India Uncut

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Monday, August 21, 2006

Locking up wives, and starving children

All the wankers of the world have suddenly become Kankers. You can't pick up a newspaper or turn on a TV channel these days without being assailed by Kank, with TV debates and print features about the shape of the "modern Indian marriage" and infidelity. It's also brought on a barrage of tasteless humour, exemplified by the headline on the left in the screengrab below. (You know where it's from, needless to say.)

Speaking of modernity, the problem in India is not an excess of it but a scarcity. Consider, now, the headline on the right in that screengrab. A seven-year-old kid is fasting in Agra "to appease the rain gods," and had it been an adult, I'd have been in favour of leaving the idiot alone and letting him starve himself. But this is a kid, for FSM's sake, and the report seems to indicate that despite the authorities trying to make her eat, she has the tacit support of her family and her village. The report says:
Her fast has inspired hundreds of people to join her in prayers and bhajans (devotional songs). Parveen's family, which includes her five brothers and sisters, says that she is determined to starve herself until "Lord Indra smiles" and ensures rainfall.

"Her tapasya (meditation) will not go in vain," say villagers, worried over the scanty rainfall in some districts of western Uttar Pradesh.
If it rains, needless to say, the superstitions of all involved will be reinforced, and we'll see more of this bullshit in times to come. If it doesn't rain, they'll no doubt say that the girl's tapasya wasn't good enough, or they'll blame the authorities for breaking her fast. I shudder to imagine what effect this might have on the poor girl's mind, and what she might grow up to become.
amit varma, 3:29 PM| write to me | permalink | homepage

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