You could visit India and never hear the name Rabindranath Tagore. In fact, if you don’t live in India, you may well have never known Rabindranath Tagore existed. But this was not always the case: recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1947, Rabindranath Tagore became one of the major influences in the formation of the India we know today.
Posts Tagged: India
A massive delay in textbook printing in India’s southern state of Kerala has led to accusations of corruption in the government education ministry and violent protests. Government officials suggested schools print the books themselves, but for low-income areas this solution is impossible because of its high cost....more
Part of [Gandhi’s] genius was he was able to broaden out the appeal of the independence movement…But the way he did it was by using Hindu iconography and stories, mythology…He was personally very unprejudiced about this..But for Muslims, ordinary Muslims, who would see this and listen to these speeches and so forth, he seemed like a Hindu figure more than a national figure.
Anyone who simplifies a nation’s discourse misreads that nation. When you’re reading the texts of a recently created nation like India, which was only founded in 1947, you must know the political, historical, and linguistic backdrop, or you will miswrite what you read.
In India, an onion shortage means more than just a few lackluster dinners. It’s a cipher for a whole dictionary of political and cultural meanings, as Karolle Rabarison found out while living there:
It’s no new trick for political parties to sell onions at deep discounts in stalls across major cities, especially in the capital, New Delhi….Indira Gandhi returned to power in 1980 by attacking the incumbent in this way, wielding garlands of onions at political rallies…
Gargantuan stacks of onions, eating onion slices like potato chips—Rabarison’s essay has it all....more
But as I turned over the glossy, hardbound book in my hands, the seductive, bespectacled young woman with jasmine in her hair and an unusually large revolver in her hand beckoned with a look that both allured and mystified. What, I wondered, had my grandmother been reading all these years?
My own mother bought our clothes at the mall. She didn’t allow pork in the house and mostly cooked curry. The saris she wore didn’t require needlework.
Growing up in Wyoming, Nina McConigley longed for an authentic pioneer life like she read about in the Little House on the Prairie books—and resented her mother, an immigrant from India, for not teaching her how to quilt or even bake cookies....more
Weird Event No. 1: Hundreds of human skeletons are found in and around a lake in India.
Weird Event No. 2: Testing shows that the bones are from around the year 850 and that every one of the hundreds died the same way....more
As reports of the utterly horrifying rape and death of a woman in Delhi have made clear, India, like most countries, can be a dangerous place for women.
In a guest post for Racialicious, Hannah Green uses an Indian performance of The Vagina Monologues as a jumping-off point for ruminations on sexual assault and women’s rights, in both India and the US....more
Set in contemporary Mumbai, Aravind Adiga’s second novel, Last Man in Tower, focuses on Yogesh Murthy, the man who wants nothing, and the community who doesn’t understand him....more
A summer spent abroad at an Indian call center sheds light upon the many people who work in business process outsourcing, a competitive field that promises only the equivalent of around $2/hr.
Training for the job includes “‘culture training,’ in which trainees memorize colloquialisms and state capitals, study clips of Seinfeld and photos of Walmarts, and eat in cafeterias serving paneer burgers and pizza topped with lamb pepperoni.” Read about one American journalist’s experience being outsourced....more