Its envoy’s humiliation outrages India, but there are issues it needs to look at
Wearing their often misplaced pride on their sleeves, Indians remain ever so sensitive about the “Indian image,” and ever so willfully oblivious to the ugly aspects of their reality that keeps seeping into said image.
The United States has greatly annoyed India after arresting and strip-searching its deputy consul general in New York, Devyani Khobragade, for allegedly submitting fraudulent visa papers for her children’s Indian nanny. In response, the Indian government stripped the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi of its protective traffic barricades, amongst other protesting measures.
Aatish Taseer, the son of an assassinated Pakistani leader, explains the history and hysteria behind a deadly relationship.
I am not quite sure if the picture of Pakistani identity that he describes in the first half is one that most Pakistanis would identify with. I can’t help thinking that it reflects his own, admitted identification w/ India more than how a Pakistani might see himself…
To understand the Pakistani obsession with India, to get a sense of its special edge—its hysteria—it is necessary to understand the rejection of India, its culture and past, that lies at the heart of the idea of Pakistan. This is not merely an academic question. Pakistan’s animus toward India is the cause of both its unwillingness to fight Islamic extremism and its active complicity in undermining the aims of its ostensible ally, the United States.
AlJazeera English – ‘Witness’ documentary filmmaker Gautam Singh:
More than 50 former prostitutes now work with Naseema, who taught them how to read and write. As well as running the magazine – which is sold across India and also sent to subscribers elsewhere – Naseema and the other women work to prevent others being trafficked, mainly from neighbouring Nepal and Bangladesh, into prostitution. In the last year alone, they have been able to send at least 20 new girls safely back home.
But their work has brought them many enemies; the most feared being Rani Begum. As chief of the brothel, Begum’s finances have suffered a blow as a result of Naseema’s activities. Her thugs have publicly harassed and beaten Naseema and the other women who work with her. Naseema has also had to fight pimps, as well as some police officers and clerics who were unhappy about her work.
With a clearly identifiable hero, a suitably sinister villain and plenty of action guaranteed as they face off against one another, I felt I had come across a story worthy of a novel. I was hopeful that we could produce a perfect film, but shooting inside a brothel was never going to be easy. I deliberately chose a very small crew of just three people so that we might remain as invisible as possible. We used a Canon 7d camera. Its small size and light weight meant that we were able to move quickly from one place to the next – something that was to prove useful when Begum’s thugs were sent to threaten us.
The “bizarre boom of plastic surgery in small-town India.”
A girl (woman?) brought in for plastic surgery by her mother-in-law:
Comments Dr Kalda (plastic surgeon), “The saas (mother-in-law) examined the girl’s naked body before marriage and brought her to me so she could be perfect for her son.”
A father makes his daughter have plastic surgery to remove a birthmark on her cheek because a prospective groom’s mother found it objectionable:
As she’s wheeled into the operation theatre she winks at her sister and says “Oh didi, dulhe ko bhi check kar lo jaa ke, us ke upar bhi daag hai toh saath surgery karwa le! (Go get the groom checked too, if he has a scar as well we can get surgery together!)” An unamused Roopam explains, “She is young. She doesn’t understand — it doesn’t matter if a man is scarred or ugly, he will still get a wife. But a woman must do all she can to make herself the ideal wife.
Commercial surrogacy is one of India’s fastest growing industries, offering an extra source of income for struggling Indian women and a cheaper option for aspiring parents abroad. But legislation to regulate the process is still pending here. Meanwhile, surrogate mothers face ostracism in Indian society.
Melanie Nathan – Jan 24, 2011- Two teenage girls in SONARPUR a village in South Parganas, India, committed suicide – because they were apparently in despair, unable to share their lives as a lesbian couple. Police found the bodies of 19-year-old Bobby Saha and 17-year-old Puja Mondal. The post-mortem report says they took poison together and lay down to die, clutching each other’s arms.
“It appears that the two girls were in a relationship but they were depressed about the uncertainty of their future, which is why they committed suicide,” said police superintendent L N Meena, according to the India Times.