Letters to the editor

Readers’ comments: If chimps and monkeys had evolved into human beings, why do they still exist?

A selection of readers’ opinions.

Evolution convolution

I am an engineer and I personally don’t believe in Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution (“Darwin is scientifically wrong, says minister Satyapal Singh, BJP leader Ram Madhav supports him”). It is utter nonsense. All living being evolved around the sun. Without the sun, there will be no life on earth. Let the scientific community debate on what would happen to all living beings on earth if there is no sun. – Madava Radjou

***

The minister has not read or understood Hindu thought. The theory of evolution underscores various theories propounded implicitly by the Vedas and later philosophical texts that preach ongoing evolution in nature, including material elements. Sri Aurobindo has explained this process and in fact charted progress towards superhuman existence for man through his guidance. Reincarnation and migration to other planes of existence that were described in Puranas are based on the theory of evolution.

Take the example of avatars of Vishnu – there are forms that are part-animal, like Narsimhan, that follows preceding the avatars of Matsya (fish) and Kurma (turtle). The Narsimhan avatar is followed by Parshurama , Rama and Krishna – all depicting full human faculties with more complex characters in the latter avatars than the earlier ones. Who can overlook the Ramayana where apes are characterised as functioning like humans: running kingdoms, doing tapasyas (Vaali, Sugreeva, Hanuman) collaborating in human wars and taking sides as per their own judgments? Perhaps these stories record or indicate the evolutionary phase as some genetic pools of apes leaped into human existence and perhaps the Sugreev Hanuman Phase was an intermediate phase during the cycle of evolution. – Bharat Jhaveri

***

Evolution is just a theory, not a fact. If chimps and monkeys had indeed evolved into human beings, where are the missing links (the stages of evolution in between chimpanzees and human beings)? And if chimps and monkeys had indeed evolved into human beings, why are there still chimps and monkeys? The theory from apes is a lie. My father’s father was a man, his father was a man, his father was a man, his father was a man. Likewise, if we check our forefathers, they were all men (human beings). So when did man evolve from monkeys?

The Theory of Evolution is a fraud committed in the name of science, which should be done away with in the 21st century. We are all products of an intelligent designer. It is certain that none of things in this world evolved from one thing to another. The DNA in living things prove it. Something that is not true should not be taught as truth to the children. I congratulate the minister for his bold initiative. – Naleshwar Narzari

***

I have not seen god physically but I believe in him. Let us challenge scientific theories logically and scientifically. Comments should come only after international bodies recognise the same. – Inacio Braganza

***

Evolution theory cannot be discussed on Twitter. Science is very cruel, it does not recognise any religion or individual. – Pradip Kumar Sen

***

No one could have seen ape evolving into man. That is because evolution is an extremely gradual process. It doesn’t happen in one generation or two but over probably hundreds of generations. To all those anti-evolutonaries, I would strongly recommend a visit to the Smithsonian Museum of Science Washington DC, where the gradual evolution is beautifully depicted. – Gopal Iyer

***

Nobody saw gravity either. Still, everyone knows it exists. Such idiots should be sent to asylum. It is unfitting for a reputable newspaper or media to cover such idiots and give them legitimacy. But perhaps if the minister kept looking into the mirror long enough he will see himself turn into a human being! – Mukesh Gupta

***

Darwin is wrong. This man is right, because if man originated from apes, than why does such transition not happen in other species . There are countless different species in nature, but not a single inter-species transition has been recorded. There’s no evidence to suggest that Darwin’s theory of the origin of the species valid. Why should we blindly accept everything taught by the West? – Parbatsinh Chauhan

Assam question

Ajaz Ashraf does not seem to have any knowledge on the Assam agitation (“How two police officers and RSS changed the script of the Assam agitation against outsiders in 1980s”). People like him always try to give a communal colour to the agitation. I request Scroll.in to find the truth from the ground. Only an indigenous Assamese can speak the truth.

The Assam agitation was supported by all the true Assamese, Hindu or Muslim. The agitation was against illegal migrants from Bangladesh and not against Indian migrants. The illegal migrants are used by Congress as their vote bank. Situation is worse now. The indigenous Assamese will very soon be the minority in Assam because of the increasing number of illegal migrants. The Congress is responsible for the current situation. Being an Assamese, I feel very insecure with India due to such reportage and a party like the Congress, which can change history of Assam for its selfish personal gain. – Pranjal Dutta

***

We participated very dedicatedly in the agitation, at the cost of our academics and without any gain. We came to know all about these transformations very recently. Even many of our district leaders did not respond properly to many of our curiosities at that time.

Fed up with the behaviour of our leaders, I kept aside from all agitation-related activities after 1981. We only learnt one thing from the agitation and that is the value of democracy. I think the fate of Assam had changed, but the destiny of Assam itself is a mystery. – Mukul Moni Borgohain

***

Thank you for the comprehensive revisit of the Assam movement. However, the movement cannot entirely to reduced to RSS propaganda and design. People had genuine concerns over illegal migration across the border, which RSS tried to use to get mileage. But, the common masses never trusted the movement to be an anti-Muslim movement. While it is important to expose the RSS hand, we should not be trapped in their agenda. – Akhil Ranjan Dutta

India in SA

This series was decided way back in December 2017 in Dharamshala, when this much-vaunted batting line up wasn’t able to face a mediocre Sri Lankan attack on a spicy pitch (“A question of intent: Will Kohli’s super aggressive India go for a win or a draw?”). Flat track bullies, is what they are. – Mukund Dhananjay

***

Cheteswar Pujara is the only batsman who played county cricket apart from Ravi Aswin, but Pujara has managed to be a part of a majority of the run-outs, thus denying team of his anchoring! KL Rahul and A Rahane are likely to choke due to their being perennially on trial due to performance pressure. S Dhawan is never in the frame technique-wise as a test opener in seaming conditions.

Rohit, a dasher on a flat pitch, is woeful on a testing one. His selection, citing flat pitch form, reeked of favouritism, which was borne out by the results! Pandya is mercurial and always in the frame, but is his focus wavering? His callousness lost us the lead in the first innings. He is not test material yet. R Aswin ineffectiveness in the second innings would have been a different tale had Rahul held on to Faf du Plessis early in his innings.

The absence of a specialist close-in catcher to take bat pads is very glaring and slip catching was abysmal, with Kohli and Dhawan the biggest offenders. Parthiv is an embarrassment as a wicket-keeper! The absence of a ripper to blast out the tail quickly is costing us dear. Kohli as a strategist is clueless if Plan A fails.

Till the test team, comrpised exclusively of specialists with defined roles, is trained to strategise perseverance with discipline, we will blow hot and cold at home and away respectively! Ignore lobbyists and apologists in print or on screen. – NS Raja

***

It is not surprising at all that this team lost under Kohli. Shastri & co are at best suited for Indian conditions. Kohli could not cope up with Anil Kumble because he is a tough task master and does not mince words. I can bet my life that this team will get a flogging in England and Australia. To reverse this trend I suggest Ajinkya Rahane be made captain, Anil Kumble be reinstated as chief coach and Jonty Rhodes appointed as fielding coach. All these suggestion may sound silly but drastic actions are needed before it is too late. – Govindarajan Narasimhan

Wrong fight

Kohli has to be thick skinned at press conferences (“Cagey, combative and shaken: Is Virat Kohli’s Indian team picking the wrong fight?”). When you drop your best bowler and best overseas batsman, questions are bound to be asked. Even on the field, the way he celebrates dismissals is childish at times. No doubt he wears his heart on his sleeve but there are times when restraint needs to be shown. The mouthful he gave to Dean Elgar in the second innings only helped him fight that more and stitch together that match, defining the 141-run partnership with AB de Villiers .

He needs to behave better. Playing aggressive cricket doesn’t mean to use the cuss words all the time and sledging the opposition. It is about showing the right intent and having astute strategies. His field placements, his late declaration in the Delhi test just to allow Rohit a 50 shows that he needs lot to learn as a captain.

There’s no point boasting about those 20 wins. It will be back to square one in a year’s time if things are not corrected.
Constant chopping and changing can damage a player’s confidence. – Samresh Kumar Singh

Coach concerns

Apt analysis. Getting rid of Kumble was a huge mistake. The players need someone to pamper them and that’s why Shastri was appointed. Shastri talks a lot but he needs to deliver. You have to respect the conditions and get the team balance accordingly. This is an opportunity lost and I wish they lose 3-0 so that they come out of their comfort zones and treat the next foreign tours seriously.

The abject surrender on the last day tells a lot about the team’s character. The team selection based on the horses for courses approach is ruining the confidence of players. I am still baffled that Rahane couldn’t get in the team and feel for Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Umesh Yadav, who bowled his heart out in the home season but now finds himself last in the pecking order. – Samresh Kumar Singh

***

This is a very correct analysis. I would also like to add the drop catch of Faf du Plessis in the second inning.
Du Plessis came to the crease and Ashwin was bowling with no leg slip. Rahul was neither at short leg nor at leg slip, he was somewhere in between. This is the problem: Kohli mostly follows the ball, but you need to be a step ahead of the opposition and attack the batsman when he is new. – Samresh Kumar Singh

Temple traditions

We have to break this age-old tradition created not by god but us humans (“Explainer: The legal journey of the ban on women entering the Sabarimala temple”). Sabarimala has become the commercial abode for the Travancore Board. Every one knows that the Makaravilluku festival is man-made and during that time the reservation office makes money at cost of needy Ayyappa devotees. It is time that a revamp of the entire corrupt board be carried out to bring transparency to the entire system and more sanctity to Sabarimala. It’s the humble devotees who are at the receiving end and the board knows that the devotees will endure hardship in the name of Lord Ayyappa. – Raman Ganapathy

Parallel learning

Actually the gross enrolment ratio has come down from 30% in 2012 to 25% now (“Centre may offer online courses for degree programmes to boost enrollment, says Prakash Javadekar”). This is because of the clampdown on distance education courses offered by various universities through study centres. These helped students acquire additional skills or get a degree to work and support their family incomes. But these centres were closed by a biased UGC under pressure from full-time colleges lobby. – Manraj Singh Mangat

Last note

Buddhadev Dasgupta was an outstanding musician (“Buddhadev Dasgupta (1933-2018): A ‘renegade pupil’ explains why the sarod master was a true pioneer”). His mastery over the instrument was matched by his musical skills . He was clear in his explanation of knotty questions of music, a fine conversationalist but circumspect in speech. His recorded interviews on music are worth listening to. He was old enough as a teenager to have seen the undivided Bengal and the Hindustani music that was part of it, as well the Partition of India, which meant the end of the lifestyle that fostered such music. – S Chhayanat

***

This is a brilliant eulogy to a master musician. It is fair, affectionate and, unlike most eulogies, extremely informative. Thank you for convincing young Arnab Chakrabarty to write it. – Vinay Pande

No go

Introducing colour-coded passports is unnecessary (“New passports may not serve as address proof as Centre plans to do away with the last page”). The country has many other pressing issues. Why waste time and money on this? Also, why drop the passport from the recognised address proof list if the police come to verify your place of residence? – Jayesh Sheth

Hugplomacy wars

The Congress party has become very snobbish (“‘We look forward to more #hugplomacy’: Congress mocks Modi with video as Israel PM arrives in India”). They have nothing concrete to say against Prime Minister Modi so they are trying to malign him and make fun of him with such videos. This is all the Aikido expert and Congress President Rahul Gandhi and his highly educated and sophisticated cronies can do. The Congress is behaving stupidly. – Vishvesh Tiwari

Matter of faith

If compulsory recital of Sanskrit verses and/or Hindi prayer interferes with the belief of atheists, wouldn’t non-recital of interfere with the belief of others who believe in god (“Why Sanskrit prayers at Kendriya Vidyalayas have prompted a Jabalpur lawyer to move Supreme Court”)? Moreover, government does not force anyone to educate their children in central schools. Shouldn’t we remember the odiom “your freedom ends where my nose starts”? Nowdays, unnecessary litigation is being resorted to and we then cry over huge backlog of cases. Can’t we be more understanding, accommodating and appreciative? – Jagdish Sharma

***

I studied at the Kendriya Vidyalaya till 1984 and we chanted Om Saha Navavatu and Asatoma Sadgamaya daily. Later, when I understood the meaning of these verses, I felt great. The authorities should also educate students and faculity on the meaning of the prayers. – V Chandrasekhar

***

The fact that the prayers are in Sanskrit does not mean that this is about imposing Hinduism. Secondly, there is no mention of any specific Hindu God other than the Almighty, which applies to all religions. Atheists are handful while believers are more. If atheists do not want to participate in the prayer, well and good. Let them not quote the Constitution for each and everything. – Raghu TNS

***

Both the Sanskrit hymns sung at the Vidyalaya are beautiful from the literary point of view and make no special mention of any god or goddess. The chanting of these shlokas should be looked upon as an exercise to gather strengthen and harness the energy of the teacher and the taught in their pursuit of knowledge.

Sanskrit is a language developed by our ancestors. So it is a part and parcel of the rich culture of our land and is a repository of great treasures. It has been hailed as the most scientific of languages too. If we Indians do not promote or develop this appreciation in our younger generation, who else will ? Great scientists like Robert Oppenheimer recognised its flavour and even studied the language to fathom its pearls. Colouring a non-controversial ritual in the KV schools and painting a religious angle to it seems like an act to gain quick popularity rather than a commitment to a noble cause. Poornima Rao

***

In my view, the prayer is not meant to describe any religion and is only to create a joyful atmosphere and keep Indian tradition and culture alive. As a student, I feel good during the prayer and I think other also enjoy the beautiful and joyful verses. – Kanika Agrawal

Speaking up

I agree with police officer Roopa D Moudgil and I commend her for her courage (“Watch: A female IPS officer speaks out on political corruption and sexism in the bureaucracy”). I worked as head of two institutions for five years in medical education department. Because of my straightforward attitude, I was humiliated several times. I was always tense. Now I am no more an administrator and my life is very peaceful.

It’s very difficult to take politicians head-on. They can make our lives miserable. That’s why useless officers occupy key posts and good officers are shunted to useless positions. How can our society progress in this manner? – Malnad

***

Kudos to police officer Roopa D Moudgil. She rightly said that bureaucrats chain themselves to servitude. I’m happy that my innings in IPS was different. I avoided confrontation in the larger interest and to help doing at least 90% good. – UNB Rao

***

Hats off to the officer. India desperately needs such officers to maintain law and order and to expose all wrongdoing, not one who succumbs to pressure from corrupt politicians and the wealthy. A crime is crime and a criminal is a criminal, whoever they may be.

Citizens too need to support such officers. We can do this by being honest, responsible, aware and by maintaining communal harmony. We should strive to make India corruption and crime free. – Aiyazahamed Kittur

***

I was least impressed by her speech. She played to the gallery but she is not a woman of absolute truth. I have tweeted to her once before to condemn the actions of Kiran Bedi, who had broken the law by riding pillion on a two-wheeler without a helmet. Even the rider was not wearing a helmet.

Even after being informed of this blatant disregard for the law, she did not bother to apologise. Under these circumstances, Roopa Moudgil’s praise of Bedi is tantamount to accepting a corrupt system. – Ravindra Joshi

Best laid plans

I have been living in Chandigarh since September 1959 (“Seventy years on, Chandigarh hasn’t lived up to Corbusier’s expectations or Nehru’s boasts”). I have observed the different stages of growth of this so-called planned city. To my untrained eye, it appears to have been designed as an upgraded village made in concrete. The sewerage system is pathetic. The roads are narrow, and non-functional. The restrictions on height of buildings are stupid. The distribution of small meaningless shopping centres in every sector is useless, it prevents commercially useful concentrations of similar businesses that would be competitive and bring benefits to the shoppers. The limited area available to the city prevents it from growing into a metropolis. I could go on... I appreciate the honesty in this article. – Rabinder Singh

***

I visited Chandigarh last year in August and was surprised to see how well-planned the city was: a drainage system running along both sides of the road, a shopping centre for each sector, greenery and parks.

I have visited many other city in India and various foreign countries too, but I have not seen a dream city like Chandigarh, planned by Jawaharlal Nehru and Le Corbusier. – Ramprasad Singh

Engineering dreams

These engineering colleges were not established by professionals for education but by corrupt politician goons, bureaucrats, contractors and businessmen to park their ill-gotten money in the name of education. An engineering degree a statys symbol for the Indian middle class (“India’s engineering graduates have loans to pay but no jobs – so who is clearing their debt?”). Goons have taken full advantage of this psyche in collusion with AICTE officials. While these goons send their children overseas for education, the poor Indian middle class goes to the colleges they built, eventually wasting families’s hard-earned money and putting the career of children at stake. – Alok Kumar

***

Most engineering colleges put up advertisements claiming 100% placements but it’s all fake. They just want to make money. The sad part is that the college administration collects scholarship money from students and adds it to college bank account. They take more fee than prescribed by the government. Infrastructure is also vert poor and I don’t know how they get licences to run the college. The Human Resources Development Ministry should look into this and cancel the registration of such colleges. – Anirudha PG

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