Letters to the editor

Readers’ comments: If leaders themselves show caste bias then India is doomed

A selection of readers’ opinions.

Caste calculus

Yogi Adityanath has taken the right decision (“New caste war in Uttar Pradesh: 152 of the 312 new law officers appointed by Adityanath are Brahmins”). – Sangeeta Panwar

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The caste system is a major hurdle to justice, peace and progress in India. The country’s future depends on how successfully the government tackles this critical issue. If leaders themselves are biased, we are headed for doom. – Mohammad Shakeel Siddiqui

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Just like the Congress worked for reserved category and Muslim votes, the BJP works for Brahmins. As Indians, we should not distinguish on the lines religion, caste or any other basis. – Arshad Husain

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So what if the officers are of a higher caste? Are you saying they have not done their work honestly? Just because of their caste should they not be hired? You should complain only if there is a problem with their work and that too should be directed at the officer concerned and not the caste as a whole. They are many people from upper castes who work well and honestly. – Ashutosh Mishra

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The Uttar Pradesh government should focus on OBCs because more than 46% population in the state is from other backward classes. Priority should be given to OBC candidates for state appointments. People from the OBC category are doing well in every field of the country. – Darbary Lal Kashyap

Oxfam response

Apropos the article “Home Ministry serves FCRA notices to 5,922 organisations including IIT, IIM, IGNOU and Oxfam”, Oxfam would like to clarify and put it on record that Oxfam Trust stopped operating several years ago

All of Oxfam’s activities were consolidated into Oxfam India, a not for profit company, and its FCRA registration is active and was renewed in 2016. Oxfam India as a completely Indian entity used to operate as a trust but to strengthen the governance structure it was registered under Section 25 of the Companies Act. Oxfam is celebrating its 66th year of humanitarian service in India. Oxfam first came to India in 1951 to respond to the Bihar famine. In the past six decades, Oxfam has supported civil society organisations across the country to do development work in education, health, gender, livelihoods, and humanitarian issues.

Test of faith

I really appreciate the couple and they should ignore the foolish remarks made by others (“What a BJP MP’s remark about a Karnataka leader and his Muslim wife really tells us”). Their marriage is their personal matter and no one has the right to comment on it publicly. What have our leaders become? – Ravinder Kumar Goel

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It is a cause of great concern and grief that people still look at inter-faith marriages this way. If neither spouse has converted and the marriage has been solemnised under the Special Marriage Act, then that should be accepted with even greater joy and promoted as an example of a truly secular society. – Bikash Sanyal

Help needed

Thanks for doing a story about Noida’s migrant domestic workers and the police harassment they faced after the violent protest outside an apartment building over a missing woman worker (“Branded as Bangladeshis: In Noida, anger turns to fear for domestic workers after police raid”). Your story rightly points out that no action was taken against the employers who beat up the woman, but many men had been arrested from the slum. Worse, the slum dwellers were accused of being Bangladeshi and had to show the police their identity documents. Class and religion bias crops up all the time in this country. – Sujata Madhok

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This is a a highly simplistic and one-sided view. (“ “Cheap domestic workers (even Bangladeshi) are fine. The problem is when they protest”)

As an employer of domestic labour who tries to be ethical about wages, leave, hours of work, and helping children with school, I believe the problem is complex. The media correctly points out situations of exploitation. I also know that theft and lying by domestic workers is widespread, even when the employer is not exploitative. There is a need for a biometric system for background checks to assure the employer as ell as enforcement of maximum hours of work and minimum wages to protect the worker. But one-sided views that “they are exploited” or “they are thieves” won’t solve the problem. – Anil Gupta

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No, Sanjay Srivastava. The problem is not when they protest. The problem is when they steal. – Nitin Raval

Canine concerns

I thank Janaki Lenin for writing this article (“Pet peeve: Why I’m often terrified of my cuddly, adorable dog”). I’m from Kerala, where strays were lynched mercilessly in one district for an incident in another. Stray dogs don’t generaly display aggression, unless they’re rewarded for it, by way of more space, food and mating rights. In our country, as well as every other, their behaviour is trapped in a vicious cycle, in which humans play an integral part. If a three-month puppy follows you down the street wagging his tail, a human mistakes this as an act of aggression. The end result is that the dog is shooed away or maybe even attacked. To break the cycle, dispel myths and fight fear, education is crucial. Stray dogs don’t need training training as such, they’re highly intelligent.

As far as the author’s dog is concerned, I don’t think the problems have arisen just because he’s a stray. It can happen with any dog. Perhaps some training can help address this behaviour. If the owner can understand what his triggers are and ease him with treats, it might help. – Pradeesh

Absurd comment

Does Roopa Ganguly mean by extension that all women born and brought up in Kolkata are West Bengal are rape victims (“Watch: BJP’s Roopa Ganguly says women cannot go 15 days without being raped in West Bengal”)? What does she drink to have such a fertile imagination? For political points, she is shamelessly insulting the state and the city she belongs to. – Arpita Sen

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Roopa Ganguly should not be harassed for stating the facts, .No service rule can be applied against speaking truth. – Satya Kolala

Predator vs predator

The people involved in this activity should be booked under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 (“Watch: Why did these forest officials in Madhya Pradesh pull a goat out of a python’s mouth?”). This is ridiculous.

Made in China

The least we could do is demand good quality products from China (“As the call to boycott Chinese goods grows louder in Mumbai, shopkeepers say make in India first”). Then the Chinese will automatically stop sending their goods to India. But our tendency is to buy something just because it is cheap, quality concerns notwithstanding. – Srinivasa

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How about the Mumbai Schools Principals Association appeal to Prime Minister Modi to cancel the sub-contract awarded to the Chinese foundry Jiangxi Tongqing Metal Handicrafts Company for casting and final assembly of the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel statue in Gujarat? – Kujur Bachchan

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All Indians have seen the shoddy and cheap products that the Chinese make. Any Indian could make those. The government should encourage small manufacturers to make these products – at the same cost, they will have much better quality. Please insist that readers buy goods made in India. This will be good for Indian manufacturers as well as consumers.– Mukesh

Unfiltered views

While I agree that freedom of expression must be upheld and lodging an FIR against AIB was a bit much in this case, it is important to see that there is difference between making fun of oneself and making fun of others (“Derek O’Brien, Tharoor post images of themselves with dog filter to criticise FIR against comedians”). Shashi Tharoor and Derek O’ Brien chose to post these photos of themselves whereas the group of comedians posted the photo of Narendra Modi. – Amit Agrawal

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