Robert's Feed
Jan 24, 2013
via India Insight

Delhi rape case: Verma committee report dredges up old stereotypes


Like many journalists who follow Indian affairs, I have been digging through the 657 pages of the Verma committee report on rape in India and attitudes toward women in that country. You can read about its main conclusion in our wire story, namely:

India needs to implement existing laws, not introduce tougher punishment such as the death penalty, to prevent rape, a government panel set up to review legislation said on Wednesday, following a brutal gang rape that shook the nation. Panel head, justice J.S. Verma, rejected outright the idea of the death penalty for rape cases, a demand from some protesters and politicians in the days after the 23-year-old physiotherapy student was attacked on a moving bus.

Jan 16, 2013
via India Insight

‘Who Wants to Be a Millionaire’ meets ‘Indian Idol’ in West Bengal


(Any career-destroying attempts at irony or humour are the responsibility of the author, and not of the chief ministers of Gujarat or West Bengal or any of their associates.)

Everybody’s talking about how Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has fostered fair weather for businesses and investors in his state. Maybe he’s making it too easy. In West Bengal, it looks like investors and business people must work a little harder for their returns. Take a look at that state’s chief minister, Mamata Banerjee. She isn’t just making business people and investors work for their profits; she’s making them sing.

Dec 30, 2012
via India Insight

Making Delhi safer for women: one reader’s (lengthy) comment


This lengthy comment showed up on Sunday on a blog post that we published more than a year ago. I’m republishing it here, and curious to hear what you think about it. This was submitted by “Hitesh104.” I make no statement of support or opposition. — Robert



I am a Gurgaon resident and wanted to get in touch with you all for a project on WOMAN PROTECTION IN INDIA which I want to pursue
I have some ideas which i wanted to share with you and seek your opinion on how we can make Delhi a safe place for woman.

Dec 29, 2012
via India Insight

Photo gallery: vigils after Delhi rape victim dies


Here are some photographs from our India Insight contributors that show vigils following the death on Saturday of a 23-year-old woman after six men raped her aboard a bus in Delhi on Dec. 16. We will update this post as more photos arrive. Thanks to Soumya Bandyopadhyay in Kolkata, Anoo  Bhuyan and Anuja Jaiman in Delhi and Vidya L. Nathan in Bangalore. Apologies for any inconsistent sizing or lack of uniformity. Note for non-Hindi readers or speakers: the sign in the first photograph says: “My voice is higher than my skirt.”

Delhi (Anoo Bhuyan):












Delhi (Anuja Jaiman):









You can see many more images related to this story from our Reuters photographers as well.

Dec 20, 2012
via India Insight

Delhi gang rape case: ‘she deserved it’ is not a good argument


(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author, and not necessarily of Thomson Reuters)

The gang rape of a 23-year-old woman and the beating of her male friend on a moving bus in New Delhi Sunday night has produced debates about women’s rights in India and about whether the death penalty — or castration — are suitable remedies for the situation. It has not prompted, from what I can see, any speculation that the woman got what she deserved because she was dressed like a slut… until today.

Dec 12, 2012
via India Insight

Ravi Shankar and the West’s search for the lost chord


There is a moment in the beginning of the Concert for Bangla Desh live album when sitar master Ravi Shankar and his fellow musicians play some notes on their Indian instruments. When they stop, the audience at Madison Square Garden applauds and cheers. “Thank you,” Shankar said. “If you appreciate the tuning so much, I hope you will enjoy the playing more.”

He and his band members then begin playing the piece called “Bangla Dhun.” At the end, the crowd cheers just as lustily as they did for the warmup.

Dec 7, 2012
via India Insight

Regulating journalism won’t cure problems that ail the press


Editors say headlines should catch the eye. I’m one of those editors who says things like that. Here is one from CNN-IBN that caught my eye: “Editors call for media regulation after arrest of Zee News journalists.” Why would they ever want that?

We call those “man bites dog” headlines because they’re unusual, and that makes them news. Journalists are supposed to resist government attempts to control the way they do their jobs. If you make the government one of your minders, supervisors or shareholders, the argument goes, you compromise your journalists’ abilities to report on the government. If editors call for more regulation of themselves, no matter the country, this is the risk that they run.

Nov 16, 2012
via India Insight

Indians: inherently unhygienic? Indian writer touches third rail


(Any opinions expressed here are the author’s own. They are not necessarily those of Thomson Reuters)

My Indian friends and I joke around a lot about me as the typical white American guy visiting India. Cows! Con men! Colors! Most people I’ve met in India have restricted their reactions to my westerner-in-the-east experiences to gentle teasing. When I stuck a picture of a man urinating in public on my Facebook page, calling it one more picture of what you see everywhere you go in India, people weren’t as patient. What was I doing? Insulting the nation? Focusing on the ugly because it’s what all the westerners do when they visit India? Why does India provoke such visceral reactions in visitors?

Nov 12, 2012
via India Insight

Madhya Pradesh chief minister exorcises English, exercises investors


(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Thomson Reuters.)

Shivraj Singh Chouhan appears to be tying himself into a linguistic knot. The chief minister of Madhya Pradesh on Saturday said that the English language is a ghost that India must exorcise, according to the Press Trust of India newswire. Even though only a small number of people speak English, these people have managed to show that you need English to be successful in whatever you do, Chouhan said.

Nov 11, 2012
via India Insight

Bob Geldof, Goa and the Maldives: take offense where you can find it


(Any opinions expressed here are the author’s own. Any offense that the author causes is unintentional.)

Writing anything about India, no matter how picayune I think the topic might be, means that I run the risk of offending someone. Someday I’ll write a book about the unique culture of offense that I’ve found in India, but until then, I’ll write about examples that I see in the news. This weekend’s come from pop musician and poverty activist Bob Geldof as well as a senior government official of the Maldives, and an irreverent drummer from the heart of Punjab.