Letters to the editor

Readers’ comments: There should be no media trial of Shashi Tharoor in Sunanda Pushkar case

A selection of readers’ opinions.

Right to silence

After the Delhi High Court notice to Arnab Goswami and his channel over the alleged misreporting on Sunanda Pushkar’s death, one hopes that he desists from a media trial of Shashi Tharoor (“Respect Shashi Tharoor’s right to silence in his wife’s case, HC tells Arnab Goswami”). Goswami has his likes and dislikes that are clearly reflected in the editorial policy of his channel. In the programmes he anchors, he seems to throw professional ethics to the wind as he praises his idols to the skies and shouts at those who differ from him. As a senior journalist of the country, Arnab must keep his personal friendships and enmities to himself. – Samiul Hassan Quadri

Lynching debate

This article seems more like a transcript of what Kiren Rijiju’s said than a rebuttal (“Attacking Modi’s image is like attacking India: How BJP sees the lynchings debate”). No counter is presented to the minister of state’s assertions. So, for instance, when the author points out that Rijiju claimed lynchings were a state problem, I would have expected the author to counter why the Centre should also be directly accountable. If the author thought the irony is self-evident, it’s not. Not in the article at least. Articles like these bring down the quality of opinions found on Scroll.in. – Anurag Tripathi

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Junior minister Kiren Rijiju’s performance in the Parliament brings to mind the names of some of the earlier political lightweights who unflinchingly served their masters and then faded into oblivion, like DK Baruah, PA Sangma, Pramod Mahajan and so on. Venkaiah Naidu is also in the same league and he too has been consigned to oblivion, albeit honourably. – Kujur Bachchan

Logo quest

The article would have been just a hilarious piece had it not at the same time pointed to what is in store for us in the country under the Hindutva onslaught on our culture and creativity (“Eight new logos (including an Arnab version) for Doordarshan”). – K Mukherjee

Green cover

Your video on Aarey was not revelatory but also tastefully done (“Watch: How Mumbai’s Metro is a threat to the city’s green cover and its Adivasi population”). Thank you, Scroll.in, for making such an eye-opening video. It makes my blood boil and makes me want to become an environmental activist and take on politicians in court. There seems to be no limit to how far they can go for profit.

I’m extremely grateful to you for throwing light on this crucial subject and hats off to people like Stalin Dayanand who’re fighting for nature and for the Adivasis.

But what can I do about this issue, besides creating awareness? The common citizen has no power in this corrupt state. – Nikhita Prabhudesai

***

If all the future Mumbai Metro lines are planned underground, then we do not need a Metro shed at Aarey, or at least it can be curtailed to only a few stabling tracks.
At the moment , all Metros are elevated and therefore need many sheds. This optional alignment with details have already discussed with all the authorities, but thus far there has been no response from them. –Nitin Killawala

Overseas votes

I appreciate the Union cabinet’s decision to allow NRIs to cast their vote through proxies (“Cabinet clears amendment that allows Non-Resident Indians to vote by appointing a proxy”). But one concern is that political parties could contact Indian expatriates, collect maximum number of proxy votes by influencing them, and thereby misusing the system.

So, instead, the government the government should make Aadhaar mandatory for all citizens, including NRIs, and then allow voting through the Aadhaar card. The citizen could vote online from any part of the world, through biometric identification. – KV Shamsudheen

Selective reasoning

This article needs several more updates and the author has been rather selective in the presentation of facts (“‘It is personal’: Why BJP is going all out to defeat Ahmed Patel in Rajya Sabha polls”). Income Tax department raids were also conducted on several other properties owned by DK Shivakumar, his relatives and aides. He residence in Delhi was also raided and cash and jewellery worth crores were seized.

Second, the Supreme Court has rejected Congress’ plea on the applicability of NOTA. Most importantly, the publicity generated for Ahmed Patel is dubious, given that he is known to be a backroom player. – P Raghavendra

Clean energy fight

The depth with which the problem has been perceived and expounded in this article is profound (“Diversion of clean energy funds to GST is a problem – but a bigger problem is the coal cess itself”). I hope readers awaken to the concern, that the message spreads and a solution can be hit upon soon. – Usha Vasanthkumar

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Every government has systematically neglected Adivasis and other underprivileged sections. They are more concerned about showing expenses from where they can siphon off money to their personal and party accounts. – MA Haque

Nehru vs Modi

The headline for this article is provocative because the author wants it to grab eyeballs (“Opinion: Is Modi the Mahmud Ghazni of the Nehruvian nation state?”). Mahmud Ghazni invaded India 17 times, killing thousands of innocent people. I wonder how Modi can be compared to such a fanatical mass murderer. Moreover, Nehru and VK Krishna Menon were largely responsible for the 1962 disaster. The blunder in Jammu and Kashmir is still costing us crores of rupees and thousands of lives. The tragedy of Nehru’s 17-year rule is haunting us to this very day and will continue as long as Pakistan has nuclear weapons. It’s the beauty of social media that led to the emergence of true nationalists leaders who don’t bother about what the West thinks about us. – Mahesh Nayak

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You cannot compare the Stone Age with the present era. Thoughts gets revolutionised as the environment changes. But people all around have a negative thought process and that, I fear, will take another 60 years to change. – SKS Chambial

Abortion debate

This article regarding women’s right to abortion is very insightful and since it is coming from a trained professional I like to believe that the opinions are informed (“Opinion: Denying abortion to a 10-year-old rape victim is to inflict more violence on her”). However, this is hardly only a case about a young girl being responsible for a life. It also highlights how the state refuses to treat the gender with respect. I also think that this can serve as a catalyst for a big debate: should women be allowed government and public-aided abortion further into their pregnancy? I don’t think sex-selective abortion will be on the rise if abortion is unrestricted or at least, if the restrictions were relaxed, we already have laws for that. – Siddhant Garud

***

This case has indeed been so controversial and your article presents the viewpoint of woman’s reproductive rights. However, I had a comment on your interpretation of the Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act. At present the Act says that up to 12 weeks gestation, only one doctor needs to decide on the grounds for termination of pregnancy. For termination between 12 and 20 weeks, the Act requires a consensus by at least two doctors. And only recently, some gross fetal abnormalities were detected by ultrasound after 20 weeks and for this reason there was a plea to the courts to allow termination of pregnancy for up to 24 weeks. This is still under consideration. – Olinda Timms

Cutting waste

This is a good waste-management initiative in Bengaluru but it needs to be taken one step further (“Watch: Bengaluru generates 5,000 tonnes of garbage a day. But citizens can make it easier to manage”). Most municipalities and organisations working in this domain forget that the recently introduced Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016 mandate provisions for three dustbins: for dry, wet and hazardous (including sanitary) waste respectively, not two dustbins. When this is not done, sanitary waste is mixed with dry or wet waste, which leads to contamination and makes processing difficult.

Waste collectors too are at a risk since they often handle waste without gloves and while the municipality must also endeavor to provide the required safety equipment, it must also realise that manually segregation of waste is often a taboo topic and also exposes the worker to disease.

Parallely, municipalities need to procure waste collection vehicles with compartments so that segregated waste is transported. It is rather wasteful and discouraging for citizens to see all the waste being dumped into a single container. Once this is done, organic waste can be handled differently while dry waste can be processed further as per requirements. A cyclical approach is pivotal to waste management. – Sukrit

Bad light

I understand this is an excerpt from a book and as much as I admire Swami Vivekananda and understand the social setting of a century ago, it comes across as misogynistic (“Why Swami Vivekananda had to treat Sister Nivedita harshly (he was committed to celibacy)”). It makes it sound like Sister Nivedita was in the wrong for possibly harbouring passionate feelings for Swami Vivekananda who in turn was magnanimous for pushing back against any such thoughts or feelings. – Sanchita Chatterjee

For arts’ sake

Does every performing art have to start with a reference to Bollywood (“Dowry and arranged marriage: The first opera at Mumbai’s Opera House will remind you of Bollywood”)? You have the cast rehearsing with baritone Rahul Bharadwaj in the forefront – but no mention of him in the cast. Oscar was in the B cast, not the A cast. Doubt you knew there was an A and B cast. Also, you find a picture of some foreign production in the middle of the article. Did the writer even see the production? When will the Arts ever be given the importance they deserve? – Indira Bharadwaj

Musical protest

This is perfectly stunning and exquisite (“Watch: ‘Opera vs Trump’ is the finest (and funniest) takedown of the US President”). I want to send it to all my singer-friends. Thank you for cheering up my day – and for engaging truly good singers to effect it! – Emily Sparks

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Thanks a million. What a great video. – Willy Silberstein

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This was absolutely sensational. Thank you so much for brightening my day. The artistes are so talented. – James Himes

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Although I couldn’t stop laughing through the performance, it is actually so sad that the man is our president. – Paul A Friedman

Counter point

This is a letter in response to a comment by reader Vijayaraghavan Venkataraman under the sub-heading “medium matters” published in the Letters to the Editor column (“Readers’ comments: Media should not have publicised CAG report on India’s ammunition shortage”).

I don’t think the individual railing against switching from local languages to English really read the article. He seems to have only read the headline and maybe a part of the article. He then went on to hash out their poorly thought out response.

If he had reined in their emotions and read just a little bit further, he would not have missed the part of the article that talks about how the lack of competent teachers to teach students in English is a problem. In fact, if the person in question had simply been in possession of just a little bit more reading comprehension, he would have refrained from commenting on the author’s supposed “lack of research” for their statement, and read the whole paragraph, as well as the next two, which clearly outlines the facts and research that support their initial assertion that students learn better when they are learning in the language they are most familiar with.

It is ironic to me that this individual wants to argue that the position taken by the article lacks a factual basis, when he also make several assertions that are unsupported by facts. It is also interesting that he automatically equate communication skills with being proficient in English, when anyone who has worked in a professional setting where English is the primary medium of communication would know that this is not the case at all. – Aparna R

We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
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