India Insight

Elsewhere in India: girls, mobile phones and slapping your tormentors

Here’s a short roundup of regional news in India that attracted our interest this weekend. Any opinions expressed by the author are no doubt ill informed and ridiculous. Aditya Yogi Kalra contributed to this post.

Another politician, another reference to women being the root of all man’s troubles. Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh blamed “girlfriends, bikes and  mobile phones” for the rising number of road accidents in the state.  ”It’s a common sight to see youngsters driving two-wheelers while talking on cellphones which often leads to accidents. Youths should avoid such habits,” Singh said. (PTI via CNBC-TV18)

Shivakumar of Uliyakovil, Kollam, was arrested after promising to marry a woman, but demanding that she sell one of her kidneys first. “The victim was identified as Manju (alias Chinchu). Police said Manju had lodged a complaint in 2009. The operation to remove her kidney was conducted at KIMS Hospital in Thiruvananthapuram.” Shivakumar reportedly abandoned Manju, and took the kidney, which he sold for 1 million rupees, or $18,289. (TNN)

Slap happy: Three allegedly drunk men aged 21 to 25 groped a woman in Mumbai while she was on her way to work at a call centre at King’s Circle. When she shouted at them, and a fight ensued, at which during one point one of the men slapped her. A crowd beat up the men, but urged the woman not to summon the police. She did so anyway, and the cops took the men to the Antop Hill police station. The woman “refused to leave, saying the two men had ‘manhandled her and slapped her and that it was only fair that she is allowed to slap them’. “The police agreed. I slapped the men and told them that the next time they think about touching a woman, the sound of my slap will ring in their ears.’” (Times of India)

LinkedIn is “dabbling” with the idea of allowing members in India to pay with local currency rather than with credit cards. “Everything needs to be in place because where money is concerned, you need to be doubly sure,” said a spokesperson for the site, refusing to give a time frame. There reportedly are 15 million Indian users as of May, accounting for more than 9 percent of its users. (Mint)

PETA offers Kingfisher a vegan lift

One of the many benefits of vegetarianism, so animal rights activists say, is that it cures impotence. To that end, the global rights group PETA is offering a way to give flagging Kingfisher Airlines a lift.

The airline, once the flashiest in the Indian aviation industry with well-groomed hostesses and gourmet food, is struggling to stay upright after running up a debt of about $1.3 billion. It has been wooing investors, pleading with banks and sounding out anyone who could help.

Now, help is being offered from an unlikely quarter.

PETA has made a “tempting offer to help keep Kingfisher Airlines out of its financial crisis and flying sky-high”, the group said in a statement. Condition: The airline — whose advertisements once featured tastefully served lobsters and baked chicken — covers its planes with anti-non-vegetarianism slogans.

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