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from India Insight:

Suffering and apathy in Jaipur: drivers ignore hit-and-run victims

"Murderously selfish India: Woman, baby die in terrible accident in Jaipur as husband, son beg passersby for help."

Shiv Aroor's dispatch on Twitter says it all. Other people in India tonight are echoing the theme: people racing through their day in modern India, too busy or too wary to get involved when they see people in distress. In this case, a truck struck a family of four riding on a motorcycle in Jaipur on Monday, killing a woman and her eight-month-old daughter. The woman's husband and son escaped. The family was riding the motorcycle through the Ghat Ki Guni tunnel on Sunday afternoon when the truck struck them, according to the Hindustan Times and other Indian news organisations.

Here is more from the HT:

CCTV footages showed that the woman's husband and his four-year-old son beseeched passers-by for help for almost 10 minutes. However, no one stopped to help them, police said. The survivor, Kanhaiyalal Raigher, tried to call relatives from his mobile, but failed as there was no network connectivity in the tunnel. Raigher, a resident of a village on the outskirts of Jaipur, was on his way to his in-laws' house with his wife Guddi Devi, 26, daughter Arushi and son Tanish."

Police told media organisations that two-wheelers are not allowed in the tunnel, but that people drive them there anyway to save time.

from Photographers' Blog:

Rushdie, Oprah and disappointment

By Altaf Bhat

When I set off from Delhi to cover the Jaipur Literature Festival (my first art beat assignment) I was full of enthusiasm as controversial British-Indian author Salman Rushdie was expected to participate in the event. I had planned a sequence of photographs on the growing "Lit Fest" but all my planning turned out to be the proverbial "castle in the air".

The festival's invitation to Rushdie, whose 1988 novel "The Satanic Verses" is banned in India, sparked protests from some Muslim groups who said he had offended their religious sentiments. Rushdie made headlines in Indian media much before his arrival in the country. Muslim organizations in Jaipur threatened to hold protests if Rushdie was allowed into the country, and permitted to speak at the festival. The author and the organizers of the event maintained that Rushdie would participate.

from India Insight:

Deep in the madding crowd at the Jaipur Lit Fest

It was a startling introduction to Asia’s largest literature festival for best-selling writer J.M. Coetzee, as he clambered over hundreds of people squeezed next to speakers, crouched next to seats, or sat on folded newspapers on the churned-up grass.
Jon Lee Anderson (R) talks about his best-selling book Che on the opening day of the 2011 DSC Jaipur Literature Festival
Coetzee, a notoriously reticent author who rarely appears in public, gingerly picked his way through the masses to reach the stage and address the Jaipur Literature Festival that has in seven years grown magnificently into a cultural must-visit, but requires careful cultivation to ensure its rapid rise can continue unabated.

For all the intellectual finger-pointing whipped up by a public spat between organizer William Dalrymple and India’s Open magazine over allegations of a perpetuation of colonial-era Western superiority the Open-sponsored banner welcoming guests to the festival appeared as something as a peace flag – it was anyway unlikely to sour an event that is famed as much for its infectious atmosphere as its literary relevance.

from India Insight:

Does Indian literature owe its global success to the Raj?

As close to 50,000 people prepare to celebrate India's bulging roster of nationally and internationally renowned authors and poets at the seventh annual Jaipur Literary Festival, a public spat between its British organiser and an Indian magazine over allegations of perpetuating "a Raj that still lingers" threatens to ignite a decades-old debate over the role of colonial English in the country's literary success.

Bollywood icon Amitabh Bachchan (R) talks with Neville Tuli, founder and chairman of Osian's - Connoisseurs of Art Pvt Ltd, at the annual Jaipur literary festival, one of India's biggest, January 23, 2009. REUTERS/Abhishek Madhukar (INDIA)

As Delhi-based William Dalrymple and his fellow organiser stress the festival's intent to showcase works from India's array of states and dialects to thousands of book lovers, an article in India's Open magazine this month claimed the festival matters "because of the writers from Britain it attracts".

from India Insight:

Guilty until proven innocent? It doesn’t end there for some

Derided by the media and under pressure to show results following the series of terror attacks in the country, the security establishment recently announced a number of arrests relating to the explosions in Ahmedabad and Bangalore and the earlier ones in Jaipur.

While it is praiseworthy that the police acted comparatively quickly this time in tracing the culprits, it later turned out that some of those arrested, whose names the media had readily released, had no involvement in the dastardly acts.

from India Insight:

With Islamist militancy, has India passed the tipping point?

Victims of the bombings in AhmedabadThe bombings that killed 45 people in the communally sensitive city of Ahmedabad have shaken India's establishment. It is now sinking in that India faces homegrown Islamist militant groups operating with a scale and sophistication unheard of in
previous years.   

A group called "India Mujahideen" claimed responsibility for the attacks, the same group that said it carried out the bombings in Jaipur in May that killed 63 people.

from India Insight:

Are Indian Muslims leading the way in condemning terror?

A man prays at the Nizamuddin shrine in New DelhiFor those Western critics that say Islam does not enough to to condemn terrorism, perhaps they should look at India, home to one of the world's biggest Muslim populations -- around 13 percent of mainly Hindu India's 1.1 billion people.

 On Wednesday, it was the turn of Khalid Rasheed, head of the oldest madrasa in the northern city of Lucknow -- a traditional centre for Muslims and religious scholarship. He rejected terrorism as anti-Islamic after he and his colleagues had been accused of apostasy over their pacifist stance by at group that calls itself the Indian Mujahideen.

from Our Take on Your Take:

On the scene: In Jaipur

ywjaipur1.JPG

By sending his newsworthy pictures from the Jaipur blasts in a timely fashion, Vinay Joashi saw his photos move on the Reuters Pictures wire service. The pictures were received shortly after the explosions, when there were only two pictures out on the wire from the scene. Vinay was contacted directly by the Reuters India photo staff to negotiate payment and terms of use.

Click here to view other You Witness images that have made it to the Reuters wire.

from India Insight:

Timing of Jaipur blasts will raise suspicion of Pakistani hand

Are militants, or even hawks within the Pakistani establishment, trying to undermine the peace process with India, now that President Pervez Musharraf has removed his uniform and civilians are squabbling for power?

A injured man receives treatment after a series of bomb blasts in Jaipur May 13, 2008. REUTERS/Vinay Joashi via You Witness NewsThe dust has scarcely settled on another horrific bomb attack in India, and the investigation has only just begun into the synchronised blasts in Jaipur that killed around 60 people .

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