Letters to the editor

Readers’ comments: Media should not have publicised CAG report on India’s ammunition shortage

A selection of readers’ opinions.

Media ethics debate

It is very wrong for the media to disclose the findings of the CAG report about India not having enough ammunition to fight a long war (“Indian Army lacks ammunition and cannot fight a war longer than 10 days, says CAG report”). Given the current tension with China and Pakistan, such news will definitely boost our neighbouring countries’ confidence. It could encourage them to attack our motherland.

Media outlets should think before positing news such as this that could have a detrimental effect on our country and security. – Sachin Patel

***

Such information should not have been made public. The CAG should have filed the report as a classified one. The news comes as a shock and is embarrassing for the Indian government given the stand-off with China at the Dokolam tri-junction and the aggressive stance taken by China. – Anil Jadhav

Medium matters

The author needs to do more research before making sweeping claims such as “research supports learning in one’s home language” (“Switching medium of instruction in schools from local languages to English is not educational reform”).

Does he know how many research papers in the field of science or technology, or for that matter, even his field, education, written in local languages in India as compared to English? Does he want children to learn just reading and writing in school and suffer for the rest of their lives?

Does he have data comparing the earnings of students educated in the English medium versus those educated in their local languages?
You might think China has solved its language problem by teaching in the mother tongue and having Enlgish as the second language. But the reality is that many students graduating from reputed Chinese universities find it hard to get into good research or academic jobs because of their lack of communication skills. On the other hand, Indians have thrived, be it in the US or elsewhere.
Also, India’s edge in IT and BPO which has created millions of high paying jobs (by India standards) over the decades has been made possible because of English-medium education.
I am proud of my Indian roots but at the same time I feel that emotions should be weighed against long- term earning potential when it comes to choices related to medium of education. Else, inequality will only rise. – Vijayaraghavan Venkataraman

Young and restless

I have read the excerpts of the book about lifestyle of today’s urban youth (“When do upper middle-class urban youngsters start thinking of themselves as poor?”). Although I should accept the fact that the current generation is in transitional stage, I see that there approach to life and morality is very different to that of the previous generations. It makes me sad and disturbed. – Swaminathan Venkataraman

Disunity in diversity

We Indians are hypocrites (“Pratap Bhanu Mehta on why the celebration of diversity is a dead-end without individual freedom”). There is so much diversity in the country but we continue to discriminate and divide instead of celebrating this. We need a strong government that believes in encouraging the diversity and applying the law equally to one and all. India can only claim to be a secular country if there is a level playing field for everyone. –Jayanthi Jaisimha

Eye on Kashmir

This is brilliant piece and Scroll.in is few of the remaining media houses of which one can be proud (“The Readers’ Editor writes: In Kashmir, the media’s work should not end with reporting on violence”). It is one of the media houses that have maintained their ethics. – Aziz Minat

***

Please continue the good reporting on Kashmir and other issues. You tell us what others don’t. I can only hope and pray peace comes to the great land of Kashmir and sets Kashmiri people free. – Ahmed

Meaty debate

The readers who have advocated vegetarianism in their comments don’t seem to understand the nature of life (“Readers’ comments: It’s not fair to project cow-related violence as a consequence of Hindutva”) Every moment, every living thing on earth, from worms to complex beings, fight and kill or eat other organisms. That is the nature of the universe.

People think that since they don’t eat meat, why should others? It is a subtle way of imposing their culture and superiority on others .

Plants too are living bengs. They are wonderful, complex and lovely, more so than humans. Personally, I feel a stronger connection to the flowers or vegetables I grow than to animals. – Deepa Rashmi

Taking action

If this is true, the government of all these countries need to tackle the problem on priority (“India among 10 countries that account for 95% of new HIV/AIDS infections in Asia-Pacific: UN report”). It needs to be brought to the attention of the people. Education and awareness about HIV/AIDS is imperative. It should be taught at the school level too.

Moreover, scientists, doctors and researchers from all these countries should come together to find a way to reduce the prevalence of HIV/AIDS. The government should allot more funds to the cause. – Ram Deshpande Narayanguda

Monetising nature

The correct methodology for ecosystem valuation requires multiplying the annual value of the services provided by the ecosystem with the expected lifespan (“In India, a move to put a monetary value to forests could spell disaster for protected landscapes”). It is no different than valuation of financial instruments that yield annual dividends. So, if the Himalayan forest ecosystem is expected to exist for 1,000,000 years and yields Rs 1,000,000,000,000 a year, the correct ecosystem valuation is Rs 1,000,000,000,000,000,000. – Mikhail Elias

Right note

The article on musician Maria Badstue is beautiful (“A Danish musician discovered her origins in a briefcase – they led to a holy city in Maharashtra”). It proves that given the opportunity, Indians can excel in any field. If her biological parents are still alive and can be traced, what a wonderful reunion it will be! – C Sampath

Controversial TV

Please tell the producer that if he wants to spread awareness about different kinds of love stories, he is more than welcome to show LGBTQ stories, a topic that actually needs to be talked about (“TV show ‘Pehredaar Piya Ki’ is not about child marriage but ‘a rare bonding’, says producer”). – Purva Diwanji

Good fit

Smriti Irani is a good choice for the post of information and broadcasting minister (Watch: Smriti Irani is back in the broadcasting business, this time as a minister.”). Prime Minister Modi has made the right decision. – Swami Iyer

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

Watch Ruchir's journey: A story that captures the impact of accessible technology

Accessible technology has the potential to change lives.

“Technology can be a great leveller”, affirms Ruchir Falodia, Social Media Manager, TATA CLiQ. Out of the many qualities that define Ruchir as a person, one that stands out is that he is an autodidact – a self-taught coder and lover of technology.

Ruchir’s story is one that humanises technology - it has always played the role of a supportive friend who would look beyond his visual impairment. A top ranker through school and college, Ruchir would scan course books and convert them to a format which could be read out to him (in the absence of e-books for school). He also developed a lot of his work ethos on the philosophy of Open Source software, having contributed to various open source projects. The access provided by Open Source, where users could take a source code, modify it and distribute their own versions of the program, attracted him because of the even footing it gave everyone.

That is why I like being in programming. Nobody cares if you are in a wheelchair. Whatever be your physical disability, you are equal with every other developer. If your code works, good. If it doesn’t, you’ll be told so.

— Ruchir.

Motivated by the objectivity that technology provided, Ruchir made it his career. Despite having earned degree in computer engineering and an MBA, friends and family feared his visual impairment would prove difficult to overcome in a work setting. But Ruchir, who doesn’t like quotas or the ‘special’ tag he is often labelled with, used technology to prove that differently abled persons can work on an equal footing.

As he delved deeper into the tech space, Ruchir realised that he sought to explore the human side of technology. A fan of Agatha Christie and other crime novels, he wanted to express himself through storytelling and steered his career towards branding and marketing – which he sees as another way to tell stories.

Ruchir, then, migrated to Mumbai for the next phase in his career. It was in the Maximum City that his belief in technology being the great leveller was reinforced. “The city’s infrastructure is a challenging one, Uber helped me navigate the city” says Ruchir. By using the VoiceOver features, Ruchir could call an Uber wherever he was and move around easily. He reached out to Uber to see if together they could spread the message of accessible technology. This partnership resulted in a video that captures the essence of Ruchir’s story: The World in Voices.

Play

It was important for Ruchir to get rid of the sympathetic lens through which others saw him. His story serves as a message of reassurance to other differently abled persons and abolishes some of the fears, doubts and prejudices present in families, friends, employers or colleagues.

To know more about Ruchir’s journey, see here.

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