Letters to the editor

Readers’ comments: Gauri Lankesh’s death should not go in vain – time to show the might of the pen

A selection of readers’ opinions.

Killing dissent?

News of Gauri Lankesh’s murder scares budding journalists like me (“Gauri Lankesh (1962-2017): Journalist who raged like a fire as she championed just causes”). But her death should not go in vain. Time has come for even the youngest journalists to wield their pen and stand up against Right wing fanaticism. These are dark times but keeping quiet will only worsen the situation. It is time we rise, break the shackles and show the power of the pen.

And hats off to the entire Scroll.in team for standing up at a time when many media houses are worried about their revenue generation and are thus shying away from any critique of Right- wing fanaticism. – Utsav Basu

***

What follows every such dastardly act is, some hype, heated debates on news channels, followed by a deathly silence and collective amnesia! A new story surfaces soon after, with similar exasperating responses and so on and so forth...the common man shrugs and gets back to earning his daily bread.

Where’s the sovereign, socialist, secular and democratic republic that was India? Or is it time to rewrite the Constitution to say we’re a Sanghi–dictator-retrograde nation? – Anita Robbins

***

It is really deplorable that a respected journalist was done to death for her radical views. But there may be more to it than meets the eye. Gauri Lankesh was being tried in a defamation case and this went against her. Perhaps she created enemies by trying to unearth some misdeeds by influential people. So before we get to the truth, let us not speculate that she was killed for her far Left ideas. May her soul rest in peace. – R Krishnamoorthy

NEET imposition

As a doctor from a poor socioeconomic background, I believe the NEET issue is dangerous for a majority of students in medicine (“NEET aims to reward merit, curb corruption. Did it end up driving 17-year-old Anitha to suicide?”). State government should have their own system of admitting students to government as well as private colleges. NEET another imposition like demonetisation. A post-graduate degree should be made mandatory for politicians, especially those who are allotted portfolios like education and finance. – Papa Dasari

***

There are some drawbacks to NEET, but that does not imply that the entire idea is ridiculous and fruitless. The country needs one system and implementing it can run into hurdles, because of the many diversities in India, but in case of higher secondary education in Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics, why shouldn’t the entire country follow the same curriculum? There is no question of if Hindi or non-Hindi. Once we all accept the syllabus n start working on it, the problems will start decreasing.

NEET is a good initiative to counter the money-oriented admission system. Having one platform for all students all over the India will help people to compete for all the seats in all over the country.

Yes there are problems for students who are new to the syllabus. But they can be helped. – Dhananjay Patil

***

The entire process involving NEET and central counselling is self-defeating. Medical institutes are made keeping in mind the ecosystem where they exist. Students should be aware of the health situation prevailing in that community and it would be better if they belong to that region. The centralised process brings unknowing prospective students to places where they may not fit into and this can become counterproductive for the maintenance of public health. With respect to private institutions. governments should not interfere in their functioning, But that could happen in the future with NEET. – Karthik G

Since the country’s blood-soaked birth in 1947, at least three generations of Pakistanis have been fed two grossly exaggerated myths. The first is that one Pakistani soldier is equal to 10 Indian solders and second, that all Muslims of the sub-continent are one great family, distinct from their neighbours of other religious denominations.

In 1971, both myths were blown to pieces. A Pakistan that effectively became half of what it was at birth, still dreams that one day its flag would fly on the ramparts of Red Fort in Delhi. For that unattainable goal, ordinary Pakistanis will give up their everything. And it suits their army very well. – GSK Sarma

Big changes

The only thing exciting the media about Nirmala Sitharaman’s elevation is the breaking of the glass ceiling, which shows the average attitude towards women. Nirmala Sitaraman’s USP is her professionalism, her approach to a problem-solving (“A JNU free thinker in the Defence Ministry: Looking back at Nirmala Sitharaman’s career”). Politicians including Arun Jaitley and others before him did not have have the same problem-solving skills and were often guided by bureaucrats as advisers. The defence ministry needs someone who can to break up a problem into its various aspects, evaluate it correctly and then solve it. Her selection is not an example of political expediency but a collective decision taken purely on merit. If she can evolve a well-established system on tendering and decision-making on all aspects within a time frame, it will be easier for foreign suppliers to deal directly instead of using agents. Her other strength is her very measured and articulate replies to questions posed to her. Modi has realised that he needs such a professional approach in areas where results can be visible. For this, Sitharaman and \former bureaucrats with an established record of honesty and efficiency were needed rather than someone who just ideologically aligns with the BJP or the RSS. – SN Iyer

***

She may have been a free thinker in her student days but her abrasive defence of her party on TV as a spokesman firmly places her in the apparatchik, with blessings from Nagpur. People change. – Srinivasan

No direction home

The citizenship amendment act has been proposed to provide shelter to persecuted Hindus, Jains, Sikhs,etc (“The Daily Fix: Persecuted Pakistani Hindus are allowed refuge in India, so why not Rohingyas?”). This is because a) these religions originated in India and b) Hindus,Sikhs and Jains are only present in India in significant numbers.There is no voice for these communities outside India so if this country won’t protect them, who will? Muslims are not included in this bill simply because there are more than 50 Muslim-majority nations that can lend them support at any time, and there are two Muslim-majority right next to India. – Rahul Gupta

***

I agree with the government. Whether its Rohingya Muslims or members of any other religion, the refugees to be deported back to their country. They are a security risk and a financial burden for the country. – Anil Kakad

Money mayhem

Around 99% of the hard cash that was with the public came back into banking system, which is making people claim that demonetisation was a flop (“Demonetisation: The chronicle of a failure foretold”). But at least 50% of this wealth was unaccounted for. Since this amount has been deposited into banks, it will be easy for the IT department to pursue with the depositors for the source and take appropriate action against the culprits who have either avoided payment of taxes or earned these amounts through objectionable means. This was the target behind demonetisation and success is on the way. We should have patience to see the results. Blaming the decision at this stage is premature and prejudiced. – AV Nagaraju

***

Why is Raghuram Rajan commenting on demonetisation so late in the day (“Did Raghuram Rajan know that monetisation was coming? Here’s his answer”)? And what, in his opinion, was the alternative to it, for tackling black money? – A Bhatia

***

It is laudable that Raghuram Rajan has broken his silence after giving his successor some time to settle into his role as RBI governor, which happened to be a breathless period for Urjjit Patel.

India needed to see the plain truth of demonetisation from Rajan to expose the insane action of Modi and Jaitley as well as to make the people aware of the economic catastrophe the country has been forcefully led into. – Joseph Dost

Parodying Trump

This is utterly mean. Get a life and deal with the real issues (“Watch: This parody of ‘Ivanka Trump’ singing about her father is priceless”)! Most people care about food on their tables, having a car to get to work in, an education for their kids, a home that is not under five feet of water and not being taken out by Korea.

Why are you people spreading hate? It helps no one. You are only showing your small-mindedness. Do you think those of us who love and believe in this country care about these parodies? Stop bashing our President. You don’t have to like him but you should pay attention to how he already ISis Making America Great Again and respect him because he is the President, elected by the majority of the people. You only show your ignorance with pieces such as this. – Bernadette Jackel

The North Korea question

Although Trump spoke vehemently about responding to North Korea with “fire and fury”, there are limits to the US’ jurisdiction (“North Korea says it successfully conducted a hydrogen bomb test”). It is quite clear that the sanctions imposed (from Resolution 1718 to Resolution 2371) on North Korea are ineffective as the state still continues carrying out missile tests. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has proven that it can dodge these sanctions. Besides, the UN cannot force compliance to the resolutions on any member state. To elucidate, confirmation on compliance with resolution 2321 was given only by 77 member states, according to the UN.

Many reports over the decade have shown that North Korea has many shell companies and other fronts in place to ensure that despite all the sanctions, its economy can retain stability. Diplomatic talks in the past have also failed. Former President Barack Obama’s attempt to cut a deal with North Korea in order to impose a moratorium on nuclear missile tests clearly failed. The only way to ameliorate this situation is ending the totalitarian regime of Kim Jong Un and hoping for a better, more sensible and less peevish successor. – Akanksh Sharma

Flood fury

The government in Bihar is perceived to be headed by an honest person but has never been so (“Bihar floods: With 28 more deaths, toll rises to 440”). It is a deeply corrupt regime. There is a politician -bureaucrat-engineer-contractor nexus and the recent floods were caused because the flood protection embankment had been breached. An independent inquiry will reveal the truth. I hail from the worst affected area and learnt of this when I visited my village.

The recent contract amount assigned to plug the breaches may also be the evidence of sarkari loot when evaluated on spot. taking into consideration the length and width of the breach. Who cares for the poor and affected lot in Bihar? It’s a state of scams: past, present and future. – Dharnidhar Jha

Support our journalism by subscribing to Scroll+ here. We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

What are racers made of?

Grit, strength and oodles of fearlessness.

Sportspersons are known for their superhuman discipline, single-minded determination and the will to overcome all obstacles. Biographies, films and documentaries have brought to the fore the behind-the-scenes reality of the sporting life. Being up at the crack of dawn, training without distraction, facing injuries with a brave face and recovering to fight for victory are scenes commonly associated with sportspersons.

Racers are no different. Behind their daredevilry lies the same history of dedication and discipline. Cornering on a sports bike or revving up sand dunes requires the utmost physical endurance, and racers invest heavily in it. It helps stave off fatigue and maintain alertness and reaction time. It also helps them get the most out of their racecraft - the entirety of a racer’s skill set, to which years of training are dedicated.

Racecraft begins with something as ‘simple’ as sitting on a racing bike; the correct stance is the key to control and manoeuvre the bike. Riding on a track – tarmac or dirt is a great deal different from riding on the streets. A momentary lapse of concentration can throw the rider into a career ending crash.

Physical skill and endurance apart, racers approach a race with the same analytical rigour as a student appearing in an exam. They conduct an extensive study of not just the track, but also everything around it - trees, marshal posts, tyre marks etc. It’s these reference points that help the racer make braking or turning decisions in the frenzy of a high-stakes competition.

The inevitability of a crash is a reality every racer lives with, and seeks to internalise this during their training. In the immediate aftermath of the crash, racers are trained to keep their eyes open to help the brain make crucial decisions to avoid collision with other racers or objects on the track. Racers that meet with accidents can be seen sliding across the track with their heads held up, in a bid to minimise injuries to the head.

But racecraft is, of course, only half the story. Racing as a profession continues to confound many, and racers have been traditionally misunderstood. Why would anyone want to pour their blood, sweat and tears into something so risky? Where do racers get the fearlessness to do laps at mind boggling speed or hurtle down a hill unassisted? What about the impact of high speeds on the body day after day, or the monotony of it all? Most importantly, why do racers race? The video below explores the question.

Play


The video features racing champions from the stable of TVS Racing, the racing arm of TVS Motor Company, which recently completed 35 years of competitive racing in India. TVS Racing has competed in international rallies and races across some of the toughest terrains - Dakar, Desert Storm, India Baja, Merzouga Rally - and in innumerable national championships. Its design and engineering inputs over the years have also influenced TVS Motors’ fleet in India. You can read more about TVS Racing here.

This article has been produced by Scroll Brand Studio on behalf of TVS Racing and not by the Scroll editorial team.