Letters to the editor

Readers’ comments: The dignity of the judiciary must be restored

A selection of readers’ opinions.

Supreme Court row

We Indians should be deeply grateful that misdeeds are being highlighted – that no individual, even the chief justice, should feel they are above scrutiny of the law (“‘The Supreme Court has ended as an institution’: 10 reads on this week’s judicial drama”). It is distasteful that some are trying to politicise the issue, insinuating that the government is trying to manipulate the issue to gain control of the judiciary. That is a figment of the imagination of a polluted mind. – Nelson D’Silva


The time has come to restore dignity of judiciary. For that, anyone who becomes a judge must be prepared for a life of seclusion and scrutiny, for which they should be compensated with a high salary and perks. It should be their duty to inform anytime someone tries to influence or bribe them. Judges should remain in official residence and their visitors should be under surveillance. This way, judges will can be isolated from unscrupulous elements. Then the judiciary can be above suspicion. – Mansoor Murtuza


All of us are fallible but the real tragedy is that in the name of propriety, we are asked to keep shut up and the nation ultimately suffers. If corruption is not exposed and the mighty are not booked, all confidence will be lost in justice. – Dwarika Prasad Kaala

Tamil Nadu’s Rain Man

Pradeep John is the magic man (“Meet Pradeep John, an obscure blogger who became Tamil Nadu’s trusted weatherman”). His words move with the wind and the clouds. Before we knew John, when the meteorological department announced rain, we would laugh and tell one another to expect clear skies. But now, as soon as John gives up a tip, we reach for our umbrellas and raincoats. – Uma WLJ

Aadhaar impact

This is a detailed and well-researched story on the impact of seeking Aadhaar details on HIV positive people undergoing treatment (“Why Aadhaar is prompting HIV positive people to drop out of treatment programmes across India”). It is ironic and short-sighted of the authorities concerned to not be discreet and compassionate to patients who are already in a tough situation. Modi’s current campaign about anti-retroviral treatment for all then become questionable too, as people are not coming forward to avail of the same. It is silly not to keep in mind that stigma runs deep in India. – Aseem Bhargava


It is disturbing to learn that even HIV positive patients are being coerced to submit their Aadhaar details. This will do more harm than good. The stated policy objectives of tracking and ensuring that patients do not miss out on treatment is good on paper but does not take into account the impact of stigma on the lives of patients. This is an unethical intrusion into their private lives. The government is using Aadhar without applying its mind to the possible consequences. They are forgetting that many innocent citizens are suffering and even dying because of problems that have arisen because of technological issues and exclusion. – Ajay Gupta


It is true that old people and certain vulnerable sections will not be able to produce clear fingerprints which can lead to authentication troubles (“Now, even the fingerprints of urban Indians are failing during Aadhaar authentication”). My 92-year-old mother is a case in point. I had taken her to a Bangalore One Centre a year back for Aadhaar enrolment. None of her fingerprints could be scanned. However, the official at Bangalore One told us we would be enrolled in a week and sure enough, within seven days we received communication with my mother’s Aadhaar number. On the internet, I found that in cases were fingerprints don’t work, the iris scan can be used as proof of identity. The UIDAI had thought this out.

Yes, I still have concerns on what will happen if my mother has a mobile phone and needs to provide authentication for the same using fingerprints. I don’t see any of these service and benefit providers having an iris scan facility with them. So the real issue is: why don’t centres have iris scan facilities when the UIDAI recognises that as an alternative biometric proof to fingerprints? That could help solve matters. – Geetha Kumar

Kick start

The ISL is just three seasons old and has many factors working against it in a country where cricket is considered sacred and no other sport is giving much importance (“The ISL 4 opening ceremony tried its best to prove that the future isn’t football in India”). Please do not expect the same things that an adult does from a kid. Once this ISL matures and becomes an adult, it will undoubtedly surpass the IPL. Give the ISL some time and encouragement. – Jacob John


Rightly said. The opening ceremony was a complete disgrace to the game of football. Why was Salman Khan the host? And why were fans urged to chant “Sachin, Sachin” at a football fan (and I am a big fan of Sachin Tendulkar)? After three successful ISL seasons, we expected much better. I just wanted to turn off the TV but I had to watch the entire ceremony because I did not want to miss the epic moment of 45,000 people singing national anthem. – Swanand Karmarkar

Selective censorship

It is surprising that the CBFC criticises the makers of Padmavati but is silent on the open calls to behead or mutilate the bodies of the actors and directors of the movie (“CBFC chief Prasoon Joshi criticises makers of ‘Padmavati’ over select screening”). – Raveendra

Old wine, new bottle

Nothing will change in Zimbabwe (“Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe resigns hours after his impeachment was set in motion”). The sad thing is Zimbabwe was one of the thriving countries of Africa. Now it is empty because of various greedy hands. Mugabe may be out, but it remains to be seen if the new president will be any different. – Neale Clarke

Weak grounds

The Wire story does not even make any allegations against Jay Shah but simply states puts forth the fact that the turnover of his company jumped dramatically in 2015 (“The Wire moves Gujarat High Court, wants Jay Shah’s criminal defamation case against it struck down”). So on the face of it, it is not defamation. It is good that they have challenged the order. – Prakash Paranjpe

Power couple

Amit Shah and Narendra Modi are made for each other (“Fact check: Are Gujarat development figures three times better than those of Congress-ruled states?”). It is very difficult for any political party to counter the claims made by this duo. No other parties have a leader who can speak this well. They have succeeded in making fools out of us. The BJP leaders are successfully playing with people’s sentiments and emotions. But the time has come to fight back. – Kalleshwar Srivastava

Language wars

The British academic institutions are too strong to lose their language to Hollywood (“Is American English going to take over British English completely?”). It is also worth noting that words considered inherently American frequently have their roots in older versions of British English. The classic is ‘fall’ versus ‘autumn’ and it is the result of a linguistic situation called colonial lag.

The word ‘fall’ is considered an Americanism even though the it comes from the phrase ‘fall of the leaf’, which was widely used by the British before the 16th century until it fell out of favour, but it continued to be used in America even after the War of Independence.
There are other examples of colonial lag in Spanish versus Latin American and French versus Canadian French. – Tomme Wylie Davidson

King and queen

It is certainly not about the car but about whom King Khan would choose to travel with (“Driving with Mamata Banerjee? You get the back seat in her Santro, even if you’re Shah Rukh Khan”). Perhaps he considered it a privilege to go along with Kolkata chief minister for her simplicity. Shahrukh Khan is so humble in the video, he touches Mamata Banerjee’s feet. He truly is a king and is humility personified. – Ravi Kumar

Pitch report

Dhoni’s contribution to T20 cricket cannot be denied (“Defending Dhoni is fine, but Shastri should have spared us the ‘Whataboutism’”). Why does he have to prove himself every time? The entire top order has failed to perform at some point. Dhoni is not just important to the team as a batsman, he has also proven his worth as a wicket keeper. Even the captain has pointed out how his presence behind the wicket inspires confidence among bowlers. It’s only armchair critics who seem to have an issue. – Thomas Varghese

New kingdom

Dear president of the Kingdom of Dixit, I congratulate you for establishing your rule (“Kingdom of Dixit? Indian stakes claim to African territory, American says he already owns it”). I would like to be a national of your kingdom. I would like you to follow due process now to establish the kingdom and have it recognised. – AM Joshi

Pinch of turmeric

Turmeric is used in almost all dishes in Gujarat, including vegetables (“The world now swears by turmeric. So why are some Indian communities loath to use it?”). Moreover, in Gujarati cuisine, powdered spices like haldi, red chill powder, dhania-jeera powder and garam masala, are never fried or sautéed. They are allowed to steam with the dal or vegetables. Gujaratis believe that sautéing spices directly in hot oil ruins their flavor by reducing their color and strength.

Here in the US, there is a huge craze for turmeric for its anti-inflammatory Ayurvedic properties. Since Americans don’t cook with it – they don’t even know what it is – they buy it from health food stores, in capsule form and at extravagant prices. They have it daily with their vitamins to ward off all kinds of illnesses. – Vibhuti Patel

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