Letters to the editor

Readers’ comments: Why compare Modi and Nehru? India can have many great leaders

A selection of readers’ opinions.

Modi and Nehru

This is akin to flogging a dead horse (“Opinion: Is Modi the Mahmud Ghazni of the Nehruvian nation state?”). Nehru does not need testimonials. Whether one likes him or not, his accomplishments cannot be denied. Gandhi left the country in hands of Nehru and Patel as he knew and trusted that India would be safe with them. There is no question they lived up to the responsibility.

Nehru was no orator. He spoke as he thought and his thoughts rambled. When India became free, even razor blades, pencils, and erasers were imported. In about 20 years, India became an industrialised nation and the foundation was laid from which India has blossomed. Nobody can take this away from him and Prime Minister Modi knows this.
It does not matter if Nehru is praised or riled. He is gone as everyone does and will. What people don’t realise is that a country like India will have have several great leaders and he was one. – S Vas

***

Nehru was a strange combination of Ghori ,Ghazni,and Curzon. He discovered an India from the Cambridge History of India and thrust it upon the innocent people. – Ranjit Singh

Strange bedfellows

This is a brilliant article (“Why Nitish Kumar’s latest betrayal is no surprise – and no tragedy”). It is incisive and offers an excellent perspective on politics and ethics, the mockery of secularism that political parties have made and the tragedy of the Opposition today. – Vinita Singh

***

This new alliance is shameless one and is against the desire of common man (“An alliance with the BJP in Bihar was not the people’s mandate, says JD(U)’s Sharad Yadav”). – Prakash Paranjape

Data dive

The author has said that information or data is the raw material for the economic era and it won’t be wrong to say that we have entered into Data Age (“A critic’s case for Aadhaar: If our personal data is the ‘new oil’, pay us for it”). In the agrarian age, land was the most important asset and laws were developed to allow ownership and use of land. So, in the data age, we need to develop laws to address issues concerning the use of data. We might even have to question whether it can be owned at all. Frequent breaches of private data from both private and government handles makes this an even more pertinent issue.

Many modern day firms heavily rely on data, to gain insight into the business performance and strategic directions. Many have rightly said that data should be treated as an asset, though for various reasons, it may not be easy to ascertain a financial value to it. It is also the currency that we pay to various internet organisations in exchange for their services, like Facebook and Google, but in absence of the ascertainable value and superior bargaining position of these internet giants, it may be possible that user could be exploited to give more information that may not be required. But these internet applications have become integral part of our lives and leaving them may not be possible for various practical reasons. So, corporations are able to dictate their terms to users and very often overcharge them.

Thus, it is increasingly becoming desirable that the organisation collecting personal data tells users at the outset the explicit purpose for which it is being collected and how it will be used, with a guarantee that appropriate security measures will be taken for processing the same. Any backtracking, or negligence in this regard must be met by steep fines and harsh penalties. – Prakhar Gupta

Culture clashes

As Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said, we should not tolerate attack an attack on our language or culture (“Watch: Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah says people from outside the state should adapt to Kannada culture”). But we are still lagging behind several countries, which have gone way ahead of us. Despite this, we are fighting with one another in the name of language, region, culture and religion. Do we not have enough to do, for our selves, our families and our beloved nation?

In the process, we are losing lives, health and wealth, we are losing our future and our god-gifted beautiful nature. So Indians should stop fighting and discriminating. Instead, focus on our economy, development, our environment, our present and our future. – Naveed Ali Pallan

***

While I respect the use of Kannada signage everywhere, it should be remembered that we are part of India, a nation with diverse languages and cultures (“Karnataka government asks BMRCL to remove Hindi signs from Bengaluru’s metro stations”). So, at the very least, Hindi signage can be added below Kannada. – Francis Fabian

Refugee rights

As a Chakma, I really appreciate your concern towards the community as we are one of the most persecuted in the world (“50 years on, Chakma refugees from Bangladesh are still denied citizenship rights in Arunachal”). However I take object to the following lines in the article: “The Chakmas are now caught between competing versions of identity politics, one emanating from the Centre and the other from the region. Apart from Arunachal, there is fresh animosity from indigenous tribes towards the refugees in Mizoram, which created a Chakma Autonomous District Council in 1972. Tribal groups now agitate for the expulsion of all “Chakma foreigners” who entered the state after 1950.”

This is a false.While your intentions are, no doubt, good, this paragraph reflects the views of Mizo intellectuals that has been accepted without going deeper into the issue and seeing the facts. Please don’t buy the stories and statements given by hatemongers and biased NGOs. – Sumit Chakma

***

For more than a century, Gorkhas, who belong to this very land and have served it with utmost royalty and honesty, many of the stationed at the borders so that the rest of the country can sleep well, are still living like second-class citizens. Going by that, Chakma refugees will have to wait for centuries to be heard in this country. – Aneel Thapa

Better together

The formation of the Cyber Space and Special Forces Command was cleared a few years back (“The Indian military is once again trying to bring the three forces closer – but will it succeed?”). They were envisioned as separate commands, not as divisions or sub-divisions. But the integration of the Ministry of Defence and the services has always been sabotaged by bureaucrats. The military had never objected to it. But the bureaucracy did not want a uniformed officer sitting alongside them, having access to their files.

I have been privileged to hear Naresh Chandra, both while in service and after retirement too. Not one of his recommendations have been implemented in toto, which points to the sorry state of affairs.

The Ministry of Defence does not have any specialists amongst the bureaucracy and yet they offer “expert” opinions on why the Army, Air Force or Navy should not buy a particular weapon system. – Dhiraj Kukreja

***

Such exercises were proposed by Indian Military in the past too but were thwarted by military itself. However, the heads of the three services now understand that having an integrated command is imperative for national security.

Now, it is not the military but the well-entrenched bureaucracy that is thwarting such efforts, placing vested interests over national interests. It is amazing that the country’s political leadership has been unable to see their designs. Until the government wakes up to these issues, there won’t be any real progress and the Indian military will keep languishing. – AK Srivastava

Privacy debate

The arguments in the Supreme Court where the right to privacy is being debated shows that there is no understanding of the concept of rights (“Privacy cannot be treated as a fundamental right, Centre tells Supreme Court”). A right is a philosophical principle that sanctions the freedom to action of an individual. It prescribes freedom of the individual to act in a certain domain and proscribes the use of force. Its roots are based in metaphysics and epistemology.

Metaphysically, it stems from the identity of individual human beings who are living entities and act by certain means of survival. It is based on the law of identity. Epistemologically, it arises from the fact that an individual possesses free will and survives by reason. He has to choose to think in order to live and flourish. That reason is his means of survival.

From both arise the concept of individualism and philosophical individual rights.The basic right is the right to life. This arises from the fact that life is a process of self-sustaining and self-generated action. Since man is a rational being, his means of survival is through the use of his rational faculty. From this stems his right to liberty. He needs to be left free in order to think. He has to generate all the values necessary for his happiness. From this stems his right to pursuit of happiness.

Also, since man is not just a spirit but an entity of soul and body, he needs material goods to survive. From this arises the right to private property. These are the basic philosophical rights. By their nature, they are fundamental and absolute and inalienable. Each right entails the other and cannot be separated. There cannot be any human rights without property rights. All other rights, like the right to free speech or free trade, are derived from these. – Alampallam Venkatachalam

Success stories

Thank you for this beautiful and inspiring article (“Hungry for success: Manika Batra keen to usher in a new era for table tennis”).

I was in the first table tennis academy Manika joined at the age of three or four and we were friends. I always held her in high regard. I was the person she defeated when she got her first gold in the Delhi championship and she never looked back. If I am not wrong, that championship was the first time, her name came in newspaper. And now everyone knows her name!

However, with all due respect , the headline “hungry for success” has certain kind of negative connotation to it, which is very unlike Manika. – Sugandha Chowdhry

New heights

It’s good to know that Tibetan treasures are being restored (“On the roof of the world, a Frenchwoman is on a quest to recover forgotten Buddhist treasures”). In 1982, I illegally entered Mustang, after being refused permission to go there, and visited monasteries all the way up to Tsarang and Lo Mantang. My friend (a Nepalese) and I even had dinner with the Queen of Mustang and spent a night in the exquisitely painted unused abbot’s rooms in Tsarang at the invitation of the monks. Every monastery we visited had wall paintings and sculptures that were gradually deteriorating, though the dry climate helped to preserve them (Mustang is in a rain shadow area). We were arrested on the way back and released after a furious telling off from the police chief at Kagbeni checkpoint. I would love to go there again one day. – Umi Sinha

Shiva’s interpretations

My humble suggestion to this author is that she should at least read the texts and thinkers she is referring to (“How Shiva was transformed from a meat-loving deity to a vegetarian god”). To be a cultural critic and exponent like Tulsidas or Kabir, you have to be one like them. Both criticism and praise bear merit when they are they based on insightful understanding of the sources. She could have made her point referring to the text like Tantraloka and a thinker like Abhinavagupta. – Rajnish Mishra

Noisy business

Even I get agitated when Arnab Goswami becomes too loud, but he is perhaps the only man who asks questions to netas that the common people do not have the courage to ask (“Watch: This animated musical parody of Arnab Goswami takes on the nature of TV news today”). He at least tries to bring up the truth of what is happening in the country. So this is a good song, but if the intention is to bring him down, then it will not work because Goswami has a huge number of fans. – Sragdhara Ghosh

Laugh along

This video made my day (“Watch: ‘Opera vs Trump’ is the finest (and funniest) takedown of the US President”). I have now seen it now six times and will continue to watch it everyday. I have also sent it to friends and hope some major TV stations also show the video. Maybe the only way we have a chance to survive through satire and laughter. – Georgeann Trebst

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

Not just for experts: How videography is poised for a disruption

Digital solutions are making sure it’s easier than ever to express your creativity in moving images.

Where was the last time you saw art? Chances are on a screen, either on your phone or your computer. Stunning photography and intricate doodles are a frequent occurrence in the social feeds of many. That’s the defining feature of art in the 21st century - it fits in your pocket, pretty much everyone’s pocket. It is no more dictated by just a few elite players - renowned artists, museum curators, art critics, art fair promoters and powerful gallery owners. The digital age is spawning creators who choose to be defined by their creativity more than their skills. The negligible incubation time of digital art has enabled experimentation at staggering levels. Just a few minutes of browsing on the online art community, DeviantArt, is enough to gauge the scope of what digital art can achieve.

Sure enough, in the 21st century, entire creative industries are getting democratised like never before. Take photography, for example. Digital photography enabled everyone to capture a memory, and then convert it into personalised artwork with a plethora of editing options. Apps like Instagram reduced the learning curve even further with its set of filters that could lend character to even unremarkable snaps. Prisma further helped to make photos look like paintings, shaving off several more steps in the editing process. Now, yet another industry is showing similar signs of disruption – videography.

Once burdened by unreliable film, bulky cameras and prohibitive production costs, videography is now accessible to anyone with a smartphone and a decent Internet bandwidth. A lay person casually using social media today has so many video types and platforms to choose from - looping Vine videos, staccato Musical.lys, GIFs, Instagram stories, YouTube channels and many more. Videos are indeed fast emerging as the next front of expression online, and so are the digital solutions to support video creation.

One such example is Vizmato, an app which enables anyone with a smartphone to create professional-looking videos minus the learning curve required to master heavy, desktop software. It makes it easy to shoot 720p or 1080p HD videos with a choice of more than 40 visual effects. This fuss- free app is essentially like three apps built into one - a camcorder with live effects, a feature-rich video editor and a video sharing platform.

With Vizmato, the creative process starts at the shooting stage itself as it enables live application of themes and effects. Choose from hip hop, noir, haunted, vintage and many more.

The variety of filters available on Vizmato
The variety of filters available on Vizmato

Or you can simply choose to unleash your creativity at the editing stage; the possibilities are endless. Vizmato simplifies the core editing process by making it easier to apply cuts and join and reverse clips so your video can flow exactly the way you envisioned. Once the video is edited, you can use a variety of interesting effects to give your video that extra edge.

The RGB split, Inset and Fluidic effects.
The RGB split, Inset and Fluidic effects.

You can even choose music and sound effects to go with your clip; there’s nothing like applause at the right moment, or a laugh track at the crack of the worst joke.

Or just annotated GIFs customised for each moment.

Vizmato is the latest offering from Global Delight, which builds cross-platform audio, video and photography applications. It is the Indian developer that created award-winning iPhone apps such as Camera Plus, Camera Plus Pro and the Boom series. Vizmato is an upgrade of its hugely popular app Game Your Video, one of the winners of the Macworld Best of Show 2012. The overhauled Vizmato, in essence, brings the Instagram functionality to videos. With instant themes, filters and effects at your disposal, you can feel like the director of a sci-fi film, horror movie or a romance drama, all within a single video clip. It even provides an in-built video-sharing platform, Popular, to which you can upload your creations and gain visibility and feedback.

Play

So, whether you’re into making the most interesting Vines or shooting your take on Ed Sheeran’s ‘Shape of You’, experience for yourself how Vizmato has made video creation addictively simple. Android users can download the app here and iOS users will have their version in January.

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