The computerisation of calligraphic fonts has damaged the livelihoods of the remaining few calligraphy artists or Katibs in Urdu Bazaar, Delhi.
The Internet History Sourcebooks Project is a collection of public domain and copy-permitted historical texts presented cleanly (without advertising or excessive layout) for educational use. The main sourcebooks cover ancient, medieval, and modern history. Subsidiary sourcebooks cover African, East Asian, Global, Indian, Islamic, Jewish, Lesbian and Gay, Science, and Women's history.
Shared Prosperity, Common Wealth, National Equity and a Citizen's Dividend: Nirit Peled takes a look at social experiments in basic incomes for VPRO Tegenlicht, a Dutch public television documentary series. Starting with a German crowdfunded UBI chosen by raffle -- kind of like the opposite of Le Guin's Omelas (or Shirley Jackson's Lottery in reverse) -- the focus moves on to Albert Wenger who wants to disconnect work from income not only as automation progresses but to accelerate the process. Then it's on to Guy Standing who has conducted basic income experiments in India and Namibia (pdf) and is trying to get one off the ground in Groningen (Utrecht apparently is also a go). Finally, a stop in Alaska to ask some of its residents about their views on the state-owned Permanent Fund. This last part brings to mind the question: just what is wealth anyway? [more inside]
He was a prophet without imprimatur in his own city. Charles Correa, who passed away late on the night of 16 June, was among the great architects of our times. His institutional buildings across the world are all iconic. Yet, Mumbai, his lifelong home, boasts just one* residential tower designed by him – an irony as much as a travesty. Though the cubist Kanchanjunga is eye-catching, it’s still high-rise: a genre caustically savaged by this patron saint of low-slung architecture.[more inside]
One of the most intriguing items in the British Library Persian manuscripts collection is a small unexceptional looking volume which contains a personal record, written in his own hand, of 37 dreams of Tipu Sultan, Sultan of Mysore (r. 1782-1799). [Complete translation.]A figure of continuing interest, Tipu Sultan's depiction in a 2014 parade float was the subject of a minor controversy, revisited expansively this year in a TV news report. A video history lesson for children offers a brief portrait of the ruler, sometimes remembered for his use of rockets against the British and his anti-British mechanical pipe organ (examined carefully here, but here used to play two tunes, including "Rule, Britannia!"). [more inside]
The Root Bridges of Cherrapunji In the depths of northeastern India, in one of the wettest places on earth, bridges aren't built — they're grown. [more inside]
Yet to tell the diffusion of Indian influence at this period as two separate processes partially obscures a still more extraordinary story. For it is now increasingly clear that between the fourth and twelfth centuries the influence of India in both Southeast and Central Asia, and to some degree also China, was comparable to the influence of Greece in Aegean Turkey and Rome, and then in the rest of Europe in the early centuries BC. From the empire of the Gupta dynasty in the north and that of the Pallava dynasty in the south, India during this period radiated its philosophies, political ideas, and architectural forms out over an entire continent not by conquest but by sheer cultural sophistication.
Unravel ‘Maybe the water is too expensive to wash them’: a short documentary on how Indian women recast and recycle the clothes the West throws away
The Los Angeles Times in 1943 further declared that “Only an old-school Southerner who thinks Appomattox was a shocking bad show could go for Pakistan.” The Longest August: The Unflinching Rivalry Between India And Pakistan, the latest book by long-time Middle East observer Dilip Hiro, is a grim assessment of the current state of relations.
"Post Hurricane Katrina, a whole new American dream was designed for some [South Asian] Indians — how to get trapped in a guarded labor camp by an American company".
"Why the hero of my YA dystopian novel had to be an angry young Indian girl." [Guardian Books]
Laxmi Hariharan challenges the domination of dystopian western worlds in teen novels, why not a dystopian Asia or Latin America? And how it’s time for the stereotype-busting Angry Young (Indian) Girl to claim centre-stage.
12 minute video on India’s Experiment in Basic Income Grants "cash transfers given to all citizens to ensure that they have a minimal income". [more inside]
A very Indian reply about ... nothing, after Jerry Seinfeld cancelled a show in Mumbai because of parking issues.
It was at this moment that the East India Company (EIC) ceased to be a conventional corporation, trading and silks and spices, and became something much more unusual. Within a few years, 250 company clerks backed by the military force of 20,000 locally recruited Indian soldiers had become the effective rulers of Bengal.
The Question is the Question: Dilip D'Souza on the competitive sport of 'Quizzing' in India. "Quizzers branch out like fractals, into the minutiae, looking for questions in the interstices of knowledge.” [more inside]
What's It Like To Live Without Electricity? Ask An Indian Villager One study has found that India’s indoor pollution contributes to disabilities and early death to a greater degree than tobacco, high blood pressure and heart attacks. “It disproportionately impacts those who are indoors a lot, which is women and children” [more inside]
The Secret History of South Asian & African American Solidarity. South Asians and African Americans have been standing up for each other for over a century -- and continue to do so. Race politics, shared heritage, and issues of caste and class are among the few examples of interconnected history that largely go untaught in the U.S. [via mefi projects]
It's summer in Australia and that can only mean one thing: lots and lots of cricket! (Some previous discussions of cricket on Metafilter.) Cricket has long had a reputation as a "gentlemanly game", which quietly ignores the increasing popularity of women's cricket that has existed since 1745. Times change and some substantial technology is now being used to assist the umpires and referees. As the sport becomes more professional and attracts more money, controversy is increasing in these less genteel times. However, there is now one great ethical dilemma facing cricketers: should the batter voluntarily walk (dismiss themselves) when they know they are out, even if the umpire fails to give them out? [more inside]
The Government of India in the last week of 2014 asked Internet service providers (ISPs) to block websites including code repository Github, video streaming sites Vimeo and Dailymotion, online archive Internet Archive, free software hosting site Sourceforge and many other websites on the basis of hosting anti-India content from the violent extremist group known as ISIS. The blanket block on many resourceful sites has been heavily criticized on social media and blogs by reviving the hashtag #GoIblocks that evolved in the past against internet censorship by the government. [...] After agreeing to remove anti-India content posted by accounts that appeared to have some association with ISIS, some were unblocked.via Global Voices
The Indian wedding that exploded in violence: a short story by Ranbir Singh Sidhu
Today is the 10th anniversary of the tsunami that changed life in South and South East Asia. Aceh bore the heaviest losses and the ASEAN remembers the toll of destruction. This event changed the way global agencies coordinate large scale disaster relief. Many lessons were learnt. Other regions which felt the impact hold memorial services too.
India's New Comic Book Hero Fights Rape, Rides On The Back Of A Tiger
She's a not a superhero in the comic book tradition. Her power is the power of persuasion and the power of an idea. She's riding the tiger all over India and creating a movement [to] deal with sexual violence.
How Ambi became Paisley: "It began as a teardrop in Babylon. Where the sunlight came from Astarte, shameless goddess of the fecund feminine. The boteh. Stylized rendition of the date palm shoot, tree of life, fertility symbol. It danced through Celtic art, until the heavy feet of Roman legionaries tramped over the Alps. Then it fled the wrath of Mars and Jupiter, dove underground as Empire rose ." From Shailja Patel's Migritude. Here's a short film about the Migritude project (book on Amazon).
There is little trace of the presence of the South Asians who lived and worked in Mexico during the colonial period except for one woman whose legend lives on even today. She was purportedly born Mira in the kingdom of the Gran Mogol, or the Great Mughals, where she was captured by the Portuguese who eventually sold her to the Spanish at the port of Manila.The 'Mughal Princess' of Mexico: At the South Asian American Digital Archive, Meha Priyadarshini briefly explores the myths and realities of Catarina de San Juan (1606-1688), a religious mystic/visionary who sailed on the Manila galleon to Mexico nearly four hundred years ago and over time became associated in popular legend with a well-known style of dress. The etymological complexity of one keyword involved should not be underestimated and itself tells another story about the history of colonialism.
Hindu ki bas eik khasusiat: Baghl mein churi, moen par Ram Ram. My Urdu, at the time, was idiomatically sub-par. I had recently moved from Doha, Qatar, to General Zia ul Haq’s Lahore and his 9th grade Social Sciences textbook was nearly incomprehensible. The teacher read the line with a sneer. I intuited from his body language, and from the twitter that ran through the class, that this was a derisive remark, but I couldn’t quite follow: If someone had just been stabbed in the side with a knife wouldn’t he be crying to the gods in pain? What’s the shame here? I went home and asked my mother. She explained the idiom: Baghl mein churi does not mean a knife in the side but a knife concealed in the armpit of a garment. Moen pay Ram Ram is not a gesture towards pious invocation (like my grandmother’s recitation of Ya Rahman Ya Rahim)—it is meant to stand as insincere. The Hindu has only one characteristic: He conceals a knife, ready to strike, even as his lips intone Ram. I remember wanting to see or speak to a Hindu, to corroborate or defy this assessment, but Lahore in the mid-1980s held only bare traces—a place name, the legends of a boarded-up building, a strange spiral shape buried in the horizon—of its Hindu past. The city of Madho Lal or Chandarbhan had disappeared even from memories. Our teacher was a history enthusiast and he quickly warmed up to my hesitant question: Sir, why are Hindus never to be trusted?Also in Urdu [PDF]. Manan Ahmed writes at Chapati Mystery [more inside]
"The psychology behind why (the God tiles) work is complex. It could be a combination of fearing the wrath of God (especially when one’s pants are down, or even just open) and wanting to seem RC (religiously correct)... I’ve since learned that god tiles aren’t only deployed to stop public urination. In some office buildings, for example, god tiles have been installed in stairways to keep people (OK, mostly men) from spitting on walls. They’ve also been used to prevent people from throwing garbage in certain places."
Disclaimer: The facts are taken from the journal "Taste, Taboo, Trash: The Story of Ramsay Brothers" by Kartik Nair. I personally declare that the journal is only used as a reference & no intentions copying the content for any benefits, it's only to spread the knowledge regarding the working ways of Ramsay brothers. [more inside]
Satyamev Jayate is an award-winning Indian talk show hosted by Aamir Khan. In this episode, he discusses sexuality with members of the LGBTQ community (1:10:39, SLYT, Subtitled).
How one person singlehandedly created a forest, saved an island, and changed the world. [more inside]
A dakhma, or "tower of silence" is an ancient structure created by Zoroastrians for the disposal of the dead. Within an elevated courtyard, surrounded by high walls the bodies of the deceased are laid out in a circle. Vultures descend into the structure and consume the bodies. Like the Tibetan sky burial the gift of one's flesh to the birds is seen as a final act of charity by the deceased. After the bones bleach in the sun they are put into a ossuary or placed into a central pit to crumble to dust. While Iranian Zoroastrians ended their use 40 years ago the tradition continues in India. A pesticide related decline in vulture population is endangering the practice.
The Gentrification of the Dosa: "I worry dosas will become their Western definitions—“lentil crepe” or “lentil pancake,” that sanitized screen."
Planned cities are not a new idea (Palmanova, Italy, 1593). From Washington, D.C. (1791), to Canberra, Australia (1911), to Brasilia, Brazil (1957), planned cities have long been an urban dream (from space), perhaps most frequently applied to national capitals. But they don't always work out as planned. [more inside]
Joanna Goddard has been interviewing American women raising their children in other countries, to hear how motherhood around the world compared and contrasted with motherhood in America. She's talked to parents in Norway, Japan, Congo, Northern Ireland, Mexico, Abu Dhabi, India, England, China, Germany, Australia, Turkey, and Chile. [more inside]
"Kailash Satyarthi, the child rights activist from India, and Malala Yousufzai, the activist for girls education in Pakistan, were announced as the joint winners of this year's Nobel Peace Prize by the Norwegian Nobel Committee on Friday."
Tour the mega-slum Dharavi, one of the most materially deprived places on earth, transformed by TED-like pundits into a "most inspiring economic model" that gels quite well with their vision of a world without public aid and guarantees to needy.
India's Mars Orbiter Mission In 45 mins from now (watch a webcast), India's Mars Orbiter Mission's satellite will insert itself into orbit around Mars. This is the final hurdle for MOM to overcome to achieve a big milestone for the Indian Space Research Organization.
Indian classical music mourns the untimely death of a child prodigy who grew into a graceful maestro. Srinivas -- who introduced the mandolin to Indian classical music -- was one of the giants. Shockingly dead at 45, gone just far too young. The tributes are pouring in. [more inside]
Women in India face a whole host of period taboos such as sleeping apart from their husbands, not washing their hair, not touching jars of pickled foods, and not making cheese curd. Most women are too embarrassed to be seen purchasing sanitary napkins or even watching commercials for them. Napkin manufacturer, Whisper, has launched a campaign by addressing the taboo subject head on. So, go ahead and touch the pickle! [more inside]
Skylab is Falling! (SLYT) A seven minute Indian film about the 1979 Skylab "disaster" as seen through the eyes of a child. [more inside]
The closure of the Hindustan Motors factory in Uttarapara, West Bengal, is the end of an era in Indian history. The Ambassador is the perfect example of all that was wrong with Indian policy towards industrialization, manufacturing and business. Protectionism and the license raj created a seller's market where people waited years to buy a car. Until liberalization in the 1990s, the Amby hadn't known any real competition, and there was no pressure to either modernize or improve quality. None of this mattered, at least we had a car. And there wasn't any other quite like it in the world. RIP, motor gadi.
data.gov.in : the Indian counterpart of the US data.gov, features 10280 resources in 3215 catalogs for public perusal. There's a visualization gallery charting developments like village electrification or domestic air traffic or sales of automobiles. And also a community section featuring apps offering mobile access to some of the data.
The Wall Street Journal looks at Palna, an organization in Delhi that raises children who have been abandoned. Palna means "cradle"; most children who live there are left in a wicker basket outside the front door. Established in 1978, today, "these services reach over 2500 children daily and are provided virtually free of cost to them. ALL activities and policies of DCCW are colour / caste / community blind, and are based on secular principles." [more inside]
A right-wing Indian politician's racist, xenophobic, and anti-Muslim books are making their way to schools in Gujarat. [more inside]
Welcome to Haider, a Bollywood version of Hamlet set for a controversial, much anticipated release this autumn. Vishal Bhardwaj's latest Shakespearian adaptation turns the Prince of Denmark into a philosophy student from Kashmir, the former Himalayan princedom, who returns home from university after hearing that his doctor father has disappeared and his mother is in a new relationship. View the trailer here - captions available. [more inside]
A new study by Stanford anthropologist Tanya Luhrmann and others found that voice-hearing experiences of people with serious psychotic disorders are shaped by local culture – in the United States, the voices are harsh and threatening; in Africa and India, they are more benign and playful. This may have clinical implications for how to treat people with schizophrenia, she suggests.