A question for N Ram & Co

Combat injuries and death do not respect the logic of representativeness

Totally ignoring what effect the collection (and inevitable politicisation) of data on the religious composition of the armed forces will have, all The Hindu finds objectionable is the ‘style’ in which the data was demanded from the armed forces.

Further, it contends that ‘merit and equal opportunity are relatively recent terms in the history and vocabulary of the Indian Army’. Summoning up the historical long view — its ‘recent’ spans over five decades since India’s independence — is clearly irrelevant. For as the same article acknowledges, ‘the post-1949 ban on recruitment along caste, linguistic, and religious lines has produced positive results’. Hidden in its apparent equivocation is an insidious argument for some measures to ensure better ‘representation’.

There is of course no question of communal reservation. But while anything divisive or diversionary must be avoided, there can be no denying the merit of expecting all institutions, including the armed forces, to become more diverse and more representative of the various constituent elements of India than they are today [The Hindu]

Here’s the question — distasteful as it may be — for The Hindu’s editors. Will it argue that like military jobs, military casualties too must become more diverse and more representative of the constitutional elements of India? And by extension, if soldiers of one community or the other take more casualties than is suggested by the logic of representativeness, does it propose to put soldiers from another community in line to take the next enemy bullet? This sounds tastelessly absurd. That it most certainly is. But no less so than what The Hindu subtly suggests.

11 thoughts on “A question for N Ram & Co”

  1. Nitin,

    Very well put.

    N. Ram is a rigid Marxist ideologue who has transformed the “Hindu” into an increasingly opinionated and unbalanced source of information. Its coverage of issues is colored with a left wing perspective not always in tune with ground reality nor national interest.

    Best regards

  2. Some time back , N Ram would have got the “right” treatment , from the blessings of Kumari Jayalalitha, had it not been for the intervention of President/ Supreme Court. Jaya is a maniac, but it would have been fun to see one maniac taking on the other!

  3. Good point Nitin. En plus since this paper is subsidized with tax-payer money, I would like to know more about the hiring policies in “The Hindu”. What is the social background of the editorial board members?

  4. Hiring Policy?

    Its fully dominated by Triplicane / Mylapore Brahmins .Incidentally communist institutions in India are dominated by Brahmins ,though their hardcore ideologues ,masquerading as Media Columnist, cry hoarse that BJP and its allied organisation are dominated by Upper Castes (I personally diagree with rabid right wing but to the give the devil its due its a indisputable fact that BJP one of the few political parties that consciously did “Social Engineering” to give representation to all caste groups.

    The Hindu is quite dangerous.Though it profesees to be progressive newspaper,its purely family held enterprise .When Jayalalitha used her strong arm tactics,Ram projected himself as fighting for press freedom .Today his paper takes a friendly stand to her as commercial interest of the Chennai Centric paper needs to be protected.

    It used to give semblance of space for alternative viewpoints in the pre-Ram editorial era.But once Ram took over it was curtains for the neutrality and its becomes the offical mouthpiece of the CPM.For instance sane voices like Rajamohan who is the probably is the best defence commentator in the country were shunted out .Instead we have someone like Siddharth Vardarajan who is fellow ideological traveller of Ram.And Ram does not even publish letters midly adversial to the communists in the “Letter to the Editor” space

    It compromises and buckles under the establishment pressure.Its track record during Emergency and Bofors are clear examples of this.It decided to go slow on Bofors once it realised that its losing revenue because government refused to advertise

    Its basically represents everything that was wrong with Nehruvian India.Elitist,holier than thou attitude,haughty,refusing to change with time and upper-caste dominated

  5. Nitin,

    Good point, Nitin.
    My first thought was that, what if, the proportion is low and the question, even claim, pops up saying “Muslims are traitors, they dont want to fight for the country/against Pakistanis!” ?

    How would the government react to such a thing, after it sponsors the study? Or does the government want such a question to arise?

    A very dangerous move indeed. And the same Prime Minister who approves of this study asks politicians not to communalise foreign policy (linking Iran and Shias in India).

    The last time a minority community was given/made to perceive itself as aggreived, it resulted in a Prime Minister’s death and the death of at least 3000 people in Delhi alone(with some mutiny in the ranks as well). Why does a Sikh PM not remember the horrors of that or learn the lessons is beyond me.

    oh btw, the person above isnt me.

  6. Hi,

    I guess everybody is being a bit too harsh on The Hindu. My own experience suggests that no one else or very few publications cover issues related to the problems facing rural India, gender issues, foriegn policy etc. as the Hindu and its sister publications do. The solutions they offer might not be the best but uncovering existing problems itself is a good starting point.

    Also, questioning the argument is one thing and questioning the religion, caste and background of the originator of the argument is quite another.

  7. Except for a motherhood statement that the armed forces must become more diverse and representative of the various constituent elements, The Hindu has avoided being prescriptive. What do you find objectionable in this? By stretching a point to an extreme position – like your poser if The Hindu wants similar representation in the casualty list- one can make any opinion look ridiculous.

  8. Yes… I’m totally agree with prasanna. ‘The Hindu’ newspaper being a left-aligned, marxist-idealogue has lost its impact on the general mass after comrade.Ram’s become the editorial chief of Brahmin lobby. They are losing thier readership in SOuthern peninsulare India after lively online news from across the Country…
    Nowadays i even not interested in their news converage . like me many (I hope so). its become news register.not News Paper.Its sad.
    Sivasakthivel.KG, Thailand

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