Stories of exclusion

I want to thank you for bringing out the stories of people who were excluded from the draft National Register of Citizens despite them genuinely being bonafide citizens of this country (Humans of Assam: This BJP leader was born in Assam in 1964 but still did not make it to the NRC). I have a similar story:

I was born on December 25, 1972 at Hailakandi in Assam. My father, after completing his education in law from Gauhati University, cleared the Assam Judicial Services examination in 1970. After this, he joined as a Judicial Magistrate in Hailakandi. My father retired as a District and Sessions Court Judge in 1997 from Karimganj and thereafter joined as the Chairman of the IMDT, where he served for seven years after retirement. He died in March 2015.

I have studied in many schools in upper Assam due to my father’s posting and the first language I learnt to speak was Assamese.

After graduating from Guwahati College in 1995 with English Honours I studied export management in Delhi and joined a job as export manager in 1997. I gave up the Delhi job and came back to Assam in 1999 where I started working with rural artisans who produce cane and bamboo handicrafts in Karimganj and Barak valley.

I started my business by supplying handicrafts to Delhi-based exporters and later was selected by the Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts as a core member of their project. I started exporting handicrafts directly to many countries and employed more than 300 rural artisans. I have been exporting regularly since then from Silchar. I have a record of being the first exporter in the North East to ship a full 20-foot container of cane handicrafts to the Netherlands in the year 2000.

Yet, I was unable to make it to the second draft of the NRC published last year – despite my efforts to establish the legacy of my father. I have submitted the claim again this year along with my father’s Intermediate Certificate of 1960 from Gauhati University.

I am not at happy with the procedure and shall fight to the last level unless my name is included in the final list. I am earning foreign exchange for the country and have projected the rich craft and culture of Assam in Europe and USA. I fail to understand why my claim has not been taken seriously, especially considering that my father served the Indian judiciary for almost 34 years. – Santanu Sutradhar


I am thoroughly surprised by the manner in which the NRC process is being carried out in Assam. The registration of the members of my family was in line, as well. In that process, my wife’s name was left out by the authority. After that, for the last two years, I have been running to the NRC Seva Kendra at Zoo Nagen Road Tiniali.

I had given all [required] documents to one official who died recently. After his demise, the Seva Kendra has expressed their helplessness to do anything. I took my wife’s voter ID, her passport, and her father’s PAN card which links to her grand-father Tarun Baruah and Late Manik Baruah, as well. Her lineage was also taken down [by the officials]. This exercise was done for the tenth time.

Why are genuine Assamese people being agonised? The Seva Kendras have opened up simply for name’s sake. Is there someone who can organise [something] for all us genuine citizens? Subhrajyoti Borthakur


If documents like citizenship certificates or migration certificates issued by competent authorities more than 50 years back cannot be verified because of the non-maintenance of records, then who is responsible? Why are the citizens concerned being harassed? – Pradip Saha

Cases of mob lynching

I strongly condemn both mob justice and biased news reporting (A Manipur Muslim family struggles to understand why a lynch mob thought their MBA-son was a thief). The sad incident wasn’t pre-planned and it was not aimed at a particular community. It eventually turned out so but was initially against vehicle lifters. Unfortunately, a majority of such persons belong to a particular community, as with those involved in drug trafficking. I would like to ask those who have begun to live in fear because of this incident, who started the Meitei-Muslim clash a few decades ago?

Even the police took utmost care in entering certain areas in the course of their duty – to nab culprits, be it vehicle lifters or drug traffickers. If they have begun to live in fear, I would like to sum up that being an MBA doesn’t guarantee that a person is not involved in illegal work. The reporter is from a particular community, so I understand the bias in his news reporting. Remember, Manipur is perhaps the first state where lynching has been declared illegal. – K Rishikanta Sharma


After the Bharatiya Janata Party’s rise, since 2014, hate crimes and mob lynchings against Muslims has become a spectator sport. I wonder why the majority of Hindus who are against this do not speak out and condemn this. Perhaps for fear of being victimised. – Arif Bawa


Reading this article was very painful for me, therefore, I could not resist replying. Last year in Assam, as well, such an incident of lynching happened. Two young boys from Guwahati were lynched by a mob. The mob recorded the entire incident. I was very disappointed to see it on the news. I think that these incidents of lynching demonstrate the fact that a feeling of hatred is still prevailing in our society.

I think that people now have no ethics or morality. The political condition of the country is also not looking good. The police either for money or under political pressure allow illegal activities in the country. For working sections of society, it is now very difficult to survive. But, I don’t believe that these incidents are happening only because of communal rivalry.

I have seen many incidents of assault in Assam. Since childhood, I have witnessed public beatings of the non-Assamese [so] it is not like these type of incidents are happening only now.

The only way we can avoid these kinds of situations is if we bring [a feeling of] humanity into the people. Casteism and communism are instruments that people are using as excuses for the hatred they feel. Vikash Agarwal


Please start worrying about increasing population and territorial integrity in Kashmir. Mob lynching hardly ever takes place – it is only hype. Maybe a maximum of ten mob lynching incidents occur in India.

Worry, instead, about the infiltration and cultural invasion of 4 crore Bangladeshis into India. Do you still believe that the exodus of 3 lakh Hindus from Kashmir the killing of 2 lakh Kashmiri Pandits and [infiltration] of 4 crore Bangladeshi immigrants are less important than 10 mob lynchings? Please take Pakistan/Bangladeshi citizenship immediately and get lost from our country. We don’t need you anymore. – Ani Kumar Arlihalli

Hima Das

What kind of article on Hima Das is this? (Five gold medals and a viral video: Why the brouhaha over Hima Das’ winning runs makes no sense) Is the writer praising Hima Das or criticising her?, as usual, like a so-called liberal has done an idiot’s job. – Kaustubh Purkar


We are crazy people. We just need someone to praise. – Manoj Kumar


I am a regular reader of articles and I must say you people are doing a fabulous job. In the heady days of fake news and miscommunication, when everything becomes news without proper investigation, is a breath of fresh air.

Whenever I have a doubt over any information I get it clarified on Just writing some stuff from other stuff [that is] easily available on the internet is not journalism. Your article on Hima Das caught my attention. [It is] thoroughly researched with facts and figures. In fact, when I saw the video, I too felt like I have seen it before. Thanks for giving us the real news with properly researched stories. – M Lahiri

The Bose files

During my visit to Russia with the Justice Mukherjee Commission, two files on Sarat and Subhas Bose were found at the Russian State Archive of Socio-political History and were made available to the commission (No documents found in Russian archives on Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, says Centre). These contained accounts of their activities and lectures up to 1943. This obviously showed Soviet interest in them.

In the list of contents, some files were marked with crosses and were not available. We were told these were still confidential. So it is not true that there are no files relating to Subhas Chandra Bose in Russia – though those seen were pre-1945. Have these confidential files been examined? These may contain relevant information and the government of India should insist on their disclosure. – Dwarka Bose, senior-most nephew of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose


Netaji’s disappearance on August 18, 1945, and proof of his presence or existence in Russia will not be attained through the simple exchange of letters. The governments need to have the will power and passion to get the information. – Jagdish Rao

Conflict in Kashmir

The fact that Trump did not know how many years the Kashmir affair has been going on for strikes him off from being a possible arbitrator or mediator (Trump claims Modi asked him to mediate in the Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan). The US has been at the wrong end of understanding the geopolitical affairs of developing countries such as Vietnam, Iran, Iraq and so forth. Their attempt to help these countries have simply led to disastrous ends.

In the Kashmir conflict, a mediator must understand the socio-cultural context of the state as well as the history of the state of which Trump is clearly unaware. I am sure that despite Prime Minister Modi’s shortcomings, he would not beseech the question of mediation seriously to Trump as previous discussions with Pakistan without mediation has led to the Shimla agreement.

Observing the US’s previous attempts at mediation, it would be much better if it involved only India and Pakistan – even if it takes another 70 years. – Hannah Jacob P


Kashmir is the result of Pakistani follies and the weaknesses of our first prime minister (Why India welcomes global help against terror in Kashmir – but not to resolve dispute about state).

Western media was anti-India and pro-Pakistan. The problem which is a bane to us has been entertainment for the West. The West is now paying for their follies – wish them luck. Kashmiri pandits were thrown out by third-rate Kashmiri Muslim leaders and politicians simply enjoyed Indian helplessness and money. This is not working now. Hence some twisted intellectuals and politicians are throwing up nonsense now and then. It is a matter of shame. – Ripudaman Minhas

Miscellaneous letters

Do the courts want sensationalism? (Allahabad High Court sends notice to PM Narendra Modi on plea challenging his election to Lok Sabha) The court should have rejected the petition straight away. Instead, they are sending a notice to [Prime Minister] Modi. What for? His challenge against disqualification has been already rejected by the courts. [It is a] waste of the court’s time. – Raghuraman T


Dhoni’s unavailability for the West Indies tour might serve as heart-breaking news for many Indians (Dhoni has opted out of West Indies tour to spend time with his paramilitary regiment: BCCI official). However, if we consider the bigger picture, it is a chance for the younger team to build their momentum and gauge what they are capable of in the absence of the former captain. What brings joy to the fans is his ruling out all probabilities of retirement. – Ayesha Naqvi


I am writing to you to bring light to the major role played by the Wildlife Trust of India in rehabilitating the wildlife that was displaced in Assam due to the recent floods (Assam floods: Toll rises to 28, over 57 lakh people affected). We live in a country where criticism is accepted as a way of life. Instead of making a change we take the easy route and criticise the government and its agencies hoping that it will change. But that is not enough.

The contribution by the Wildlife Trust of India in Assam is highly commendable. They even ensured rehabilitation for the female adult rhino and her four-year-old calf that were stranded due to the floods. The agency proved its commitment to the conservation of wildlife. – JM Rithani


I think this is a very good idea proposed by Jagan Mohan Reddy, chief minister of Andhra Pradesh (Andhra Pradesh government reserves 75% jobs in private industrial units for residents). This is an example to K. Chandrashekar Rao of Telangana. It should follow there. – Mohammed Sarwar


However unfair the award is, it will push Pakistan to cut down funding of their army (Was it fair for the World Bank to order Pakistan to pay $5.8 billion to a mining company?) They are the main supporters of terrorist activity against India. Its consequences [are felt] world wide. – Buddha Bagai


I wouldn’t call scientists ordinary people (‘Mission Mangal’ film about ‘ordinary people setting out to do extraordinary things’, says director). The director shows his intellect by saying this. ISRO scientists have always been extremely focused and beyond ordinary. This disgusts me to the core. – Adil Mohammed


It’s really shocking and pathetic to know that the inter-ministerial committee has recommended the complete banning of cryptocurrencies in India (An Indian government panel wants ‘Digital Rupee’ to replace all private cryptocurrencies). While other nations are Participating in a crypto-evolution, India is losing benefits and advantages possible through crypto. Besides bringing income wealth to everyone including the poor and the rich, crypto directly increases the income of government by way of GST and income tax. Cryptocurrency directly supports and helps development in all sectors – business, financial services or whatever the case may be. Of course, the government should have control over it. – Sivasankaran R


The successful launch of Chandrayaan-2 demonstrates what India is capable of doing with sufficient focus and funds (Chandrayaan-2 scheduled to reach Moon by August 20, says ISRO). The successful model of the Indian Space Research Organisation should be replicated in the defence sector as well. Every year India is spending billions of rupees in weapons purchase. If we can develop a credible weapons manufacturing ecosystem on par with our space industry, we can not only save billions of rupees but also tap into the multi-billion [dollar] international weapons market. – N Rathan Prasad Reddy


Great and informational stuff [news] which is generally missing nowadays [in the media]. – Ram Vir Singh


I have lots of interest in the news and good articles written by unbiased journalists. I wholeheartedly support free speech and free media – be it print, electronic or digital – and social media. – Anil Oberoi