India's Lost Southern Border:
Somewhere near the town of Mandapam
on peninsular India, India's vast rail network is at its closest
to the sea-coast; indeed, it crosses a 2.4 kilometre stretch
of the sea, and then extends for another 12 kilometres, before terminating in an ancient temple town, Rameswaram(YouTube)
, close to the impressive Ramanatha Swamy
temple around which the town is centered. Another 20 kilometres through an increasingly rough terrain brings us to a forgotten fishing hamlet, Moonram Chathiram, before bringing us to some ruined buildings
, abandoned rain-tracks
, a submerged temple and a ruined church
Welcome to Dhanushkodi(YouTube)
. Till tragedy struck on the night of December 22nd 1964, this was India's only border-town in the south. [more inside]
posted by the cydonian
on Oct 11, 2011 -
Mansoor 'Tiger' Ali Khan
, erstwhile Indian cricket captain, has died
. His legacy evokes a previous era in Indian history: a last-generation Royal blinded in one eye as a young man, he captained the Oxford then the Indian teams (his father
had played for Oxford and England before captaining India), and married movie actress Sharmila Tagore
with whom he had children who went on to become movie stars themselves. Some memories
of a man known for his cricketing skill, style and charisma.
posted by the mad poster!
on Sep 22, 2011 -
Massive Biometric Project Gives Crores of Indians an ID: Aadhaar faces titanic physical and technical challenges: reaching millions of illiterate Indians who have never seen a computer, persuading them to have their irises scanned, ensuring that their information is accurate, and safeguarding the resulting ocean of data. This is India, after all—a country notorious for corruption and for failing to complete major public projects. And the whole idea horrifies civil libertarians. But if Aadhaar’s organizers pull it off, the initiative could boost the fortunes of India’s poorest citizens and turbocharge the already booming national economy. [more inside]
posted by infini
on Aug 30, 2011 -
"Certainly, Uncle Sam, disowned by Pakistanis, has found innumerable devoted nephews in India. Indian and Pakistani perceptions of America now wildly diverge: A 2005 Pew poll conducted in 16 countries found the United States in the highest regard among Indians (71 percent having a favorable opinion) and nearly the lowest among Pakistanis (23 percent).
" Why do India and Pakistan see America in such opposite ways?
posted by vidur
on Aug 17, 2011 -
জয় হে :
So you have seven swara
's, or musical notes, each associated with elements, animals, chakra
's and Hindu gods. Linearly arranged swara's, or sur
's in Hindi, form a swaramalika
, a chain of swara's. Mixing yours and my swara's, for instance, produces our sur(YT)
). Once again
on a Continuum Fingerboard
. The seven swara's together are also called a 'sargam
', a Devnaagri acronym formed by taking the first letter of each note. Sargam mix with each other and form raaga
's, melodic modes that depict the colours, hues and moods in Indian classical music. Assembling known maestros from every corner of the nation, and asking them to play their sargam's, you get desh raag(YT)
: the Sound of a Nation. [more inside]
posted by the cydonian
on Aug 15, 2011 -
"The definitive guide to South Asian lingo". Eg., Enthu Cutlet
: An enthu cutlet is an earnest eager beaver who is able to muster up inordinate amounts of energy, inspiration and enthusiasm towards a variety of things. (via
posted by dhruva
on Aug 9, 2011 -
In August-September 1965, India and Pakistan went to war
for the second time since their independence in 1947. On September 19, a civilian aircraft (Beechcraft Model 18) carrying the Chief Minister of the Indian state of Gujarat (bordering Pakistan) was shot down
by a Pakistani Air Force pilot (flying an F-86F). Now, 46 years later, the Pakistani pilot has written a condolence letter
to the daughter of the pilot of the Indian civilian aircraft.
posted by vidur
on Aug 8, 2011 -
The African Presence in India: A Photo Essay
: The questions we pose here are simply these: Who are the African people of India? What is
their significance in the annals of history? Precisely what have they done and what are they
doing now? These are extremely serious questions that warrant serious and fundamental
answers. This series of articles, "The African Presence in India: An Historical Overview," is
designed to provide some of those answers.
posted by infini
on Jul 30, 2011 -
India's vultures are vanishing.
Populations of three species on the sub-continent have plummeted since the 1980s from 50 million to less than 60,000. Their disappearance could lead to widespread increase in human diseases.
posted by binturong
on Jul 5, 2011 -
Steven Aftergood at the Federation of American Scientists presents Fifty Years of Space Nuclear Power
"A plutonium fueled RTG that was deployed in 1965 by the CIA not in space but on a mountaintop in the Himalayas (to help monitor Chinese nuclear tests) continues to generate anxiety, not electricity, more than four decades after it was lost in place. See, most recently, "River Deep Mountain High"
by Vinod K. Jose, The Caravan
magazine, December 1, 2010." (MeFi previously
posted by HLD
on Jun 28, 2011 -
The two year long saga of how
McDonalds engineered the perfect cottage cheese filet for the McSpicy Paneer burger. McD has a turbulent
history in India where its processes, practices and products, successfully developed over decades, have been turned upside down and redesigned
, often from scratch. [more inside]
posted by infini
on Jun 12, 2011 -
"Over the past few decades, 160 million women have vanished from East and South Asia
— or, to be more accurate, they were never born at all. Throughout the region, the practice of sex selection — prenatal sex screening followed by selective termination of pregnancies — has yielded a generation packed with boys. From a normal level of 105 boys to 100 girls, the ratio has shifted to 120, 150, and, in some cases, nearly 200 boys born for every 100 girls. In some countries, like South Korea, ratios spiked and are now returning to normal. But sex selection is on the rise in Eastern Europe, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East." American journalist Mara Hvistendahl's new book: "Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls, and the Consequences of a World Full of Men
," examines and tries to predict the actual and potential effects of unequal sex ratios on men, women and the social economies of the affected regions, including the recent spike in sex trafficking and bride-buying across Asia. More
. [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Jun 10, 2011 -
"For the progress of humanity, work alone is not adequate, but the work should be associated with love, compassion, right conduct, truthfulness and sympathy. Without the above qualities, selfless service cannot be performed."
On Sunday morning
, Indian guru Sri Sathya Sai Baba passed away.
He leaves behind a massive empire
, several million mourning devotees worldwide,
an extensive religious philosophy
, a great deal of controversy
and a legacy of large-scale philanthropic projects in India, including free hospitals and mobile medical facilities
, a free university and schools,
and other efforts which included supplying clean water
to hundreds of rural villages. [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Apr 25, 2011 -
The IOWEYOU project.
You can't go to a shop and buy these clothes. Because each textile is unique they have an app
that allows you to trace your garment right back through the production process to the actual weaver that hand-wove the fabric. You can see some of the delightful
people involved in the project at their YouTube channel
posted by unliteral
on Apr 12, 2011 -
"The paper puts forward a small but novel idea of how we can cut down the incidence of bribery. There are different kinds of bribes and what this paper is concerned with are bribes that people often have to give to get what they are legally entitled to. I shall call these 'harassment bribes'. Suppose an income tax refund is held back from a taxpayer till he pays some cash to the officer. Suppose government allots subsidized land to a person but when the person goes to get her paperwork done and receive documents for this land, she is asked to pay a hefty bribe. These are all illustrations of harassment bribes. Harassment bribery is widespread in India and it plays a large role in breeding inefficiency and has a corrosive effect on civil society. The central message of this paper is that we should declare the act of giving a bribe in all such cases as legitimate activity
[PDF]. In other words the giver of a harassment bribe should have full immunity from any punitive action by the state." [more inside]
posted by vidur
on Mar 31, 2011 -
"I've never been in a stadium that feels like this one
. Hindus and Muslims, Sikhs and Christians, people from different castes and classes, speakers of a dozen languages, all citizens in the Republic of Sachin. The stern cops give wide smiles and thumbs-ups. The chant goes from "Sachin! Sachin!" to "Hoo … ha … IN-DI-A!" They are interchangeable." [more inside]
posted by vidur
on Mar 30, 2011 -
Welcome to Gernot Katzer’s Spice Pages
On these pages, I present solid information on (currently) 117 different spice plants. Emphasis is on their usage in ethnic cuisines, particularly in Asia; furthermore, I discuss their history, chemical constituents, and the etymology of their names. Last but not least, there are numerous photos featuring the live plants or the dried spices.
posted by halcyon_daze
on Mar 18, 2011 -
"No Toilet, No Bride": Count the number of public toilets for women in India, or the availability of something as basic as low-cost sanitary napkins, and the invisibility of women’s needs becomes apparent."
Private toilets may increase in number:
"There are signs of change, though, and one of the most surprising may be in the matrimonial market. Four years ago, the Haryana government started its "No Toilet, No Bride" campaign, painting walls across the state with the slogan: 'I won’t allow my daughter to marry into a home without toilets.'
posted by emhutchinson
on Mar 17, 2011 -
For me, this was a first experience of seeing India play at home, and of Sachin Tendulkar playing in front of his own people. I chose a good game with which to start. I can think of few, if any, experiences in sport to match watching Tendulkar succeed in a home game. Roger Federer may occupy a similar status of universally-acknowledged greatness within tennis, but I think it is fair to say that Switzerland is not quite as passionate about tennis as India is about cricket. If Federer were to simultaneously play tennis whilst hoarding gold and providing banking facilities for dubious dictators, perhaps the fervour of his support would match that for Sachin. But the Swiss population is unlikely ever to top the one billion mark.
Don't know a thing about cricket? Wouldn't know a wicket from a googly? Don't worry, you won't have to know a thing to enjoy Andy Zaltzman's World Cup Blog
. He is traveling around Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka attending various games. Zaltzman is best known to the world for the fabulous podcast The Bugle
which he does with John Oliver. Therefore it should come as no surprise that he also does a cricket podcast
. And he tweets about cricket
posted by Kattullus
on Feb 28, 2011 -