Abrogation of Article 370

I really don’t like the crap you all write (‘Existential threat’: Kashmiris react to the scrapping of state’s special status). In all these days since those traitors, Mehbooba [Mufti] and Omar [Abdullah] were put under preventive custody you all at Scroll.in have just spoken about what Kashmiris think.

Well, it’s Jammu and Kashmir, not just Kashmir. Also, you have not even once spoken about Kashmiri Pandits who were murdered, raped and thrown out of their own houses. I understand you want to be seen as balanced and objective, but your work seems like you all belong to a gang of utopians who are funded by the [Pakistani] Inter-Services Intelligence. – Milan Parikh


Farooq Abdullah and company need to be driven out of Kashmir just like Kashmir Pandits were driven out. These pseudo-secular, biased culprits are making Kashmir hell on earth. [Narendra] Modi is the only one who can teach lessons to these liars in future. We welcome the decisions of the Indian government and support the abolition of Article 370 and other privileges given to Kashmir at the cost of patriotic taxpayers. – Srikanth Reddy Muddasani


The revocation of Article 370 and Article 35A has bought cheer and hope to many people in Jammu and Kashmir. The bifurcation of the Ladakh region and Jammu and Kashmir as Union Territories will help ensure the strengthening of administrative control and bring prosperity to the residents of the erstwhile state. The Bharatiya Janata Party, which introduced the bill in the Rajya Sabha, was well supported by its key allies and Opposition members including the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Aam Admi Party. The Opposition’s unity and maturity to stand with the Center’s landmark decision, with a few exceptions, should be highly appreciated.

It now remains to be seen how a well the road map of development will be laid for Jammu and Kashmir. The Center should now leave no stone unturned and aim towards quick and successive development programmes in these two newly formed Union Territories. One also expects a boost to tourism, industry and trade opportunities. Terrorism will definitely take a back seat with such a bold move. – Varun Dambal


Go, jump in the well with shame for questioning the government’s intent. – Milan Parikh


Is the Supreme Court superior to the parliament or the parliament superior to the Supreme Court? Because the law on removing the collegium system was passed by the parliament but nullified by the Supreme Court. Similarly, if the Supreme Court agrees that the conditions of the merger of Jammu and Kashmir state to India as per the agreement executed between the Indian government and Maharaja Hari Singh are being violated, and advises that status quo is maintained then what will happen? – Narendra Agarwal


It would be nice if the author also took the time to comment on the ISI’s role in fermenting trouble and the role of Islamic State, Taliban and others in the region (Kashmir, the Incompleteness Theorem and the China Syndrome). [The writer should] try and wear the thin cloak of objectivity and balance. – Ashim Sadhu

A tale from Jahangirpuri

How have you represented an entire area based on conditions in one particular block? (An idealistic teacher’s horrifying encounter with a school for slum-dwellers in New Delhi) Please let me know why you did not do anything to overcome the situation there? You just went there, interviewed one or two people and wrote an article pointing at the negatives. Because of such articles about Jahangirpuri, children at home want a house outside it – it is because you guys portray an image nobody wants for their home.

Though you are doing great in your own way, maybe the government could do something about it, or maybe there is really no hope for people living in D-block or E-block or H-block, in general. A few people want to do better in life, others just want readymade meals served in their plates. I don’t know how to express my thoughts but [I think] just to make the article long, you described their uniforms, looks, way of speaking and whatnot. Perhaps you should have gone to more houses there, interviewed more people and then only written about the real condition. – Komal Kharbanda


A depressing story. The journalist cannot give a solution. Can any educational expert suggest a solution for such a society? This village society is not unique: there are many such villages and towns. Does the National Education Policy give a solution for such a scenario? – R Venkat

Right to dissent

Anybody who is interested in democracy and wants to enjoy her/his democratic rights should be vigilant about a few things (Ram Guha: How a colonial-era law used against Gandhi is now being deployed against the BJP’s critics). First, ignorance takes a heavy toll on democracy. People should always endeavour to learn about their democratic rights and insist that the government uphold the democratic rights of people.

Second, people should always cast doubts on the government’s intentions. No government wants criticism of its policies and usually make efforts to curtail people’s liberty. Organising and protesting against such governmental misadventures are essential for the better functioning of democracy in which people enjoy the freedom granted to them by the Constitution.

Third, one can’t idolise any leader if he/she wants the survival of democracy. Though submission prevents people from questioning the intention of the law-making authority, [not doing so] would have disastrous implications for the existence of democracy.

In a democracy, everybody has the right to align himself/herself with a particular ideology, but upholding individual and group liberties granted by the supreme law of the land is imperative for the seamless functioning of democracy. We stand by the rights of those who wrote to the prime minister for the prevention of lynchings of Dalits and Muslims in the hands of Hindutva mobs and so are with those who wrote in counter to that earlier letter.

But we strongly condemn the tactics of intimidation being used by some people to silence dissent. This is an appropriate time to have a discussion on all those laws which were actually crafted by the colonial British government to suppress the genuine criticisms of their repressive policies. [Those laws] were actually designed to benefit the colonial masters and their people. – Rehan Ansar


I think Guha has temporarily lost his historical nerve by unfairly commenting against Mamata Bannerjee and Manmohan Singh by accusing them of suppression of dissent – despite the two being the high priestess and supreme knight of secularism. Perhaps, he had not revised his script to let this unwitting and unintended error creep into another extremely scholarly article. – N Parthasarathy


Miscellaneous comments

I commend your site for publishing this article (It’s not enough to know if chickens are suffering in captivity. We need to find out if they’re happy). It is rare for the Indian media to take up animal welfare issues. Scroll.in has also given scant importance to the issue, but in a country beset with problems, that is understandable. I request [you to publish] more articles about the sorry state of animals in this country – and not just its wildlife. The rampant abuse of dogs on the streets, beasts of burden and food animals in this country needs desperate attention. I hope Scroll.in will shine more light on animals of India in the future. – Pradeep Deb


Of course, everything must be properly calculated (Planting trees is a good idea, but not everywhere – especially not in grasslands). [The idea is] not to fix one by destroying another. Trees are supposed to be planted in the right places, in accordance with what specialists say. – Nick Rami


As an international arboricultural consultant, I was amazed to see a claim that tree numbers were increasing [Earth has more trees now than 35 years ago (but don’t start celebrating just yet)]. Do you understand that anyone who looks can see global trees dying off in images displayed on Google Earth? Do you have any idea how rampant [the rate of] global trees dying off is? We have and are, losing millions of acres of canopy here in the US and abroad.

We cannot even keep up with new diseases and their classification. A child can find this information and it is an irrefutable fact. It is disgusting to see such deception – but not surprising. Climate change is decimating the world’s tree canopy through immune suppression and the secondary factors associated with it. In 1994, I was involved in a study on Afognak Island in the Kodiak Archipelago. The die-off of the old-growth firs was already well underway then. There are several logging companies who would welcome a debate with whoever is responsible for this garbage. – Jeff


Before I start, I would like to inform you that I know the value of women and I will respect them forever (Surrogacy (Regulation) Bill punishes women for being independent, mystifies motherhood as sacred). I wholeheartedly support women’s empowerment. Also, I am aware of the plight of women at home, the office and in society. They face tremendous hardships in many ways and their woes keep increasing. In your article, while discussing the might of women, your remarks on men are derogatory. For the fault of some, you are accusing men at large.

Many feminists/activists and female writers are up in arms when finding faults in men and accusing them. It is only the word patriarch that is widely spoken about. Men celebrate womanhood and motherhood by speaking about their values on media and off the media. But some women including feminists and writers find it hard to accept the other side of the truth or the other side of the equality.

Men too have value. A man is also required for the birth of women and a mother. Man gives first life to a child. A husband gives women the holy status of mother. The much-celebrated Women’s Day and Mother’s Day is possible because of men. Man’s chromosomal pattern determines the gender of a baby. Men play a crucial role in women’s success. Also, fathers sweat it out in the office not only to earn but also to take care of wives and children including daughters. Male teachers in schools and colleges impart education and knowledge benefitting girl students as well.

In the case of women politicians’ success, party men and male voters [help]. In business, male staff and male consumers [help]. In sports, male coaches [help]. In cinema, directors, producers and fans [are male]. The list goes on.

Starting from birth, men’s contribution is crucial in women’s personal life and career. The same concept holds good in your life too. Remember: woMen, feMale, ladY, huMan. These words are complete and meaningful only because of men.

Only some men are tainted. But you consider men in general as, a menace, offenders and villains. Last but not least, empowerment and equality are important and vital to both women and men as well. – Vijay Krishna


Mohan Guruswamy makes excellent points in his review of the collection of articles by eminent economists (What the economy needs now: Less government, better governance). It is often seen that while many economists are adept at analysis and diagnosis, especially at the macro-level, even sensible policy prescriptions tend to ignore very basic issues at the ground level.

A couple of eye-openers among the many pointed out by Guruswamy: free power and the uncontrolled use of the tube well for irrigation has led to a serious water crisis which needs to be addressed as a matter of supreme urgency. Secondly, despite years of talk about Panchayat Raj, there is little or no administration at the village level.

Unless these are addressed, there is no prospect of real change. However, one jarring note in this otherwise excellent piece is the repeated reference to Gita Gopinath as Gita Gopalan. Does Guruswamy not know the difference or is he careless in referring to this brilliant star among Indian economists? – Kaushik Jayaram


[The] sad demise of a great leader Shushma Swaraj (‘One of her kind’: Narendra Modi, others mourn Sushma Swaraj’s death). Her name speaks a lot about her, evidently. My heartfelt condolences to the grieved family. May her soul rest in peace. – Enid Paul