Letters to the editor

Readers’ comments: What about the safety of security personnel serving in Kashmir?

A selection of readers’ opinions.

Kashmir crisis

Does the author believe pelting stones at Army personnel is okay (“How to kill a Kashmiri: A novelist’s list”)? It seems as through it is the fundamental right of protesters to pelt stones at security personnel, but if they retaliate, then it is a problem. Such articles are divisive. If the author is really concerned about Kashmiri youth, he should talk to them and help them understand. A person does not join the Army so that teenagers can throw stones at him. Such reporting won’t help at all. – Shubham Raghav


We know that those who pelt stones have been brainwashed by extremists or do it for money. But if this were Israel or any other country, the Army would use machine guns and chemical weapons instead of teargas and pellet guns. Just see what happens in your neighbouring country. – Tuhin Chakraborty


You are insulting the Indian Army and the police by insinuating that they are torturers and murderers. Don’t you care about the pride of our armed forces? If pelting stone is not a correct method of expression, then how can you think the problem can be solved with mere talking? The Army personnel did what they did to save their lives. – Srajan Dikshit


I admire and respect the author’s piece on the killing of Kashmiris, which is heart-breaking. Who does not feel bad when human beings are killed? But there are other forms of killing too. These include the killing of innocent tourists and common people. Can you not write about these killings? Countless Kashmiri Pandits have been killed by Kashmiri militants.You could write many tales on these unknown helpless creatures too. – OP Sharma


The author fails to or doesn’t want to highlight the cause of this situation. He discusses only the effects of mob mentality. He should think about why such a situation is prevailing in the Valley, which was peaceful till 1984. What went wrong and are the former rulers to blame? I worked in the interiors of Kashmir from 1979 to 1985 when walking about downtown even late at night was not problem. – Chandrashekhar Sangewar


The writer has given only one side of the story. Don’t the families of the armed forces personnel who laid down their lives in Kashmir deserve the same sympathy? Didn’t the Congress government, who was holding fort till five years ago, extend an olive branch to terrorists by declaring a unilateral ceasefire numerous times? Didn’t separatists enjoy the government of India’s largess while dancing to Pakistan’s tune? Is it not the duty of all these writers, parents or politicians to guide youngsters to join the mainstream? Wasn’t Kashmir’s lifeline, the tourism industry, killed by Kashmiris themselves? Weren’t Kashmiri Pandits given a raw deal? – Ramkumar Thontakudi


Who asked the boys to throw stones at Army vehicles? Why surround the forces when operations are underway to kill a terrorist? Why create law and order problems that compel personnel to use force? Why was there no gathering of mobs or stone pelting when innocent people were forcefully taken from their homes and shot at point blank range by terrorists in the 1990s? – Sandeep Khosla


Kashmir is a conflict zone. Unfortunately, the writer has forgotten how terrorists have killed innocent Kashmiris. Writing nonsense will not serve any purpose. This only shows the insincerity of the writer. He should complain to those who are running the government in Kashmir. – Praful Muju


This is an attempt to discredit the Indian people and the Army. Why do some people throw stones at innocent students and pilgrims? The Army has to protect citizens. – Raj Nair


It’s heart-breaking to read about such incidents, more so for a person like me who has spend her childhood there. People were so good, what happened? It appears to me to have all started from some bad elements of society who never followed the law. Kashmiri politicians also exploited the situation. When the government representatives are from Kashmir, why is the Centre blamed? In this situation, the people who have money are enjoying the best of both worlds. They never miss an opportunity offered by the government of India and at the same time they add fuel to fire by speaking of discrimination of Kashmiris. – Aarti Sharma

Governor’s role

When it comes to basic political structures, it would be easier to list the things that are not what they were during the colonial days (“Why does an unelected governor hold the fate of Karnataka in his hands now? Blame the British Raj”). We retained the divisions on the ground and thus also all the tricks of the trade to maintain a central control. Why do we still have districts and collectors and SPs and so forth? Why has no one made any serious attempt to enhance the local self-government project that was initiated by the British? Why have we failed to imitate them in that regard? Were a 70-year-old man to start claiming that his nasty acts are due to the scolding and caning his father and grandfather gave him when he was a boy, I doubt if anyone would have any sympathy for him. But we go on doing exactly that. – CM Naim


It is an utter shame that we are following idiotic British systems even 70 years after Independence. Why blame Britain? I have never understood the role of governors. They seem to be little more than the Centre’s secret agents and most of them lead lavish lifestyles at the cost of the states exchequer. – Narahari Reddy

Modi versus Sher Shah Suri

The article is myopic, lopsided and has an agenda (“Lessons in leadership: What Narendra Modi could learn from Sher Shah Suri”). Modi has done outstanding work with regard to Jan Dhan, GST, black money, blacklisting a few lakh non-functional companies and closing several bogus anti-national NGOs, among other initiatives. Aadhaar is a milestone. He has also provided a fillip for roads, ports and airports, implemented universal health insurance and micro-credit without collateral to SMEs and boosted the morale of our armed forces. He has fought tooth and nail in Kashmir, threatened the Chinese in Doklam, implemented NEET, created special infrastructure for the North East, prevented illegal immigration across eastern borders, fought Naxalism, introduced the Start Up India and Swachh Bharat initiatives – the list goes on. But you are blind to all he has done. Modi is much more than Suri. – G Natesh


You have drawn your conclusions about Modi’s rule in haste. Modi represents Varanasi whereas his home state is Gujarat. He is the sevak of the Kasi deity. He has the deity’s blessings, which is why he has been able to come out of so many challenges successfully. The day he overlooks the deity and is clouded with self-pride, you will see his downfall. Modi returns in 2019. – Srinivas Mouli


You’re obviously a Modi hater and I don’t judge you. But to say that he’s done close to nothing is a lie. Communalism is being spread by the Opposition, not the ruling party. They are trying to create riots and get votes. Sometimes, people are just blind to what’s happening. Biased people write these articles. Why don’t you find someone who writes the truth? – Vishwas Mattur


Instead of always deriding Modi, introspect on the constant disastrous poll results of the Congress. The author’s pontificating does not take away from the fact that in almost all elections, people have given a thumbs up to Modi. For all these years, the Congress cynically used secularism as a bogey. Hindus are fed up of being treated as second-class citizens and divided by the Congress on caste lines. The Lingayat issue is a case in point. Arun Shourie has spent most of his life opposing this and the violent Marxist ideology of class struggle. He is a man of great intellect and erudition and I wish he was with the NDA to give it moderation and intellectual heft. The violence perpetrated in the name of religion is reprehensible. But the disdain with which you treat the following of a lived religion is breathtaking. Why don’t you ask people like Swapan Dasgupta, Sanjeev Sanyal or Hindol Sengupta for an alternate view? – Manas Kabiraj


The comparison is improper. The bullet train has been accompanied by road infrastructure development that outstrips the work done by previous governments. Demonetisation strapped Kashmir militants of funds and GST is reaping large dividends. Modi has ensured almost a 7% growth rate. I have travelled on the road said to have been built by Sher Shah Suri, between Robertsganj and Singrauli. It was rich and fertile in 1978-1981. Today, it is terrible thanks to Congress misrule. – PR Iyer


I would like to convey my appreciation to the author and editor for producing such a marvellous article. I have read several reports of Modi’s journey but this one stands out. Kudos to the author for the the novelty in content and the flow of the comparison. Being an upcoming freelance writer, such articles are an inspiration. Keep up the good work. – Nikhil A Jacob


An insightful article. It will take another 20 years to build the economy. The failed demonetisation experiment and flawed GST have already killed SMEs, small traders and small business, which were integral to India. Enough jobs weren’t created, farmers were affected. A powerful mandate was wasted. But does India have any leader bolder and smarter than Modi? – KL Venkat

West Bengal politics

As an avid reader of Scroll.in and a concerned citizen of West Bengal, I have the following observations to make in response to Shoaib Daniyal’s article about the panchayat polls in our state (“The Daily Fix: West Bengal panchayat polls reflect a throttling of democracy in the state”). I agree with his broader assumption that the poll, right from day one, was conducted in a way that subverted and jeopardised democratic practices. This was done ostensibly by the ruling party. The police administration has for some time been acting as agents of local Trinamool Congress strongmen.

But Daniyal is of the view that such attempts of subversion were made to keep the BJP at bay, which I consider wrong. Both in terms of presence and influence, the Left continues to remain a force to reckon with in West Bengal. If the many deaths that took place on Monday are taken into consideration, a bulk of them were supporters of the Left. Add to this incidents of intimidation both during the submitting of nominations and the campaigning and you find the Left is very active in West Bengal’s political turf.

So, to surmise that the Left is all but finished is quite in line with what the BJP and all other corporate media are seeking to drive home. As an organisation upholding a minimum standard of balanced reporting, it is quite unexpected of you to draw such conclusions. In fact, I have been following your coverage on Bengal politics for some time and have found out that you seem to give very little space to the atrocities carried out against the Left by the ruling party or the mobilisations of the Left parties against them. I hope you take stock of the Bengal situation with greater attention in the days to come and try to paint a real picture of reality without any ostensible bias either towards the Trinamool, which portrays itself as the challenger of the BJP, or the saffron party itself. – Anirban Mukherjee

New leaf

This is a fine and elaborate assessment of the editorial sector of the Indian publishing industry (“In English language publishing in India (at least), women have shattered the glass ceiling”). As someone who was associated with the industry for five decades (not in the editorial but in the marketing and sales segment), I have observed editorial functions closely. As rightly said by the author, women have been playing a great role. I agree with all of AR Venkatachalapathy’s observations and comments. Great article! – Jai Janakiraman

India-Pakistan watch

I am from Pakistan and I want to point out some corrections in this article (“‘Should we allow militants to enter India, kill 150 people in Mumbai?’, Nawaz Sharif asks Pakistan”). First, the president did not quit as this article says. He was disqualified by the Supreme Court of Pakistan and later stepped down from his position. Nawaz Sharif can no longer be the chairman of Pakistan and holds no official position now. The corruption charges against him was the reason for his ouster. The word quit reflects personal motives and aspirations.

Second, the accusations placed before the Army are dubious. We as a nation have been affected the same as our neighbour India. We wholeheartedly respect the sentiments of Indians. The lives lost in 26/11 bleed out humanity and justice. Yesterday, on the international media, a few news channels directly accused Pakistan of the attack, which is against journalistic ethics. The allegations against the Army are without solid proof. Pakistan has been fighting terrorism for over three decades. Pakistan as a nation has always raised it voice against such heinous crimes. But the Indian media’s projections on Pakistan are biased. The allegation by Nawaz Sharif are not fact, and media organisations should realise this. – Asfand Yar

Word’s worth

Translation is a very interesting job and requires hard work because translating a book into another language allows readers to learn about other countries (“Meet the American who translates some of India’s finest Hindi writers into English”). It is not possible to translate line by line and we cannot convey the atmosphere of the book through direct translation. So we learn to write in a different way through which the reader can understand exactly what the writer is conveying. Through this, the art, culture and literature of one country moves to another. So translators can help create pleasant relations between two or more countries. – Ranjna Jha

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

The cost of setting up an employee-friendly office in Mumbai

And a new age, cost-effective solution to common grievances.

A lot has been theorised about employee engagement and what motivates employees the most. Perks, bonuses and increased vacation time are the most common employee benefits extended to valuable employees. But experts say employees’ wellbeing is also intimately tied with the environment they spend the bulk of the day in. Indeed, the office environment has been found to affect employee productivity and ultimately retention.

According to Gensler’s Workplace Index, workplace design should allow employees to focus, collaborate, learn and socialise for maximum productivity, engagement and overall wellbeing. Most offices lag on the above counts, with complaints of rows of cluttered desks, cramped work tables and chilled cubicles still being way too common.

But well-meaning employers wanting to create a truly employee-centric office environment meet resistance at several stages. Renting an office space, for example, is an obstacle in itself, especially with exorbitant rental rates prevalent in most business districts. The office space then needs to be populated with, ideally, ergonomic furniture and fixtures. Even addressing common employee grievances is harder than one would imagine. It warrants a steady supply of office and pantry supplies, plus optimal Internet connection and functioning projection and sound systems. A well-thought-out workspace suddenly begins to sound quite cost prohibitive. So, how can an employer balance employee wellbeing with the monthly office budget?

Co-working spaces have emerged as a viable alternative to traditional workspaces. In addition to solving a lot of the common problems associated with them, the co-working format also takes care of the social and networking needs of businesses and their employees.

WeWork is a global network of workspaces, with 10 office spaces in India and many more opening this year. The co-working giant has taken great care to design all its premises ergonomically for maximum comfort. Its architects, engineers and artists have custom-designed every office space while prioritising natural light, comfort, productivity, and inspiration. Its members have access to super-fast Internet, multifunction printers, on-site community teams and free refreshments throughout the day. In addition, every WeWork office space has a dedicated community manager who is responsible for fostering a sense of community. WeWork’s customised offerings for enterprises also work out to be a more cost-effective solution than conventional lease setting, with the added perks of WeWork’s brand of service.

The video below presents the cost breakdown of maintaining an office space for 10 employees in Vikhroli, Mumbai and compares it with a WeWork membership.


To know more about WeWork and its office spaces in India, click here.

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