I truly enjoy your Magazine, and Books sections (“As Scroll.in turns five, we take a look back – and forward”). In a recent post, for instance, I discovered the Urdu poet Iqra Khilji’s “Khabees”. I neither read nor understand Urdu, but the English translation helped to reveal the thoughts of a most remarkable, firebrand poet! Keep going! – Shilpa Shah
Congratulations on completing five years. We expect many more inspiring and worthy stories from different fields. – Santosh Kumar
There is a lot happening in the lives of farmers and people in the rural areas – going forward, Scroll.in could probably have a more proactive focus on them and their issues. I find it hard to see urban consumers in cities like Mumbai enjoying onions for Rs 10 per kilo without feeling guilty about the plight of onion farmers. Your publication might consider a section dedicated to small-holders or Adivasis. – Purabi
For a majority of Scroll.in’s five years so far, the Modi government has been in power. In this period, I’ve seen many articles on the website that are critical of his government. However you don’t have same bar for the Congress. Once in a while, there may be some articles critical of the grand old party, as through you are trying to show that you are impartial. However the content of your articles clearly show your softness towards the Congress and hatred for the BJP.
It’s perfectly fine to have a political bias, but please admit it. Having a political bias doesn’t mean your articles are not worth reading. I read them to understand what could have been done better. – Saroj Kumar Mohapatra
It’s amazing on how well-researched Scroll.in’s “Your Morning Fixes” are. I make it a point not to miss any edition. Keep the amazing work going. – Varun Gupta
I disagree with TM Krishna on reservations (“The TM Krishna column: Modi made me realise reservations based on economic status are not justified”). My uncle and aunt teach at a state government school in Tamil Nadu and are both nearing retirement now. Seven years ago, their only son finished his schooling, achieved a fair 86% in his state board exams, but his future was completely uncertain. Engineering colleges blatantly demanded a minimum donation of Rs 2 lakh. With a family income of Rs 10 lakh, it was impossible for them to afford to send him for higher studies. One college rejected him because of his general category status. They eventually borrowed money to send him to college. The trend of rejection greeted him again when he tried to secure a job in the public sector after graduation.
People like my cousin do not qualify for MGNREGA as they are academically overqualified for unskilled labour and reside in a thriving urban area. Within our community, it is not uncommon to find cases like that of my cousin.
People, even those from “privileged” backgrounds living in cities, have had to seek financial support to fund their children’s education, marriage, medical treatment and the like. That is the state of our country. There is no statistic to back this because it is never reported. Besides, why should an educated person have to make a living tilling the ground in the hot sun and scavenging, especially when everyone agrees that it is inhumane?
What ails our society today is a lack of social intermingling of various castes, not outright untouchability. Our education system has to be reformed and we need more jobs. The caste system has to be done away with, but that will not happen right away. Until then, economic-based reservation will offer some solace to forgotten people of our county. – Sindhu Murthy
This article is not comprehensive and gives an incomplete picture of the Constitutional scheme (“The Supreme Court is wrong. Centre should have no say in how states choose their police chiefs”). The Indian Police Service, which is one of the All India Services. The All India Services are the steel framework that makes the federal system of the country work. India’s founding fathers never envisaged a strict federal structure for India and the true nature of the constitutional scheme is quasi-federal.
The UPSC is a bulwark of merit and is a pillar in the democratic setup of India. It is wrong to state that the members of the UPSC are appointees of the Central government and that their involvement in the selection of state police chiefs would mean the Centre gets a say in the appointments. Members of the UPSC are people of eminence and hold a high Constitutional office.
There can be no possible comparison between the nature and independence of a constitutional body like the UPSC and an investigative agency like the CBI. The UPSC already has a role in the appointment of members of state civil services into the IAS and IPS through Article 320(3).
The post of State Police Chief is a cadre-level post in terms of The Indian Police Service (Cadre) Rules, 1954 and only a member of the IPS can be appointed as a State DGP. Therefore, the UPSC’s role envisaged in the Prakash Singh judgment in 2006 which was reiterated in the Supreme Court’s January 16 order cannot be termed as judicial overreach. The presence of the UPSC, a constitutional body, in the selection process for of the state police chief will ensure minimal political interference and create a fearless and independent leadership in the police force at the state level. – Akshat Bajpai
Perhaps an equally questionable overreach is that by the Press, which is questioning every institution and indicating it to be an agent of the present government – the prime minister in particular – and by painting every event as malafide. Please do not aid the process of the destruction of institutions in the name of federalism, freedom or fairness, by blatantly siding with anarchists, opportunists and people with vested interests. Do not forget that regime change will not result in any big change in the institutions and systems that have evolved over the years, mostly with good intent. – Rajesh Kumar Verma
The Supreme Court in its recent verdict reiterated that police chiefs reiterated that police chiefs should be appointed by states based on the recommendations of the Union Public Service Commission. In the present scenario, where external and internal security are under threat, there should be a harmony in the functioning of the central and provincial police forces. This can only be done if all police forces in the country come under one umbrella, such as the defence or paramilitary forces. Thus, the appointment of the state police chiefs by the UPSC will only strengthen internal security. – Shreeram Srivastava
The question of appointment and deployment of police for local purpose is a question of law and order and not of policy. By bringing in the word policy, “law” is being sidelined. Essentially, it is a matter for judicial intervention as who else will ensure law and order, when adamant, naive, or arrogant things come up? – RD Vyas
In chronological order, here is why the Gillette advertisement is offensive (“Brush with controversy: Why Gillette’s campaign against toxic masculinity has been so polarising”).
1) Bullying is bad behavior that has nothing to do with masculinity; girls and women can be vicious bullies. It’s insulting to imply otherwise.
2) Vintage media definitely reflects high degrees of sexism, but new media does not. It’s insulting to imply we should be shamed for media we (men of today) didn’t create.
3) The vast majority of men would never harass a woman in the workplace. It’s insulting to imply that we need to be told this.
4) The vast majority of men would never speak for a woman in a meeting. We also have witnessed incredibly rude and unprofessional behaviour from women in meetings, so it’s insulting to imply men are workplace bullies, and demeaning to women to portray a woman as a feckless mute.
5) No men these days would ever stand and watch boys fighting and say “boys will be boys”. It’s insulting to imply otherwise.
6) Barbecuing is awesome!
7) The vast majority of men would never behave in a creepy manner toward young girls at a pool party. It’s insulting to imply otherwise.
8) The vast majority of fathers would always encourage their daughters to be strong. As a father I find it extremely insulting to imply otherwise.
9) The entire video is massively condescending. – Dylan
I listen to Shah Faesal not just because I too am a youngster from Jammu and Kashmir but because what he says it comes from the heart (“Former IAS officer Shah Faesal seeks donations for ‘clean politics’ in Jammu and Kashmir”). You people just keep writing articles and your will never be able to experience the brutality, violence and outrage that he and many Kashmiris like him face. If he wanted to, he could have peacefully lead his life as a member of the Indian Administrative Services but he choose to speak up because he knew just by being an administrative officer he won’t be allowed to serve people.– Seerat Choudhary
Note of dissent
Arundhati Roy is very upset about the charge-sheet filed against three students leaders of JNU and the likely arrest of Anand Teltumbde (“‘An illness is upon us’: Arundhati Roy on activist Anand Teltumbde’s impending arrest”). Roy has always been critical of the present government and has considered it to be an enemy of the nation that is not doing justice to India’s Constitution. But till date, no action has been taken against her. So, she should realise if the government is taking action against these people, there must be serious reasons and not just the fact that they are critical of the government. – Vishwas Kale
There were some serious doubts in the mind of common people like me (“The curious case of the Tamil Nadu chief minister, a burglary (and murder) at Jayalalithaa’s estate”). For instance, why is this burglary and murder case still pending? Why was there a power failure on the day of the incident? Matthew, Samuel, the Naranda news journalist who detailed the allegations in his documentary, claimed he has evidence to back his claim and said he would hand this over to the appropriate agency. Based on his statements, we feel it would be better to arrange for independent an judicial inquiry into the case. This is also a chance for the accused to prove their innocence. – Venugopal Sankara Narayanan
The argument has never been against GST (“India’s Goods and Services Tax regime isn’t the disaster it is made out to be”). It is against the way it had been implemented. The government does not understand how businesses work. For instance, if we supply goods, sometimes on six-month credit, the government expects us to pay up the tax before we receive payment. The government has been downright tyrannical. With elections around the corner, now they are trying all kinds of pre-poll stunts, irritating us even more. – Rakesh Katarey
It is a foregone conclusion that the Modi government is desperate, brash and authoritarian (“JNU ‘sedition’ case: Unanswered questions in the chargesheet against Kanhaiya Kumar and others”). I foresee Kanhaiya Kumar can emerge as one of the top leaders of our country in the near future. Modi has dug his own grave. Almost five years of Modi reign has turned out to be worse than Emergency. Modi is running an undeclared Emergency he will face his Waterloo in 2019. – Kevin Machado
This article on Scroll.in is based on an interview with me and only the gloomy and dismal part about our museum has been published (“India’s invaluable dinosaur fossils lie neglected and forgotten in this Kolkata museum”). Our museum is a well known and full of vitality. Scientists and delegates from all over the world come to visit it. It is not forgotten, nor is it neglected. Many technical uttering are wrong in the article despite my repeated warnings.
We have certain problems regarding man power and money. I merely stated that we need more man power and fund. This part is highlighted. I also took part in a long discussion with the reporter about the encouragement and money that we receive from Indian Statistical Institute. The last part is purposely deleted to manufacture a story which says, “look they are in a pathetic state”. This is very disappointing. I appeal to the authorities of Scroll.in to add more positive vibes in their articles. Only complaints do not make good stories. – Dhurjati P Sengupta, Professor and Head, Geological Studies Unit, Indian Statistical Institute
Mahatma Gandhi’s non-violence principle was drawn primarily from the Gita, which he himself proclaimed many times (“Fact check: Did Rahul Gandhi claim Mahatma Gandhi’s ideas of non-violence were inspired by Islam?”). It is therefore hurtful that Rahul Gandhi in his speech mentioned various religions, but not Hinduism, which was the prime source of the philosophy. There have been great philosophers in all the religions mentioned by him, but what is the need then to jumble up their ideas, degrading them all in one go? One has to chose their words responsibility while addressing large groups of people. At least he needs to be factually correct. I have Nothing against Rahul Gandhi, but his aspirations should match his competence. And even when one is tolerant, it sometimes hurts to see such casual disregard to a certain religion every time. – Subhashini
Ipsita Chakravarty’s arguments follow a liberal ideology that associates progressive activism with openness, diversity and plurality that nevertheless calls for “fitting into” existing structures that inevitably rely on excluding and violating others (“Army chief’s comments show the forces are still prisoner to a regressive machismo”). Specifically, and particularly concerning given Chakravarty’s experience reporting on Kashmir, should it be our objective to push for women and queer people to be included in executing the everyday imperial violence (at best “extralegal”) perpetuated on Kashmiri, indigenous people and people of the Northeast? Can progressive change and critiques of masculinity evacuate our investments in fitting into the military/policing/prison industry and imagine and desire alternate forms of safety and well-being? Slightly tangentially but related to desires of liberal activism are that today four of the top five US defence firms that drive US imperialism are run by white women, indicating the serious limitations of liberal change. – Abhishek Shah
Coffee and controversy
Seems like Hardik Pandya and his friend bore the brunt of our society’s hypocrisy (“After BCCI suspension, Hardik Pandya loses brand endorsement for Koffee with Karan comments”). What they confessed to on the show is what men have been doing for years in our society (barring a few). Is what he said misogynistic? Yes, but why burn him for an honest confession or boasting? Or then, why spare the rest of our politicians, movie directors and ordinary countrymen who excel at objectifying women? And how can we forget those who give violent threats to women on public platforms? – Shinobi Suantak
From the day that the Pradhan Mantri Mudra loan scheme was launched, I had suspected that the scheme would not work smoothly and the majority of the money disbursed would turn as NPAs for public sector banks (“Amount of public sector Mudra loans that turned non-performing rose two times in 2017-’18: Centre”). God bless this country. The cheap publicity tactics of the present regime are going to result in a big headache for the next government. – Narendra Agarwal
This lopsided article on Scroll.in seems to have been written with an Indian readership in mind (“A forgotten shrine in a village near Lahore stands witness to the havoc wreaked by Ahmed Shah Abdali”). The history of India is replete with marauding hordes trampling their way to the heart of the country. Some of these invaders colonised Hindustan, while others would quickly retrace their steps due to myriad reasons, the hot weather being one of them. Ahmad Shah Durrani was no exception, the lure of Indian wealth was at work in his case as well. Having said that, it must be borne in mind that on more than one occasion, he was beseeched by Mughals to rescue them from their own palace intrigues as well as the ascending power of Marathas. The Rajput rajas too sought his support against the Maratha onslaught. The defeat of Marathas was one of his crowning achievements. This brief and twisted article can only be viewed as a biased attempt to distort history because writing about Ahmad Shah Durrani would require a much bigger canvas. – Ali Gohar
This article by Shanta Gokhale perfectly and sweetly captures the essence of Pu La (“PL Deshpande, the celebrated writer and subject of a biopic, was ‘loved because he loved’”). I was nervous about reading it because I am a huge fan of Pu La, and didn’t want to read something that didn’t do justice to his brilliant wit and incredible performing talent. But, I’m glad I did read it. This is the article I would send to any person who doesn’t read Marathi and cannot understand what the fuss is about. Many thanks to Ms Gokhale and Scroll.in. – Mukti
Chandrakant Pandit is 100% right on his observations on the Mumbai team’s defeat to Vidarbha, but he missed out on some important points (“MCA vice-president Vinod Deshpande responsible for the mess Mumbai are in: Chandrakant Pandit”). Many players on the squad are relatives of former cricketers, politicians, businessmen or former coaches. The MCA works with the unwritten rule that the association is only for a few who want to control everything. Corruption starts from under-14 selection. Plus, athletes have to undergo rigorous training but do not get adequate nutritious food. We need more transparency in the organisation’s functioning. – Ramesh Borwa
I was extremely happy to read about Kazhugumalai and Tamil Jains (“How did Jainism spread in South India? A small town in Tamil Nadu holds the answer”). I worked in a rural town called Dhule in Maharashtra. Every week I used travel from Pune, where my family lives, to Dhule. I would often see Jain nuns and sadhus walk barefoot. I longed to do ‘seva’ to them by massaging their legs, but was hesitant for fear of being misunderstood. I like their simplicity and humility. Being a Tamilian, I have read Tamil literature in my undergraduate programme. Mahaveer and Buddha have always caught my imagination.
After I came to Pune, I had opportunities to read and listen to discourses on Jainism and Buddhism. I admire Jainism for the tenet of Ahimsa. The belief that not even an invisible organism should be harmed by one’s movements is quite amazing! My eyes welled up reading about the contributions of Tamil Jains to Tamil Nadu. – Thomas Vivian