It is important to talk about this. I want to show this video in all the areas where ‘Saptami’ is celebrated. People give it so much importance even though it is a rather strange celebration. Why don’t they celebrate their daughters who keep their houses running, the cattle fed and the water tanks filled? Why just their sons? The tradition and rationality behind it are so deeply carved into people… but we can change it.
Latest stories from Quick Reads + India
A lot of people confuse themselves about what the Indian head shakes mean and how to communicate using the same. Probably that is why a satirical video deciphering different types of Indian headshakes has gone viral. The 1:44 minutes long video titled “Indian headshakes, what do they mean?” has attracted more than 1.2 million views since it was published in YouTube on February 16, 2014. It has generated interesting reactions in different social media platforms such as Reddit and Twitter:
I have always loved the Indian headshake – but now I LOVE it even more. This is brilliant. http://t.co/eHxIyKqJjc
— geeta pendse (@geetapendse) March 1, 2014
Paul Mathew, its writer and director told BBC: “If we had known that this video was going to get such awesome viewership we would have shot it better.”
Kaushik Sengupta, a self-taught social documentary photographer, is the creator of a photo essay featuring Mr. Sandip Karan of Kolkata, India. Mr. Karan is known in his area as ‘street dog doctor’ because of his caring love for street dogs. Till-to-date, he has rescued and treated around 2500 street dogs in his own locality and adjacent areas. The photo essay can be found in his website, in Galli Magazine and in the Invisible Photographer Asia website.
The Women's Rights Campaigning: Info-Activism Toolkit by Tactical Technology Collective is a new guide for women's rights activists, advocates, NGOs and community based organizations who want to use technology tools and practices in their campaigning. This has been developed in collaboration with advocacy organizations from Nepal, Bangladesh, India, Kenya and Egypt.
Video Volunteers Community Correspondent Amit Topno from Torpa Block, Jharkhand talks about making a video that brought about a positive change that had potentially saved the lives of 5000 people across 35 villages in his state. When his video explaining the problem of lightning strikes and the inaction of the authorities was screened to villagers, journalists and local government officials, the rest was easy. They pressurized to secure permissions to install lightning conductors in 50 schools across Torpa Block.
Bhopal, the capital of the Indian State of Madhya Pradesh, lies in the North-South corridor of the migratory path of birds coming from Northern Asia, Russia, Afghanistan, China, Mongolia etc. Blogger Proloy Bagchi reports that several species of migratory birds which used to congregate in and around the Bhojtal (former Upper Lake) in Bhopal in large numbers, apparently, have avoided this city this winter. Two reasons cited by bird-watchers for the absence of the birds are: 1) human disturbance and 2) pollution in the Lake waters.
Proloy Bagchi reports that outdoor air pollution in Bhopal, the capital of the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, has risen to an alarming proportion mainly from the emission of the transports. The blogger slams at the inaction of the state government and stresses the importance of reducing this pollution. According to WHO outdoor pollution causes cancer, more so than passive smoking.
That’s Twitter – it makes a joke out of serious issues and takes jokes seriously.
- comments blogger Purba Ray while discussing Sunanda Pushkar’s sudden death who underwent a Twitter spat with a Pakistani journalist. The unusual death of the wife of Indian minister Shashi Tharoor has created a lot of controversy pointing fingers at Twitter.
The WIN – Blogadda conference will take place in Mumbai on February 9, 2014. This conference is claimed to be the the biggest offline Indian blogger conference where a mix of Bloggers, Industry Specialists & Influencers will talk about how blogging today has grown to be an optimum platform for expression.
“I will not forget what happened today, one year ago”
This video was released by Video Volunteers on December 16, 2013 to commemorate Nirbhaya, who died in the 2012 Delhi gang rape incident. The incident was the only conviction of 706 reported cases of rape in Delhi that year. Statistics indicate that in India a woman is still raped every 22 minutes. The conviction rate for rape stands at an abysmal 25%.
This video provokes interesting discussions on the reasons why rape and sexual violence continue.
Blogger An Ordinary Citizen writes:
Many in Bangladesh are inquisitively looking at the development of Aam Aadmi Party in India and hoping that a similar phenomenon may develop in Bangladesh.
Co-incidentally the success of the Aam aadmi party has inspired a group to float an Aam Janatar Dal –Common Man’s Party –in Bangladesh. The tentative launch of this party will be on January 17, 2014.
Now that you’ve given us this hope, please don’t let us down. Please don’t become another party that goes giddy with the prospect of power. Please don’t become a party that says something before elections, gets our votes, and then enjoys the loot while it lasts.
His party Aam Admi emerged as a cleaner option in Indian politics.
Prior to the Delhi Legislative Assembly election (4 December 2013) the Delhi Election Commission vowed to monitor the social media for political campaigns looking for breach of model code of conduct by the candidates. However the commission later said that there were loopholes in monitoring and it is virtually “impossible” to keep track of so many conversations.
Nikhil Pahwa at Medianama analyses the impact of social media on the recent Delhi elections:
What Social Media has done in these elections is that it brought out the vote. People may or may not have been influenced by the campaigns run by political parties, but the incessant debate, raising of issues, criticism, and the conversations, the fight and even the hate-commentary that ensued, led to there being a voter – at least in Delhi – that was more aware of the political atmosphere, more conscious that her vote matters, and more responsive to calls for getting out the vote.
Whistling Woods International (WWI), an institute for studies in film, media and fashion, released a YouTube video on December 16, 2013, exactly a year after the much talked about rape case in Delhi to aware people to think, reflect & act on violence against women. Vinaya Naidu at Lighthouse Insights writes about this video:
Very often, not just in India but all over the world, it seems that men looking at women in public places somehow think they are watching a display, as though women exist on a television screen. But, in reality, women can see the people staring at them, and those stares can make them feel not only uncomfortable and objectified, but downright unsafe.
The video has been viewed more than 1.2 million times in last 10 days since its release.
Yamuna, the only major river flowing through Delhi is deteriorating in health over the decades. In the recent Delhi Assembly elections major political parties mentioned Yamuna saving plan in their election manifesto.
South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People (sandrp) blog analyzes these manifestos and suggests that the parties need to consult Yamuna's own manifesto, penned by two river experts, Himanshu Thakkar and Manoj Mishra, and edited by Ravi Agarwal and Till Krause:
A bilingual (Hindi and English) publication, combining the views of activists and artists, blurring boundaries between fact and the imaginary, it is an attempt to widen ideas around ecology, to re-territorialize it, and to move beyond binary narratives of catastrophe and untouched nature, to one of multidimensional reframings. The political parties can possibly benefit from it.
Dr. Roshan Radhakrishnan at Godyears asserts the importance of donating blood and wonders about the fate of all the blood request retweets in his Twitter timeline:
Does anyone ever come to the aid of those tweets? Do you honestly know anyone who has seen a retweet and taken a break from life to go and donate blood? Because I don't… and that saddens me.
He pleas to others to respond to blood donation requests instead of providing only lip service.
Amit at Mashed Musings thinks that the decriminalization of homosexuality would have turned Indians into better humans over the coming decades and would solve a lot of problems like overpopulation, lesser dowry deaths, fewer female foeticide, etc. The Indian Supreme court recently reversed a Delhi High Court judgment and reinstated a British-era draconian law that criminalizes homosexuality.
Blogger and SEO expert Mani Karthik takes a trip down the memory lane and lists 100 things an average Indian cherished during the 1990s.
From 10-16th December Jurrat (courage), a campaign on violence against women, is marking the anniversary of the heinous Delhi gang rape. One year ago a 23-year old medical student was gang-raped in a Delhi bus.
A mobile music concert by Swaang (a Mumbai based theatre and protest music group) and Majma (a Delhi based cultural group) will be performed on a moving trailer through the streets of Delhi on 16th Dec 2013. According to the organizer Swara Bhaskar, “we want to reclaim the streets of Delhi and make them safer for all women.”
Swang made a song about Delhi incident, ‘Maa Nee Meri'.
‘Maa Nee Meri’
Mixed in every morsel,
What was that chant you kept repeating?
In the garb of concern and worry,
Why was fear the only virtue I learnt of your teaching?
Mother, I will not fear
Mother, I will not become you.
Jurrat invites peoples on the streets of Delhi on 16th December and part of their campaign.
To get out on the streets of Delhi on 16th December 2013, to fight, to resist, to protest and to pledge against gender based and sexual violence.
Blogger Atanu Dey argues that to keep the locally produced garbage out of Indian streets you have got to make it culturally unacceptable to throw trash everywhere. Combined with efforts like assigning places to deposit garbage, ensuring regular garbage collection and some punitive actions for littering, the authorities can make sure that the Indian streets will remain clean.
In some ways my feelings towards Tendulkar were ambivalent and they oscillated between love and dislike, depending whether he was playing against Pakistan or not! Whereas the feeling has oscillated, my respect and admiration for Tendulkar both as a great cricketer and a human have always remained constant. [...]
Today as he walked after being dismissed, and the entire stadium rose to its feet, I felt teary eyed. I grew up watching him, loathing him, admiring him and respecting him. Cricket will never be the same again and in some ways perhaps even life will never be the same again. Sachin after all is much more than a cricketer.
Raza Habib Raja at the Pak Tea House pays tribute to the ace Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar on the eve of the latter's retirement from the game.
With over 60 million diabetics [pdf] and another estimated 77 million people being considered pre-diabetic, India is caught in the throes of a diabetes crisis. On World Diabetes Day on November 14, India renewed its pledge to fight the growing diabetes menace in the country.
Writer and blogger Prem Rao points out the various symptoms of diabetes and suggests that those who have not had themselves checked for sugar/diabetes in the last six months, should do so promptly.
Jay Harish Shah, an Indian passenger who travelled on Air France and had an unforgettable experience, did not stop at filing complaint with the airlines. He created a blog titled One Night In Paris sharing his plights which went viral prompting the airline to reply quickly. He shares his subsequent communications with the airlines in the same blog.
Indian blogger Kiran Kumar Karlapu tells a real life story of the plights of a Nepali girl, who was pushed back by her employer from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. She was left stranded in Mumbai airport with not enough money to buy ticket to go back to home and some fellow passengers helped her secure a ticket.
Citing certain violations of the Electoral Law in the social media, the election commission of India has issued some guidelines for the use of Social Media for election campaigning. Nikhil Pahwa at Medianama analyses the guidelines.
Vidyut at Aam Janata blog has created a map of the Dengue outbreak in India from various reports published in print media in the last couple of months.
The Tipaimukh Dam in the Indian state of Manipur, has been planned for flood control and hydroelectric power production. However, In Search For Greener Partures blog reports that this dam will lead to severe changes in climate condition, affecting the livelihoods of over 20 million people in the lower riparian areas including neighboring Bangladesh and leading to temperature changes.