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Showing posts from January, 2013

In the Valley of the Dog

(The January 2013 issue of India Today Travel Plus is a special one, with contributions from many writers on most of India's states. My bit, on Uttarakhand, travels the valley of the dog...) Photograph by Anuradha Roy Our dog’s ears are oddly shaped. They resemble enormous lily petals, or bat wings. The world, viewed through the valley that those bat ears forms, looks different. Kumaon’s hills, where we travel and live, aren’t invitations to energetic climbs, for example. Instead they call for detailed olfactory explorations followed by wide-ranging squirts of pee. By dusk our legs are aching to walk — but we can’t be out much longer with BatEars as company since dusk is when our resident leopards step out for dinner. Their favourite food is freshly-caught dog. Before BatEars entered our lives we regarded most wildlife differently, perhaps indifferently. I never used to hear far-off foxes. Now, if there is the faintest call of a fox, BatEars, in a primal throwback to h

India's Fatal Rape was Typical in a Country that Degrades Women

Ravi Das Camp is about seven miles from the president’s palace in New Delhi. En route are the mansions where members of parliament live, guarded by armed soldiers in bunkers. The men who in December allegedly raped a young paramedic brutally enough to kill her lived in Ravi Das Camp, a slum reported to be as fetid and dehumanizing as the many others close to the homes and offices of Delhi’s political elite. RAVEENDRAN In a sense it is fitting that the alleged rapists and murderers lived within touching distance of our politicians. In the 2009 parliamentary elections, India’s political parties fielded 6 candidates charged with rape while 34 candidates were awaiting trial for crimes against women. In the state assemblies, 42 members had rape or associated charges against them at the time of their election. In all, according to a recent report published by the Association for Democratic Reforms, India has over 300 such politicians in power. Read the rest o