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Question

Why has no journo mentioned this? Including U. Am I in a minority? 1.)"Smoking, alcohol beef pork are like free speech. Once u ban them U loose the right to be free." WHY did U leave out the fact Bhutto brought prohibition in u'r benazir article? He also declared Ahmadiyas non muslims and made friday the holiday. In Saudi alcohol was available(legally) till '43 and only banned when a prince mansour died of alcohol poisoning. Is that how we want India to become?
2.) Since U are Gujarati want to ask u. Is Gujarat's prohibition because of Gandhi? I thought its because it was lifted in the rest of the former Bombay state but just Gujarat stayed dry.

Posted By: Shahid Azad  |  Posted On: 19 May 2015  |  City: Bombay

Answer

 I guess I am not just as obsessed with prohibition or the Islamic world as you are. But thank you. These are very useful insights and I shall file them away for future reference. 
 

Question

Hi Vir,
I am ashamed of our Prime Minister. I didn't feel this even when Deve Gowda slept on dais. At least that man didn't embarrass us in foreign lands. Our current PM comes up with these embarrassing quotes, God only knows what he speaks in private to those world leaders! We have to put up with this guy for the next four years? Any chance Advani or Sushma can topple him?

Posted By: Patrick  |  Posted On: 19 May 2015  |  City: Washington DC

Answer

 No chance at all. He is here to stay for the rest of his term. So, grin and bear it.
 

Question

Most ministers/ BJP MPs have been talking about how agri jobs are not paying well and in such a scenario its better to sell off fertile land. Why is the govt not looking at means and technology to increase agri productivity and profitability? If we had given up on agri lands in the 60s we would never have had a green revolution. The only time i see givt talks about technology is when converting gaumutra to floor disinfectant.

Posted By: tanuj Jain  |  Posted On: 18 May 2015  |  City: bangalore

Answer

 My problem is this: if agriculture is so unprofitable and all farmers are losing money, then why are they so reluctant to part with their land? Surely, they should be grateful for the Land Acquisition Bill? They can take the money and start new lives elsewhere. 
 
Among the answers to this question are these: the farmers are so attached to their land that they won't sell it so that somebody can build a factory on it. Or, they still believe they have a future in farming. 
 
Both these answers suggest that rather than forcibly acquiring their land over their protests, we should look for ways to make agriculture more profitable for them.
 

Question

I think it's fair for liberals like you to say that Modi has failed to control the episodic verbal diarrhea of Sangh and BJP figures. But let's review some facts: 1. They represent a portion of his old base. 2. He needs the Sangh organization in elections. 3. This is all they (Togadia, Sadhvi, Yogi, Giriraj) have ever known: talking nonsense. Too late to change now. So, in these circumstances, what can he do? Seems like a tightrope walk. He did condemn Giriraj and Sadhvi. But can he really keep doing that every time? Maybe the no-comment policy makes some sense?

Posted By: Girish  |  Posted On: 18 May 2015  |  City: Mumbai

Answer

 You're over-simplifying. Togadia was a successful professional before he became a full-time rabble-rouser. He is not some simple sadhu who does not know better. He and Modi are not even on talking terms. 
 
The reason Modi does nothing about the outbursts of the fanatics is not because he likes the lunatics. It's because he knows that these communal outbursts resonate with his core support base. 

Question

Sir, I'd like to frankly state my views and ask for your response. When I see Rahul Gandhi yammering on about "suit-boot" and "capitalists" and "anti-poor" I'm enraged in a way that I'm not when, say, Yechury or Kejriwal say the same things. Rahul Gandhi has had a life of enormous privilege, power, wealth and even has questionable assets (The National Herald case - thousands of crores of property) He plays golf at the exclusive Delhi Golf Club. High-level business-politician-nexus corruption was rife in the UPA. Just who the heck is he to talk about this? "Rich", no?

Posted By: Indian  |  Posted On: 17 May 2015  |  City: Dubai

Answer

 That's a valid point of view, and I respect it. 
 

Question

Hi Vir,

I enjoy reading your rude food column. Its my Sunday routine to read your column with my 10 year old daughter.

We enjoy it very much.

However today she stumped me with her innocuous sounding question.

She asked me are their famous women chefs? I am sure their are, but I realised you never mention them.

Why so?

Posted By: shailender thakur  |  Posted On: 17 May 2015  |  City: mumbai

Answer

 Not true. I write about Ritu Dalmia all the time, to give just one example. 
 

Question

I enjoyed your going viral videos - particularly because u seem to let go.
The RSS might have wanted to recruit you if they saw your Mother Teresa impression on the phone (while the church might want to encourage another burning - WITH YOU IN IT!!!) - though none were offensive nor cheeky - just light hearted fun.
Keep 'em coming!

Posted By: shilpa  |  Posted On: 15 May 2015  |  City: Mumbai

Answer

 Thank you so much.

Question

Here;s a conspiracy theory for you.
Me thinks the govt and possibly even the courts are having a themed week program and stick to it each week. Right from banning to foreign tours to now releasing criminals and letting them off the hook. :-p
whaddaya think?

Posted By: Nithya  |  Posted On: 12 May 2015  |  City: Chennai

Answer

 Worth thinking about! :)

Question

Interesting Chinese food article. I always wonder, do Chinese have equivalent versions of Indian dishes in Mainland? Curry noodles, stir-fry roti,...etc.?

Posted By: cheetos  |  Posted On: 11 May 2015  |  City: dc

Answer

 I don't think they do. Alas!

Question

Hello there - a long-time reader here. Like you, born in London in the fifties, but stayed Indian.

As past Principal at a then-successful Bombay school, there was a stark difference between Indian and UK classrooms (which I followed) then - next-to-no discipline at some London schools. When I boarded at my school in the late sixties the cane ruled us - and boy, did it hurt! A headmaster's six-of-the-best was enough to bring even a 17-year-old boy close to sobbing. There were questionable elements to the system, yes - headmaster's study canings were bare-bottom - but overall, it worked for us then. Why not today?

Posted By: Arun  |  Posted On: 11 May 2015  |  City: Bombay

Answer

 You mean corporal punishment or the system as a whole? If you mean caning, I am not a fan. On the other hand, I don't get as outraged about it as some other people.
 
But the British education system still works. I would take it over the American system any day. 

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