The Arabian Sea has a special place in Indian business history. For centuries the cities and settlements on the Arabian Sea littoral traded with each other, exchanging Indian textiles for horse, armaments, pearls and ivory. In turn, some of the textiles were passed on to the Atlantic slave trade in Africa as a medium of exchange, or sent overland to European markets. Coastal merchants* indigenous to the region bordering the sea engaged in this business and developed sophisticated systems of banking and shipbuilding to support the mercantile enterprise. The Hindu and Muslim traders of Kachchh were examples of such groups of people. text via [more inside]
A right-wing Indian politician's racist, xenophobic, and anti-Muslim books are making their way to schools in Gujarat. [more inside]
The Emperor Uncrowned: An in-depth look at the controversial man who may be India's next Prime Minister (previously). Also related.
The Face of Gujarat 2002 "And when I saw the military van pass by, I thought, 'This is our last chance'. I began shouting Sahib! Sahib! to the soldiers and folded my hands, and when I did that they looked back and returned. [...] My life went into a tailspin. The picture followed me wherever I went. It haunted me, and drove me out of my job, and my state". Twelve years after the defining image of the Gujarat carnage. Previously. (Explanation of the title)
Jingle Bells, gujarati/tamil style. A year ago or so, MTV India released two Christmas-themed bumpers/music-videos, each an animated rendition of the Xmas classic "Jingle Bells" in regional dialects and in regional musical styles: gujarati/tamil and punjabi. [more inside]
Can a snake prey on a dinosaur? The answer is yes. A plug of wet sediment captures a snake preying on a dinosaur hatchling.
India’s New Face. "Meet Narendra Modi, chief minister of Gujarat and the brightest star in the Hindu-chauvinist Bharatiya Janata Party. Under Modi, Gujarat has become an economic dynamo. But he also presided over India’s worst communal riots in decades, a 2002 slaughter that left almost 2,000 Muslims dead. Exploiting the insecurities and tensions stoked by India’s opening to the world, Modi has turned his state into a stronghold of Hindu extremism, shredding Gandhi’s vision of secular coexistence in the process. One day, he could be governing the world’s largest democracy." [Via]
The Guajurati State Government has been directly implicated in a massacre of over 2,000 moslems during riots in 2002. There has been surprisingly little coverage by world news media. via pickledpolitics a British based SE Asian current affairs / political blog.
Indian police smell pretty. Police in an Indian province are airing a new strategy for crime fighting and community relations: "Police in India’s Western state of Gujarat are to wear new uniforms impregnated with the fragrance of flowers and citrus to help improve their image."
You stink, therefore I am. Philosophers and psychologists have been studying the science of disgust, and its proper place in the law. Leon Kass, the chairman of the president's council on bioethics, cites "the wisdom of repugnance" in arguing against cloning. More recently, Martha Nussbaum has written a new book, "Hiding from Humanity: Disgust, Shame, and the Law," which rejects disgust as a moral guide. She has also written on the role of disgust in the mutilations of women in Gujarat.
23 dead, numerous injured in a temple in Gujarat, India. About 3 - 5 terrorists carrying AK-47s entered the temple complex and started shooting indiscriminately, a couple of grenades were detonated too. Indian special forces are currently engaged in a shoot-out, as Gujarat is placed on red alert. Some claim this act was done to disrupt the elections in the state of Jammu & Kashmir.
Gujarat rocked by a series of bomb blasts. "It appears that the bombs are crudely made bombs and intended to create a panic" says a police spokesman. About a dozen people were injured in three explosions in the city of Ahmedabad.