South Asians for Human Rights

Promoting Democracy, Upholding Human Rights

Valley report

I found some errors in this report (“Kashmir: Security forces conducted targeted killings during 2016 protests, alleges citizens report”). The writers spoke only with victims and compiled the report entirely from their point of view, without getting the version of the “agressors”. This is a clear sign of bias. Most reports that lean Left are actually criticism by an average public because they only criticise but do not suggest or recommend any practical solutions. A solution, if presented, is usually idealistic and impractical. For instance, they just state the end result without any roadmap to get there. This report belongs in that realm. – Pranav Menon


Dear, thank you for such an informative article. I salute the people who traveled through the Valley at great risk and in such chaos. You have spoken of human rights violations and captured the suffering of the youth. But this article also seems to be your opinion of the police as evil villains. Why did your team not meet a single member of the security forces? – Suraj Pang

Karnan controversy

The author is trying to defend the indefensible by invoking legal jurisprudence when she herself accepts that the law in this extraordinary case is vague and hardly with any precedent (“Justice Karnan case: A bigger problem than his conduct is how the court has dealt with the issue”). But this case goes far beyond just being a debate on points of law. A hearing by a five-judge bench or seven-judge bench is irrelevant to me. A larger bench at least allows for wider viewpoints compared to, say, a single-judge bench. The comparison with Vijay Mallya’s case is disingenuous – alleged financial fraud versus making a mockery of the judiciary. More disturbing is the conduct of the judge himself. He refused to defend himself and instead invoked his caste and misused the very law (Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Prevention of Atrocities Act) he was sworn to uphold.

Impeachment by Parliament would have been another joke. Can you by any stretch of the imagination foresee our parliamentarians having a dispassionate and meaningful debate on the merits of a case (especially one involving a member of the Dalit community)?

The gag order on the press in this case is justifiable because the judge was projecting himself as a martyr because of his caste and making a media spectacle of himself. Other than making accusations, denying his insanity and hiding, there is not a single sane or lawful action he has taken so far. The only point I agree with the author on is how he was appointed in the first place.

The judges would do well to introspect on reforms from within and move towards greater transparency. The process of judicial appointments would be a place to start. – P Raghavendra


The honourable apex court bench has pronounced an order of six months jail to Calcutta High Court judge CS Karnan for contempt of court (“SC sentences Justice Karnan to 6 months for contempt, bars media from reporting on his judgments”). This is an assassination of the character of an individual and of all Dalits in a great democracy. – Nanjundaiah Ningappa


Is alleging corruption against 20 judges contempt of court (“Karnan case: The Supreme Court has acted like Humpty Dumpty in its gag order on press”)? A judge is not a court. Allegations against a judge of misuse of power for pecuniary gain are solely against that judge’s personal integrity? This is not against a court. The Supreme Court has erred so badly that there seems to be complete ignorance of the constitutional rights of citizens and no distinction has been made between contempt of court and contempt of a judge. A judge cannot be a court for a court is a permanent feature of a democracy whereas a judge is a temporary part of a court.

The allegation is made by a brother judge and not by any common man. Hence, the allegation has to be taken seriously and the allegedly corrupt judges must be investigated as swiftly as possible as the passage of time would cause irreversible damage to an important arm of democracy.

Hence, judges who do not make a distinction between an officer of the court and the court have themselves committed contempt of court. – Sunil Gupta

Roadside dentists

They have been doing a great service for decades (“‘We’re doing social work’: The twists and turns in the lives of Bengaluru’s roadside dentists”). They should receive help and encouragement so that they can continue their work. The rich of India can and should provide resources to these dentists who are making a modest living and serving the poor. God bless them. – Ahmed

Sarangi series

Excellent articles (“Listen: These performances show Pakistani sarangi maestro Nathu Khan’s mastery over the technique”). It might be worth posting the signature tune of Radio Pakistan. It was played by Hamid Hussain, a sarangi player who migrated from Rampur. A beautiful and haunting tune. – Jyoti Pande

Hindus in Pakistan

I am not sure about the veracity of this account (“The story of Sita, a Pakistani woman who lost her faith and family”). But if it is verifiably true, then it should go to the United Nations Human Rights Commission. Or at a more mundane level, should there be another exchange of the Muslim population in Kashmir with Hindus in all of Pakistan? – Madras Sivaraman

Brief history

All this is well, but I still do not know the etymology of langot and banyaan (“Watch: A ‘brief’ history of men’s underwear in India, from langots to boxers”). For example, does the latter have anything to do with “baniyaa”? – Prabhu Guitar


You actually think a four-paragraph story on underwear is newsworthy? Does this story have any redeeming quality or value or does it mean you ran out of ideas and did not know what else to cover? Come on, you can do better than this. What is sadder than you printing the story is that I spent time reading it. – Usman Madha

Partition love story

Wow, this is the first time I am hearing this immortal love story (“Partition tragedy: Buried in an ancient Lahore graveyard is a Sikh man known as a martyr to love”). I had heard the story of Tara Singh in the late 1950s. I think a number of movies are made of Tara Singh’s love story. Gadar is one of them. Let’s all pray that the soul of this Sikh man rests in peace. – Rajinder Saini

Updated On:  May 15th 2017