bit like a farewell speech from the president I wish Pranab Mukherjee all the best. – Philipose Panicker

Off court

This article is wrong (“It’s anybody’s Wimbledon: Women’s tennis has a problem of nameless, faceless champions”). As a long-time tennis fan, I do not miss Sharapova. Sharapova beat Serena Williams twice in 2004, at a time Serena returned from injury, so where is the competition between the two? Viewers tune in for Serena Williams. Sharapova is overrated, constantly given easy draws at majors and propped-up by the sports commentators and media! Women’s tennis is just fine. – Connie C Reshard

Puducherry turf war

This is a clear violation of the sanctity of the Constitution of India by the governor (“In latest tussle, Puducherry chief minister accuses Lt Gov Bedi of violating convention on MLA picks”). Kiran Bedi has shown bias towards her party, the BJP. Modi and his team seem to be hell bent on destroying Constitutional institutions. – Mosimon

Sikkim face-off

This is one of the more balanced pieces on the India-China tussle that I’ve come across (“True, India and China are not the same as they were in 1962 – which is why the squabbles must stop”). The comment about “strategic experts” in particular made me smile. – Tushar Sikand

Battle-ready?

This website has a very critical approach to the BJP, Modi and his policies (“Two-and-a-half wars? The Indian Air Force doesn’t have the squadron strength to fight even one”). I agree that you have the right to criticise and the right to free speech, but criticising the Indian military on a public forum in this way makes India more vulnerable to attacks from neighbouring countries. Indian liberals and Leftists did nothing for the country for 60 years. Defence procurement did not happen. The condition in Jammu and Kashmir is clear to see. Let the Indian military take care of their failures and successes themselves. – Beena Chothani

Making the cut

I completely disagree. The sex, violence form an integral part of the story line and provide an accurate description of the patriarchy and savageness that existed at the time period that Game of Thrones depicts (“Why the censored ‘Game of Thrones’ on Indian television is so much better than you think”). Most of the scenes play a crucial role either in developing the story line or a particular character. Remove these scenes and you have mixed feelings for Joffrey, Peter Baelish and the like. – Rohan Samal

***

Sure, the nudity is a bit much, the censored version seems more like a teaser for the show. The violence is what drives the series. The actual plot, mindset and the psychopathic tendencies are best conveyed through violence only. – Ashish Kumar

***

The violence and the sex scenes are what make Game of Thrones great. And some of these scenes are crucial to the storyline. Many say that India is progressing but we’re still really narrow minded. And the censor board overdoes it – they’re even cutting out the kissing scenes. – JD

***

You seem to be in favour of censorship. Good for you. I bet you are also in favour of cutting out scenes depicting women with bare arms or legs exposed. While we are at it, let’s also ban women travelling alone, or wearing provocative clothing in public. Game of Thrones with all its sex and violence is really boring. Lets have a re-run of Mahabharat or let’s simply stick to documentaries on Doordarshan. – BP

Sporting spirit

Dhoni and Kohli’s relationship and the mutual respect they share is something I’ve been discussing with friends and colleagues very often (“The unique relationship between captain Virat Kohli and keeper MS Dhoni is one India should cherish”). This piece articulates it excellently. I’m an admirer of Dhoni and I’ve been a keen observer. I’ve noticed that he chooses not to interfere in Kohli’s discussions on the field and gives him space. Letting go to this extent obviously very difficult for someone who’s been in command for so long. I wish the larger public gets to read this article and realises that cricket, for an international player, is much more than coming out and scoring at a 100% strike rate. Thank you very much for this article. It made my day. – Pranav Buch

We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
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2. Westworld

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3. Big Little Lies

It’s a distinct possibility that your first impressions of this show, whether you form those from the trailer or opening sequence, will make you think this is just another sun-kissed and glossy Californian drama. Until, the dark theme of BLL descends like an eerie mist, that is. With the serious acting chops of Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman as leads, this murder mystery is one of a kind. Adapted from author Liane Moriarty’s book, this female-led show has received accolades for shattering the one-dimensional portrayal of women on TV. Despite the stellar star cast, this Emmy-nominated show wasn’t easy to make. You should watch Big Little Lies if only for Reese Witherspoon’s long struggle to get it off the ground.

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4. The Night of

The Night Of is one of the few crime dramas featuring South Asians without resorting to tired stereotypes. It’s the kind of show that will keep you in its grip with its mysterious plotline, have you rooting for its characters and leave you devastated and furious. While the narrative revolves around a murder and the mystery that surrounds it, its undertones raises questions on racial, class and courtroom politics. If you’re a fan of True Detective or Law & Order and are looking for something serious and thoughtful, look no further than this series of critical acclaim.

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5. American Horror Story

As the name suggests, AHS is a horror anthology for those who can stomach some gore and more. In its 6 seasons, the show has covered a wide range of horror settings like a murder house, freak shows, asylums etc. and the latest season is set to explore cults. Fans of Sarah Paulson and Jessica Lange are in for a treat, as are Lady Gaga’s fans. If you pride yourself on not being weak of the heart, give American Horror Story a try.

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6. Empire

At its heart, Empire is a simple show about a family business. It just so happens that this family business is a bit different from the sort you are probably accustomed to, because this business entails running a record label, managing artistes and when push comes to shove, dealing with rivals in a permanent sort of manner. Empire treads some unique ground as a fairly violent show that also happens to be a musical. Lead actors Taraji P Henson and Terrence Howard certainly make it worth your while to visit this universe, but it’s the constantly evolving interpersonal relations and bevy of cameo appearances that’ll make you stay. If you’re a fan of hip hop, you’ll enjoy a peek into the world that makes it happen. Hey, even if you aren’t one, you might just grow fond of rap and hip hop.

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7. Modern Family

When everything else fails, it’s comforting to know that the family will always be there to lift your spirits and keep you chuckling. And by the family we mean the Dunphys, Pritchetts and Tuckers, obviously. Modern Family portrays the hues of familial bonds with an honesty that most family shows would gloss over. Eight seasons in, the show’s characters like Gloria and Phil Dunphy have taken on legendary proportions in their fans’ minds as they navigate their relationships with relentless bumbling humour. If you’re tired of irritating one-liners or shows that try too hard, a Modern Family marathon is in order. This multiple-Emmy-winning sitcom is worth revisiting, especially since the brand new season 9 premiers on 28th September 2017.

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8. The Deuce

Headlined by James Franco and Maggi Gyllenhaal, The Deuce is not just about the dazzle of the 1970s, with the hippest New York crowd dancing to disco in gloriously flamboyant outfits. What it IS about is the city’s nooks and crannies that contain its underbelly thriving on a drug epidemic. The series portrays the harsh reality of New York city in the 70s following the legalisation of the porn industry intertwined with the turbulence caused by mob violence. You’ll be hooked if you are a fan of The Wire and American Hustle, but keep in mind it’s grimmer and grittier. The Deuce offers a turbulent ride which will leave you wanting more.

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9. Dexter

In case you’re feeling vengeful, you can always get the spite out of your system vicariously by watching Dexter, our favourite serial killer. This vigilante killer doesn’t hide behind a mask or a costume, but sneaks around like a criminal, targeting the bad guys that have slipped through the justice system. From its premier in 2006 to its series finale in 2013, the Emmy-nominated Michael C Hall, as Dexter, has kept fans in awe of the scientific precision in which he conducts his kills. For those who haven’t seen the show, the opening credits give an accurate glimpse of how captivating the next 45 minutes will be. If it’s been a while since you watched in awe as the opening credits rolled, maybe you should revisit the world’s most loved psychopath for nostalgia’s sake.

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10. Rome

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This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Hotstar and not by the Scroll editorial team.