Language lessons

It is natural to feel patriotic while fighting one’s enemies (“Shaheed and martyr are religious terms. Should they be used for Indian soldiers killed in battle?”). But dying in battle or in a terrorist attack doesn’t make a soldier a martyr. Most soldiers are in the armed forces because of employment opportunities. The death of a soldier is an occupational hazard. Most soldiers are forced to die in action. While we must honour soldiers for their sacrifices, we should not canonise them as martyrs. – Albert Devasahayam

Political play

There’s nothing wrong in having national pride (“The Daily Fix: By attacking ‘internal enemies’, Modi government is channeling repressive regimes”). What’s wrong with the government taking credit for the air strikes? It was their decision to give a fitting reply to Pakistan, unlike Manmohan Singh, who kept quiet and sat with folded hands after the 26/11 attacks. Why don’t you point out the loot by the previous regime: the 2G scam, the CWG scam, the Adarsh scam and more? It’s very easy to ignore all the good this government has done and just point the shortcomings. What I fail to understand is, do you really think Rahul Gandhi or Mamata Banerjee have the brains or calibre to run the country? Also, do you have any family in the Armed Forces or have you served the nation in any way? It’s become fashionable to give opinions. Please try to be fair instead. – Milan Parikh

Press freedom

India is a secular democratic republic. Citizens’ fundamental rights are enshrined in the Constitution (“Shillong Times’ editor held guilty of contempt of court by judge who took offence to story about him”). Our Constitution also guides the legislature and executive in formulating and implementing governance policies. Be it the media, legislative or executive, all represent the voices of the people in different ways. But who else can represents the literal voice of the people than journalists?

I am captivated by every editorial column by Patricia Mukhim. I consider her views to be neutral and representative of the voice of the people. But to err is human. – Irene Nongtraw

Power struggle

These days, common citizens like me often get confused about who is ruling the country (“CBI row: Prashant Bhushan tells Supreme Court he made ‘genuine mistake’ in his tweets against Centre”). Is it the executive? The judiciary? The media? Every wing questions the other’s actions and casts suspicions and accusations follow. The media and Opposition want “proof” for the actions of even the defence forces. PILs are filed by many lawyers on irrelevant matters and the courts lose time on them. The media seems to be the only entity that has the freedom to publish anything and everything, whether true or fake, it doesn’t matter. Its only criteria is promote its owners’ political and commercial interests. – MN Rao

EC directive

I support the former Navy chief’s advice to the election commission (“Former Navy chief asks EC to prevent misuse of Indian Armed Forces by political parties during polls”). What’s going on in our country these days are dirty politics. Almost all politicians are taking advantage of the Indian Armed Forces. – Denzil Johnas

IAF strikes

I read your article on the Reuters report and the credibility of such a report (“What does the satellite imagery tell us about the Indian airstrike on Balakot?”). The western news media used similar satellite images to justify the presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, which we are still looking for. I would not trust these reports. I am surprised that seems to hint that these are authoritative reports. – Ramesh Kadambi

Capitalists and cronies

While its good to focus on the alleged government favours to the Adani group, let there be a similar exposure of the way Congress was similarly favouring the Tatas, Ambanis and other corporate giants as well as how banks favoured industrialists like Mallya and RBI being party to the game under earlier governors (“Adani power project was on the brink of bankruptcy – but the BJP government in Gujarat saved it”). Is the BJP following Congress culture? –P Kulkarni

Money and power

This is no secret. The government has gravitated to where the money is (“From forest rights to GST and note ban: How Modi has favoured fat cats and harmed the marginalised”). If corporations prosper financially, the party prospers financially. Giving benefits to corporates while ignoring stark worrying realities like climate change and social justice for Adivasis, for example, is selfish to say the least.

All political leaders are the same. They favour opacity in financial transactions where personal or party benefit is concerned. Modi is no different but does so under the garb of fighting against corruption. Supporters of Modi and the government should not be so blind. They need to be objective and know that nobody in politics is a saint. It would be foolish if we, as citizens, are blind supporters of any politician or regime. It is our responsibility to ask questions of our elected representatives if we want progress in our country. – Rajratna Jadhav

Modi’s gesture

Prime Minister Narendra Modi did something that no one has done before (“The Daily Fix: By washing the feet of sanitation workers, Narendra Modi merely mocks their plight”). Everyone I have spoken to agreed that this was a noble act, showing respect to sanitation workers and their profession. You have introduced a caste angle into the debate.

All people I have spoken to, have agreed that it is a noble act, showing respect to them and their jobs. Low-paid, menial jobs are a reality and that day is still far when these people will come out of it. I think it’s shameful even to comment negatively. – Surendra Raja

Farm crisis

It is very complicated and expensive to insure crops in India, where rains are extremely unpredictable and there is corruption of unimaginable scale (“The Modi Years: Do farmers have better protection against crop losses?”). A quote in this article says it all about why farmers are not enthused by the crop insurance scheme: “Farmers allege claims payouts from insurance companies go directly to the bank accounts from where they have taken loans. Banks in turn credit the claims towards paying off the loan, which leaves farmer with little, if any, immediate compensation.”

The farmers want to sock it to the banks and do so on the expectation that loans would be forgiven with general taxpayer money by vote-seeking politicians. The solution is to insure larger sums that would pay not only the bank loan but would leave some funds for the farmer at larger premiums, which the farmers do not approve. They want have the cake and eat it too. I notice that the government outlay has reached a sum of Rs 10,000 crore and is lot higher than earlier years. Besides, if the compensation for lost crop is only enough to pay bank dues, is it possible that the loan amounts were far too large to cope with even if crop yields and prices had been as expected.

The problem is too complicated given the tendency of people to believe that they are entitled to generous giveaways from the government! If one section of the population get freebies, it is largely paid by other poor taxpayers of the country. – M Venkatachari

Reservation debate

Manoj Jha’s opinion is illuminating and to the point (“Interview: ‘Poor upper castes don’t need reservations as their poverty is not due to their caste’”)! If such people fight for the emancipation of the subalterns in India through a common education system, the days are not too far that this country would come out of feudal tyranny and become a powerful country through effective utilisation of its human resource. – Muruganandam Venkatesapillai

Free speech

This is absurdity at it’s peak (“‘My Didi is a censor’: As Bengali film is pulled out of theatres, Mamata Banerjee draws criticism”). As it appears from media coverage, this movie is not life-changing for common people and will not give them great knowledge or a moral education. It is just about maligning the state government. If any lawmaking or investigating agency has found anything unsuitable in the film, it is completely within their jurisdiction to ban it. People are not going to starve over not being able to see such a movie. There are so many vital important issues of hatred, terrorizing people for some or the other reason and people are busy to cope up with them. In reality Bengali cinemas are so below par are not worth viewing that is why such is the standard of the Bengali film industry, they copy some lines from Mumbai films other from southern films and make some mixture. – Sukumar Ghosh

Dyslexia remark

It is our misfortune that the prime minister of the nation asks such stupid questions to the young generation and embarrasses the entire nation (“Watch: PM Narendra Modi is criticised for insensitive joke about dyslexia (targeting Rahul Gandhi)”). In an effort to score over political opponents, he is making insensitive and senseless comments. – Joseph Pinto