Letters to the editor

Readers’ comments: ‘In India, being secular means criticising Hinduism’

A selection of readers’ opinions.

Shadow lines

I think the need to change the name is a little exaggerated (“‘Maybe it is time to change my son’s name’: The new reality of being Muslim in India”). The most such feelings are brought into the open, the more confidence trouble-makers will get. In reality these trouble makers are not courageous, but act brazenly because they know they are not alone. Also, the observation about Muslim families getting smaller seems unecessary. If is nobody else’s business how many children one chooses to have. – Umar Farooq


This article amazed me for just one reason: how brilliantly one can manipulate the situation in the country and paint a picture that is far from the truth. Before you accuse me of being pro-BJP or Hindutva, I’d like to clarify that I am neutral and not biased towards any party.

I agree that violence in the name of cow-protection has created fear amongst many beef-eating people, including Hindus, but projecting the plight of Muslims in the country in such a light is incorrect. How can the plight of the country’s 18 crore Muslims be inferred by just one incident? Do you ever follow social media? If yes, do you have any idea of how common people, especially the youth, feel about these incidents?

I can understand if political parties mislead the public by taking up these incidents and paint a false picture to appeal to their votebank, but a supposedly neutral website like yours doing so means that you are aligned to a political party or have an agenda against a certain community. – Ashwin Kumar


Your article, though humanistic, did not touch upon some important things. Generations of Hindus grew up with Muslims in all parts of India who supported Pakistan, whether in cricket matches or in the Kargil war.

When some Muslim youth are lynched, (which is of course an unpardonable crime) the liberal media make it national political discourse. But why were the mum when hundreds and thousands of Kashmiri Pandits were brutalised, raped and expelled from their homes? Wherever Hindus are minority in Muslim-majority nations, killings, rape and murder are the norm, yet English media of India never publishes anything about that. – Shiv


The problem is much bigger than what you say it is. India’s history is well documented and therein lies the origin and solutions to this “new reality” you write about. It’s not new, it was there even when invaders entered India and many millions were beheaded.

Gandhi offered love. Perhaps that’s the solution. Minorities, the world over, have to be sensitive to the needs of the majority. It’s peace, brotherhood and walking together under one umbrella that saves the day. One morality of love is the way forward. Certainly, the early invaders to India did not have such a mindset as the Mahatma. God bless his soul. – MBV


This article is biased and portrays India as the most intolerant nation. Ours is the only country where the majority population has to fight with the government to preserve their identity and continue their livelihood. If the Muslims of India feel they are discriminated against and denied basic rights, they could chose to live in Islamic countries.

Please do not encourage such articles that voice such partisan views and harm the society. – R Sivasankaran


Such articles will only increase intolerance in India. Any killing, be it of a Hindu or a Muslim, is wrong. Do you write such articles when Hindu are targetted in Bengal, when extremism is promoted in madarassas? In India, being secular means criticising Hinduism. – Arvind


You conveniently overlooked how hurt the country was when Kashmiris and some Bengali Muslims celebrated Pakistani victory for decades now. If Dalits can get reservation because they were treated as untouchables 100 years back, why cant the Hindus seek some kind of affirmative action against Muslims, who had invaded us multiple times throughout history? –Subhojyoti Lahiri


Maybe it’s time for Scroll.in to change the way it thinks and look at what is happening in Bengal. Muslims are rioting over an image, and you expect us Hindus not to get angry about something we consider our God?

The media has taken this line of Muslims being afraid for TRPs. Why don’t you have the courage to talk about Islamic terror and atrocities by Muslims? Start being secular not some fake secularists who are playing politics of appeasement. – Raaj Rane


Why don’t you say anything to condemn what’s happening in West Bengal’s Basirhat? Our country is the safest in the world for people of all religions, not just Hindus. – Srimoyee Roy


This is a very well-written article that highlights several important things. The hidden divide is coming out faster than ever. As a Hindu student studying in a minority university, I can see the difference in perceptions I get on being in a Muslim community and then in a Hindu community. – Ashish Gupta


The situation is quite the opposite in Kerala, West Bengal and Karnataka. Being Hindu in many parts of these states is scary. friend of mine told me recently that his uncle, from an upper caste, contemplated conversion to Islam to avoid harassment.

This pandering to the minority community and continuous TV coverage of their grievances in addition to the global phenomenon of Islamic terror has led to the present situation. Every discussion on TV invariably begins by putting the Hindus on the defensive. – Mahesh Nayak

Cracking down

You seem to conveniently forget the cases and inquiries lodged against Narendra Modi under the UPA regime (“Opinion: Why the raids on Lalu Yadav should worry us about India’s democracy”). Wasn’t that a political move? Or was that a very moral move? What Modi is doing is nothing new. Every new regime that comes to power tries to tarnish the policies of the previous government. And how ideologically bereft must you be to be questioning the enquiries into alleged corruption against a man who was responsible for modern India’s first big scam, one who is allegedly in contact with a known don in Bihar? – Mukund Dhananjay


The widespread understanding of Indian democracy is that it functions with corrupt leaders at the helm. So, if someone tries to change that, even if it’s in morally disputable ways, why look at it as a threat to democracy? – Makkapati Arun Kumar


The CBI it seems, should take permission from people like Lalu Prasad Yadav before raiding them in corruption cases. People like Lalu Yadav who claim to fight for the poor but amass thousands of crores are innocent and should be considered for the Bharat Ratna! – Shatendra Singh


Shame on you for trying to defend the biggest thief in Indian politics. – Ashok Pandey


What an elaborate and enlightening article! Raids by an investigating agency into the family of a politician who has been convicted for corruption is a threat to democracy? Hats off to the author. This is another shining example of intellectual dishonesty. – Sukriti Ranjan Bhattacharjee

Looking within

Are the actions of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Hindu Yuva Vahini and cow vigilantes, according to Narendra Modi (“G20 Summit: PM Narendra Modi says members should ban leaders of nations supporting militancy”)? If his statement at the G20 summit, that “terrorism has many names but shares the same ideology of hatred and manslaughter” is to be taken at face value, then India will be there on the top of the list for hatred against Dalits and preventing our poor brothers from eating beef. This country and its upper caste citizenry have inflicted cruelty upon our people for millennia. – Deepa Rashmi

Highs and lows

What the great JRD Tata built with pain-staking effort was a lucrative business for the government (“A history lesson for the Tatas (and Indigo) as they consider buying out Air India”). Hence, they nationalised Air India. The governments kept changing the management of the airline as per their whims, treating it as their property. They extracted everything they could from it and then set it aside as a debt-ridden burden on the government. The airline should be given back to the family that created it, who will at least maintain the sentiments of JRD Tata. – Rajatava

Unsuitable claim

In this piece titled “A Suitable Girl’ is coming. What was it like to read Vikram Seth’s ‘A Suitable Boy’ 24 years ago?” you write: “But even at 13, the genteel India of ASB was not as far removed from an average Indian teenager’s life then as it might be now.”

Can you explain who the average Indian teenager is in your opinion? Your life, the lives of the people in A Suitable Boy, and Vikram Seth’s own life remind of wealthy families of the kind you see in Monsoon Wedding. You call that “average Indian”? – Sujatha Gidla

Dying languages

This beautifully written piece reminds us that so much of our old culture has vanished (“In the narrow lanes of Old Delhi, a unique and flavoursome dialect of Urdu is going extinct”). It made me think of my parents and family members, who came from Lucknow and surrounding areas. One of my aunts evens spoke Purbi. A book should be written on this subject. – Anjum Mehdi

We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
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