Bulandshahr violence

The Bulandshahar violence is another episode in an already polarised North Indian polity (“The Daily Fix: Bulandshahr violence is a test for rule of law and police independence in India”). Even though the police had registered an FIR against the man accused of killing the cows, the fanatic Hindutva mob started rioting, which gives the impression that a larger conspiracy was at play to disrupt peace and communal harmony. The murder of the station house officer by this mob requires such severe punishment that no one will dare do something like this again. But given the fact that the state is being ruled by a party whose chief minister has serious cases of hate speeches against him and who has in the past urged young people to take law in their own hands, there’s little hope that serious efforts will be made to bring to book the perpetrators of the heinous crime. – Rehan Ansar

Art of Living event

Spirituality is no guarantee to the ordinariness of life (“The Daily Fix: Allowing political clout to flout heritage conservation rules is a monumental mistake”). The saffron or white robe does not separate them from the pursuit of fame and eminence in society that they are supposed to have sacrificed. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar was earlier roundly castigated and penalised for the extravaganza in 2016 near the Yamuna flood plains. Shockingly, he next chose an ancient UN-protected archaeological heritage site for another jamboree. Fortunately the Madurai bench of Madras High Court has stayed this extravaganza.

As Mahanaranya Upanishad says “Na karmana na prajaya dhanena tyagenaike amritatva manusha.” (Neither by action nor by progeny nor by wealth but by renunciation alone one attains immortality or Self Knowledge). This is the lofty principle enshrined behind Sanyasa Dharma. What we see is the very antithesis of Sanyasa dharma. They live in luxurious ashrams, drive around in posh cars and are surrounded by intimidating security commandos. Sanyasis need security? They are media savvy and handle TV appearance with aplomb. They are our new age jet-setters travelling in comfort and style with the high and mighty as their acolytes. Globalised India seems to be more obsessed with godmen than it was in our time. – HN Ramakrishna

In this article on the proposed Art of Living event at the Brihadisvara temple, you have put a picture from the World Culture Festival in New Delhi captioned “In 2016, the Art of Living Foundation was fined Rs 5 crore for the damage done to the Yamuna floodplains in Delhi by temporary structures set up for its World Cultural Festival” (“Sri Sri’s Art of Living and the art of hosting a private event at heritage temple site in Tamil Nadu”). The picture show things strewn all over the place and misleads the reader into believing that this is the organisers have trashed the place. The picture, however, is in fact of the stage being dismantled. This is mischief and the photo twists the story to promote your agenda. – JP Samala

Farm crisis

I don’t understand one aspect of rural farming (“The real cause of India’s farm crisis? Too many farmers”). Earlier, a farmer’s son would become a farmer and his daughter a housewife. But I presume that now, farmer’s sons and daughters both go to school and perhaps could even go to college and work in cities in different professions. So I expect that over a few decades, farm employment should come down. Why is this not happening? Where is the error in planning? – R Venkat

CBI row

Tushar Mehta and KK Venugopal went for overkill in their depositions while emphasising that they were compelled to bench CBI Chief Alok Verma and Special Director Rakesh Asthana – ostensibly to preserve the image of CBI (“CBI row: It was ‘absolutely essential’ to step in and act, Centre tells Supreme Court”). If their depositions are to be believed, the government was totally helpless and innocent with respect to the developments in the CBI after the top officers started feuding. But one needs to be very gullible to stomach the helplessness portrayed by the government before the Supreme Court. – P Vijayachandran

Country in crisis

At present, society does not move only by the word of law, but also by its own wishes (“Rahul Gandhi should take a lesson from AAP on battling Hindutva – and India would benefit”). The politics of intimidation is undermining the democratic fabric of India. There is an anti-democratic wave sweeping through this country, with the support of the ruling BJP. The government is trying to mask their existential crisis in intellectual dishonesty. Only god can save Indians, not Opposition parties. – Basheer Ahmed

Coach trouble

With regard to Scroll.in’s article on the Indian women’s team fiasco, I think the author is comparing two things that are not comparable (“If Kumble, not Powar, was coach of the women’s team, would India have reacted in the same way?”). In Kumble’s case, everyone knew the kind of temperament Kohli has and he wanted a yes-man for the coach’s job. This is not the case with Mithali Raj. This is the first time she has come out with such allegations in her entire glorious career. She wanted the coach to respect the player and did not want only a yes-man.

As this article says, the coach, Ramesh Powar, did not have the support of entire team. It was just the captain and vice captain who spoke for him. This is not doing any good for women’s cricket. – Naga Surya Anil Darlapudi

Ram temple issue

In the midst of the debate over Ramjanmabhoomi and the clamour for a Ram temple at Ayodhya, one observes that the Ram that we have learned about stood for courage and for achieving the near-impossible (“Hindutva rallies marking Babri demolition have the police on edge across North India”). However, the state of the country does not reflect these values. This rhetoric is hurting the country. Some vested interests with ulterior motives are using this movement to instigate violence, something Ram would never have supported. – Uma Kapil

Poll pot

The RSS-BJP’s divisive politics are a disgrace (“Rajasthan polls: Adityanath served legal notice by Brahmin group for calling Hanuman a Dalit”). After renaming streets and cities, BJP luminaries have embarked on a new narrative of branding Hindu gods in castes.The BJP leadership has been polarising the Indian society in the past and have now started dividing deities into lords and sevaks. – Dalip Nim

Urban design

Thanks for this lovely post (“Architect Charles Correa had foreseen the decline of Indian cities – and pointed some ways out”). The author says, “as architects we are compulsive problem solvers, dealing with spatial issues.” Very well said. While talking about torsion in spiral structures, even Le Recoilis once questioned, ‘How can it be a prerogative of only zoologists to talk about radiolarians?” The point goes beyond space (geometry) and shape. Radiolaria use a chamber in their upper body as a float, an organ and not just a structure. Aesthetics are the result of harmony between function and structure, with minimum of mass and energy engagement. Cities and city planners need to put a price of an urban design. That price must be in terms of the “water currency of the planet”. We are working on a balance sheet of our home, the Earth. As of now, we as a planet score way below mark. – Muni Raval