Hard times

I market fruit juices and earlier, the tax for this product was 5%, but it has more than doubled under GST (“‘This government is killing our businesses’: What small, medium enterprises think of GST revisions”). The tax is now 12%, which has effected sales as well as profits of both manufacturer and distributor. We hardly get a profit of 5%, so how do we pay 12% to the government?

Now, we have production work for not even one week in a month and labourers are out of jobs for more than 20 days. It is better to shut down this business instead of working for the government for a a meagre amount and with lots of complications.

About half these business function on credit and at this point, giving credit or as earning meagre amounts makes no sense. In the coming elections, many are unlikely to vote for the BJP as many livelihoods have been badly hit. The government is concerned only about big companies, not small ones. We somehow made it through demonetisation, but implementation of GST right after has severely hurt livelihoods. – Mohammed Rafi


The government should have trained chartered accountants before launching the GST. Till date, everyone is confused about the system. GST is not supposed to be levied on ready-to-move in apartments but on my property brokering business, I was charged a GST by the builder,which resulted in a loss of Rs 106,000, which cannot be reversed as we cannot claim refunds on ready for possession property. But all builders were confused about the system. All in the market are badly affected by the tax. – Rashid Khan

Perfect crime?

One should not presume that a judgement delivered by a higher court is necessarily right (“The Aarushi-Hemraj murder case raises disturbing questions about the CBI”). Even the Supreme Court can err. What is of utmost importance is the the reasoning of the judgement. In my opinion, the Allahabad High Court judgement has been unusually harsh on the trial court judge by saying he acted like “a film director”. This leaves us with more questions than answers. Are people to understand that almost 9 years after the murder, no one can be held responsible?

The facts presented in the article also vary widely from what has been recorded in the trial court. For instance, the trial court has recorded that when the housemaid reported for work on the morning following the fateful event, Dr Nupur Talwar, after first sending her away saying the door being locked from the outside, later opened it and told the housemaid “Dekho Hemraj kya karke gaya!” (Look at what Hemraj has done!). The judge has noted that, according to the witness, Dr Nupur Talwar was neither crying nor showed any strong emotion.

Second, no outsider had entered the flat during the fateful event. This is borne out by the fact that the building was in a gated colony with round-the-clock security. No one has reported the presence of any outsiders in those crucial hours. – R Joseph

Fire and fury

The court should not ban tiny flammable crackers (“In Punjab and Haryana, people can burst firecrackers from 6.30 pm to 9.30 pm on Diwali”). It should have thought of the fireworks industry before enforcing the ban. This is not wise or humanitarian. It kills the industry and the spirit of a festival. – Nanasaheb Patil

Melodic memories

I just read your entrancing and spellbinding alternative Kishore Kumar playlist (“The alternative Kishore Kumar playlist that is just as good as his most popular songs”). Since my pre-teens, I have been a die-hard fan of the singer. Yet, I have to admit that I had not heard more than 10 songs on your list. Thanks for this. I also propose an alternative alternative list: Aye Zindagi Kya Hai Tere Khel; Bahut Dur Hoke; Jaane Bhi Do Yaar; Na Janne Din Kaise; Raah Pe Rahte Hain; Baap Ki Jagah Maa Le Sakti Hai; Khud Ko Samajh Na Akeli; Yun Neend Se Woh Jaan e Chaman; Diwana Main Hoon Tera. – Kaustuva Chattopadhyaya

Firm action

I really appreciate the step taken by the authorities of IIT Kanpur (“Harmless hostel rite or sadistic abuse? IIT-Kanpur suspensions put focus back on ragging”). Ragging has led many students to commit suicides. Those who participate in ragging can pose a danger to society. This is a landmark decision for those who take ragging very lightly. – Vandana Sood


The action sends a strong messaging to students all over India who participate in ragging. It is the right lesson. – Dhanaraj Pappanan


IIT-Kanpur took a commendable step by suspending students for ragging. This will set a good example for other institutions. I myself have been ragged and still bear the scar. – Karuna Gupta

Identity project

Considering Aadhaar a necessary evil, I took the plunge last year and got myself enrolled under the unique identity project (“Privacy is now a fundamental right. What does this mean for Aadhaar?”). A big hassle is behind me, I thought. But a year later, there was still no card. So, I emailed UIDAI. I was then informed that my Aadhaar number could not be generated because of some technical problem and that I would need to go to my nearest enrollment centre.

Does the average citizen have nothing else to do, like worrying about exorbitant bills? And teething problems are no excuse for the inadequacies of the system – the project was launched eight years ago! – Seerat Fatima

No consistency

Trump changes tack every other day when it comes to America’s relationship with Pakistan (“US starting to develop better relationship with Pakistan, says Donald Trump”). The only conclusion one can draw is that he must not be taken seriously, particularly when he compliments someone. It is a pity that world’s most powerful nation is led by such a personality. God should save the US and the world. – Abdul Majeed Khan

Curbing dissent

The irony! They voice their grievances against the prime minister and instead of being heard, they are treated as criminals (“Kanpur traders say posters comparing Modi with Kim Jong-un were not meant to malign prime minister”). And school children were made to celebrate the prime minister’s birthday in Uttar Pradesh! How different are we from North Korea? – Shinobi Suantak

Eye on the goal

Though Manipur has little infrastructure and financial resources, there is a lot of talent in remote areas of the state (“How a small club in Manipur has powered India’s Fifa U-17 World Cup dream”). The government should work on infrastructure development throughout the state, not just in Imphal, to tap into that talent. State and district football associations should frame a new policy fit for the state. Manipur may not be able to support a large number of professional teams but emphasis should be given to the feeder clubs and youth development. An all-out effort from players, coaches, parents, community, media and business houses is crucial for the development of football in the state. – Dharmadas Kshetrimayum

Gun control

Just like drug control, gun control does not work (“Watch: British news anchor furiously lashes out as pro-gun campaigner defends gun rights and laughs”). It deprives law-abiding citizens of the ability to defend themselves while also proving ineffective in keeping the weapons out of the hands of the criminals and terrorists. The recent terror attacks in London, Paris and Nice are the evidence of the same. These cities have some of the strictest gun control laws in Europe but those laws were ineffective at preventing the terror attacks.

You should also show video of Pier Morgan’s interview of Ben Shapiro, in which Shapiro demolished all of Morgan’s pro-gun control arguments and did not give him an opening to launch into argumentum ad hominem as he does with other interviewees.

Although there hasn’t been a mass shooting incident in United Kingdom since it effectively banned private gun ownership in 1997, the overall violent crime rate in that country has seen an upward trend in the same period.
There is no correlation in United States between homicide rate and increased gun ownership either. The gun related homicide rate in US has declined by close to 50% in the last two decades while the per-capita gun ownership has increased significantly in the same period. – Dhruwat Bhagat