Rise of the right

The ancestors of present-day Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh had divided Hindu society on the basis of caste, using the Manusmriti about 4,000 years ago. They kept more than 25% of Dalit and Tribal populations out of the mainstream. This kind of division at such a large scale was never attempted anywhere before in the world. Hindu society treated Dalits and OBCs as second-class citizens. They were brought into the mainstream only through the freedom struggle and the Constitution.

The RSS today has still retained the skill and expertise to divide Society. It is an extraordinary cruel skill and mindset. In modern India, society will be divided on the basis of the Citizenship Amendment Act and nation-wide National Register of Citizens. Only the marginalised and other well-meaning people can and should fight the evil designs of RSS, as they did during the freedom struggle. Otherwise, Muslims will become second-class citizens in India soon. Will the people come together to save the constitution? – Heshi Ra


While the essence of journalism lies in bringing out the truth to the common masses, you have been successful in creating an opinion on behalf of your journal (Amit Shah’s Citizenship Bill is not about refugees – it is all about a Hindu Rashtra). But what after that? People are already on the streets, vandalising public property in my state, West Bengal. Could you address that? Is this how a democracy works? Even if the government is flawed, is this how the people should react?

Your ideas are being shared on social media and people who are already scared and taking to the streets are further sharing it among themselves, and amplifying the hate and anger. As a medium of communication, you have a responsibility to let people know how they can properly address this, but this part has been missing totally from the article. I would request you to either revise this article, or bring out a new one to address this issue and how to protest democratically. Or else, you will be considered as one of the separatists in the eyes of many like me. – Sharmistha Chatterjee


I find this article irresponsible and hate mongering of the worst kind (In India’s Citizenship Act, an eerie echo of Nazi Germany’s claims to protect ‘racial comrades’). Can you compare the murder of six million Jews to making laws on refugees? You must be blind to not see the difference. Why don’t you move to the USA where your kind thinking will not harm Indians? – Samatha Sharma


I am a reader from New Delhi and would like to convey my deepest gratitude to Suketu Mehta for the brilliant article that was published on October 20 (Around the world, there’s a battle of storytelling about migrants and Muslims. Populists are winning). Mr Mehta, you have articulated the unease, anger, and sadness I have been feeling. Your words put everything into perspective. The end of the article is inspired. The term ‘global citizen’ sounds very glamorous. However, in practice, we tend to be parochial. Your quest for identity has made your outlook the most expansive – a citizen of the earth. Beautiful.

The question that comes to my mind is: What can I do to stop the seeds of hate from germinating? Gandhi once said that “Good travels at a snail’s pace”. I agree with this statement. It’s easier and quicker to fan hate. But what do I do now? We are at a very critical phase in time, which will determine whether our country – and the world – will be wracked by civil war and communal tension or choose the path of self-reformation. Thank you Scroll, for standing up for good journalism. – Supriya Mathur

Miscellaneous comments

Smriti Irani should be shown the story on page four of the Ahmedabad Mirror, published on December 13 with the headline “Ahmedabad is the rape capital of Gujarat” (BJP demands apology from Congress MPs for conduct towards Smriti Irani during rape debate in LS). In the period between 2014 and 2019, 1,046 cases of rape were registered in Ahmedabad district and 759 in Surat. To bring out facts on the state of women in the country is the prime responsibility of any law maker and Rahul Gandhi has done nothing wrong. I endorse his remarks and support him. – Narendra Agarwal


Nina Varghese’s article is excellent and brings out the issue faced in Chennai (In crisis-hit Chennai, the municipal body is trying to revive 210 lakes and rivers). Desilting the water bodies and getting rid of the garbage and water hyacinth will mitigate both drought and floods.Chennai gets enough average rainfall but the problem is that it is highly variable. In some years, it is as little as 18 inches and in other, there are floods. The solution is to create sufficient storage capacity. Our ancestors had done it but we have neglected the ancient water bodies. The funds for desilting the water bodies can easily be obtained by canceling the proposed third desalination plant. Restoring the water bodies will obviate the need for a third plant.There will be the added benefit of mitigating floods – which the desalination plant cannot do. – Joseph Thomas


Needless to say that China has been gaining global dominance in manpower, money power and military power.Though the number of nuclear warheads in China is said to be lesser than that of the US or Russia, they have joined other select nations in developing underwater nuclear capabilities.The way it has invested huge amounts in BRI reveals the extent of its ambitious plans to have footprints in different countries.Hence, there is a tussle between the top two economies of the world in the race (The ‘phase-one’ deal doesn’t address the three major roadblocks in US-China trade).

The kind of seesaw turns on the deal, kept the globe jittery. All of a sudden, there was news that a deal is likely, and soon, it was followed by another report revealing remote chances of the same. A deal is undoubtedly long awaited, and the reliefs incorporated therein are also of importance. At a time when several economies across the globe are sluggish, let us hope that the deal brings a sigh of relief, more so, to the emerging economies. – Ramana Gove


Mumbai’s infrastructure is injured and tattered any way. It is stinking like a trash can. Instead of improving existing infrastructure for citizens, if the authorities think they are doing any good by spending the public’s hard-earned money, let me inform them that it is the death of the city. Congratulations to Mumbai, for getting a funeral called Coastal Road. If all the politicians decide to travel by the BEST double-decker red bus through inside roads, maybe they will realize what needs to be done first. – Jayshree Desai