Clean image alone is not enough
In Maharashtra, any top Congress leader needs the tact to tackle Maratha strongman Sharad Pawar and various groups within the party. If by good governance, clean administration and quick decision-making Prithviraj Chavan had won the Mumbai Corporation, no one could challenge him. Clean image alone is never enough.
Jacob Sahayam, On Email
Party Of Butchers
Refer to ‘And now, rape as a political witch-hunt’, by Ratnadip Choudhury, 28 April.
Read your story on the brutal truth about the crime against women in Tripura. I live in Agartala but I was unaware of what is going on in my own state. It’s shameful and sad to know that even in this era, women continue to suffer like this. When will this violence against women stop? It’s a matter of shame for every citizen of this country.
Monalisa Ghosh, On Email
I really appreciate your detailing of this sensitive issue. It’s really sad that a state like Tripura has such high crime rates, especially that of rapes. Looking forward to reading more of your stories.
Ankita Das, On Email
Refer to ‘In Defence of Culling’, by Jay Mazoomdaar, 28 April.
Of course, it would be too ‘revolutionary’ to help increase the numbers of predators in the area so that they could take care of the overpopulation of prey species!
Pamela Gale Malhotra, On Email
Well-written. People will see in their lifetime that the ‘good’ humans among us will become predators once again, to save the dwindling species.
Sandeep Nagar, On Email
We have not met, Jay, though we might some day, given the nature of the work we seem to be involved in. I wanted to share my approval of your very strong and sensible ending to the new piece you have done on culling in TEHELKA.
Gopi Sundar, On Email
There is no basis for your advocating culling except for one fact that it’s merely your opinion, which any Tom, Dick and Harry can mouth. As a journalist, you are at least expected to present some evidence for what you are saying.
Vidya Athreya, On Email
I don’t suppose humans will ever extend this logic to themselves: keeping ‘human life’ in check, where their overabundance threatens life and livelihood, is very much part of the big nature picture.
Lisa Warden, On Facebook
I recently read your follow-up article in TEHELKA on cull-hunting being allowed in India. Before I progress any further, let me commend you for writing such a piece that no doubt inflamed the radical antihunters against any form of hunting or culling. While they may mean good, sadly anti-hunters think with their heart and not their minds. Time and again, this approach has been proven to be detrimental to the conservation of wildlife and there are numerous examples one can learn from past and present!
Arjun Reddy, On Email
Refer to ‘Mythbusters of Mohali’, by Nishita Jha, 28 April.
I was surprised and amazed to read your article. I cannot comment on most people you mention there, except Sathya Sai Baba and Kavoor. I say this having studied at Sai Baba’s university, and having seen him from close quarters. It was the love he spread, among the many things he did for the benefit of the common man. I am not sure you’ve ever visited Puttaparti, but your journalistic license gives you the privilege of writing and talking about anyone without cross-checking and referencing. Sai Baba built two hospitals, both super-specialty and with some of the best equipment and doctors, to perform operations at no cost to patients. His educational institutes provides education from kindergarten to post-grad and even PhD.He has provided free drinking water to people in Chennai, Anantpur and many other places. I am not saying that Sai Baba is God or that I believe in him. My only request is don’t write without a proper background check. I was there when Kavoor came to Puttaparti. We never saw a game/match of miracles between the two. What Sai Baba said about his miracles was: ‘I do this for the good of people and these are my visiting cards. I am not asking anyone to come to me, they come by their own will and there is no need for me to go about proving that I am God.’ As a journalist, you can draw your own conclusions.
Jagannath, On Email
The Walls Have Eyes Too
Refer to ‘Abhishek Singhvi. And lessons from the Third Eye’, by Shoma Chaudhury, 28 April.
I could not agree more with your article. What a minister does in his private chambers should not be our business, provided his doings do not in any way adversely affect the public at large. In fact, such sneaking into intimate lives of other people, and especially public servants, would amount to breaching of individual freedom, which is his/her fundamental right.The question of individual freedom is more important in a democracy, than speaking only from a journalistic standpoint. The freedom of the press is certainly very important but not to the point of breaching individual freedom.
Munjal Thakar, On Email
Dileep Kumar, On Email
You have obviously lost the bigger, more worrisome concern: the sale of judicial positions for favours. We are not talking about wannabe models or highschool kids here. Justice is a position held with a certain amount of dignity, and if it were to be sold for dirty favours, what does the future hold? Ponder much? There is no denying that the lady in the video was an aspiring judge. The out-ofcourt settlement between Singhvi and the driver is proof enough that there is something more nefarious than just a sex scam. This is a matter that needs to be questioned, rather than be hushed up. How is this sting-op different from what you conducted a few years ago? I’m sorry to say, but your moral barometer is obviously faulty. It veers toward opportunism. I have always loved how you stood up for the right cause. But this is shameful.
Anil Pai, On Email
I wanted to share my feedback on your editorial. I totally agree that such operations should be done cautiously to prevent invasion of privacy. However, in this case, Singhvi was having sex in his workplace, in the SC chambers. It would be a different matter if he was at his house, or any other private residence (even a hotel room). He was basically screwing around on the job. I work in a software company, and if I was caught on camera having sex in the office, I’d be hauled up and fired for inappropriate behaviour.
Raja, On Email
Every action need not accompany journalistic intent. I am somewhat amazed at your blasé view disregarding the distinction between consenting adults and a public figure using taxpayer premises for his private pleasure. Was the woman Singhvi’s boss, peer, or subordinate seeking a position in exchange for favours? Based on your view, every parliamentarian and political figure may engage in sexual activity in their offices as long as it is consensual with their peers/subordinates, prostitutes, wives/friends.
Anonymous, On Email
Jaya Lakshmi, On Email
Your claim, ‘going by its own moral barometer, TEHELKAwould probably have said no,’ is risible, given the bent and biased standards your paper unfailingly adopts. I was surprised, though, you failed to mention Modi or BJP in your diatribe.
R Patel, On Email
Legend And I
Refer to ‘Still Running on a Dream’, by Nishita Jha, 21 April.
Your article on Milkha Singh moved me beyond words. Not having been a sports fanatic, I never knew his story. All I knew was that he was a big name in Indian sports. Your words brought me closer to this person and needless to say, I found his story engrossing. No wonder Rakeysh Om Prakash Mehra decided to make a film on the living legend’s journey. What appealed to me the most was the spirit and subtlety of this man. The way he conveyed his live-to-win motto with nonchalance was just amazing. He is now an inspiration for me. I have TEHELKA to thank for apprising youngsters like me of the gems in our country. It is because of these laudable efforts that we come to know of things that our country should be proud of.
Kainat Sarfaraz, On Email
Refer to ‘NTCA Refines Phase IV Protocol for Monitoring Tiger Population’, TEHELKA Impact, 10 April.
I am pleased to read your articles that keep me up to date on what is happening for tigers in India. Keep up the great work.
Peter Jackson, On Email
Ramki S, On Email
Well done, Jay! This is a systemic problem that is deeply entrenched. Most forest officials have lost their feel and empathy for the resources and the people they are responsible for managing. Big budgets, unfortunately, have turned wildlife management into a civil engineering enterprise with no long-term plan or ecological monitoring.
Ravi Chellam, On Email
This is good Jay. But the NTCA itself is turning a blind eye. Big civil works are going on all the time in most of the tiger reserves, and yet they don’t do any checking. I’m really glad that Sariska is getting a reprieve. However, just transferring those officers isn’t enough. An enquiry should be ordered into their assets to see if there is anything disproportionate. Corrupt forest officials are getting away scot-free all the time.
Shekhar Dattatri, On Email
Madhu Bhatnagar, On Email
Refer to ‘Field Disorder’, by Jay Mazoomdaar, 21 April.
Great article. It’s ok for the SC to say that states must notify buffers, but the ground reality is different. States cannot force this through; in most areas, local communities are strongly opposed to the notification of buffers. Villagers and communities also have mixed reactions — such as in Pakke and Namdapha — with different groups for and against buffers. I was amazed that the SC set a deadline for this. The point is that all of this is on paper — to add to the confusion, when we have not even secured the cores of reserves. It is pointless to talk about large, meaningless buffers where it’s practically impossible to stop development activities.
Aparajita Datta, On Email
Refer to ‘The rapes will go on’, by Abhishek bhalla and G Vishnu, 14 april
'Of all the institutions that I am ashamed about in this country, the police is right up there. In fact, this is not even a proper modern police force. It is a greedy grasping cabal. A colonial beast drenched in archaic colours that needs to be tamed and reformed.’
Amit Manuviraj, On Email
You have written well. In our case also, the buffer is not notified around Nagarhole Park.
BK Singh, On Email
Thanks a lot for taking up this vital issue. We have been working on an ad-hoc, and dayto- day basis. We had lost the vision a long time ago.
GV Reddy, On Email
Excellent! I have been following your series in TEHELKA.
Shubhobrata Ghosh, On Email
Ministry Of Fraud
Refer to ‘The Raja Who Stole From the Poor’, by Ashish Khetan, 21 April.
Your article on Raja Bhaiya was very wellwritten and convincing. I’m sure your blood boiled with righteous indignation while making this report, like it would with any other Indian. I fail to understand how it is possible for these guys to make the process so easy and steal public money relentlessly. What were the police, the Intelligence Bureau, and other agencies doing? Even the Opposition failed to capitalise on it. The failure of the system shows that the democracy we live in is just not working. It is only working for those rich capitalists who are ready to exploit the poor and maintain their Swiss bank accounts. This is not just the story of Uttar Pradesh. Corruption is rampant in every part of the country and across all party lines. We have become a corrupt society that applauds those who have succeeded even through nefarious means. God alone knows what is the way out!
Dibya Mohapatra, On Email
Arms And The Men
Refer to ‘Working in a Twilight Zone’, by Rahul Bedi, 21 April.
My compliments to Rahul Bedi for a well-researched and comprehensive insight into arms deals. The middlemen are going nowhere, and this arrangement needs to be formalised. These agents are doing a professional job and cannot be blamed for overpricing and corruption. Corruption starts with the user, who reveals information on prospective purchases to enable tweeting of the GSQR (General Staff Qualitative Requirement), then the officials in the MOD, who want to earn quick money through such deals. The compulsion of overpricing is created by the party in power to build up their party funds. In fact, when procurement is done from foreign countries, after identifying purchase, representatives from the two governments sit across the table to hike the price for their mutual benefit. This is the SOP adhered to all the while. We have to clean the rot within, rather than blame outsiders. Tatra’s is a case in point, where the MOD is the user, buyer and the seller. The point to ponder is that no government institution can tackle it as the institution itself is the patron, architect and beneficiary of the institutionalised corruption.
Col AJ Bahadur, On Email
Refer to ‘The Anatomy of Rapes’, by Nishita Jha, 31 March.
Why don’t you write about the condition of women in Bihar and eastern UP? In these areas, women are the worst sufferers; they are gangraped, kidnapped, and sold to the preying clientele in Haryana or Punjab. In 2010, a journalist from Jharkhand, a Brahmin- Pathak girl, was tortured to death by her parents for having illicit relations with a Kayasth-Sinha boy. These atrocities take place in every caste across this country. Not just in Jatland. However, the moment such incidents take place in Haryana, it’s enough for you folks to get riled up and malign Jats, even if they had nothing to do with the crime. Still, the plight of women in Haryana is better than the rest of the country. Girls in Haryana are called “golden girls of Jatland”. If Jats weren’t around, there would have been no one to stop the slaughter at the hands of the Mughals.
Sanjay Mann, On Email