Country in turmoil

What happened at Jawaharlal Nehru University is a harrowing tale of vandalism, where even the teachers were not spared (JNU violence: Protests erupt on campuses across India, calls grow for VC’s sacking). Reports that even a physically-challenged student and members of the press were not spared reveals the height of barbarism.

If universities, supposedly the seats of higher learning, become a battleground for this degree of violence, where are we headed? How could the mob enter campus to create such a ruckus? How can people enter the campus with rods and sticks? Does the campus not have a security fleet? What was the need to come with faces covered? What about CCTV footage? Is it not striking that condemnations poured in from institutes abroad too? What is the need to label “left wing” or “right wing” for every act? Isn’t it time to take a centrist view, look at issues in a non-partisan way and arrive at issue-based conclusions?

Are we not fed up with political parties accusing each other over everything – be it children’s deaths or farmers’ suicides or the pollution crisis or stalled development projects? Can the nation move forward if this kind of mindset persists? Is it for this sort of internecine disputes that we spend so much on elections? Well, there are many questions to be answered to restore normalcy and prevent the flames of fury from soaring high. – Ramana Gove


I am not a hardcore BJP supporter but your article surely proves that you are a hardcore BJP hater (The Daily Fix: The BJP’s politics of inventing imaginary enemies is damaging India). It is journalists like you who fuel whatever is going wrong in this country. Jawaharlal Nehru University has a history of violence since its establishment, whichever may be the government in power. I also fail to understand why this is happening only in JNU despite India having hundreds of universities. It is because this is being done by so-called student leaders for their big political ambitions. – Amit Goel


For Lok Sabha, Assembly and any other election in the country, only Indians can be the registered voters. This means that whoever’s name appears in the voters’ list is accepted as Indian citizen by the Election Commission of India, which is a constitutional authority. Thus, neither the Home Ministry nor the Election Commission can challenge the voters’ list and ask people to prove their citizenship. This is my opinion and don’t know whether this argument is legally tenable. – Narendra Agarwal

Ethics in pharma industry

There is no need to prove that doctors are bribed by pharmacies (PM Modi vs IMA: Either prove doctors are bribed by pharma companies or apologise, says medical body). The whole nation knows that this is true. We, the people of the country, support the Prime Minister’s statement. We know that whole pharma lobby works against the interest of this country and its people just to make profits. This is not only in India, but also in countries like US, Canada and Australia. You cannot say that you serve this country by donating just 1%-2% of your earnings to organisations working for people’s welfare. Even when you do that, you are marketing yourself. You are not at all interested in the welfare of the country and your motto is to only make profits by whatever means possible. You are hideous opportunists and you want power over this country’s government. – Mitesh Patel


The statement that pharmaceuticals are bribing doctors is true. It is one of the reasons that doctors are adopting a high lifestyle. Patients who visit doctors in a certain location have to purchase medicines from the two or three chemist shops in the same location. The same brand of medicines may not be available in a drug store at a different location. Moreover, the drug store charges customers 25% to 40% more than the MRP. This hiked margin is paid to the doctor in cash by the chemist.

Licences of such drug stores should be cancelled, all those concerned with its management should be blacklisted from conducting store business. The doctors should also be blacklisted. Such actions will prevent the tie-ups between doctors and pharmacists, and be a boon to patients. – Balasubramanian Subayah


It is 100% true that there are unethical practices ongoing in the pharmaceutical industry and patients are given expensive and unnecessary prescriptions. The Telegraph, The Hindu and NDTV are biased against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. However, there are black sheep in every trade and generalising that everyone is corrupt is not acceptable. Let Indian Medical Association not claim to be unimpeachable. Hospitals are also looting people and labs get 40% kickback from prescribed tests. You can easily fool unintelligent people – you are well aware of the nexus between pharmacies, doctors and hospital. – Kamlesh Desai

Miscellaneous comments

Thanks for bringing forward the voice of Sambhaji Bhagat – it was a revelation for me (The Art of Resistance: Bringing the sounds of revolution and Ambedkarite politics to the streets). Many more such marginalised voices need to be popularised by the media. They operate at the grassroots, where mainstream media is never present. Hence, we urban folks are completely unaware of such voices. This is the real voice of the common people and you have brought it out. Kudos. – Rajratna Jadhav


I am highly impressed with articles (ISL weekly takeaways: FC Goa’s century, a new dawn in Hyderabad and ATK’s Kerala bogey). Additionally, I am an exceptionally strong supporter of FC Goa. My observation for Sergio Lobera is that he should see the full match replays and enlighten Jackichand Singh to learn more from players like Coro, Ahmed Jahouh and others, to trap the ball and pass it to the person in the best position to score. His kicks are doubled – trying to score and pass at the same time. A player like Romeo Fernandes, if taken on loan by FC Goa and trained by Sergio, can be one of the best right out forward of the country. Zico had identified the best in Romeo and he, in return, had responded with minus shots like Beckham. – Geovani Santimano


A seminal piece by the author. Very controversial but worth serious consideration due to its obvious value to neglected narratives. (Opinion: It’s time we, the Asuras, took pride in our long-insulted, fallen icons). The identity of the vanquished and their descendants today has always brought up many questions. Who were they? What were their stories? Why are they not discovered and why is only the victor celebrated? So many communities have a different version of their stories: tribals, marginalised communities, lower castes. A visit to any rural area inhabited by these communities will tell us that.

In today’s world, one can very well confront these questions and provide for equally respectful and pedagogical narratives that hold interpretive lessons. It is important to educate our children and inform them that the vanquished were not bad people, they were only on the losing side in battles. Today’s advancements in the science of DNA, Archaeology, History, Anthropology and other areas can meaningfully include and interpret these histories. South Asia has been a plural society for thousands of years. Other narratives will the history of our subcontinent more meaningful and peaceful, and help us understand ourselves better. We need to address this, rather than hush up or attempt to erase these folk histories. – Rajratna Jadhav


If we look at the way science and technology have been evolving, and make some logical extrapolations, flying cars would indeed see the light of the day, probably in a much shorter span than we can think of (Will we ever have flying vehicles (and other questions about the future of cars)?). Undoubtedly, the cost effectiveness, redesigning of the roads to suit the algorithms, and needed ecosystems – such as an enlightened awareness from commuters, pedestrians and the general public – are concerns to be addressed. But the greatest feature of humans is adaptability. More than autonomous cars, flying cars may be reality much earlier, in view of the ever-increasing need for mobility, rising population and road congestions.

As pointed out, the greater thrust may demand fossil fuel technology unless something like hydrogen fuel cell technology comes to rescue. Then the main concerns would be monitoring air traffic, designing collision-free corridors, and the concern of debris. As is the case with satellite orbital slots, there would be intra- and inter-state understandings to come in to play to stage the scene. All said and done, the concepts of fully autonomous and flying cars are sci-fi concepts at least for now. – Ramana Gove


Cities across India are witnessing traffic congestion owing to the growing number of private vehicles. As also, lack of availability of adequate public transport options is encouraging people to switch to private transport. As most of the workforce belong to computer-based jobs, a policy must be framed to allow flexible working opportunities, apart from encouraging work from home.

Bangalore is one of the cities witnessing rapid influx of private vehicles occupying the space rightfully on the road. While public transport like Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation and Namma Metro options are available, the same is not exploited to the fullest extent. Both systems face challenges in operating smoothly within the city. The policy makers should emphasise the companies to switch to flexible working options to reduce congestion on roads.

An effort should also be made by the companies to incentivise use of public transport and shared commute extensively by discouraging private vehicle travel. The move will also help to bring down air pollution level and reduce dependency on fossil fuels. – Varun Dambal