Re Ramesh Ramanathan’s “A nation of hypocrites”, Mint, 10 April, we Hindus didn’t get “massively unhinged somewhere along the way.” We still talk big as we did in the Upanishads; we still practise casteism as Manus would want. As said Swami Vivekananda: “No religion on earth preaches the dignity of humanity in such a lofty strain as Hinduism and no religion on earth treads upon the necks of the poor and the low in such a fashion as Hinduism”. We’ve been hypocrites all along. Only our brand of hypocrisy is more inhuman, more cruel, more sinister — as it is in the shastras which are held infallible by many — so the rest of mankind should treat us as “untouchables” as we do our own folks.
- Manojit Bhowmik
The historic judgement by the Supreme Court should be welcomed by all, because some sections of society have been denied access to progress even after 61 years of independence. But reservation should be made available also to those below the poverty line, irrespective of caste and religion.
I’m sure those who are truly talented won’t be afraid to compete with others. In our country, there may be hundreds of reasons for reservation and hundreds against. Years ago I had discussed OBC quotas with an IIT graduate, who now lives in Spain. According to him, there were no basic differences between general and reserved category students in the institute. He asked how, in a few hours of a competitive examination, can one judge a candidate’s talent. We shouldn’t forget that talent in IIMs, IITs, etc., is a direct consequence of available resources (for middle and upper classes) for memorization of concepts ensured by coaching institutions in metros and other cities. If the talented students are afraid that the 27% OBC quota would go against them, then why do the privileged class in big private professional colleges, promote backdoor entry using the capitation fee system? Justice Bhandari’s advice “…don’t touch private institutions”, seems to support the privileged class.
- Bidyut Kumar Chatterjee
This has reference to your report “After protests, big retail faces licensing woes”, Mint, 9 April. Mint is one business newspaper that has good updates on retailing. Licensing requirements happens to be the last straw on the camel’s back to discourage big investments in retail business. Being the election year, the government would not have thought better politically!
The licence raj also breeds corruption. So, right from top to bottom, the government staff may be quite happy at the developments. First, the government bought time by referring to an expert committee and now the government wants to introduce licensing. The bureaucrats deserve prizes for such creative thoughts!
- K.V. Rao
Ramesh Ramanathan’s column on 10 April is a well- written article that truly highlights one of the greatest conundrums of the current Indian society. Here is something to think about though — in the US, which is held out as a model of collective civic conscience and responsibility to society, while the sense of community is strong, the American society has a poor sense of family. This is reflected in everything from the high divorce rate, retirement homes for the older generation, the non-acceptance of grown-ups living with parents, kids having weak or non-existent value systems, etc. Quite a contrast. So, here’s the real question: Are these two qualities exclusive, or can they coexist? Is there a country or society that has demonstrated that the two can coexist harmoniously?
- Vaibhav Nalwaya