Indian History Happens Elsewhere | By Amitava KumarConcerning the trial of Tahawwur Rana at a federal court in Chicago
'The arrival of immigrants like myself here in the US doesn’t mean that we are the only ones acquiring new knowledge or identities. While writing my last book, I went to the offices of the US attorneys who had prosecuted a Pakistani man for supporting terrorism inside Indian Punjab. Near the desk of the Assistant US Attorney, Kelly Currie, was a picture of his office-mates in the Golden Temple in Amritsar. In the photograph, the Americans were sitting in the langar with their heads covered in the traditional Sikh manner'
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J. Jayalalithaa and Sasikala: The Big Break-Up | By Nandini Krishnan
'In most photographs and videos of Jayalalithaa, a dour-faced woman wearing an expression not unlike that of an anxious grandmother watching a toddler bumble about the garden, can be spotted somewhere in the frame. She is Sasikala Natarajan, the close aide and best friend of the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. Some believe she’s also the CM’s puppet master. Often seen whispering furtively to Jayalalithaa, occasionally caught smiling, and never interviewed, the wary-looking Sasikala was her most – perhaps her only – trusted lieutenant. On 19 December, 2011, a terse statement was issued from the office of Jayalalithaa. She had expelled Sasikala and 11 of her relatives from the AIADMK party “with immediate effect”...' (The India Site)Part I of Krishna Kavita Kasturi's account of teaching Indian languages and culture to American diplomats
Everybody asks me how I landed my job. That is because, in the National Capital Region of Washington DC, I get to speak my mother tongue, wear my native attire and am paid to wax forth on my motherland & its shenanigans for five days a week (Telugu, sari, India).
Patrick French talking about India: A Portrait
The FountainheadA review of Orientalist Jones | By Keerthik Sasidharan
'In this handsomely produced biography, Michael J. Franklin eschews the low hanging fruit of easy moralizing on the early and rapacious days of the East India Company. Instead, he aims for something higher but more difficult to achieve: to narrate the man into existence. He patiently uncovers Sir William Jones’s early years as a fatherless child, a precocious teenager, an ambitious young man, and an imaginative translator of Persian, and then slowly brings him to the shores of India where his life’s works would emerge.'
Does God Have A Caste?...asks Meena Kandasamy
'What was our crime? We had portrayed two Tamil folk deities, Ponnar and Sankar, as “Dalit brothers.” A non-Indian parallel might illustrate this story better: An African-American leader says Jesus Christ was Black, and a White man takes him to court for causing communal disharmony. Would we not readily label the White man a racist and a supremacist?'Part II of KK Kasturi's story
No, we don’t ask if a woman is pregnant unless it is obviously evident that she is, although we are an extremely nosy kind of people otherwise. No, we don’t ever divide the bill/check at the restaurant under the waiter’s nose as he watches, smirking at your tight-fistedness. Oh! Please remember to always share whatever you eat, will you? But not if you have already tasted it: that would be inappropriate … But (is now a good time to talk about caste?) No, we don’t really understand what you mean by “space”, physical or mental. Emotional space? Ayiyyo! who wants THAT? Is it why Americans have so many psychological issues?A Wicked Leak: Stratfor, Dow Chemicals, and India | By Ulrik McKnight
'Union Carbide India Limited’s 1984 Bhopal pesticide plant leak is one of the worst industrial accidents in history, killing 4,000 people overnight and leaving 500,000 severely ill. The accident site has still not been cleaned up, victims continue to die in many thousands, and to suffer in hundreds of thousands ... The Stratfor materials reveal that over an extended period of time, Dow has employed Stratfor to produce intelligence reports on Bhopal activists. This was not a one off piece of analysis, but an ongoing, multi-year, and presumably very expensive campaign.'
Vishal Come Home | By Sonia FaleiroThe story of a missing boy
‘We worked hard,’ said Vishal. ‘We swept train carriages, we scavenged for empty bottles we sold to the kabaddiwala ... Who notices small boys? People thought we were beggars.’ Each boy carried one steel tiffin box of the sort children take to school packed with sabzi-parantha lunches. Except that each of the tiffin boxes was packed with heroin. Afterwards they hopped a train back to Jodhpur.
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Tag Archives: caste
Marriage in modern India | “The bride’s side would be willing to trade off the difference between no education and a master’s degree in the prospective husband to avoid marrying outside their caste. For men seeking brides, the own caste effect is twice the effect of the difference between a self-described “very beautiful” woman and a self-described “decent-looking” one. Interestingly, this preference for caste seems much more horizontal than vertical: the authors saw little interest in “marrying up” in the caste hierarchy among both men and women, but a strong preference for in-caste matches”
Devesh Kapur in the Business Standard | ‘Those who cry most hoarsely about Ambedkar and Nehru have flagrantly betrayed their legacies’
“That public administration in India is in a shambles is the country’s worst-kept secret, as is the harsh reality that the failures of public administration most adversely affect the most vulnerable and weak. If the rhetoric of social justice is to translate into even modest improvement in outcomes, enhancing the performance of public administration is fundamental. And that requires numerous changes, be it an overhaul of State Public Service Commissions, developing much better in-house training, limiting politically motivated transfers and linking promotions to job performance. Also, there is little doubt that the constitutional provisions for reservations for SCs and STs in public employment continue to be important, but if those joining from socially marginalised groups need additional skills to be able to perform better, additional rigorous well-resourced bridge training programmes (including overseas training) should be put into place” Continue reading
Dalit government officer retires: officials ‘reportedly sprayed cowdung-mixed water on the office furniture, the threshold and the official vehicle’ (Indian Express)
Read more: http://www.indianexpress.com/news/retired-dalit-officers-car-and-furniture-cleansed/773288/
‘So far, hundreds of judges have been appointed in the Supreme Court and till today only three have been from dalit background. Thousands of judges have been appointed in the High Courts and only few were from dalits and backward community. Proportionately higher caste judges are more and if objectivity was observed in corruption matters, large number of heads would have rolled by now. There is no examination and set standard to make a lawyer a judge. This goes without saying that their appointments are quite subjective. The appointments are mainly done on the basis of nepotism, favouritism, casteism.’ (Kafila) Continue reading
‘ACK comic books are casteist, racist, and not very subtly propagate Hindu superiority over other religions (particularly Islam) and Brahmin superiority over other castes.’ | RIP Uncle Pai
‘As he sat down with them, they said that they were sorry because they had treated him very shoddily in the past and had for all these years prevented his participation in all discussions and deliberations related to literacy … My friend said that he knew nothing of this but wanted to know why they objected to his name and they said we thought you were a Scheduled Caste. My friend asked them but why did you think that? and he was told, you always met Mr. Jambulkar and he is an SC, so we assumed that you too must be one of them … We are a society that lives a false life, what we profess and what we practice are mutually exclusive.’ (Sohail Hashmi in Kafila) Continue reading
‘Except for one man (Rajendra Singh) every RSS sarsanghchalak since its formation in 1925 has been Brahmin … Curiously, Nehru’s defence minister was a warrior (Singh), his agriculture minister was a peasant (Deshmukh), his finance minister was Vaish (Chetty) and his education minister was a scholar (Azad), following Manusmriti.’ (Aakar Patel in Mint)