Stories from Quick Reads and India
Indian photoblogger Anirban Saha points to a growing problem in India — plagiarism of intellectual property online. A number of his photos were used in a poster for a theatre festival, on a cover of a book, in an advertisement by the state government, in political banners, in magazines in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, and a school publication without his consent.
He writes that Indian copyright laws protect intellectual property, but there is not much awareness:
We can spread the awareness of intellectual property rights, share contact details of lawyers who have already fought similar cases. We should be more aware of safeguarding our creations and spreading the awareness to create a better world. Read about Indian Copyright Act 1957. More than the artists who still now are a minority, it is you readers who can make a difference. You need to be aware and spread the awareness.
Anirban Saha also publishes a number of graphics to make the Indian copyright laws easier to understand.
Karthik Shashidhar, a freelance management consultant and data scientist, shares interesting statistics from the National Family Health Survey. Shashidhar discusses the percentage of women in India who are married to someone of their own caste. The caste system in India is based on an order of (predominantly) endogamous groups rendering marriage out of caste deplored by the society. Most of the marriage out of caste is out of love and defying the socio-cultural norms.
The survey, which was carried out in all states in India, asked “ever-married” women whether they were married to someone from the same caste, or to someone from a higher caste, or to someone from a lower caste. The result shows that the national average for the percentage of women who are married to someone of their own caste is 89%.
Stand-up comedian Sourav Pant‘s comedy company East Indian Comedy has uploaded a YouTube video lampooning what a government-approved sex education class in India would look like. The video has gone viral, with more than 1 million hits in three days.
The video mocks a suggestion made by Health Minister Harsh Vardhan a few weeks ago that sex education should be banned in Indian schools (he later claimed his comments were taken out of context) as well as parodies how teachers shy away from discussing the issue in the class.
“Sex Education in India” created a buzz on social media. Santosh Kumar wrote on the East Indian Comedy's Facebook page: “The same thing happened with me when i was in school!”
Some like Sravan Kumar did not like the video: “Dont forget India is the country which gave Kaama sutra to the world.”
Nivedita N Kumar, a journalist, posts an emotional Facebook note which has gone viral. Here is an excerpt from the powerful essay that lashes at the notion of the Indian patriarchal society that clothes provoke rapists:
Why? Why do you do that? Stare at my breasts like they are cute babies calling out to be cuddled. Strip me naked, slowly, every time I enter the bus? Try to glimpse into my cleavage when I am sitting and reading in the metro.
Who gives you the right? To grope me in the crowded bus? To fall on me “innocently” when I buy popcorn in the theater. When I sit cross legged in the auto and you stop your bike and look hungrily at my legs.
A piece of meat, am I?
How do you think I feel? When I have to continuously watch over my shoulder, because it is 10 pm and there is nobody at the bus stop, except you. Staring at my neck.
The centuries old Jonbeel Mela, a community fair in the northeast Indian state of Assam, has a unique ritual. Around 10,000 indigenous people from tribes like the Karbi, Khasi, Tiwa, and Jayantia of the northeast come down from the hills to the Jonbeel wetlands with their produce or catch and interchange with the local people in a barter system. Usha Dewani at the India Water Portal reports that the annual three-day festival has been celebrated since the 15th century. Around 100,000 people visit the market each year.
In September 2014, Apple has launched the newest version of iOS 8, an operating system for its iPod Touch, iPad and iPhone. Apart from other major additions for better usability, iOS 8 has a very important feature for non-Latin script based languages, native input. This was missing since long and will be a great advantage for the languages – lot many people will easily be able to type in their own languages. Be it microblogging, social media, email or contributing to any platform like Wikipedia, there was a lack of native inputs for a long time after the first iOS was launched. iOS 8 has support for 5 Indic scripts: Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Tamil and Urdu for the first time since the launch of the Apple gadgets in the Indian subcontinent. Apart from language inputs, iOS also allows a user to change the interface language partially/fully to the user's native language which will better usability among many Asian users.
Facebook user Jayanta Nath is excited abut this addition:
After update (of) iOS 8, it has added bengali default keyboards.
Blogger Antarik Anwesan recalls an alarming experience at Goregaon train Station in Mumbai, India. A local train started from the platform without notice and the crowd hurried to get on board. As the train gathered speed quickly, some people fell from the door and two persons were miraculously saved from death. This was not reported in any media. The blogger highlights that although the casualties in the local trains are much higher each year, the government is not making provisions for safety for the ever-increasing demand on the local trains.
Indian users are reacting to the impending demise of Google's Orkut social networking platform. Orkut is the oldest citizen media site Indians used and around 20% of Orkut’s users today are from India.
Vinaya Naidu at Lighthouse Insights compiles some of the users’ comments on the end of Orkut:
Priya Mittal was able to find her first childhood classmate via Orkut, which “felt like a miracle then.”
Avid biker Vishal Kataria: “It took me a while to leave Orkut and switch to Facebook because I got attached to it. Somehow, that feeling has never occurred for Facebook.”
The 434-kilometer-long Srinagar-Leh Highway is a spectacular and often scary highway in the Kashmir Valley. This road, which is open for traffic from June to November, is generally muddy, gravely and non-existent at best. The Zoji La mountain pass at 3,528 meters is particularly dangerous with only enough clearance for one-way traffic risking 1,000 meter drops. Minor Sights, a travel blog, posts details about the Srinagar-Leh road trip including the above video report.
Hindustan Motors has recently suspended production of India's iconic Hindustan Ambassador car which was first rolled out in 1958. Soumyadip Choudhury at Cutting The Chai posts a tribute to the classic car creating an unofficial (and animated) Google doodle. The car still remains popular with taxi drivers, some politicians and tourists.