Kashmir conflict

The author is looking at Kashmiris who have been hurt by pellet guns, but is not sparing a thought for the armed forces and how people treat them, abuse them, assault them, and thwart their efforts by sheltering militants (“Inequality of suffering: Why images of Kashmir’s pellet victims have failed to evoke India’s empathy”). There are many groups talking the human rights of the locals, but what about those of the armed forces? When people pelt stones at soldiers, are the soliders expected to just stand there and not defend themselves? The author seems to be supporting Pakistan’s cause. – Vijay Srotiya


I have been reading articles on Scroll.in for the last couple of days and they seem to be unbiased, informative and vividly written. Some of the videos that show up on Facebook are also pretty interesting. Coming to Saiba Varma’s article on Kashmir’s pellet victims, I completely agree with the columnist, but she leaves a few questions unanswered.

The civilians of Kashmir should not suffer the way they are suffering, and pellet guns should not be used, but neither should soldiers be targetted by enraged groups who want to register their protest against the government or the system. The people of India are indifferent to the pictures of Kashmiris being hit by pellets or even to the photograph of Omran Daqneesh from the Syrian war, because they feel that it’s not their problem to solve. Safety is important for our fellow countrymen in Kashmir but soldiers should not be made the punching bag of an angry mob. How do we ensure soldiers’ safety? – Shayon Deb Roy

Pulwama deaths

I fail to understand how stone pelting is related to anyone’s status (“Among seven civilians killed in Kashmir, a cricket crazy teen, a commerce student, a young father”). This article’s headline indicates to me that you have a soft corner for stone pelters and instead of writing about non-violence, this website is trying to garner sympathy for stone pelters. – C Patwal


As usual, Scroll.in is peddling a biased narrative. What author conveniently omitted is that these individuals were present in in anti-national crowds who were reportedly pelting stones on the troops. – Lokender Singh


Please stop supporting stone pelters. Those people who died were supporting militants killed in an operation carried out by the Indian Army. – Paresh Lodha


What were the young father and teenage cricket fan doing at the encounter protest site? You are not bothered about the soldiers who laid down their lives in the line of duty. We need an end to biased journalism. – Vivek Yadav


It is a sad moment. But we should not forget that they were part of a group pelting stones at the police, a group that was supporting militants. – Malkesh Koshti


Only in Kashmir do people oppose anti-terror operations. Why did they throw stones on Army men? Why did they need to enter such a danger zone? Let the Army concentrate on killing terrorists without any disturbance. Stop the propaganda. – Shivraj Udgirkar


I appreciate you for putting up stories of those who died during encounters today. Every civilian casualty is our loss. However, when was the last time a news publication highlighted stories of army men killed in counter-insurgency operations or cease fire violations? I request Scroll.in to bring out the other side of the story and give our men the they deserve. – Mukunda Murthi Rao


The army command of Pulwama has repeatedly asked people to urge youngsters to refrain from terrorist acts or not to support militants. A recent video showed an officer doing the same. He also asked the elderly to try to bring their sons or relatives back militancy and surrender and assured that the Army would cordially accept them and not do any harm! So when the Army has taken all these steps and issued warnings, why are civilians so angry when action is taken? Don’t the locals want peace in Kashmir? The more the adamancy, the higher number of lives that are sacrificed. – Sailok


Thank you for highlighting this. Without this, it would have been very difficult for readers to understand how the military is working in Jammu and Kashmir. However you have missed the chance of writing one line to mark respect for the soldier who died protecting people like you and me, who died very far from his home and his family. – Anil Patil

Battle ready

General Rawat spoke in a very even, matter-of-fact way during his interview (“‘An embarrassment for the country’: Twitter reacts to army chief Bipin Rawat’s sexist comments”). Times are changing and our people, especially men, are slowly getting accustomed to women working shoulder-to-shoulder with them. It will take time for our jawans, most of whom come from the hinterland where patriarchy is more prevalent, to change their thinking and to accept marching alongside women, or even take commands from them. General Rawat knows what he is talking about. He knows his men well. – Rowena


Don’t have a sheepish mentality. General Rawat is simply being practical. War is a hazardous occupation. Women are not made for it. They cannot lift heavy machine guns. They cannot endure torture. Many more such examples can be given.The general has a very concerned and caring attitude towards women. It would be clear to you if you ponder over his statement with a cool head.

Women make a seminal contribution to the lives of men. In return, is it not the duty of menfolk to care for them and protect them? Can we afford to imperil the lives of our women at dangerous war fronts? There are many walks of life where women are better than men and many jobs are available to them that provide them a chance to establish their own independent identity and also give them a chance to be prosperous.In my opinion, hyping the issue of women getting into the military is not proper. – Abhinav Kumar


There is no need to get all worked up. The man knows what he is talking about and as a professional soldier who shoulders the burden of the nation’s security. He is just dispensing practical common sense. – Sanjeev Srivastava

Identity politics

I have heard Thol Thirumavalavan speak in discussions and TV interviews (“The TM Krishna column: Why are India’s Dalit thought leaders always reduced to their caste identity?”). It is unfortunate he is imprisoned in his caste or social class. Among Tamil politicians, he has credentials to be come Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu – he is young, experienced, and can be a national leader too. He is not a firebrand but is level-headed. At the same time, he is aware of sufferings of Dalits in Indian society. I have read the books of Bama and Salma too. Even other Indian religions look down on the marginalised sections of their faiths. Perhaps I am also like Krishna, born into an upper caste, and hope I am not misunderstood as being patronising to Thirumavalavan. – R Venkat


As pointed out in this article, the image created about public individuals from marginalised sections arises not when they illustrate their intellectual prowess but on their demonstration of resistance in violation of existing norms. It is natural for affected people to hold and propagate opinions about the disruptor which can be reformed by reasoning subsequently. More than theirs, it is the opinion of marginalised sections that place the defying nature above everything else and this as an identity is installed on such public individuals. For them, the ability to take issues head on is of primary importance. – Karthik G


Does the irony of this article strike the author when he himself is guilty of constantly reducing Brahmins to their caste identity? And how does one credit Mayawati for her intellect when she spends hundreds of crores on statues and real estate? If the writer is truly sincere, he will make sure that Thirumavalavan participates in thought and ideology debates at the national level and ensure the breakdown of linguistic and cultural barriers. Naive generalisations and presumptions will not do. – Partho Chandra


It’s without doubt that Thirumavalavan could have been one among the popular leaders of India if he had not been boxed as a Dalit leader. As the author rightly pointed out, if any one excels in their profession, Indians by and large want to know the religion and caste to which they belong. If it turns out that the successful individual is from a marginalised community, people would rather ignore or limit their talents.

It is because of the sheer prejudice ingrained in the minds of the privileged. It is ridiculous and there is no rationale for such attitudes. If we want to become stronger and at the forefront along with developed countries, we need to appreciate and accommodate the talents and intellectuals of our country irrespective of religion and caste. I am proud to hail from an underprivileged group! – Arumugam Kaliaperumal

Hockey World Cup

I saw all the matches at the Odisha Hockey World Cup from the knockout stage onward (“After a long wait, Belgium hockey’s watershed moment arrives at World Cup amid nerve-wracking drama”). The stadium and the organisation was world class. The amenities available for spectators was way beyond expectations.The only jarring note was struck by Hockey India by inviting Sachin Tendulkar onto the dais for the presentation ceremony to present the player of the tournament award. This is after he was interviewed pitch side, at length, during the halftime break.Why didn’t Hockey India invite Ajit Pal Singh, the only Indian captain to win a Hockey World Cup gold, or any of the other hockey greats who were present at the stadium? It is no wonder that hockey is struggling to get national attention at a time it needs it most. – H Saldanha

Science lesson

Instead of celebrating pseudo-science and making its perpetrators look like victims at the hands of the educated, I hope you’ll find it in your heart to actually contribute to the progress of society and not regress (“One man’s long, lonely mission to convince Kolkata that the Sun revolves around the Earth”s). A mentally imbalanced Class 8 dropout grappling for attention is what you choose to focus on? The whole article pretends like it isn’t 2018 and that his claims actually have some substance.

The earth is a dead star? The energy produced from a star is only possible through nuclear fission reactions and chain reactions are bound to make all matter collapse into itself, which is how black holes are born. A dead star can have no matter, let alone a thriving biodiversity. If the sun were to rotate around the earth, the earth’s gravitation would have to be strong enough to hold the sun, a celestial object larger than 10^5 times of itself. As impossible as that is, even if it were true, every cell of every bone of our body would have been crushed into the earth’s core if it were to have such a high gravitional pull. It is utter garbage.

Sorry, we have better things to do than argue with obstinate morons. I am a National Institute of Technology student and I do not care for nonsense. But I care for what we celebrate. Don’t sentimentalise stupidity. Why would you want to malign a truth we discovered with so much difficulty and one that has brought us so much prosperity? – Anandamoy Bandyopadhyay


The scientific spirit of inquiry is precious and that’s what reflects in the polite reply from NASA to KC Paul. However, it is important to understand that baseless opinions do not become valuable just because someone holds them for very long. The standards that were used in selecting Paul as a worthy subject for a film are of no consequence to me, but for Scroll.in to cover him has come as a bizarre surprise. Are you going to follow it up with covering people who have held a lifelong commitment to other baseless beliefs and superstitions?

It is hard to digest that the main downside of being a fool is the possibility of becoming less of a fool someday; because if we continue to be incorrigible fools we may get movies made on our lives, and much more problematically, some day a prestigious news organisation like Scroll.in may cover us. – Satyam Dheeraj

Missionary death

I am a third-generation Christian, the granddaughter of an indigenous missionary, and I strongly disagree with the article by Nate Rabe (“I was raised in a missionary family but only have disgust and anger for Chau’s actions in Andamans”).

When the white men came we were half-naked tribesmen. Superstition dominated our lives, living to appease the spirits for good harvests and for health. We head-hunted the enemy for sport. Our only concern was to have our barrel of alcohol full and tobacco to smoke.

Prior to the white man came the Vaishnavite missionaries to the nearby valley people and converted them. They named us untouchables and left us to our vices. Two centuries later, the white man came to us. He gave us education and liberated us from superstition. He gave us our script; albeit the English alphabet modified according to our dialect phonetics, thus saving our language from extinction. The white men put an end to our “corrupt” tradition.

To a privileged human tired of the evils of colonialism, the mundane tribal life is paradise. But as a tribal I am forever indebted to the white man for imposing his “superior” culture. Life was not this easy, we were an oppressed people.

Most importantly, Indian society as a whole owes a lot to the now demonised Christian missionaries. It must never be forgotten that it was the Christian missionaries and their burden to “civilise” the lesser cultures that led to the establishment of blind schools, shelters for widows and lepers. It was through mission schools that education, which was a privilege held only by the upper castes, became accessible to the lower castes. It was their education that enlightened and gave voice to Dalits and women in a society that accepted the oppression of certain sections of the society in the name of culture. – Shinobi Suantak