Crimes against women

It is truly a shame for that a politician is indulging in victim-blaming in the 21st century (“Kerala MLA PC George criticised for calling nun who accused bishop of rape a ‘prostitute’”). PC George’s statement is deplorable. He joins the long list of atrocious, unmodernised minds in the country. This should make us all sad, especially as it comes just after the Supreme Court’s historic decision to decriminalise homosexuality, which was a huge step towards acceptance and breaking the traditional societal mold. – Dhruvi Mehta


In terms of women’s safety, our country hasn’t done much to boast of. Rape is the the most violent and among the most common crimes against women in our country. It is irrational to blame the victims. A nun was repeatedly raped for two years by a bishop. The fact that the bishop is yet to be convicted, for such a heinous crime, is appalling. When the evidence is strong, justice should be speedy. It is then that people would be afraid to commit a crime, and women would feel safer. – Akshaya Pavanje

Activists arrested

What message is the Maharashtra Police trying to convey by its unjust practices (“‘No business casting aspersions on SC’: Judges criticise police, extend house arrest of activists”)? Fabricating evidence cannot suppress the truth for long. The Dalits had a reason to celebrate Bhima Koregaon. Why did the matter blow up into a dispute? By suppressing the voices of intellectuals, the government is making it very clear that it is driven by political intentions. This reflects shades of fascism and questions the credibility of the authority who is entrusted with ensuring justice.

Criminalising the opinions of the individual calls into question the idea of freedom. The entire point of “strangers” filing a writ to the Supreme Court on the behalf of the arrested activists shows that their freedom is taken away to such an extent that they cannot even stand and fight for themselves. The lopsided view of judiciary is a big concern and needs to be addressed immediately. – Upasana Sarangi

Steppe back

The is an interesting story. But the impression being given is that the steppe gene is found only in the North Indian Population (“Why Hindutva is Out of Steppe with new discoveries about the Indus Valley people”). The Ancestral South Indian and Ancestral North Indian genes are present in most of the present population of India, but the percentages varies. The Irula community may have a higher percentage of ASI, as do Andaman Adivasis. How do we explain the same? The Andaman tribes do not speak Dravidian languages.

We cannot link language to gene. The Indo-European link could also have been from a later migration or interaction with Central Asian population, and not necessary from the Steppes area. Since we do not know the language spoken 4,500 years ago it should not be linked to Dravidian languages because of gene flow. – Shyam Kumar


Why have Indians been reiterating since the Gupta Age that our civilisation is thousands of years old? Mind, at that time we were passing through our golden period. So there was no need for glorification.There seem to be a strong correlation between the Ice Age and our mythological Dashavatar. Why it is not possible that after each Ice Age, some superior humans saved themselves with all their acquired knowledge, whereas the rest deprived themselves and had to reinvent? – Prasant Sharma

Economy watch

Instead of criticising the BJP, the Congress will do ordinary Indians more good by articulating what it would have done to ensure new jobs were created (“Manmohan Singh says state of economy ‘powerful indictment’ of BJP government’s poor performance”). The Opposition hopes that by continuously harping on demonetisation and GST, it can shore up its political fortunes in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

The continued reluctance of India’s oldest political party to come up with a road-map for job creation shows that the Congress either doesn’t have a clue on what needs to be done or would like to keep that strategy to itself till a more opportune moment arrives.

Surely, the Congress – which has run the government at the Centre for most of independent India’s history – doesn’t need reminding that while the common Indian may lack several traits of more erudite commentators on the economy, what he surely does not lack is common sense to determine how his life has been impacted through structural economic reforms undertaken in varying degrees since 1991. – Sumali Moitra

Political row

The woman who was arrested in Tamil Nadu has her own right to free speech and expression (“Tamil Nadu: Arrest of researcher for anti-BJP slogan is a blatant abuse of the law”). Being a politician, the complainant was expected to maintain her composure in public. The researcher’s arrest indicates the failure of the judiciary in the state. When the BJP leader filed a complaint, the police action was immediate. But when the woman’s father filed a complaint about the alleged threat and abuse by party workers, no action was taken. Are we to believe that the judiciary of the state works only for people in power and not for common citizens? After all, this isn’t the first time in the recent past that people have been arrested for voicing their opinions. – S Sandhya


If Tamil Nadu BJP President Tamilisai Soundararajan claims that the student, Sofia Lois, is wrong in shouting slogans against the BJP on a flight, then even she is at fault for publicly insulting Lois. The promptness with which the police took action on Soundararajan’s complaint deserves appreciation but why didn’t the complaint filed by Liois’s father get the same response? Isn’t police support equally available for politicians as well as common people? Nowadays, it has become the norm to arrest anyone if they go against the government. – Harshini SV


Shouting slogans in flights is not freedom of speech but demonstrates the worst form of indiscipline. What would happen if followers of different political parties started sloganeering in all flights? There is a time and place for expressing one’s feelings. – Vijay Mehra


I don’t understand how a research scholar can shout inside an airplane. She can hold any view towards any government, person or organisation and can demonstrate outside a public place, with permission from police. But she does not have the right to create a nuisance inside an aircraft. She should have apologised and the chapter should have been closed there itself. Instead, it has become a headline-grabbing item in the media. Instead of criticising the scholar, the author is talking about what the police did, trying to give the matter a political colour. This is not good journalism. – Bijay Mudali

LGBT Rights

With the arrival of a sense of freedom of self expression through the decriminalisation of homosexuality, India wakes up to a fruitful attempt to eradicate the stigma around sexual orientation (“None of us are free till all of us are free: Why the 377 verdict is important for all Indians”). However, it would take a lot of time for the mindset of people to change and for gender fluidity to be accepted in society. Still, the Supreme Court verdict is big step forward for the LGBTQ+ community, giving them their rightful identity and constitutional support, which is a huge step towards ensuring that their dignity is protected. – A Deborah Mary Sophia


The reading down of Article 377 was truly a sign of freedom in our country and marked a glorious day for our democracy. A democratic set-up insures freedom of speech, religion and now, even sexuality. It is now that the LGBTQ community will stop feeling excluded and we will truly see unity in diversity in our country. – Bethel Britto


After decades of constant legal battles, justice has been served. Secularism has been redefined. Our Constitution has taken a step towards equality by officially decriminalising homosexuality.Although we have a long way to go, it marks the beginning of a new era, one where people of all sexual orientations are considered equal before the law. It is now our job as a society to keep our bias aside and unite as a family. – Ishanika Urs

Gauri Lankesh’s legacy

It’s been a year since senior journalist Gauri Lankesh was shot dead at the doorstep of her house in Bengaluru (“‘Requiem for Gauri Lankesh’: This song pays tribute to the murdered journalist and activist”). Karnataka may have moved on, but time stands still for the media fraternity. India lost yet another brave soul who was unafraid to lash out against the wrong-doers in society. She was fearless when she critiqued Hindu extremism. She had a lot of conviction and she lived her life in her own terms. I hope Lankesh’s killers are brought to justice. – Pavithra Varma M

Mob violence

The apathy of the government towards heinous incidents of mob violence seems to be the new norm (“Supreme Court grants one week’s time to states to implement guidelines to prevent mob violence”). Despite a Supreme Court directive in July to implement laws that check vigilantism, the government’s approach has been lackadaisical to the extreme. It seems we have become immune to inaction and beating about the bush. Even after several such incidents, top officials remain unconcerned. – Semanti Chakladar