Readers react to Subramanian Swamy’s article ‘How to wipe out Islamic terror’ published on July 16.
It is extremely sad that you have allowed Swamy to write a hate speech in your paper. Such a piece has a place in some extreme right-wing publication one would have thought, not in a mainstream newspaper like yours.
Sure you might carry another article that counters Swamy’s article, and that might salvage the situation a bit, but it can’t undo the damage. The damage is that these kind of xenophobic views have now got respectability by getting carried in the DNA. I request you to issue an apology in your newspaper for carrying such an extremely offensive piece, so that people know such extreme views cannot be tolerated.
—Vinay Sreenivasa, Bangalore
There’s no crude bomb planted in any market which can hurt this country more than a few published opinions like Swamy’s. Apart from reflecting an ignorant, head-butting, childish worldview, it is an incitement to violence and generalised reprisals against a force (the “Muslim agenda at large”) that does not exist. I’m not really disappointed in Swamy — everyone knows what to expect of him — but your decision to publish him is the real betrayal of your role in a city experiencing crisis and fear.
—Raghu Karnad, Editor, Time Out, Delhi
As a reader aged 22, I feel ashamed that such an article was published by you. As much as I was hoping for journalism to get more sensitive and considerate, your paper publishing this article has made me re-think.
I acknowledge the fact that the writer has the freedom to express his opinions through the press and that it was an opinion, but you have to show some responsibility towards the sensitivities of your readers. A balance needs to be maintained. I am a Hindu by birth, but when I read this article, there was nothing I felt proud of — if that was the aim of the article.
—Vandana Radhakrishnan via email
The article is socially irresponsible and completely anti-Islamic. It saddens me to say that such people exist in society and have the power to influence people through a great medium such as yours.
Serious action should be taken against Swamy and I really hope for your welfare and mine that the Islamic community of India knows when to close its ears to such radicalism. After the Mumbai blasts, all Indians need is a way to battle terrorism — not themselves.
—Akshay Rajpurohit. Mumbai
The column is Islamophobic in the extreme, presumes that the people behind the Mumbai blasts were Muslims, and in hardly veiled terms calls for violence against Muslims.
Publishing views like these only leads to more hatred in society, and more excuses for bigots to place bombs in market places. Such are the views that the ‘Indian Mujahideen’ cite in their emails as justification of their acts. Rather than break the cycle of hatred, you are helping fuel it. This cannot be justified in the name of diversity of opinion.
—Shivam Vij, Delhi
The content and the headline of Subramaniam Swamy’s article were completely void of each other. Such irresponsible writing does no good to the nation’s unity in this hour of crisis. Such directionless writing is uncalled for. I want and expect articles of the paper to be a knitting and binding force in such difficult period
—Mobshri via email
Isn’t Dr Swamy trying to incite Islamophobia? His solution to the terror attacks seems to be oppression of the Muslims of India. The real solution is not to create a Nazi India, but to have continuous dialogue and trust-building between the Muslims and Hindus and other religious groups as well. Muslims and Hindus must learn to live in harmony with one another.
The problems are not religious, but are created by fringe elements. Don’t we have “Hindu terrorists” as well in jails? Muslims have as much a stake as any in the progress, security and well being of India as a nation. Seventy two ulemas and Muslim organisations have condemned this attack. Why doesn’t this get highlighted?
The solution is not in converting Muslims into Hindusim, but in allowing each individual to choose to live as he/she wishes.
—Ashfaq Abdul Gani, via email
We do not need lectures on the role of Hindus at this point of time. What we need right now is humanity and compassion. The article is a piece of trash, with paras like “The Muslims of India can join us if they genuinely feel for the Hindu. That they do I will not believe unless they acknowledge with pride that though they may be Muslims, their ancestors were Hindus.” How can you print something so irresponsible in your paper?
—Pooja Naik via email
The article should have been titled ‘How to spread hatred in already troubled India’. It is too communal and hate spreading article. You should not allow the reputation of your paper to be put at stake for such politicians. When they are in power they speak one language and when out of power speak another.
—Douglas Philiph Dgama via email
Even before the full details of the Mumbai blasts are out, the author has taken the right to call it Islamic terror and has prescribed a policy for terrorism that is more of an exercise in ethnic subjugation.
The article is a seditious piece of writing and if the author is not charged under sedition, there would be something to say about this State and its Hindu fundamentalist links. If a doctor whose only work for a life time was treating the poor could be charged with sedition, I think this author has to be punished under the same provisions and also under charges for creating communal disharmony by making unproven and explicitly false statements.
—Venkat via email