Letters to the editor

Readers’ comments: If war breaks out with China, India must not lose the chance to make up for 1962

A selection of readers’ opinions.

Sino-India tussle

China seems to be headed towards taking military action (“With the Doklam standoff in its third month, India looks beyond the wait-and-watch approach”). If so, that can only be averted if the US comes forward to say that they would take India’s side in case of an armed conflict. China’s strategy is to show the world, and especially its neighbours that India, one of the strongest military powers in Asia, is of no match to it militarily. This way, it can tell the world not to raise a voice against China when it takes a chunk of their land of waters.

Therefore, India should be ready to face battle at short notice. India should not think of action only on its borders with China but should have a careful and mutli-faceted economic and military, keeping in mind that this could be our chance to make up for the humiliation of 1962.

The military should give a befitting response on the border and simultaneously, some of China’s constructions and bases in other cases should be targetted to.

On the economy front, we should stop all Chinese imports, boycott Chinese goods and boost indigenous manufacturing. This can also help us give stiff competition to Chinese imports in other countries.

In the diplomatic field, we should now not hesitate to educate other countries who import lot of Chinese goods or take China’s monetary help, about the disadvantages and dangers of all this. USA and EU nations must be included in this economic war. It is advisable that immediate action be taken to sign a mutual defence treaty with the US, like the one signed with Russia before the 1971 Bangladesh liberation war. In the event of an armed conflict, whatever happens will affect our psyche and we now could have a chance to make up for 1962. – RK Sharma

Right fight

I admire Riya’s courage and her efforts in exerting her rights (“Why a transgender woman has sued the government, CBSE and Delhi University”). She really is god-send for others in India who differ from the supposed norm when it comes to gender identity or sexuality. I really hope more people like her openly fight for their rights and for acceptance from society, so that one day, they will be treated like everyone else.

I know that dream is distant, but with concerted efforts by those like Riya, it may be closer than we think. I hope the court rules in her favour. – B Viswanathan

Rise of the Right

I don’t usually read Scroll.in, but the title of this article got my attention (“From Charlottesville to India, majoritarian identity politics can only be countered by universalism”). But the author does not substantiate his claims and it ends up being the same old rant against the Right. Don’t misguide people by using tall headings without any substance in the article. – Subhash Gahlawat

Short and sweet

I loved the story and I also I loved the use of authentic Urdu words like surmedani (‘Ganga Ram’: Pre-Partition memories live on in Pakistani writer Azra Waqar’s poignant story”). The writing conjured up lovely images enough. Maybe someday somebody could adapt the short stories for a television series. – Unita Vasishta

Sea world

I enjoyed this well-researched and informative piece (“From Iraq to Burma: These recipes show that Bengalis aren’t alone in their devotion to hilsa”). However I was dismayed that there was no mention of the neighbouring state of Odisha and the love Odias have for soriso ilisi, their version of sorshey ilish as also the dried Hilsa fish and its roe sukhuya. Many aristocratic Bengali households claimed with much pride that they had a Odia cook supervising their kitchen. – Sandip Das

Football season

No! They’re just going through transition and I am sure you will change your opinion at the end of season (“Is this the end of Barcelona’s domination in Spanish football?”). – Harish Vucchuru

Under water

Thank you for this article on the Assam floods (“Severity of Assam floods heightens old fears about dams in the Brahmaputra basin”). Of all the articles I’ve read on the topic, as far back as I can remember, this is the most well-researched and informative one. It is clear that the author article did his due diligence. Readers are treated to facts and figures from which they can form an informed opinion about the role of hydro-power dams in the floods in the North East. Among the many eye-opening facts mentioned here, the fact that the flow rates of rivers in Indo-Gangetic and Brahmaputra valley rivers are considered state secrets by the Indian government was the most striking. – Prabir Barooah

Switching sides

Nitish Kumar deserted the Mahagathbandhan over a non-issue (“JD(U) crisis: 21 leaders, believed to be Sharad Yadav loyalists, suspended for anti-party activities”). For this, he deserves that the JD(U) split vertically and his newly made ministry in collaboration with the BJP (against voters’ mandate) fall. – Satyendra Singh


I had great respect for Kamal Haasan but his asking for the resignation of Tamil Nadu chief minister shows he has a childish and parochial outlook (“Tamil Nadu: Why has no one demanded CM’s resignation, asks Kamal Hassan”). If his film fails in the box office, should we ask him to resign from acting? If we keep on asking for resignations of persons for everything without ascertaining the facts, there will be gross injustice. – Mukul Gangal

Lost city

Why don’t we follow the Singapore model in Bengaluru, of impose such a high tax on all classes of vehicles entry that travel in private transportation becomes prohibitively expensive there (“How Bangalore went from being India’s most liveable city to a dystopia in the making”).

The widening of roads is akin to loosening one’s belt – you just leave more room to grow. And our beloved trees need to stop being axed! These are the last vestiges of the erstwhile Garden City.

I am a third-generation Bangalore resident and can’t help but rue the days I peacefully walked or bicycled the roads of central Bangalore to my school in the late ’50s with such ease and pleasure on gulmohar lined streets bereft of the pandemonium of today’s traffic.

The government should encourage bicycling on dedicated lanes with punitive fines for motor vehicles who enter these lanes. At my age, as a retiree, if I can cycle around 8 to 10 km on average daily, I don’t see why young professionals can’t.

Traffic discipline and responsible waste disposal needs to be inculcated from a very young age with strict fines fines for violations. But we must not be pessimistic by saying that Bengaluru will become unliveable by 2025. It is resilient enough to withstand the influx of citizens with proper governance. – Peter Lopes

We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
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Hangovers tend to have a debilitating effect on various human faculties, but a timely cure can ease that hollow feeling generally felt in the pit of the stomach. The Game of Thrones Season 7 finale has left us with that similar empty feeling, worsened by an official statement on the 16-month-long wait to witness The Great War. That indeed is a long time away from our friends Dany, Jon, Queen C and even sweet, sweet Podrick. While nothing can quite replace the frosty thrill of Game of Thrones, here’s a list of awesome shows, several having won multiple Emmy awards, that are sure to vanquish those nasty withdrawal symptoms:

1. Billions

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2. Westworld

What do you get when the makers of the Dark Knight Trilogy and the studio behind Game of Thrones collaborate to remake a Michael Crichton classic? Westworld brings together two worlds: an imagined future and the old American West, with cowboys, gun slingers - the works. This sci-fi series manages to hold on to a dark secret by wrapping it with the excitement and adventure of the wild west. Once the plot is unwrapped, the secret reveals itself as a genius interpretation of human nature and what it means to be human. Regardless of what headspace you’re in, this Emmy-nominated series will absorb you in its expansive and futuristic world. If you don’t find all of the above compelling enough, you may want to watch Westworld simply because George RR Martin himself recommends it! Westworld will return for season 2 in the spring of 2018.

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3. Big Little Lies

It’s a distinct possibility that your first impressions of this show, whether you form those from the trailer or opening sequence, will make you think this is just another sun-kissed and glossy Californian drama. Until, the dark theme of BLL descends like an eerie mist, that is. With the serious acting chops of Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman as leads, this murder mystery is one of a kind. Adapted from author Liane Moriarty’s book, this female-led show has received accolades for shattering the one-dimensional portrayal of women on TV. Despite the stellar star cast, this Emmy-nominated show wasn’t easy to make. You should watch Big Little Lies if only for Reese Witherspoon’s long struggle to get it off the ground.

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4. The Night of

The Night Of is one of the few crime dramas featuring South Asians without resorting to tired stereotypes. It’s the kind of show that will keep you in its grip with its mysterious plotline, have you rooting for its characters and leave you devastated and furious. While the narrative revolves around a murder and the mystery that surrounds it, its undertones raises questions on racial, class and courtroom politics. If you’re a fan of True Detective or Law & Order and are looking for something serious and thoughtful, look no further than this series of critical acclaim.

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As the name suggests, AHS is a horror anthology for those who can stomach some gore and more. In its 6 seasons, the show has covered a wide range of horror settings like a murder house, freak shows, asylums etc. and the latest season is set to explore cults. Fans of Sarah Paulson and Jessica Lange are in for a treat, as are Lady Gaga’s fans. If you pride yourself on not being weak of the heart, give American Horror Story a try.

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6. Empire

At its heart, Empire is a simple show about a family business. It just so happens that this family business is a bit different from the sort you are probably accustomed to, because this business entails running a record label, managing artistes and when push comes to shove, dealing with rivals in a permanent sort of manner. Empire treads some unique ground as a fairly violent show that also happens to be a musical. Lead actors Taraji P Henson and Terrence Howard certainly make it worth your while to visit this universe, but it’s the constantly evolving interpersonal relations and bevy of cameo appearances that’ll make you stay. If you’re a fan of hip hop, you’ll enjoy a peek into the world that makes it happen. Hey, even if you aren’t one, you might just grow fond of rap and hip hop.

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7. Modern Family

When everything else fails, it’s comforting to know that the family will always be there to lift your spirits and keep you chuckling. And by the family we mean the Dunphys, Pritchetts and Tuckers, obviously. Modern Family portrays the hues of familial bonds with an honesty that most family shows would gloss over. Eight seasons in, the show’s characters like Gloria and Phil Dunphy have taken on legendary proportions in their fans’ minds as they navigate their relationships with relentless bumbling humour. If you’re tired of irritating one-liners or shows that try too hard, a Modern Family marathon is in order. This multiple-Emmy-winning sitcom is worth revisiting, especially since the brand new season 9 premiers on 28th September 2017.

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8. The Deuce

Headlined by James Franco and Maggi Gyllenhaal, The Deuce is not just about the dazzle of the 1970s, with the hippest New York crowd dancing to disco in gloriously flamboyant outfits. What it IS about is the city’s nooks and crannies that contain its underbelly thriving on a drug epidemic. The series portrays the harsh reality of New York city in the 70s following the legalisation of the porn industry intertwined with the turbulence caused by mob violence. You’ll be hooked if you are a fan of The Wire and American Hustle, but keep in mind it’s grimmer and grittier. The Deuce offers a turbulent ride which will leave you wanting more.

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9. Dexter

In case you’re feeling vengeful, you can always get the spite out of your system vicariously by watching Dexter, our favourite serial killer. This vigilante killer doesn’t hide behind a mask or a costume, but sneaks around like a criminal, targeting the bad guys that have slipped through the justice system. From its premier in 2006 to its series finale in 2013, the Emmy-nominated Michael C Hall, as Dexter, has kept fans in awe of the scientific precision in which he conducts his kills. For those who haven’t seen the show, the opening credits give an accurate glimpse of how captivating the next 45 minutes will be. If it’s been a while since you watched in awe as the opening credits rolled, maybe you should revisit the world’s most loved psychopath for nostalgia’s sake.

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10. Rome

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