In the name of a God

Excellent points raised in this article (Ayodhya: Muslim personal board will decide on review of SC verdict on November 17). It further shows how unintelligent and biased the judgement reads. The Supreme Court is meant to safeguard the Constitution. Neither Hinduism nor Islam nor any other faith should have any credence with the Court. Its sole purpose is to protect the rights and privileges of the people of India – and once again, as it has repeatedly done over the past few years, it has failed us.

The very architectural plan of the disputed site offered an opportunity to reunite a painfully polarised India. Possession of the disputed site is irrelevant. By first recognising and addressing the crime of destroying a religious structure in independent India, the Supreme Court could have started the process of its own journey of penitence.

In independent India, the deepest injury was done to the Constitution when the Babri Masjid was stormed and broken brick by brick on December 6, 1992. It was an act which defied the tenets on which this nation is built. The first duty of any bench of the Supreme Court should have been to have a public trial of the perpetrators and ensure justice.

The only possible reparation would have been to rebuild the masjid. The disputed land could have been exemplified as an area of coexistence. It is only in the minds of politicians and religious leaders that coexistence is not possible. Us ordinary folk get along just fine. The Supreme Court has lost its opportunity to re-establish India as a secular nation. With this judgement, Ram has finally quit not just Ayodhya, but the very quality he embodies – justice. – Kalpana Swaminathan


This publication is all not welcome in this critical time (No, the Supreme Court did not uphold the claim that Babri Masjid was built by demolishing a temple). The article you published based on the Ram Mandir case is completely baseless with no foolproof pieces of evidence. How can you undermine the proof provided by archaeologists? I see the writer of this article is simply trying to spread false propaganda against communities.

Putting ahead one’s views is different from attempting to provoke people. It is very irresponsible on the part of the publication to promote such an article without any prior investigation. Shame on you. I am right away deleting this app and won’t recommend it to anyone either. – Radhika Poshakwale


I recall there were a lot of allegations over the misappropriation and fraud of funds worth crores of rupees collected by officials of the Vishva Hindu Parishad and other organisations collected in the name of the construction of the Ram Mandir (Ayodhya verdict: Hindu Mahasabha says all cases lodged against kar sevaks should be withdrawn). It is likely that such operatives of the Vishva Hindu Parishad will push on the agenda of claiming more such places in Kashi and Mathura for the collection of funds from the Hindu devotees. My country is great. – Narendra Agarwal


This is in reference to your article, The Weekend Fix: Ayodhya verdict brings Hindu rashtra within striking distance, plus nine more reads, that quotes Hilal Ahmed’s article from The Print. It is problematic in the way the article establishes the dispute as a historical conflict between “Hindus as a faith or community and Muslims as a historical entity of ‘outsiders’”.

I want to add a few points: Islam, if not an outsider entity, is clearly a far later event than Hinduism in the Indian subcontinent which is why Ram Janmbhoomi a distinct and important place, as are other temples in India. The Ram Janmabhoomi bears the same significance to Hindus as the Khana-Quaba bears to Muslims and can’t be changed under any circumstance. Legal validation is not tenable here as no one has the so-called registry documents and everything is based on the faith, belief and physical possession

While Rohan Venkatramakrishnan observes that two illegal acts by Hindus in 1949 and 1992 paved the way for the Hindu side’s victory, he selectively overlooks the illegal act of 1528 by Babur or Mir Baqui which was, perhaps taken into account by the court.

I am afraid the conclusion of your article may amount to undermining the acceptability of the Supreme Court in India, which is not appropriate. – Santosh K Rai


The writer is of this article has forgotten that Hindus have been awaiting justice for not years but centuries against invaders who used Islam as a tool to incite their people and fight with Hindus, treating them as infidels (From Hindu rashtra to economic slowdown: What the Ram Mandir judgment means for Indian politics). This Supreme Court judgement is but a drop in the ocean of justice the millions who fought for their religion, Hinduism, in the last few centuries have been waiting for. All temples which were destroyed and converted into mosques should go through a similar review. That will be the step in the path of justice.

As for the writer – what a guy! What is wrong with the concept of a Uniform Civil Code? We need a strong country where humanity and love for our country come first, instead of love of religion. All major democracies in the world have a uniform code which steps ahead of religion lines. – Aalok Mehta


Well written. The evil climb many heights before shattering to pieces. Modi is the perfect example of a weak and cruel leader. Their vindictiveness reminds me of Indira Gandhi and the dictators of West Asia. How they are still blamed! – Anzita Saikia


Well, may Mr Bhagwat speak of “everyone’s efforts to maintain peace and harmony in society” – such as the granting of moksha, by members of his family, to people who may be accused of acts against the nation’s bovine mothers? (Ayodhya verdict: VHP welcomes judgement, says 60% pillars and beams for Ram temple are ready)

Another member, identified as Vikas Sharma, the article notes, has said: “Now, many parties are trying to bring Hindus into their fold. Earlier it was not like that. That is how it should be anyway, politics cannot represent just one section.” Did the writer of this piece not think of asking Mr Vikas Sharma to name the “just one section”? – Mukul Dube


We all know that you were created along with the other yellow rags for jihadi/evangelist/Congress/commie and anti-Hindu propaganda after 2014 by a few people who have no idea what Indian culture or ethos is (Babur before India: The journey of a cultured emperor who is among modern India’s most hated figures). This is exactly the reason that the whole propaganda system that was created in 2014 miserably failed and actually aided Hindu resurgence and unity which would have been otherwise difficult to achieve.

Western-educated Western fools can no longer fool Indians. We, the truly educated Indians do not think that melanin leaving the skin will make people superhumans – as is believed by the likes you shadowy yellow rags, and the idiotic, foolish Indians who are trying to undermine Indian culture by being employed by them. – Kochu Menon

Economic slowdown

Let them come to work in Kerala (Hard Times: This family in Delhi has not replaced its toothbrushes because of an income squeeze). Here, per day, an electrical or a plumber is paid Rs 1000. It is Dubai for out-of-state persons. Skilled labourers ready to work have no worries here. There is also enough need for such people there and ample work. – Jayant Gopinath


The pathetic story of this family who lives in the financial capital of India has churned out my intestines (Hard Times: An accountancy clerk in Mumbai has not received his salary in two months). It is so disheartening that we have to hear of such stories even after seven decades of independence. Except reposting and continuing one’s trust in Almighty, a common man can do nothing. Unless we have visionary leaders we may not see the light of the day. The biggest challenge our country is facing is corruption and unless it is rooted out, things will not change. Above all, there is a widening gap between the rich and poor which is getting worse day by day. – Rao Voleti


Those who thought and clamoured about Hajela’s bias against genuine citizens may now reap their reward in the processes that will apparently rectify the National Register of Citizens by even larger exclusions and arbitrary inclusions over a period of time. (Why was NRC coordinator Prateek Hajela transferred out of Assam?) There will be no remedy. It will be done through planning and with such panache that these critics will realise their folly much too late. One hopes one is proven wrong. – Hiren Gohain

Miscellaneous comments

Anybody that thinks India is democratic should get a reality check (Ornit Shani’s ‘How India Became Democratic’ wins the Rs 15-lakh New India Foundation Book prize). India cannot be considered democratic since it denies minorities their legitimate rights. The Indian government and its judiciary is nothing but a sham. – Usman Madha


Excellent! (Watch: This shepherd dog was put to an intense test, and passed with flying colours) I really enjoyed reading this. Send more such articles on herding dogs, particularly border collies. – Sharon Chindoni


Schools shut, construction activity stopped, a health emergency declared (Schools in Delhi-NCR to be closed for next two days as air quality plummets) What a pathetic state of affairs! Is it not time, we play our part well in mitigating these woes by doing what best we can to minimise pollution? Is there not a need for a massive tide of awareness on promotion and implementation of needed practices? The following are some of the steps I think are needed:

  • Green cover must be increased. 
  • Development in metros and ever-growing cities should be decentralised, and their population density minimised by extending edu-care and medicare to peripheral areas.
  • Special incentives in construction, commuting, municipal taxes and activities as such should be extended to those preferring to stay in peripheral belts. Further, metro facilities should be extended, on a war footing, to ever-growing smaller cities.
  • Bans should be imposed on vehicular pollution at source of production itself, allowing a pre-set time for a gradual phase-out.
  • Stubble burning and combustion of scrub, rubber, garbage waste and other such polluting objects needs regulation and must be carried out in specific areas. Else, reasonable fines must be imposed.
  • Promotion of massive awareness among the public for all such problems, through the vernacular press as well, should be carried out and will help solve the issue with lesser cost, in a shorter time 
  • Inculcating awareness among school and college children whose involvement can do miracles. Perhaps we need more Greta Thunbergs?

If nothing more, these findings and warnings of what high levels of pollution may do to us, how it may reduce our lifespans by several years, should propel us to get up from hibernation and jump into action to save the future! – Ramana Gove


Brilliant and eye-opening (Indo-Anglians: The newest and fastest-growing caste in India). Loved some of the innovative terms used to describe us. – Shrutorsi Mukherjee


This piece is classic Shiv Visvanathan – humorous, incisive, biting and accessible (The phenomenon called Arnab Goswami is a caricature of our worst selves). I have long wondered about Arnab Goswami and am relieved that I need not look any more for the real man because Visvanathan has convinced me that the mask is more real than the man himself. Since contemporary media is indeed both an echo chamber and a hall of mirrors, I add the following thoughts which are inspired by Shiv’s insights.

What the French psychoanalyst, Jacques Lacan, called doubling, is in India raised to the n-th power, so that millions of middle-class egos find themselves mirrored in images of Goswami. In Indian, in media devotion to Goswami, we see millions of mini-me’s enacted by Arnab’s I. But since Arnab also represents the decadence and decay in Indian public life, we can also recall the early modern story of Dorian Gray, authored by Oscar Wilde, where the portrait of Mr Gray ages while the real Mr Gray stays eternally young. For Indian fans of Arnab, their every ugliness can be performed by Arnab so that they can continue to pretend to be eternally fair, tolerant and civil. They can feel free to fiddle while Arnab burns.

In Arnab’s popularity, we see what happens when the medieval European spectacle of the public execution and the Stalinist invention of the show trial meet contemporary television and social media. The holy trinity of the legislature, judiciary and executive is now replaced by a new trinity: television, social media and the ruling party. The prime minister is its monarch and Arnab Goswami its jester. – Arjun Appadurai