Salman Rushdie on the BJP and Narendra Modi. While speaking at Emory University’s India Summit in Atlanta on February 16, author Salman Rushdie said that actions like the forced withdrawal of Wendy Doniger’s book The Hindus by Hindu extremists could become more frequent after the next election, when the Bharatiya Janata Party is likely to come into power. He called the prospect “worrying.” View the full video of his talk about politics, book bans and literature. [Scroll.in]
The Sari is Dead. Long Live the Sari! Every generation, the ubiquitous sari takes on a different interpretation. Learn about two Delhi-based swimwear designers who came up with a $600 bikini sari, designed to be worn on the beach or in the water. Find out more in this BBC News story exploring whether the garment called “the backbone of the Indian fashion industry” is making a comeback in urban India. [BBC News].
Nirbhaya Playwright on Her Journey to the Stage. South African playwright Yaël Farber’s award-winning play Nirbhaya, written after the December 2012 gang rape in Delhi, is her stage protest against sexual violence based on testimonies of survivors. It’s playing at London’s Southbank Centre March 5-12 and will go on to Mumbai. In part of an essay on the play for The Guardian, Farber compared responses to rape in India and South Africa.
The sexual crime statistics of my native South Africa and of India are often mentioned in the same breath. Six weeks after Nirbhaya’s attack, Anene Booysens, a South African teenager, was found with parts of her intestines next to her in the dirt at a construction site. She had been gang raped and, after naming one of her attackers from her hospital bed, died. This rape has drawn widespread condemnation. But where India’s streets have risen in protest for Nirbhaya, the turnout in support of Booysens is comparatively pathetic. Are South Africans still capable of the revolutionary rage that cast off the shackles of apartheid, I wonder. Or are freedom and human rights the reserve of men alone? [The Guardian]
Cricket on Campus. The Economist looks at cricket’s roots in the US. According to their research, the game had some popularity in the 19th century on college campuses but dropped off the following century. The 21st century is a different matter — thanks to a fast-paced reinvention of the game called Twenty20 and more students at U.S. universities from South Asian countries, cricket enthusiasm on campus is acquiring critical mass. [The Economist]
South Dakota Anti-Abortion Movement is Racist Too. South Dakota Republican legislators voted to make it harder for women to have abortions by banning abortions based on the sex of the fetus. Mother Jones notes that their arguments for the ban are racist ones that stereotype Asian Americans as an ethnic group that practices sex selection. [Mother Jones]