Order by Previous days letters
Jul 28, 2014
11:36 PM

I agree with DC on part of it (hygiene) being cultural issue, honestly. I recall from my childhood days when I used to visit our village (of course I grew up in city). I still recall that most of the houses of even decently well to do in village, including some of my close relatives did not have a pucca toilet. They were not rich but decently well to do to spend money on a pucca toilet. Some houses had a pit style latrine but no bathroom to take a shower. The males would take shower in open at the entrance of the gate where the tap was located. The females would use toilet and take a shower well before dawn as a result. And even the pit style toilet lacked a roof, it was open and possibly visible to neighbors if they are on their roofs. And this I am talking about a family with a govt job, house of its own and some agriculture income from contract (its own land). Undoubtedly, only reason for not spending on toilet/bathroom was it was NOT a priority at all.

Bangalore, India
Jul 28, 2014
11:21 PM

Excellent Article!1

Thanks for outlook for publishing this good point of view!

pune, India
Jul 28, 2014
10:25 PM

"Most Brahmins who have ever lived have not spoken Sanskrit as their mother tongue"

The above claim is true of any arbitrary group xxx substituted in place of "Brahmins". So the choice of "Brahmins" over, say, "Tibeteans" or "Chinese" is irrelevant.

I also do not understand what the author means by people of the "Swat Valley" being some how better placed to introduce Sanskrit in their schools. If that were true, then Ukrainians should start merging back within Russia (after all the first state of Rus was founded in Kiev in the 10th century CE), Turks ought be studying Thracian and Hittite, Egyptians should go back to Coptic, English should introduce Brythonic, French ought to dump Francais and start speaking Gaulish and even the Italians, with their centuries old Roman provenance, ought to go back to Etruscan. 

Languages and their attendant cultures are determined by the people who choose to speak it, irrespective of whether they learnt it from their mother. Rushdie isn't a lesser wielder of the English idiom because his mum didn't speak the language nor Al-Beruni a lesser writer of Arabic because of his Persian mother.

At any rate, more speakers of Sanskrit were always found within the current boundaries of India than outside since the last 3 millennia. All Sanskrit inscriptions are Indian (the first one actually is from Gujarat - from the Saka Mahakshtrapa Rudradaman, who's mum most definitely didn't speak Sanskrit). Almost all Sanskrit textual records have been found in the present-day boundaries of India. Even all the muslim gravestones of Kashmir before the 15th century CE were inscribed in Sanskrit.

Of the number of Sanskrit textual records that we have access to today, an overwhelming majority is Buddhist, Jaina and secular literature, with only a fraction of stuff involving Hinduism per se. In spite of this, Sanskrit today remains in the clutches of the Hindu orthodoxy. Popular revival of Sanskrit will actually change that status quo - because the last time I checked, languages don't change humans, humans change languages!

Pankaj Vaishnavi
London, United Kingdom
Jul 28, 2014
10:07 PM

On this particular incident, it does look like UP CM acted swifly and did the right thing for the most part. Seems he has learnt his lesson from the election results.

Akash Verma, Chennai
Jul 28, 2014
10:03 PM

It is news to me that there are courts in WB that can actually pass orders.

Akash Verma, Chennai
Jul 28, 2014
09:55 PM

"Israel is NOT a democracy. It is a theocracy just like the Taliban."

Man you rock!!! You do come up with the dumbest of theories.

Akash Verma, Chennai
Jul 28, 2014
09:54 PM

When the issue first cropped up, I thought BJP was being petty in denying Congress LoP, even though it has not earned it. I thought it could be gracious and offer them this position as a gesture of goodwill.

But after seeing Congress squirm, and act as if it is entitled to a position for which it has actually been rejected by the people, I think it was a good decision. The comedy it provides is an extra benefit.

Whats InAName
San Francisco, United States
Jul 28, 2014
09:47 PM

India can spend a hundred times that money upgrading all roads in India at a total cost of ZERO if FISCAL DEFICITS are used for funding. FISCAL DEFICITS cost nothing in production, interest rate and debt payments and will boost the economy by a factor of five. T he economic balance is

FISCAL  DEFICIT  - TRADE DEFICIT = NET PRIVATE SAVINGS, showing that the source of money is mostly the FISCAL DEFICIT!

Parthasarathy Shakkottai, Long Beach
Jul 28, 2014
09:46 PM

>> Do you think Israel is implementing the Oslo Accords?

I don't particularly care. As a Muslim, you are understandably concerned about Palestinians, who certainly got shafted. As an Indian, and a Hindu, I am more concerned about Kashmiri Pandits.

Whats InAName
San Francisco, United States
Jul 28, 2014
09:39 PM

India better be careful in getting too close to Israel. Israel is NOT a democracy. It is a theocracy just like the Taliban.

Parthasarathy Shakkottai, Long Beach
Jul 28, 2014
09:37 PM

>> India’s government has a responsibility to act to protect the free press

India's free press offered their support to the NY times editorial as they were getting up after grovelling before Sonia.

Whats InAName
San Francisco, United States
Jul 28, 2014
09:34 PM

What he means is this. First the rebels or Hamas fires a lot of people from Gaza just before a rocket is fired sorrounded by a people shield, so Israel can't get to the missile easily (or at all) , so there is a lot of collateral damage. Hamas is entirely responsible for this fiasco. 

Parthasarathy Shakkottai, Long Beach
Jul 28, 2014
09:32 PM

"It is not the biggest threat to world peace"

We know. The biggest threat to world and universal peace is Narendra Modi(or is it Amit Shah? I am getting confused off late).

Akash Verma
Chennai, India
Jul 28, 2014
09:30 PM

Oh god!

Every time BJP gets some support, it shoots itself in the foot.

While it is perfectly valid to kick out the sicko/jehadi crowd that has been writing an extremely slanted (and sometimes plain wrong) version of history, the solution is not to replace them with some crackpots, who want to replace history (and worse, science), with fantasy.

If he continues like this, Batra will reduce credibility of his otherwise fantastic fight against the filth produced by scums like Doniger.

Whats InAName
San Francisco, United States
Jul 28, 2014
09:27 PM

Fantastic flowchart on how to cover communal incidents for the media


Both Ajayendar and Ashwin Kumar are superb satirists.

Akash Verma, Chennai
Jul 28, 2014
09:22 PM

>> It is not the biggest threat to world peace.

I would call you an Ostrich, but I know you are a liar.

>> I do not know any authority who says that.

If anyone says so, he/she shall be labeled Islamophobe.

>> Can you delineate how Islamic fundamentalism or militant Islam (I am against both) can lead to world war?

9/11, London train bombings, Boston Marathon bombings, Boko Haram, Hamas, LeT, Chechneya terrorists, Pakistan are not enough threats to world peace for you? You need a world war?

Whats InAName
San Francisco, United States
Jul 28, 2014
09:13 PM

Here is some factual reporting:


Thanks for the link. The administration has to act firmly against the rioters. Shoot a few in the legs, and if required, in the head, and arrest the leaders. The riots shall soon stop.

Whats InAName
San Francisco, United States
Jul 28, 2014
08:53 PM

Indians have disgusting habits about cleanliness and hygiene irrespective of their access to toilet and it is a part of the great Indian culture. Public toilets / urinals even in the airports and Indian Airlines flights ( flyers are certainly not poor) will tell you that lower economic disparity does not solve this problem. It is quite difficult for indians living overseas to explain to their children why people living in their parents' homeland are so careless about cleanliness and public hygiene.

Lack of access to public toilets is only one side of the story. There is a cultural side, as Ramesh Raghuvanshi mentioned, Indians have historically refused to clean their own faeces.

Please read a very recent article on this issue in the Economist. Mehta,  like a typical Indian journo expectedly politicized the issue and avoided more resarch that such a serious socio-economic problem demands. On the other hand, the Economist article tried to show why lack of access to toilets due to poverty provides partial explanation to this problem.

NEW YORK, United States
Jul 28, 2014
08:38 PM

>> Not necessarily. Chidambaram bugged Pranab and Pranab became President-while Chidambaram is out of job


Whats InAName
San Francisco, United States
Jul 28, 2014
08:19 PM

When everything become mobile,India right from beginning,focused on increasing cell phone users instead of computers.Now cell phones provide web surfing and naturally is going to be benefitted maximum out of cell phone services through private as well as public companies.Mozilla should work more on providing facilities on cell phones.

Ashok Amin, St Petersburg FL
Jul 28, 2014
08:07 PM

We are going to celebrate our 68th independence day on August 15 ,2014 .What have we acheived ? Nothing .As a nation we are crippled ,Still we cannot protect women in india nor we are able to assure their safety .During the delhi gangrape incident it was Congress in power now it is BJP in power and yet the case is no different .

hyderabad, India
Jul 28, 2014
07:58 PM

Ya Allah

5 lac Indian Muslim youth to be trained in Jihad for cleaning Shias may be next Ahmediayas .
This from a learned Cleric grand son of Ali Mian

After that WHO ??

ashok kumar ghai
Mumbai, India
Jul 28, 2014
07:53 PM

Rajendra Chola's conquest is breath taking. And the kind of rule he administered is a less on for everyone.

And yet................in school I did not study one word about him in the commie history books. I was fortunate to learn the facts from other sources.

Indian history these days starts with Akbar and ends with Nehru.

Akash Verma
Chennai, India
Jul 28, 2014
07:49 PM

OK Akhilesh then arrest first Masood Congress MP . 

ashok kumar ghai, Mumbai
Jul 28, 2014
07:41 PM

Today is the 1000th coronation day of THE GREATEST INDIAN RULER-Rajendra Chola.

Akash Verma
Chennai, India
Jul 28, 2014
07:38 PM

It is also Ahemedias and Sunnies too .

"" Pakistani mob burns homes of minority Muslims, kills 3 after allegations of blasphemous photo
Published July 28, 2014 • Associated PressFacebook0 Twitter18 LAHORE, Pakistan – Pakistani police say a mob has burned down several homes belonging to minority Ahmadi Muslims in the country's east, killing a woman and her two granddaughters following rumors about blasphemous postings on Facebook.

Police official Zeeshan Siddiqi says the rioting in the city of Gujranwala erupted late Sunday after claims that an Ahmadi had posted a blasphemous photo of the Kaaba — the cube-shaped structure in the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, that observant Muslims around the world face in prayer five times a day

The photo allegedly contained nudity.

Siddiqi says the victims died of suffocation and that another woman miscarried during the riots and was in hospital.

Like other Pakistani minorities such as Christians, Hindu and Sikhs, Ahmadis have long been targeted by Islamic extremists.''


Kahin bhi chain  nahin  inko .-even in Ramzan though all violence is prohibted .

ashok kumar ghai
Mumbai, India
Jul 28, 2014
07:11 PM

" All you care about is to smear people with your habitual lying and dishonesty." - Anwaar

I am interested in the truth and in exposing the canards that you seek to disseminate through this forum.

It is you who carry out smear campaigns, not me. For years, you carried out a smear campaign against Narendra Modi, making false allegations against him and comparing him with Hitler. None of your predictions have come true, they never will. India will experience what good governance is, what true secularism is, over the coming years. Your favourite dynasty and the bunch of sycophants that have hijacked the Congress and looted the country will be consigned to the dustbin of history.

No wonder you get so worked up and call me all sorts of names. Only losers do that.

Visakhapatnam, India
Jul 28, 2014
07:08 PM

"because Mahatma Gandhi’s 1939 statement, “Palestine belongs to the Arabs in the same sense as England belongs to the English and France to the French,” remained the guiding principle .....................

The other "guiding principle of Gandhi was that Jews should commit suicide. Why are we not following that?

Akash Verma
Chennai, India
Jul 28, 2014
06:38 PM

If Namo is keeping a check on Ghadkari,he has all right thinking Indians support.

Modi if at all there anyone who can check brokers and self seekers I still have hope in you.

So what,if Ghadkaris house is bugged,he has the dubious distinction of getting 265 crore investment from unknown sources in his Puurti.

Modi dont let shaddy collegues to get away,While you are happy with a House to live ,its these around you who are taking the system for a ride.

Those on this site will not stand up for you,if you were to sack a G or jail the G from Bihar.

Modi dont let the ordinary Indian down.Jai ho

harun, chennai
Jul 28, 2014
06:37 PM

"I thought we went by CAG report on 2G.."

Fopr your information, CVC and CBI had concluded that a scam had happened in 2G a full 18 months BEFORE the CAG report came out.

Akash Verma
Chennai, India
Jul 28, 2014
06:16 PM

Is Modi directly responsible for this or indirectly responsbile? THat is the only question.

Akash Verma, Chennai
Jul 28, 2014
06:13 PM

"The answer, say old-timers, lies in Sonia not retreating but taking charge yet again."

The answer lies in developing state level leaders. Since the implementation of Kamaraj plan by Nehru, the dynasty had always wanted only Manmohans at the state level.

That is the root of the misery of Congress. Both 2004 and 2009 were victory of the allies-not of Congress. But this fact was lost amidst celebration. Congress did not increase its voteshare anywhere.

When the allies weakened, Congress fell with them.

However it is too early to write off Congress. BJP is not without its problems. It has no footprint in major states like WB and TN. And the law of averages would mean BJP will lose a few elections in the next 3 years. If COngress plays its cards well, it still can stay relevant---however.

But for real growth, leaders have to come at the state level.

Akash Verma
Chennai, India
Jul 28, 2014
06:05 PM

"If Ministers' houses are bugged, then it is not a good omen"

Not necessarily. Chidambaram bugged Pranab and Pranab became President-while Chidambaram is out of job.

So getting bugged might be a good omen for the bugged-even though it may not be a good omen for the bugger. It all depends on one's perspective of life.

Akash Verma, Chennai
MORE MAIL  |  YOUR TAKE  |   |  Agree LIKE (3)  |