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from The Human Impact:

Child rape victim jailed in India: A journalist’s “immunity” breaks down

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Her story is like so many I have heard in my years of reporting on the plight of girls and women in India.

It is a story of rape. A story of police insensitivity, of ostracism, of fear.

I think I've heard enough of these stories to be immune, unaffected by the tale of suffering that each victim recounts in the aftermath of her sexual assault.

But I am wrong -- perhaps because this girl is just 10 years old.

Her vulnerability is overwhelming as the shy, dark-skinned little girl with sun-bleached black bobbed hair sits nervously on a charpoy, in a pretty turquoise salwar-kameez with bright pink trim.

Asking anyone to speak about being raped is difficult in any circumstances; asking a village schoolgirl -- with little exposure to the world at large, with her entire family gathered around her, with a television camera pointing at her -- can challenge even the most hardened journalist.

from India Masala:

Aarakshan: A balanced take on reservation

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"Aarakshan" gives a hurried yet comprehensive walkthrough of the educational system and sub-systems that currently exist in India.

It takes the issue of educational quotas as the basic plot and makes an attempt to comment on the premise of education as a means of politics, as an industry or as a higher end in itself.

from India Insight:

Caste and Race: Two sides of the same coin?

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The attack in a  Sikh temple in Vienna and the subsequent clashes in Punjab have brought renewed focus on the internationalisation of what many Indians see as a domestic problem.

In August 2001, I heard Martin Macwan, a human rights activist, talk about raising the issue of caste at international forums, specifically in the context of the U.N. race summit in Durban that year. The move was however opposed by the government.

from India Insight:

Nothing holy in India’s temple tradition

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I wonder whether news of Indian priests doing a purification ritual after a minister belonging to a lower caste visited a temple comes as a surprise in a country where religion plays a big role in politics?

Sadhus or Hindu holy men chant hymns as they carry a photograph of the Hindu god Shiva in Jammu in this July 1, 2004 file photo. REUTERS/Amit Gupta

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