Selection row

Women’s sports is already struggling for recognition. Mithali Raj’s outburst is understandable (“In the Mithali Raj-Ramesh Powar saga, Indian cricket is the real loser”). As a player, her contribution to women’s cricket at the world level cannot be written off . It is shocking to see how the coach and captain think. Even a layperson man can easily sense that her omission in the semi-final is a grave mistake. It took 20 years to shape a player like her. A careless approach towards her will discourage thousands of young girls who wants to achieve their dreams and become like Mithali one day. The matter should be settled at the earliest. – S Sakthi Kumaran

Border security

SK Sood should know that the government cannot put an adjunct organisation in charge of national security (“To keep India safe, BSF must get leaders from its own ranks – not the IPS”). The BSF as an organisation has failed to discharge basic functions of policing and defence of the country. How can the Parliament change the basic structure of the Indian constitution to create an illegitimate system to accommodate these wishes? – Swarn Dev

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The author is right. The sooner BSF officers take over, the better. The IPS officers have no long-term interest in the organisation or its men. Often, they join the BSF to escape from a posting that is not to their liking. First, the BSF must be placed under Army control. The BSF chief must be equated to a Lieutenant General and must report to the Army chief. When this happens, Intelligence sharing will improve and the BSF’s striking capacity will be strengthened. Right now they are sitting ducks in many areas.The Army must also re-train the BSF personnel and upgrade their skills. – JP Murty

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The author gives hardly any reasons why the BSF should have non-IPS leadership. If exposure to weaponry is the case, then should Indian Army officers lead the BSF, as they are the best in this field? The only point he makes is for promotion of BSF cadre officers. But by that logic promotions in the State Police Services are also being choked by the IPS. So should both the IPS and the IAS be abolished? Will that be good for India as a unified nation? – Tapesh Chand

Foot soldiers

The continued practice of dolly bearing in Sabarimala points to the fact that no alternative has been thought of by the Devaswom Board or the state government despite the money that pours in from devotees every season (“‘I take painkillers after each trip’: The health travails of Sabarimala’s dolly bearers”). Even if some alternative is worked out, regressive elements may come up with some objection saying that it is against tradition. Cable cars can be introduced for those who are unable to make the trek to the temple and the dolly bearers can be rehabilitated. – P Vijayachandran

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There should be some health insurance facilities for these workers. As the earnings are seasonal, the temple board should help them in the lean periods. The palanquin bearers should also switch to healthy millets as their main grain and avoid maida. The millets, cheap and highly nutritious, will keep them healthy and strong. – PD Amarnath

Ways of life

Missionaries in the early days of the British Raj were instrumental in bringing about legislation to end Sati and the Devadasi system and aided opening Indian literature to the outside world (“US missionary killed by Andaman tribe was a ‘foolish fundamentalist’: Sociologist Rudolf Heredia”). They also opened schools for girls at a time when educating girls was unthinkable.

Heredia does not differentiate between faith and political /religious ideology. He seems to imply that they are synonymous. Missionary zeal is not about converting someone else’s to your faith. It is about transforming others lives and doing so because Christ’s of commandment, “Love your neighbour as yourself”.

The Nagas (comprising 16 different tribes) were headhunters and the missionaries reached out to them in the early 19th Century. Some were killed before the Nagas accepted them. Heredia might argue, to what avail? A people with no written script could communicate through writing and underwent a social transformation that ultimately brought them into a modern way of life. Heredia believes in leaving aboriginal people alone but not completely alone. Does he mean to say that headhunters should have been left alone?

Conversion to another faith is a matter of choice that is to be freely exercised by every individual guaranteed by the constitution. His contention that missionaries want to be martyrs to prove their bona fides is incorrect. The faith of Christians in martyrdom dates to the early years of the establishment of the church by the disciples of Jesus. Heredia’s claim that missonaries in the ancient past did it with sensitivity towards other cultures warrants further explanation. – Beryl Anand

Corruption watch

Scroll.in is one of the few news websites that still has the courage to criticise the BJP and the RSS (“Your Morning Fix: Why electoral bonds may encourage black money in political funding”). All the wrongdoing by the Congress governments over 30 years has already been done by the BJP in just four years, without comparable achievements. The regime has only bought or bullied the media. – MRC Sekaran

Mughal legacy

BJP and Hindutva politics apart, humans in general don’t appreciate difference or diversity (“The Mughals were an integral part of India – so why are they being labelled foreigners?”). I am from a small town and have little exposure. If someone from a neighbouring village comes to our locality and settles there, they are promptly labelled as outsiders. Homogeneity is probably intrinsic to us. When we go abroad, we look for our kind of food to eat, try to marry within our community, seek out same type of people and choose localities where similar people live and wrinkle our noses at “alien” values. The list is endless. – Mishoo

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Some paintings with Hindu influences and anatomical changes over centuries does not take away from Mughal rulers’ indifference and intolerance towards the Hindu religion. It’s well known that Mughals used violence and destroyed many important temples and shrines and reigned through terror and oppression for centuries. So, Mughals were and will be noted as outsiders. – Bhupendra Maheshwari

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I agree with the author that Mughals are not foreigners in India. I consider them as much Indian as Ashoka and others. But the conclusion that they are considered foreigners because they were Muslims is hard to accept. The image of religiously intolerant Muslim kingdom resulted from Aurangzeb. If Mughals were considered foreigners because they were Muslims, why would Bahadurshah Zafar have been approached to take the Delhi throne back in 1857? – Prasad V Saraph

Moodbidri Murder

The author’s arguments are lame (“Why Bajrang Dal activist Prashant Poojary’s murder can’t be compared to the Dadri beef lynching”). The same could be said about the murder of every left-wing intellectual in the recent past. In every case, there was a political context. At the end of the day, political context has nothing to do with it. Taking the law into your own hands cannot be tolerated. You seem to be okay with left-leaning organisations doing so, but not the Right. – Ramesh Kadambi

Defamation blitz

Priyanka Chaturvedi’s comment, that “the government of India is trying to silence voices by using Reliance Group”, makes sense when one reads the full article (“Anil Ambani’s defamation blitz: 28 cases filed by Reliance Group in Ahmedabad courts this year”). The fact is, there is no smoke without fire. The government will be taught a lesson by the public. The corporate sector is allowed to run a secondary government because of a weak bureaucracy and poor lawmakers. A timely revolution will make thing right. – Kishan Lal Rohilla

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For an arrogant, loss-making corporate conglomerate, filing a series of defamation cases is the easiest way to terrorise and raise funds. They seem to have started thinking that by exploiting the judicial system, they can browbeat the defendant and earn economic mileage – two birds with one stone. – Surajit Das

Book review

Much as I respect Gopalkrishna Gandhi, the review of Kapil Sibal’s book seems over the top, especially the part about how Sibal states facts and hard truths (“In his book Kapil Sibal speaks for the Congress, but also for facts”). The examples cited in this regard hardly support this. It’s a low bar for plain speaking if stating the obvious, like “we were badly mauled” or “ we could not connect with the people”, is considered a certificate of credibility.

Another example of the truth telling is his statement on the lack of regional leadership in the Congress. This would suggest that Sibal, like all Congressmen, hypocritically blames everyone and everything except the Gandhis. Has Sibal criticised the Gandhis at all?

Unless the Congress learns to genuinely introspect and become democratic, India is condemned to venality of two kinds, the ruling dispensation and a pathetic opposition. – Kaushik Jayaram

Racism row

The opprobrium heaped on Dolce & Gabbana over their advertisement will spur people to be careful about what they say and do (“China: Dolce & Gabbana co-founders apologise after facing backlash for racist ad campaign”). White supremacy is a clutch of assumptions towards people of colour and the outrage is legitimate and called for. As an international student in England, I have faced similar racist attacks that are seen by perpetrators as innocuous but are counterproductive. As an Indian, I have heard people ask, “Oh, is it true your people eat with their hands?” instead of saying, “you don’t use cutlery sometimes,” (as Shobhaa De once reminded us). I guess while the rest of the world eats with their feet, these assumptions will be challenged by intelligent social media buffs who are ever quick to condone vitriol. – Dhruv Ramnath