Letters to the editor

Readers’ comments: ‘Doesn’t matter how inaccurate his speech was, Modi is the best PM India has had’

A selection of readers’ opinions.

India turns 70

Are we free?

We have now arrived at a critical juncture of our history, when the freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution seem to be under a cloud (“As India turns 70, a sombre reminder of stolen freedoms”). The press that had valiantly fought the Emergency has now largely become a votary of the present government. Laws are being enacted to surreptitiously circumscribe the rights of citizens. An army of trolls on social media seeks to drown any voice of protest, whether of students, public intellectuals, farmers, workers or gender activists. Vigilante groups think nothing of taking the law into their hands while law enforcement authorities look the other way. A New India is indeed in the making. with Opposition-mukt Bharat as the ruling party’s credo, are we heading towards a one party system? – Pradip Ranjan

True or false?

Some of these promises were not achievable for any government (“Fact check: From LPG subsidies to maternity leave, comparing Modi’s I-Day claims with the data”). A true comparison would be to look at this government’s work in the light of what other governments achieved in the same time period. – Mallikarjun Dinnimani

***

First let us admit that the country is free from the greedy and corrupt Congress. Then we can see how much progress it has made. A government has finally come that can root out corruption. – Gururaja Vittal

***

Modi’s performance has definitely been better than that of any other prime minister in the last 70 years. So much wrong has been done so far that it is difficult to undo it in such a short time. Just wait and watch – by the time he finishes his second term, India will be very different from what it was all these years. – Parthasarathy Totadri Nathan

***

Thank you for this informative article by Nitin Sethi and Nayantara Narayanan about the claims made by the prime minister in his Independence Day speech. It is objective, factual and leaves it up to the readers to form their own opinion. – Nagmani Rao

***

Modi and his govt have a remarkable approach and that is why India is feeling good. – Pramod Kumar Singh

***

True, the BJP is giving a lot of publicity to their schemes, which succeeds in impressing the common people. But not all their claims are true, as this article shows. – Ram Deshpande

***

Scroll.in has gone through the entire speech and exposed Modi’s lies. I salute you. – Rajesh Kumar

***

I was expecting an exhaustive analysis of Prime Minister Modi’s statements but instead found that it was a half-hearted attempt by the authors. Readers want an unbiased analysis, which this article seems to lack. When you yourself state that 14,834 villages have been connected with the grid or a power line then how is the prime minister’s statement, that more than 14,000 villages that were hitherto shrouded in darkness even after Independence have been provided with electricity,” only partially true? – Ashok Kumar

Editor’s note: As the article points out, though the villages have a power line, many homes in these settlements do not.

***

How anti-Modi can you be? No matter how many mistakes you find in his policies, he still remains by far the best Indian prime minister. At least he tries to do something positive, which obviously in a country like India cannot achieve 100% results. – Garima Vats

***

Is the Independence Day speech a chance to make confusing statements? The country has made tremendous progress under different governments and this is not the occasion for campaigning. – S Narendra

***

Forget what Modi or Jaitley said, the fact is that before demonetisation, the government knew where the black money was (“Fact check: What Modi said about demonetisation in his I-Day speech and what the data shows”). Was there any need to then put people through such tribulations? Has it not made it easier to accumulate black money with the new

Rs 2,000 notes? All they had to do was to remove the Rs 1,000 notes and push and the hardships would not have been as severe if they had pushed in more Rs 500 notes.
No wonder so little is contributed to the education budget. The more illiterate people are, the less they will understand what it is that is hurting them. – Paddy Singh

***

Achievements can never be part of a laundry list. But your fact check is a laundry list of petty nitpicking and churlishness. I would like your team, to please address the issue of how women in the unorganised sector can be given 26 weeks maternity leave and educate us. Incidentally, does Scroll.in give 26 weeks’ leave to its women fact-checkers? – Kunal Mukherjee

***

Speech controversy

Having gone through the text of the speech of by Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar, I feel the action taken by AIR and DD is appropriate one (“Full text of Tripura chief minister’s I-Day speech that he says was blacked out by Doordarshan, AIR”). It seems Sarkar forgot to understand the solemnity of the occasion and instead tried to make use of it to settle petty political scores. It is beyond comprehension how a chief minister can stoop so low while greeting people on such an important formal occasion. – Ramesh Negi

Partition memories

This is an extraordinary and well-written piece (“How some families’ material memories are re-creating the history of the Partition”). My grandfather worked for Bata India in Mokama, Bihar in the 1940s and was given a choice to migrate either to either the plant in Dhaka, East Pakistan or to West Pakistan. The migration was promised to be secure as movement was to be done in BATA trucks protected by police.

Instead Dada, as we called him, chose to stay back in India as this was where his father was buried. But a few of his friends and family members migrated to West Pakistan. When they came to India for short trip in 1977, they were old and weary. They would express their wish to die in India so they can be buried next to their parents. – Yasser Rizwan

***

Growing India

People or parties managing the governance of our country should learn from heads of other developed countries, who refrain from criticising the outgoing government and its members of the same (“Modi claims India achieved little in 60 years. These seven charts prove why he’s wrong”). The manner in which the prime minister and his team members are criticising earlier governments is unwelcome and pathetic. But this theatrical performance seems to be most appealing to the masses. – Rajendra Kulkarni

***

A child on a footpath also grows physically, but that’s not development. One needs to compare India with other nations from the Commonwealth and those nation-states formed around 70 years back. Nehru had the chance to mould the country really well, but most of his decisions were taken unilaterally and went against the interests of the people. Kashmir, corruption, red tape and minority appeasement are just a few of his legacies. – Shrikant Mahajan

Hospital deaths

This is a very interesting article about the hospital and the tragedy that unfolded over the last few days (“‘The entire corridor was filled with cries’: The night when oxygen ran out in Gorakhpur hospital”). I am sure you will be updating this with the latest figures, as the numbers seem to be rising. It is also important to note that Gorakhpur is in the moderate- to-high risk zone for earthquakes, the second-highest zone for wind damage risk and is fully prone to floods as per the Vulnerability Atlas of India. Can you imagine the effects of any of these, especially an earthquake on the community, given the state of infrastructure? Also, it will be interesting to know how the MP Lad funds have been utilised in the last 10-15 years in Gorakhpur. – Hari Kumar

***

Irrespective of who to blame for the incident and the delayed payment for oxygen, it is a criminal act on part of the company to stop the supply of liquid oxygen (“Gorakhpur deaths: Company supplying oxygen says it sent nine reminders to hospital for payment”). There should be an independent inquiry by a Supreme Court appointed SIT to unearth truth and punish the guilty. Also, in an age of eclectronic communication, why would letters be sent by post. This practice should be abolished immediately and the entire administration should communicate through emails, so there is no excuse of delayed letters. – Ajit Manke

***

Upwards from the lower bureaucracy, everyone is interested in delaying payments only for the hefty cuts they get. But now that this has come out, action against the culprits should be exemplary. Proper administrative systems should be established to see that this sort of thing does not recur. It is pathetic that the head of such a big hospital is begging for funds for months. – PD Amarnath

***

It is shocking to see the blame game over the deaths of more than 60 babies in the Gorakhpur hospital (“Gorakhpur hospital deaths: Doctor explains why oxygen payments were delayed”). This shows the callousness of those who are responsible for the management of the hospitals across the most populous state of India. No one, including the political leadership, must be spared.

Those whose duty it was to make the payments to the oxygen company and their boss, the minister, must be tried for the death of innocent infants. Running the state is clearly not Adityanath’s forte. The government under him seems to have different priorities, of making lives difficult for minority communities and testing their patriotism. This leaves the government with little time to provide good health facilities to the people. Had Adityanath’s bureaucrats diverted some of their attention away from the slaughter houses and looked at the state of hospitals instead, such a disaster could have been averted. – Samiul Hassan Quadri

***

This seems to me the totally inexcusable part of this explanation: “But, on August 9, Chief Minister Adityanath came on a visit to the hospital, which kept the hospital administration busy, claimed the former principal. It was only on August 10 that that the hospital could send the token to the bank for the transfer of Rs 52 lakh to Pushpa Sales’ account.”
How can a hospital director prioritise entertaining a chief minister over the lives of children in his charge? I know things are different in India, but surely even here, it would have impressed the chief minister more if the doctor had explained the problem and excused himself so he could go and deal with it, or asked Adityanath to intervene. It appears from his explanation that keeping up appearances was more important to him than the lives of his patients. It’s easy to judge without all the facts, but if this is his defence, it seems wholly inadequate. – Uma Sinha

***

When they spend Rs 12 lakh to Rs 16 lakh every week in refilling oxygen, why can’t they purchase oxygen concentrators that can be used during emergencies, as they don’t need any recurring expenditure and run on electricity? Though they not be used in ventilators, they bcan be used on patient on spontaneous respiration and can also be connected to Ambu bags for emergencies. – Dr Pankaj Sinha

***

It is high time the government kept a check on the country’s medical infrastructure (“Poor state of medical infrastructure in Gorakhpur hospital was highlighted by CAG in May”). Timely solutions are needed to avoid problems in the future. Lack of funds and capacity are serious issues to be addressed. – Amrutha Mohan

***

The blame game is on as usual and we can see all the authorities concerned shifting accountability. It is shocking that in a 950-bed hospital, the death of 23 infants is considered “normal”. – Emkay Patel

***

So much has been written about the fact that in Gorakhpur, everything was under Adityanath’s control. What did he do about the hospital management? Corruption seems to be at the heart of all of this. If government hospitals are run like this, where will the poor go for healthcare? – Raghuraman CN

***

Uttar Pradesh’s health crisis is in the spotlight owing to the avoidable Gorakhpur tragedy. Amid the confusion prevailing over what actually led to this unfortunate incident, only an independent investigation will provide clarity. Plus, it should wake the government up to the dire need for healthcare reforms. – Nikhil Chopra

Change of guard

It is wrong to use the phrase “dog whistle” in the context of the prime minister’s speech (“Opinion: Does Hamid Ansari need freedom to speak or is it Narendra Modi who craves it?”). This implies that the millions who support Narendra Modi are animals who respond to the sound of a whistle. We heard with astonishment what the former vice-president said during his farewell speech. A man who enjoyed the perks of high office in a tolerant country suddenly seemed to discover several flaws in our nation. I would love to see Ansari’s tweets and posts, now that he no longer holds any post. – Mahesh Nayak

Literary licence

Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar’s The Adivasi Will Not Dance is pure literature (“Doctor and Sahitya Award-winning writer Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar suspended from service”). He has depicted the plight of Santhal women who helplessly fall for the sexual desires of people. Why is there such a fuss for a story told so objectively? She could be any vulnerable poor woman whose story goes untold. We seem to be keen on repeating the Perumal Murugan case. As a storyteller myself, I strongly condemn the harassment meted out to the author. I express my solidarity with him. – Damodar Mauzo

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

The perpetual millennial quest for self-expression just got another boost

Making adulting in the new millennium easier, one step at a time.

Having come of age in the Age of the Internet, millennials had a rocky start to self-expression. Indeed, the internet allowed us to personalise things in unprecedented fashion and we really rose to the occasion. The learning curve to a straightforward firstname.surname@___mail.com email address was a long one, routed through cringeworthy e-mail ids like coolgal1234@hotmail.com. You know you had one - making a personalised e-mail id was a rite of passage for millennials after all.

Declaring yourself to be cool, a star, a princess or a hunk boy was a given (for how else would the world know?!). Those with eclectic tastes (read: juvenile groupies) would flaunt their artistic preferences with an elitist flair. You could take for granted that bitbybeatlemania@hotmail.com and hpfan@yahoo.com would listen to Bollywood music or read Archie comics only in private. The emo kids, meanwhile, had to learn the hard way that employers probably don’t trust candidates with e-mail ids such as depressingdystopian@gmail.com.

Created using Imgflip
Created using Imgflip

And with chat rooms, early millennials had found a way to communicate, with...interesting results. The oldest crop of millennials (30+ year olds) learnt to deal with the realities of adolescent life hunched behind anonymous accounts, spewing their teenage hormone-laden angst, passion and idealism to other anonymous accounts. Skater_chick could hide her ineptitude for skating behind a convincing username and a skateboard-peddling red-haired avatar, and you could declare your fantasies of world domination, armed with the assurance that no one would take you seriously.

With the rise of blogging, millennial individualism found a way to express itself to millions of people across the world. The verbosity of ‘intellectual’ millennials even shone through in their blog URLs and names. GirlWhoTravels could now opine on her adventures on the road to those who actually cared about such things. The blogger behind scentofpetunia.blogspot.com could choose to totally ignore petunias and no one would question why. It’s a tradition still being staunchly upheld on Tumblr. You’re not really a Tumblr(er?) if you haven’t been inspired to test your creative limits while crafting your blog URL. Fantasy literature and anime fandoms to pop-culture fanatics and pizza lovers- it’s where people of all leanings go to let their alter ego thrive.

Created using Imgflip
Created using Imgflip

Then of course social media became the new front of self-expression on the Internet. Back when social media was too much of a millennial thing for anyone to meddle with, avatars and usernames were a window into your personality and fantasies. Suddenly, it was cool to post emo quotes of Meredith Grey on Facebook and update the world on the picturesque breakfast you had (or not). Twitter upped the pressure by limiting expression to 140 characters (now 280-have you heard?) and the brevity translated to the Twitter handles as well. The trend of sarcasm-and-wit-laden handles is still alive well and has only gotten more sophisticated with time. The blogging platform Medium makes the best of Twitter intellect in longform. It’s here that even businesses have cool account names!

Self-expression on the Internet and the millennials’ love for the personalised and customised has indeed seen an interesting trajectory. Most millennial adolescents of yore though are now grownups, navigating an adulting crisis of mammoth proportions. How to wake up in time for classes, how to keep the boss happy, how to keep from going broke every month, how to deal with the new F-word – Finances! Don’t judge, finances can be stressful at the beginning of a career. Forget investments, loans and debts, even matters of simple money transactions are riddled with scary terms like beneficiaries, NEFT, IMPS, RTGS and more. Then there’s the quadruple checking to make sure you input the correct card, IFSC or account number. If this wasn’t stressful enough, there’s the long wait while the cheque is cleared or the fund transfer is credited. Doesn’t it make you wish there was a simpler way to deal with it all? If life could just be like…

Created using Imgflip
Created using Imgflip

Lo and behold, millennial prayers have been heard! Airtel Payments Bank, India’s first, has now integrated UPI on its digital platform, making banking over the phone easier than ever. Airtel Payments Bank UPI, or Unified Payment Interface, allows you to transfer funds and shop and pay bills instantly to anyone any time without the hassles of inputting any bank details – all through a unique Virtual Payment Address. In true millennial fashion, you can even create your own personalised UPI ID or Virtual Payment Address (VPA) with your name or number- like rhea@airtel or 9990011122@airtel. It’s the smartest, easiest and coolest way to pay, frankly, because you’re going to be the first person to actually make instant, costless payments, rather than claiming to do that and making people wait for hours.

To make life even simpler, with the My Airtel app, you can make digital payments both online and offline (using the Scan and Pay feature that uses a UPI QR code). Imagine, no more running to the ATM at the last minute when you accidentally opt for COD or don’t have exact change to pay for a cab or coffee! Opening an account takes less than three minutes and remembering your VPA requires you to literally remember your own name. Get started with a more customised banking experience here.

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