The Kashmir question

And what of the rights of the Valmikis and the non-Muslims who came to Kashmir after Partition? (The Daily Fix: Modi’s speech ignores vital rights deleted by the scrapping of J&K’s special status) Oh, that’s right, they didn’t have any. Until now, that is. What about the people from Ladakh, who have been pretty much neglected by the politicians from the Valley? What about the aspirations of the people from Jammu, who are actually welcoming this decision? What about their rights? Pretty cool how you guys keep shouting majoritarianism is bad in the rest of India, while tacitly supporting majoritarianism in Kashmir. You’re nothing but a bunch of hypocrites. – Mukund Dhananjay


Ipsita Chakravarty is biased because she implies that Kashmir Muslim rights are more important than any other stakeholders’ rights. Why are their rights of Kashmiri Pandits not important? They are also human beings and have rights. Are their rights lesser than or inferior to Kashmiri Muslim rights?

Talking about demographic change, what about the people in Assam and the North East who are affected by massive demographic changes from Bangladesh? How is that a National Register of Citizens which tries to protect their rights and protect the land grab by Bangladeshis is not important but a violation of human rights. I have never seen the writer crying about the loss of identity and demographic changes of Assamese or people from the North East. How then can her article be a balanced or a nuanced view?

In effect, [you are implying that] other Indians who want to settle in Kashmir are intruders or outsiders not deserving of the same rights as Kashmiri Muslims, while actual intruders or outsiders from a neighbouring country deserve equal rights in Assam.

That’s why writers in portals like or The Wire are loosing connect with people and losing the ability to shape opinion. It is because their opinion is no longer objective. Prejudices and blind hatred for whatever the government proposes [has taken over]. – Balamurali K


The separation of Jammu from Kashmir will prune the Kashmir problem. Apples and oranges don’t mix. They grow in separate regions and in separate climates. They have separate shapes and separate tastes. Jammu grows oranges, sweet and juicy. Kashmir grows apples, luscious and crispy. Put them together in a box and market it as a product of Kashmir. That is simply deceptive labelling. It should be marked as a product of Jammu And Kashmir.

That is the same subtle difference as when Kashmir and Jammu are packaged together linguistically, socially, and politically and the entity is stamped as Kashmir. For example, Jammu does not speak Kashmiri and Kashmir does not speak Dogri.

But this has been the political packaging done by Kashmiri leaders while ignoring the different reality existing in the Jammu region. The rest of the world, including people in India, believe that Kashmir carries one identity of the same language, same culture and the same religion.

The simple but mostly ignored reason is that the colloquial Kashmir Problem is not representative of all the diverse regions of the state, as well as those held by Pakistan. Occasional violence erupts only in the valley, not in other parts of the state. We seldom hear about political protests and fury in Jammu or Ladakh regions, or even for that matter in Pakistan-controlled Azad Kashmir.

With the recent reorganisation of the state, where Ladakh is detached and becomes an independent entity, separation of Jammu from Kashmir based on the distinct realities is due as well. Jammu will love it and perhaps Kashmir too. In the process, the perennial Kashmir problem can be pruned.

After all, timely pruning is important for the healthy growth of the beautiful regions of both Kashmir and Jammu. – Promod Puri


Dividing Uttar Pradesh into at least three separate states having a population of 7 crores to 8 crores each is required. I will appreciate if this government seriously takes up this issue for better administration and development of the entire state. – Narendra Agarwal


You are totally biased and support the views of anti-national elements. If intentions are good for the country, one should not question the legality of procedures. With 370 for and 70 against, our Members of Parliament have reflected our will in parliament. What more do you expect? Don’t incite people, please. Govinda Bhat


People should know what is happening in Kashmir. The truth must come out. – Kashinath Mishra


What an immature article! (‘It’s our land that matters to them, not our lives’: A Kashmiri student’s account of a horrific week) This guy calls himself an MPhil scholar. [What a] joke. In comparison to the broader view of the nation, he seems to be worried about foolish things.

Kashmiri Pandits were executed in an inhuman manner but this man has problems with temporary curfews as precautionary measures.

He is talking of individual career opportunity losses, which can be created again. It’s not the end of the world. It is too small in comparison to civilians and soldiers dying almost every day from both countries. If you read the chilling stories of soldiers and Kashmiri pandits, you will laugh at this story and how silly it is. – Aditya Rathod


I went through this and I have some genuine doubts about it. First of all, being Kashmiri he had no knowledge of what is going on in the country. Even [those] outside India know that the government is warning pilgrims to pack up and go back to their places, closing educational institutions and taking other such measures. However, our friend Tanveer has no idea of it being an MPhil student in an elite institution. Do you believe this?

Also, he is saying that some people have said that [now] “they can buy land in Kashmir”. This may be true, and people should say it even if it is true. However, being an educated person, he should know what damage has been done to the Kashmiri people by Article 370. Compare the development of Kashmir with the rest of the country. Compare other aspects also. Their leaders have basically made them poor. There is no development, no progress nothing. Who sold Kashmir to whom – that can’t be changed, but these people should change their mentality and integrate with the mainstream.

Another example he gives about his friend attending an interview in Hyderabad. As I said, the news of how the situation was in the state was already known to the world so going out was not rational, anyway. I don’t want to write more. But I believe that this writer is fabricating the story. There is no truth in it. – Sarira Saha

Economic slump

While I am not an economist, I am constantly surprised at statements like, “stimulate demand to revive the economy” (India’s economy is in such deep slump that lowering interest rates alone won’t fix it). It is a sad reflection of the very skewed understanding of this festering wound that is rearing its ugly head again and again. [Subramanian] Swamy is the only man who can fix this problem once and for all. The Finance Minister job should be given to Dr Swamy along with full powers of CBI, ED and other wings that handle economic offences. Dr Swamy might undertake a concerted effort to catch all the economic offenders, cutting across party lines. This effort will bring back billions of our money stashed away [elsewhere].

Dr Swamy knows the way to either get the money, a primary goal, or extradite those unwilling to give back the loot. We must catch all [those with] benami [illegal] properties and confiscate the properties; make flight of capital a non-bailable offence and establish courts for quick punishment. [We must] remove income tax for Indians and invest in modernising agriculture. – VTC


Very well written and neatly edited article (The Indian economy is blaring warnings, but the Modi government remains in denial). [The article is] giving a detailed step by step breakdown of the spiralling economic downturn looming large over all of us. Kudos. – Bharat Vatwani


The economy will test [Narendra] Modi – whether he as it in him to do [anything] out of the box. We have gone beyond a jumla [fake promise]. – Manoj Kumar


It is interesting that comments on the economic state of India are mostly negative. Would it not be more useful if people spent the same time and number of words on pointing out each wrong situation along with possible solutions to it? Please comment [on this] again but define the problem along with a possible solution. The solution may be arrived at by you or along with several of your friends with the same or similar opinions. – Harish Dalal

Miscellaneous comments

I am Delhite by birth and have stayed in Delhi for 65 years (Does the National Capital Region need another airport, even if it comes at great ecological cost?) What is the commercial need [for this airport]? It is said that the Directorate General of Civil Aviation has clearly said that two airports [should be built] within an 80 km range for the safety of aircraft. The DGCA said this in response to the Tamil Nadu government that is pressing for a private airport in Hosur to decongest an area. What is the point in disturbing wetlands for birds and endangering ecology? – Kannan AT


Thanks for highlighting the issues with the NRC process in Assam (‘Hindus have been disproportionately targeted’: Why the Assam government is not happy with the NRC). I am following the reporting from very closely and I feel good that you are one of the rare media [organisations] highlighting the issues related to the flaws in the NRC process.

I wanted to take this opportunity to highlight the pain and anxiety that we are going through due to the NRC process. My 78-year-old mother’s name had been dropped from the draft NRC list that came out on July 31, 2018. She is a retired school teacher from Assam and also a government pension holder. She is a legitimate Indian citizen, a valid voter and holds voter card, PAN card and Aadhar card. Her pension document clearly states her employment start date as 1963. Despite all these documents, she was excluded from the draft list.

My father is a retired college teacher and receives a government pension. He is also listed under the 1951 Assam NRC list. His name is included in the NRC draft list along with my name. My parents got married in April, 1971. My mother is basically from West Bengal and she did her BA from Calcutta University in 1961.

In the re-appeal process verification, the officials had asked to prove my mothers legacy relationship with her father. The BA certificate of 1961 from Calcutta university is in her maiden name – and it does not carry her father’s name. She does not have any other document to prove the legacy connection.

We mentioned that the PAN Card has her fathers name. But the authorities were not convinced. My father was asked to make a phone call to a cousin of my mother’s so that officials can cross-question that person. My mother’s cousin who is also above 70 years of age, was also grilled by NRC verification officials over the phone about my mother’s identity. Post the verification process we are now keeping our fingers crossed for the final list that would will out on August 31.

We are wondering how to prove her Indian citizenship if her name is dropped from the final list. By the way, we are also Hindu. I just wanted to mention this as a religious tag has gotten attached to the NRC process by our beloved politicians. – Nilanjan Chada


I’m shocked to learn that such a fool was born in Kerala! (‘Chant Jai Shri Ram with fervour,’ says suspended Kerala DGP Jacob Thomas) Be happy, you are only fired not banished. We are a secular nation, religion is personal and private. Please see a doctor! – Mariamma Varghese