Letters | Aug 08, 2016
  • There’s No Other Side
    Aug 08, 2016

    Apropos Arundhati Roy’s ‘Azadi’ (July 25), how long can a magazine spit out garbage and anti-­India nonsense, giving a free hand to the most pathetic anti-national elements masquerading as writers. No self-res­pecting nation will allow such anti-nat­ional propaganda in the name of freedom of press. It’s disgusting to see that Outlook is around despite stooping so low time and again.

    Vipul Jani, Toronto

    It seems, in the liberal mind, victimhood can be claimed only by those who use violence. What should the real victims of Kashmir (or other places) do to capture the attention of the liberal intellectuals? Perhaps, get violent, resort to shooting and bombing, like those who are now percei­ved to be victims do? Perhaps that kind of violence may move the writer’s conscience in their favour some day?

    Akshay, Hyderabad

    Azadi from whom, and why? Kashmir wants to be independent, but what about Jammu and Ladakh? And will an independent Kashmir survive? Will Pakistan allow it to exist? Kashmiris have no clear idea about what they are fighting for. Separatist leaders are selfish creatures seeking power without responsibility.

    Ramesh Raghuvanshi, Pune

    Why can’t Arundhati Roy and those who ‘ethnically cleansed’ Kashmir be externed? What exactly is so sacrosanct about citizenship?

    Suchindranath Aiyer S., Kalyanipuri

    If we are to go by the wishes of our bleeding-heart liberals, we will have to manufacture not just non-lethal but magic bullets that give off the fragrance of jasmines and kiss their targets saying, ‘I love you.’

    Kalhar, On E-Mail

    As usual, nothing but dramatic crocodile tears from a writer of fiction. How does Arundhati Roy come to the dramatic conclusion that one side has nothing but the lovely bloom of dem­ocracy in its eyes and the other is the evil imperialist? Has she not seen what the insurgency, well-funded from across the border, is causing? I have serious doubts about these bleeding-heart leftists who ­are always looking for a poor, exp­loited side in every battle. There’s not alw­ays one. Pray, how many of the conditions for the plebiscite—stability, no interference from Pakistan, guarantee for the minorities—have been met?

    Natarajan S., On E-Mail

    Echoing Arundhati Roy, let me say: the people of India have made it clear once again, as they have done decade upon decade, grave upon grave, that what they want is a united India. They are not fighting for territory; they are fighting for the idea of India. For this, they are prepared to face down bullets, bombs and stones. For this, they are prepared to die in numbers. For this, they are prepared to exhibit acts of courage unparalleled in history. For this, they are prepared to fight to the death, knowing full well that they will die. They have been nothing if not consistent.

    Ratnakar, Mumbai

    It must be easy to ghost-write for Arundhathi Roy. On any issue, take the most ridiculous, self-defeating and anti-national position. Embellish it with exaggeration, ­exclude all logic and present it from the PoV of enemies who have sworn to des­troy you. And voila! You have an Arundhati Roy piece! Heck, I might even be able to code a computer to write an ‘Arundhati Roy’ piece, on any issue!

    Ravi Jain, Hyderabad

    What right does Ms Roy have to write about the Kashmiris while completely ignoring those who have been driven out of the Valley? Of course she won’t question the draping of the terrorist’s body in a Pakistani flag! She should bless her stars she lives in India. Let her go live in Pakistan, write against that ­nation, and see what happens!

    Dr S.R. Iyengar, Germantown, US

    Pandits who left the Valley were given jobs and rehabilitated in Jammu and other places. Now, they want to come back to Kashmir, while retaining the jobs, and the government is making efforts to do that too. They get the best of both sides.

    Abdul Majid Zargar, Srinagar

    The last thing one can expect from Outlook’s most fav­oured writer Arundhati Roy is a rational view. For her, the state is always wrong, while those fighting it—whether Naxals or Kashmiris—are always right and inn­ocent. The azadi that Kashmiris really need is from pro-Pakistan activists, ISI agents and devil’s advocates masquerading as intellectuals and human rights activists.

    M.C. Joshi, Lucknow

    This is a request from a modest subscriber of your magazine for a more rat­ional, balanced and complete study of a very complicated situation. Anant Kumar Banerji, Ghaziabad Very grateful to Outlook for limiting Arundhati Roy to no more than a page. There is no dearth of fifth columnists like her in this country: of late, many more seem to be joining her bandwagon. Truth be told, I feel Kashmiri militants are less hypocritical than these writers.

    M.A. Raipet, Secunderabad

  • One-Liner
    Aug 08, 2016

    While I empathise with the Kashmiris, self-determination for only a few districts is not an option.

    Deepak Seth, Faridabad

  • The Ugly Mirror
    Aug 08, 2016

    Upon reading Arundhati Roy's piece, I cringed and wanted to quit after a few lines. I wanted to scream at her, call her names. (And there are plenty in my repertoire—Maoist, ­anti-national, traitor...the list goes on.) But somewhere deep inside I had a feeling that I was reading one of the most honest articles on Kashmir published in the Indian media. It’s not easy to get naked and look yourself in the mirror. At least I can’t. I wear my garb of ideology, religion and nationalism 24x7. It's the bare truth that makes us cringe.

    Anshuman Barua, Guwahati

  • Of Stones and Bullets
    Aug 08, 2016

    The article titled Stone Manifesto (July 25) is clever word play by Najeeb Mubarki. The views expressed are his own and not of some abstract misguided youth, as he has tried to project. Kashmir is not occupied by India. It signed the Instrument of Accession like other erstwhile princely states. Article 370 of the Constitution provides it special status, that’s why Kashmir has a parallel flag, penal code and constitution. But, if Kashmiris still don’t like it, tough luck. The government of India provides 80 per cent subsidy to the people of Kashmir, but they don’t know that as most of this information is skimmed by separatists. They can keep on stoning law enforcement personnel, burning public/private property and keep up the chants of this so-called ‘azadi’, but nothing is going to change on the ground; exc­ept, perhaps more bodies.

    Roger Mangat, Merced, California

    There are a number of illusions about the nature of the conflict in Kashmir. One among them is that India has lost nothing in Kashmir, while the Kashmiris have been destroyed. This is not true. Many good, brave young men have died fighting there. Some of them were my own friends. So, when deranged Kashmiri ext­remist teenagers parrot that ‘sacrifice’ means nothing whatsoever to India, it means nothing to me. According to Wikipedia, more than 4,600 security personnel, 13,500 civilians and 15,937 militants were killed in the last 14 years. Now, if you understand the nature of ins­urgency, you would realise that most of the 13,500 civilians would have been killed in terror attacks and not in police action. At the start of any debate on Kashmir, one has to choose sides bec­ause moral equivalence has long gone. I am on the side of the Indian state, not just because I am Indian, but also bec­ause I can see that the Indian state has behaved with restraint, patience and ­understanding in the state.

    Bhuwan, Gurgaon

    As a reader, one is surprised to see the cover page, which carries Burhan Wani’s picture and, inside, the article by Najeeb Mubarki. The latter especially, is rabidly anti-India. The Kashmir issue began with the invasion of Pakistanis in the guise of tribals. It is then that the king of Kashmir approa­ched India. One of the terms of agreement was that once the aggression ended, other steps would follow. But, the Pakistani agg­ression never really ended. Kashmiris never discussed this. Operation Gibraltar failed. Why don’t these ISI-inspired freedom fighters ever talk about PoK or the territory ceded by Pakistan to China? It’s because Pakistan is a Muslim country. Even Nawaz Sharif is forced to toe this line, failing which he may lose his job or get assassinated. Until Pakistan is tamed, Kashmir cannot progress and the Kashmiris will continue to suffer.

    G. Venkataraman, Mumbai

    What a silly article. Hate is shown by the stone-throwers and not by the security forces, which risk their lives and stand facing violent mobs, all for a living. Hate is shown by the Islamists, who hate everyone else for their beliefs. Hate is not shown by the Indian or the Israeli soldier guarding borders.

    Dinesh Kumar, Chandigarh

    Mubarki’s opinion on Kashmir and the angry youth there is heart-wrenching. At the same time, it is an eye opener to the troubles that Kashmir is riddled with. If this piece cannot shake the politicians and the powers that only pretend to keep peace in the Valley, I fear nothing will. The article moved me to tears. Now I know the truth. But, sadly, I cannot do anything.

    Bakir Javeri, On E-mail

    Mubarki’s views would have been more convincing if he had space for the displaced Kashmiri Pandits in his azad Kashmir. It would have been better if the author were to write about some of the factual conditions prevailing in the other part of Kashmir, which is under Pakistan’s rule. Without these two crucial points, the piece is incomplete.

    Mohinder Singh, New Delhi

  • Resentful Streets
    Aug 08, 2016

    Apropos Streetside Plebiscite (July 25), most ­so-called experts on Kashmir do not want to see the rise of terrorism in many parts of the world like Bangladesh, France, Germany and the US. Why do they see only azadi-seekers in Kashmir and not terrorists? Pakistan has been completely exposed as the terrorism factory of the world. Why do these experts ignore this fact? The truth is that Pakistan will never allow Kashmir to live and India will not allow it to die.

    A. Kumar, New Delhi

    Kashmir is bristling with hoodlums due to the laxity or complicity of the state government. It used to be said in the old days that even evil spirits could be exorcised by ruthless beating. In curfew-­bound areas, our caretakers in the police and paramilitary forces can be ord­ered to shoot at sight all those breaching the law and disturbing peace, even though hundreds may be killed. There shall be total peace within a few hours. An onslaught by rogue states in the neighbourhood conniving with mar­auders need not be feared. The military can take care of them. Amity and humanity are virtues, but not pusillanimity in the face of atrocity and adversity. The bribed sections of our media will raise a storm of tantrums about human rights of unlawful killers, but not of the innocents killed.

    J.N. Bhartiya, Hyderabad

    While Burhan Wani was a militant and the face of terror outfit Hizbul Mujahideen in the Valley wooing Kashmiri youth and instigating them to revolt against the nation, the violence sparked by his death, which continues unabated, is unfortunate. In this context, chief minister Mehbooba Mufti’s appeal to the security forces to maintain restraint to help bring calm in the Valley seems logical. Even though political parties like the Congress and the National Conference believe that Wani was a militant and his activities were anti-nat­ional, it is imperative that all parties join hands to bring normalcy in the Valley instead of pointing fingers at each other at a time when the situation is getting grave with each passing day.

    K.R. Srinivasan, Secunderabad

  • Aug 08, 2016

    Apropos This Isn’t Television, the Remote Doesn’t Work (July 25). The permanent solution to the Kashmir problem is bankrupting Pakistan and dismembering it. The arrogance displayed by Kashmiris these days comes from the mistaken impression that they have a choice in the matter. They think that the more they play the Pak card, the more India will bend. And the Indian state has actually been bending for quite some time. What Kashmiris are not realising is that when push comes to shove, Pakistan will wash its hands of the issue. The Islamic country is already living on alms from the West.

    Akash Verma, Chennai

    Most Indian Muslims do not like the BJP and the RSS. This sentiment extends to Kashmiris as well. The problem has been the alliance between the PDP and the BJP. The PDP had separatist elements in its fold but they suddenly felt compromised when this alliance was forged.

    Captain Johann, Bangalore

    If one looks at the available information on the number of schools, colleges and hospitals in J&K and PoK and compares the stats, it will be an eye opener. It clearly shows that the Indian Kashmiris are enjoying a much better life than the Pakistan-occupied Kashmiris. Also, look at the opposition’s track record. In 2010, over 110 stone-pelting Kashmiris were killed by the police and security personnel compared to just 50 or so this time. But, the Congress and Omar Abdullah are acting as if the BJP is out to destroy Kashmir.

    P.B. Joshipura, Virginia

  • A Timely Shout
    Aug 08, 2016

    I wish to congratulate Outlook and Dola Mitra for having highlighted the issue of OCD in ­today’s India (Washers of Clean Linen, July 25). Appropriate and timely diagnosis and medical treatment with neuropsychological intervention will certainly go a long way to help sufferers. This was mentioned in the article. However, one less und­erstood fact is that in cases of somewhat extreme OCD, where medical treatment fails or is ineffective, there is a role for surgery. Stereotactic surgery and modern methods like Deep Brain Stimulation can provide a good benefit to patients who ­suffer from chronic OCD.

    K. Visvanathan, Chennai

  • Aug 08, 2016

    I write to you about the illustration accompanying the Leader comment of July 18 (A Briefly Stung Parivar). In that, a top RSS leader’s moustache is shown being cut with a pair of scissors. Isn’t that really insulting?

    Parash Roy, On e-mail

  • Aug 08, 2016

    This is about the article on foreign investments (No Beanstalk to Growth Heaven) and Abhijit Banerjee’s Jump-Cut therein (July 25). Education and health are fields where reforms have brought no visible impact or improvement. The so-called specialists in educational reforms lack genuine interest in bringing visible changes. Our reformers forget that humans are capable of learning a subject well only if they have thorough knowledge of the language in which it is taught. In the same manner, basic knowledge of health and hygiene are ess­ential for people to lead healthy lives.

    M.K. Somanatha Panicker, Alappuzha

    Who needs FDI when there is enough money for investments in India itself? But our tax laws are faulty, they encourage hoarding of black money. The other failure is corruption and bureaucracy. It’s better to create a business-friendly atmosphere with minimum red-tapism and corruption.

    Mahesh Kapasi, New Delhi

  • Aug 08, 2016

    Romila Thapar’s essay on nationalism was a stimulating read (The Colonial Roots of Hundutva ‘Nationalism’, Jul 11). Nationalism is a core feeling of love, res­pect and commitment for the nation. But, a divided nation like ours fails to create those feelings. The seeds of divisiveness lie in the Constitution—special provisions for SCs, STs and OBCs and dem­ands for the same for min­orities have made our polity votebank-oriented. Votebank politics on the one hand and political blackmailing on the other is the result of all this. Under the tag of secularism, the Congress continues to demonise Hindus and Hinduism in order to appease minorities.

    P. Kumar, On e-mail

  • Chair for the Man
    Aug 08, 2016

    Kerala’s 93-year-old former CM, V.S. Achuthanandan, is soon to join as chairman of the state administrative reform commission (Seven Days, July 18). This is a clever subterfuge by the party, which had decided earlier to give him cabinet rank. Though at his age, what serious work he can do at the commission is anyone’s guess. He can’t even walk without help; this move is just to appease his ego. Such a move was unthinkable in old times, with leaders like EMS, Gopalan or Basu.

    Rajoo Verghis, Secunderabad

  • Aug 08, 2016

    This is about the Leader comment ‘In Praise of Arnab G’ (July 11). Arnab as an anchor is a garrulous rabble-rouser with a penchant for filibustering, a one-man shouting brigade. His wagging of the pen, face set in a grimace, is unbearable to watch. All he cares about is higher TRPs—and bandying the words ‘exclusive’ and ‘first’ is his way to achieve them.

    Raj Narain, Hyderabad

  • Aug 08, 2016

    China’s recent reversal in the UN tribunal over its claims in the South China Sea certainly merited an article (Admiral Zheng Drops Anchor, July 25). Though China has been a strong supporter and signatory of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, it’s surprising that it has taken such an inflexible stance on the ruling of the International Court of Justice. Interestingly, except for Pakistan, China has disputes with each and every one of the 14 nations that it shares its borders with. In an April 13, 2016, article, the party voice Global Times said, “China will need to feel its way to coexistence with its surrounding countries for a long time to come.” How much China will live up to this rhetoric remains to be seen.

    H.N. Ramakrishna, Bangalore

    A belligerent Beijing has summarily called the PAC’s decision null and void, and dec­lared its intent to build an air defence zone. India, a small but keen player, has taken a wise stand (though of course beneficial to itself), advising all parties to resp­ect the verdict. The US plans to install an anti-missile system in South Korea, ost­ensibly to counter North Korea, but in fact to remain relevant in the disputed sea. China’s disputes with several states around the sea constitute a permanent factor of instability in an area that hosts a trade of nearly $5 trillion.

    P.L. Singh, Amritsar

  • Bold Waters
    Aug 08, 2016

    This is about the Leader comment ‘States of the Nation’ (July 25). Torpedoing state governments with tacit support from pliable governors is unbecoming for the NDA government. Now that the SC has found fault with every decision that Governor J.P. Rajkhowa took, causing the fall of the Nabam Tuki government, the Congress is back in power there.

    K.P. Rajan, Mumbai

    If Uttarakhand and Arunachal Pradesh are the offered model to fulfil the agenda of Congress-mukt Bharat, then sorry, the BJP will never reach its goal.

    V.N.K. Murti Pattambi, Pattambi

    Modi is a tyrant who believes he can manage India with the ‘intelligent’ advice of Ajit Doval.

    Nasar Ahmed, Karikkudi