No honour here

Incidents like these only go to show how much we still need to grow, not only collectively but as individuals who share the space in a society (“Telangana ‘honour killing’: Woman says father wanted her to terminate pregnancy”). On the one hand, we take immense pride in the ginormous leap that was the Supreme Court verdict on Section 377 and on the other, two innocent adults were attacked, one of them killed, over an inter-caste marriage. The sad truth is that this is only one among the thousands of such cases. A large number of such “honour killings” are not even reported. Weakening and gradually weeding out the caste barriers in India is essential. – Naomi Aier Barbora


I would like to voice my heartfelt grief on the way our society is turning out. It doesn’t matter if the girl’s father is behind this attack or anyone else from her family. What’s clear is that people are being discriminated against even in the 21st century. The incident in Hyderabad comes soon after a Dalit man was killed in front of his wife in Nalgonda. It has been proven that people don’t get the respect they deserve. It’s devastating to see people facing such treachery when they are not at fault. The society should stand up against this discrimination. It is sinful to put a sudden full stop to a person’s normal, happy life. – Anaha Shibu

Free speech

Why doesn’t allow the direct posting of comments for each article? Essentially, talking about free speech is hypocrisy (“The Daily Fix: Abhijit Iyer-Mitra’s arrest shows that free expression is a real joke in India”). Further, are Islamic trolls any better than Hindutva trolls? Isn’t trolling free speech? Laws can be changed. What is doing about that? When Rahul Gandhi can make the “chowkidar hi chor hai” remark, who says there is no free speech? You forgot to mention the JNU “tukde tukde” row. Is that free speech? The UPA has the worst record of suppressing the freedom of expression. Emergency, the ban on Satanic Verses, not supporting Taslima Nasreen and cracking down on portrayals of Sonia Gandhi in books, cartoons and the like are some examples. – Gananath Moharir


Free speech is to analyse, discuss, promote, inform and educate. The provision is not meant for providing cover to lie to, betray, disinform, insult and hurt others, even as a joke. There is no such thing as free speech without these considerations. – Asit Dutta

Hindutva debate

Hindutva was originally meant to be an amalgamation of all cultural, historical and philosophical ideas that define an Indian (“There’s hue and cry over Hindutva only in India, not elsewhere, says RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat”). But now it has just been reduced to a religious dimension. It makes minorities feel insecure and threatens the promise of a secular democratic state. It technically ignores the fact that the founder of this ideology, Veer Savarkar, was an atheist. Since Hindutva is majoritarian in nature, it’s existence is all the more a reason to protect the interests of minorities. In a diverse country like India, people need to be encouraged to follow their faith fearlessly, instead of osctracised on the basis of meaningless prejudices like caste and religion. – Angelin Benny

Understanding NRC

The loss of Sylhet to East Pakistan is the root cause of the problem (“Counterview: Tracing the roots of Assam’s NRC politics to the 1947 ‘Sylhet partition’ is misleading”). The decision of sending Sylhet to East Pakistan by the then leaders of Assam and India was not a wise because India lost a good geographical region and got a longer international border with Pakistan. This also led to an influx of refugees.

However, history cannot be changed. We need solutions. Due to partition, a ‘minority’ is created on either side, which tries to migrate to the side where they are in majority. Each side won some and lost some. So there is no reason to complain that we are burdened by refugees. Since the refugees are the victims and the creator of the problems were the leaders, it is their duty to solve it. Why should the victims be victimised again? – Anilkumar Chakrabarty

Shared history

I’m a big fan of Haroon Khalid and eagerly wait for his articles, but this piece is a rare instance where disagree with his views an find them hard to digest (“If Pakistan shuns the term ‘Ancient India’ in its history books, is it entirely to blame?”). It was the Jinnah and Iqbal who chose to separate from rest of India. Their idea of nationhood was based on just one religion. Is it justified for the ones who left to even claim the name of our undivided motherland?

India – the entity about which we talk about so simplistically – is a multi-dimensional, multi-layered and centuries-old civilisation. It has multiple religions, languages, races – every aspect of our motherland is in multitude.

Those who chose to leave lost their claim to the rich history – wasn’t it their choice? They adopted Urdu, the melody which formed in areas that are in the modern Indian republic today, and forgot the beauty that is Punjabi. Pakistan’s founders have a great deal to answer about uprooting Sikhi from the land where it was born. Pakistan chooses to ignore its Hindu-linked past still today – Raja Dahir is an outcast and Bin-Qasim and Gauri and Ghazanvi are heroes.

Haroon’s inference is wrong this time. Pakistanis are welcome to come and claim what is also theirs – our rich shared history and heritage. But it was Pakistanis who chose to walk out on it and the blame cannot be laid on us Indians. In fact, we too face a similar problem as the political Hindu Right wants to shed the Islamic aspects of Hindustani identity. – Prateek Singh

At the movies

The film is just the right thing if you want to leave your brains behind and have a good laugh (“‘Yamla Pagla Deewana Phir Se’ review: Yet another sequel that needn’t have bothered”). Most comedies tend to drag, but this one doesn’t. It has the right blend of action, emotion, romance, drama and lots of laughs. It’s a treat to see Dharmendra and Shatrugan Sinha. At this age too, their grace is intact. The Deols rock and so does Kriti Kharbandha. – Bharat Jhunjhunwala

Unsheltered homes

It is truly horrifying to see places set up for the care and protection of women turn into a living hell, with cases of rape, molestation and deaths due to ill treatment on the rise (“Patna shelter home deaths: Third inmate dies after being taken to hospital in ‘critical condition”). The Centre has turned a blind eye to such incidents and it seems that the “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao” campaign was only aimed at amassing votes. It was a TISS audit that revealed the plight of women in the Muzaffarpur shelter home. Regular social and administrative audits by independent agencies are crucial at this time since it’s clear that government-run homes are steeped in corruption and malpractice, leading to horrendous instances of abuse. – Semanti Chakladar

Making the grass greener

It was amazing to read about this wonderful endeavour of creating an entire orchard on your terrace (“As Indian cities grow congested, the only space left for gardens is up – on rooftops”)! Thank you so much for publishing stories that make you think of new ways of looking at urban spaces. I’m sure we won’t be able to get so much produce even on level ground as the lady featured in this article, Medha Shringarpure, has created in her terrace garden. The best part is that the technique has also helped recycle waste into compost.

Hats off to Medha and to Selina Sen for bringing to us a story of hope for greenery in concrete jungles. It was an inspiring read. Please do continue to publish stories on ways to find relief in crowded urban spaces. – Shalini Narayanan

Postal politics

The inauguration of a public institution is a non-party affair (“‘Loans were given on phone calls made by dynasts,’ says PM as he launches India Post Payments Bank”). The prime minister as the head of government is entitled to address people on such occasion, but it is unbecoming of his position to bring politics into it by criticising an opposing party for its alleged misdeeds on such solemn occasion. When launching the postal bank, what is the relevance of his attack on the Congress? – TR Bhat

Spotlight on AFSPA

The Army Chief should ask himself why so many officers had to go to court (“Army chief questions officers’ need to challenge AFSPA cases in Supreme Court: The Tribune”). Obviously, he was not fighting their case properly. There is a contract between the State and the Army that when armed forces personnel are risking life and limb to perform their bonafide duty to prevent Manipur and Nagaland from breaking away from India, they should be protected from unnecessary harassment by governments, the judiciary or investigation agencies. One-odd officer may have violated norms but you can’t hold a witch-hunt against so many of them. By all means, investigate that officer who has grossly violated his special powers. But to put so many officers in the dock implies that neither the Army Chief is doing his job nor the State is maintaining the sanctity of the contract. If this continues, then very soon, we will have an Army which is ineffective and every officer will have to watch his back while serving in such operational areas. – Ajoy Bakshi