Friday, February 18, 2005

A quick scan

  • Decline in child sex ratio among educated sections [The Hindu]
    Preference for a male child seemed to be higher among the educated and rich sections of society, says a study by the Centre for Social Research. In the prosperous and educated South Delhi zone, the girl-boy sex ratio below five years has declined to 762 girls born for every 1,000 boys, the study says. But what is alarming is the growing acceptance of female foeticide and lack of implementation of the law, the centre observes. In an analysis of the data on child sex ratio, the centre points out that the rich and educated class have greater access to ultrasound clinics where sex determination tests of the foetus are done surreptitiously.
  • History in the box [Ram Guha's column in the Telegraph]
    Indian historians are, for the most part, too insular and timid to take history to the people. Indian media is too vulgar to do so. And there is yet a third problem, that in India, history is most contentious, productive not just of intellectual argument but also of sectarian violence. If heads can be broken and libraries burnt on account of a single line in a book about Shivaji, can one imagine the reaction to a series on television about the Mughals? Or a series about the national movement?
  • Home beautiful [From Khushwant Singh's column]
    A doctor friend of mine was posted in a very remote hilly town of Arunachal Pradesh. There was no electricity nor telephone. The evenings were dreadfully monotonous and lonesome. To kill boredom, he taught English to a group of tribal villagers in the evening. Within a few days the tutor and the students became quite intimate. One evening, a student asked if my friend had a photograph of his wife. It so happened that he had one of her taken in front of the Taj Mahal, and he handed it to the villager. After studying it quite approvingly, for a moment, he remarked: “You have a very beautiful home!”
  • Nominees for the first Man Booker International Prize [BBC]
    Margaret Atwood, Saul Bellow, Garcia Marquez, Gunter Grass, Ismail Kadare, Milan Kundera, Stanislaw Lem, Doris Lessing, Ian McEwan, Naguib Mahfouz, Tomas Eloy Martinez, Kenzaburo Oe, Cynthia Ozick, Philip Roth, Muriel Spark, Antonio Tabucchi, John Updike, Abraham Yehoshua.


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