MyVoice: Views of our readers 30th April 2023

MyVoice: Views of our readers 30th April 2023

Views of our readers

Pyre of caste burns forever

The title, ’PYRE,’ invokes in us images of death,loss,fear,pain and suffering and these elements in fact pervade through out the novel written in Tamil in 2013 and was translated into English by seasoned writer, AniruddhanVasudevan in 2016. This griping novel is in the news because it has been longlisted for the Booker Prize this year. In the very opening para, we find a young,newly married couple getting down from a bus on a sunny morning.

The man and his wife start walking towards their home in a village which is a few miles away.The hot weather conditions,arid nature of the land, the loneliness, eerie silence covertly tell you what awaits the young couple in their village.

For Kumaresan and Saroja, life in their traditional and remote village unfolds many strange experiences from day one. As usual, the relatives and friends of Kumaresan come to see the new bride as if she were”an object of wonder.” Some of the visitors make several uncharitable observations and snide comments about Saroja.From her appearance,the people have discerned that she doesn’t belong to their caste. Kumaresan’s widow mother too is highly upset with what her lone son has done.She makes no bones about it and her relatives only add fuel to it.

– With his simple and powerful linear narrative,Murugan holds our attention by filling each page with gripping details about how Kumaresan and Saroja have met, fallen in love, eloped and married. Life for Saroja in particular is not the same in the village and almost every day shocks and surprises make up her routine.

At the same time Murugan,without becoming preachy, creates situations that illustrate two of our great social obsessions namely the caste of people and the complexion of our body.

The glossy fairness of Saroja’s skin makes her stand out in a fictional village where most people are dark brown in appearance.This element and the importance of caste and community in our society decide the fate of the newly married couple and thereby make the story universal.

The greatness of Murugan lies in his dramatic ways of using striking symbolism throughout the narrative.Be it hot weather conditions,arid landscape, rocks and mounds, bushes, darkness or light, all are used in subtle and suggestive ways.Like the Scaffold in THE SCARLET LETTER and the Stake in JOAN OF ARC,the burning bush in PYRE leaves a telling impact on the readers and it will burn in their hearts for long.

As the climax of the novel is grippingly cinematic,the menacingly moving diabolic dark shadows and leaping flames there at once stand for many things symbolically.The ending makes the reader numb and stays in his heart for long.

Hats off to Vasudevan for his skillful use of the language in bringing out the heat and intensity of the story as conceived by Murugan. This highly relevant story is a must read as it mirrors the sensitive social issue of caste that has been burning for ages.

– M Somasekhar Prasad, Hyderabad

PM Modi fails to hear Mann Ki Baat of Betis

It is sad that Prime Minister Narendra Modiji did not find it necessary to call the protesting wrestlers who have been on the agitation path for around 3 months, levelling sexual allegations against the WFI chief BrijBhushanCharan Singh.

Further, the committee set up for enquiring as regards such allegations also perhaps did not speak to the agitating wrestlers and very especially the aggrieved persons in the issue in a transparent manner. This is not fair irrespective of the fact that the allegations are true or false.

The very fact that FIRs are registered only after the intervention of the Supreme Court indicates that the central government has not done its basic duty in investigating the issue totally.

After all when there is an issue involving a ‘beti’ it is the duty of the government to immediately nip the issue at the budding level itself instead of ignoring the issue like it did in respect of Punjab farmers agitation earlier ultimately leading into announcing of repeal of controversial agricultural laws by the PM himself. The police investigation against the WFI chief should be impartial and completed within a fixed time limit, awarding severe punishment to the guilty in case the charges are proved real and genuine.

- KaturuDurga Prasad Rao, Hyderabad

Laxity and ineptitude of cops to the fore

It refers to “Abject failure by police brass costs dearly.” It seems two years of lull has given us false hope that everything is normal now. Maoists chose this time strategically because with the onset of Monsoon season in July it will be difficult for them and security forces to carry out their operations as they return to their camps respectively.

Chhattisgarh learnt its lessons a bit late in the day of allowing local police to take the lead in such operations as by then Maoists from Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Odisha and West Bengal have entered into Chhattisgarh; so, if need be,the state must increase the police force in those specific areas and more critically roads in interior Bastar areas must be built without any delay as proper road connectivity has multiplier benefits.

It is good that Centre has improved the telecom infrastructure in the interiors to help police remain connected and choked the funding to Maoisits, but it has to work more deeply with the state without any political difference or bias to fetch desired results and make Chhattisgarh naxal-free.

– Bal Govind, Noida


Such attacks have been taking place frequently since the UPA days. The relentless attacksgive the people in the Maoist area sleepless nights.With this incident, the number of security forces killed by Maoists in Chhattisgarh in the first four months this year has touched at least 17, almost twice the nine casualties reported in 2022.

Security experts say that between February and June, Maoists conduct a tactical counter-offensive campaign, during which they target security forces, before the onset of the monsoon makes attacks difficult in the Bastar region.

The police personnel were just sitting ducks and the Maoists were merciless once again.

– CKS Jayanthi Maniam, Mumbai

Thoughtless joke of Prime Minister

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has come in for a lot of flak for his thoughtless ‘suicide note’ joke, and rightly so. The joke, amenable to being described as ‘sick,’ cracked by him at a conclave of a private TV channel that a professor detected a spelling mistake in his daughter’s suicide note and felt more anger and disappointment over his efforts to teach her going in vain than sorrow over her death by suicide misfired and showed him in a bad light, though it got on-the-spot applause from an audience wallowing in Modi worship syndrome. What he said was out and out a transgression of the bounds of the basic decencies of a civilized society.

It appalled us that the Prime Minister did not show enough sensitivity, sophistication and profundity to appreciate the seriousness of mental health issues and suicide.

To our utter dismay, the Prime Minister who should be empathizing with the family members and friends grieving over the deaths of their loved ones by suicide, speaking of the need to detect distress, despair and depression in suicide-prone individuals and address them and their causes in time to prevent suicides and making efforts towards suicide prevention has deemed it fit to crack a joke at a bereaved father’s expense.

Everything you do or say is reflective of your personality.

Nevertheless, given the all-important and exalted office he holds, Prime Minister Narendra Modi should realize that suicide is the leading cause of death among young people in our country, as elsewhere, retract his words and swing into action to improve mental health service to save lives.

- G David Milton, Maruthancode, TN

Pak needs another flash surgical strike

The way Pakistan was compared to a snake in your editorial “A snake will always be a snake”(THI,April 22) to describe evil, crooked and sinister nature of Pakistan is very apt and relevant. Unlike India which has a glorious culture deeply rooted in universal peace and in the concept of Vasudeva Kutambam, Pakistan’s culture and history is blood-stained with violence and terrorism pursued so inhumanly and barbarically by its leaders with peace almost quite alien to the Pakistan’s diplomacy. Hypocrisy, cant, chicanery, evil machinations and Machiavellian diplomacy are what characterise Pakistan.

The recent terrorist-assault made on the unit of Indian army (Rashtriya Rifles for counter terror operations)in which our valiant soldiers lost their precious lives is not the first of its kind. In fact, it has been a recurrent, gloomy, bloody and heinous practice that Pakistan indulged in unashamedly and unethically on borders and in Jammu and Kashmir.

India needs to be very serious and tough while dealing with this rogue country. Our army showed to Pakistan how India could teach a fitting lesson to it through Kargilwar and surgical strikes. Pakistan and its leaders haven’t yet learned the lesson and they are still in their colossal folly making cowardly terrorist-attacks on our soldiers. Pakistan needs to be taught some more fitting lessons by India through flash surgical strikes.

– Dr Venugopala Rao Kaki, Kakinada

Kejriwal baring his true colours

In just a decade span of time the AAPand its boss Arvind Kejriwalare mired in multiple allegations of corruption.

The other parties seem relatively good when compared tothe series of misdeeds of AAP.Once it was a feigned as full throated movement against corruption and Kejriwal piggy backedto power on the anti-corruption movement run by Anna Hazare.

What all he promised when people of Delhi elected him with a record majority was forgotten and he is freelyindulging in nauseating freebies culture at the costof development of Delhi. AAP’s high profileleaders including Manish Sisodia and other unruly ministers are allreadybehind bars.

The liquor policy unfolded by Kejriwal is a very dangerous one.Kejriwal, a non-believer, overnight turned a devotee of Lord Hanuman.He contradicts his own statements.After grabbing power in Delhi and Punajb,now his partylost the direction.

His only goal is acquire top politicalposition in India and run the show as per his whims and fancies. Another ugly indulgence incorruption is he allegedlyrenovated his residence at a cost of Rs45crore. It’s all taxpayers’ money. Now his true colors are exposed.

– Rama Krishna M, Kakinada

Indian up marginally on Happiness Index

The World Happiness Report for 2023 has been released, and it reveals that Finland has maintained its position as the world’s happiest country for the sixth year in a row. India has improved marginally, moving up from 136 to 126, but it still ranks lower than neighboring countries such as Nepal, China, and Bangladesh. Some are questioning how India can have the world’s fastest-growing economy but rank lower than countries in turmoil.

The report takes into account six determinants of happiness: social support, income, health, freedom, generosity, and absence of corruption.Various factors contribute to unhappiness among Indians, including urbanization, congested cities, pollution, the cost of healthcare, and crimes against women and minorities. Stress is also a significant factor that impedes happiness in people’s lives. Challenging careers, cutthroat competition, familial issues, health complications, inflation, and other factors can cost people their happiness.

The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) publishes the report to encourage governments to have constructive conversations about the importance of happiness in people’s lives. The report shows that India needs institutional changes to improve GDP per capita, social support, and healthy life expectancy. Citizens and the government need to work together to bring about these changes. India should focus on sustainable development, including social, environmental, and financial development.

It is crucial to take note of where India stands on the World Happiness Index and take steps to improve its ranking. Strengthening social support and striving for sustainable development are essential steps towards this goal.

– Dr Krishna Kumar Vepakomma, Hyderabad

NCERT move quite regressive

It is said that “to take over a country army need not be sent nor bombs be thrown. Just destroying their food security will do. Similarly, if a country’s growth has to be reversed its education system has to be destroyed.” Improving skills and inclusion of latest advancements in syllabus is welcome as it enhances the competitive edge of our newer generations over others. But removing the subjects of proven facts, perhaps to include in their place religious beliefs, is sure to take us centuries behind.

Copernicus emphatically said,“earth is rotating itself and also revolvingaround the Sun.” The fact he placed was against the religious belief of his days. So he was mercilessly killed. Just because it was against the religious belief had his argument been ignored what would have happened? What would have been the status of our science, technology and civilisation? It is against this background we need to view the arbitrary action of NCERT in rearranging the syllabus in schools. A number of portions dealing with the regime of Mughals, Darwin theory of evolution, some social movements, pains of partition and so on are removed. Many systems in our administration were actually introduced by Mughals. What is wrong in telling these facts to our students? Civil and criminal procedure codes are adopted from foreign rulers. Should we remove them from our legal text books?

There is a rumour mischievously spread among the educated circle that the history is written by Leftist historians and it hides the facts. Such claims do not carry any substantiative evidences. I have read about the deeds and misdeeds of our earlier rulers from the books of Roy Chowdry, Majumdar, Datta, NeelakantaSastry, Gouri Shankar, Satyanarayana and so on. None of them is a Leftist.

It is also said that the SCERT of Kerala has issued the removed portions in a separate part. Had the NCERT functioned with some sense of democracy and involved the States in the process of carrying out its contemplated changes such scenes would have been avoided.

– A G Rajmohan, Anantapur


NCERT, in the name of rationalization, removing Darwin’s Theory of Biological Evolution from 9th and 10th standards syllabus is undoubtedly retrogressive and quintessence of being unscientific. Due to this shattering act of NCERT as many as 1,800 sharp-eyed scientists, educators and science teachers from various reputable institutions severely condemned this move of NCERT and expressed their dislike through letters. Evolution of Biology is vital in understanding the pandemics and transformations of viruses.Therefore, removing Darwin’s Theory is nothing but taking students away from scientific knowledge.Education is of paramount importance in the development of Nation in all regards.It is Science and Technology that makes a country a land of innovations and opportunities. Some self-opinionated politicians drawing the religious beliefs into this issue and trying to make this development simplistic with their silver-tongued speeches. But this is nadir to irrational thinking and prejudicial in forming scientific outlook among students. There may be disagreements between science and religion. When there is conflict between science and religion,by acting rationally,we must stand by Science.Or else India may go back to medieval ages. Albert Einstein said “Science without religion is lame and religion without science is blind.”So science and religion have great importance in human life but putting scientific approach aside, immersing only in religious beliefs may not helpful to us always.

Most of the western countries avoided the conflicts between science and religion and paved the way for development. India had rich scientific culture.Science excelled in ancient India.Books like CharakaSamhitha and SusruthaSamhitha were the evidences of our scientific knowledge and forward-looking thoughts of Indians.We are the descendants of Varahamihira, Aryabhatta and Bhaskaracharya. Hence we must walk in the path showed by them and build a modern India.

– K Manoj Kumar, Huzurabad

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