Archive for the ‘Life Etcetera’ Category

‘Minority’ appeasement of sarees in poll season?*

6 March 2014

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With the Jain community having been granted minority status by a Congress-led government that is nearly bankrupt of new ideas, the Kannada and Tamil film actor Sanjana Jain endorses a magnificent commodity at the opening of a saree showroom in Bangalore on Thursday.

Photograph: Karnataka Photo News

Also read: Save women from having to save the saree

* Search engine optimisation techniques shamelessly at work

***

The commodification of women portfolio

RamyaOne more example of commodification of women

RamyaAnother example of commodification of women

Anu PrabhakarAnother example of commodification of examinations

RamyaLike, bombers get scared looking at bombshells?

RamyaNow, what will those fools do with these kids?

Aindrita RaySurely all that glitters is more than just gold

Jennifer KotwalThe best ice-candy melts before nice eye-candy

RamyaWhat it takes to smoothen some rough blades of grass

Nicole FariaDenims, diamonds, Miss India and the Mahatma

Priyanka TrivediSee, a brand ambassador always gets good press

RoopashreeObjects in the mirror are closer than they appear

Gul PanagYou are almost tempted to say ‘Intel Inside’

RamyaDon’t ask us what it is, but it sure costs a bomb

Mandira BediIt ain’t so easy to woo an iPhone4 user, sister

Tejaswini Prakash: As if we didn’t have traffic diversions already

Pooja Gandhi: Why Vodafone subscribers experience call drops

Raveena Tandon: From a flower of stones to a stone of flowers

Sameera Reddy: Finally, some ‘commodification’ we are OK with

Jayanti, Bharati, Tara, Padmaja Rao: The great gold obsession

Bhavana: When you see plastic, just bend and pick up

Priyanka: How to keep your head up with half a kilo of gold

Usually before an election, the wheels come off

29 January 2014

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During his recent whistle-stop tour of Kerala, Rahul Gandhi jumped out of his security cocoon and clambered on top of a police vehicle. But it is not just the Congress vice-president who feels compelled to do these “mass” numbers on the eve of an election.

Exhibit A is former Union minister H.N. Ananth Kumar of the BJP and Exhibit B is the former chief minister H.D. Kumaraswamy of the Janata Dal (Secular). The former taking part in an event to promote use of bicycles in Bangalore; the latter flagging off a party rally.

Photographs: Karnataka Photo News

Also read: Why Adiga‘s wants a COO for idli-vada-sambar

Double-riding in the era of helicopter joy rides?

No helmets, please; they are for the aam janata

Don’t miss: Behind every successful cyclist, there are few men

Because water is precious and every drop counts

22 January 2014

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At the “Circle Maramma” temple in Malleshwaram in Bangalore, a pair of “primates of the Haplorrhini suborder and simian infraorder”, show what their supposedly more evolved brethren could learn.

Photograph: Karnataka Photo News

Sachin Tendulkar is so sweet you can eat him up

16 December 2013

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A life-size cake of the only cricketer in the solar system to win a Bharat Ratna, made of sugar, cream and eggs, at the annual Christmas-eve exhibition at St. Joseph‘s Indian high school grounds, in Bangalore on Monday.

Photograph: Karnataka Photo News

‘Push down the Haughty, push up the Humble’

5 December 2013

Tejpal-AmulMAIN

The elevator implosion of Tarun J. Tejpal and the plight of Tehelka as a result have been discussed ad nauseam after the first emails were leaked on 20 November.

But the commentary, outrage and sympathy have come from the usual set of bold-face colleagues, rivals, friends, socialites, feminists and lawyers, among others.

But how is a scandal like this viewed in smalltown India?

K.B. Ganapathy, the editor-in-chief of India’s most successful English evening newspaper, Star of Mysore, dips into his reading to offer a mythological perspective.

***

kbg

By K.B. GANAPATHY

In a city, on the banks of the sacred Ganga, called Makandika, there lived a Sadhu. He was well-known for his seeming simplicity and piety.

He had taken a vow of silence and lived wholly on alms.

He lived inside the precincts of a temple and often seemed in a state of samadhi (trance). Visitors to the temple were impressed and revered him.

Whenever he felt hungry, he would walk the streets of the town to beg.

On a particular day, he went to a rich merchant’s house and stood in front of the door silently because he was under a vow of silence about which people in the City knew.

The merchant was taking bath.

His beautiful unmarried daughter saw the Sadhu.

In keeping with the tradition of giving to the less fortunate and the holy persons, she came with a measure of rice to give to the Sadhu.

At the sight of the beautiful daughter of the merchant with her perfectly moulded breasts, her slender but not too angular hips, her graceful movements and her lustrous smile and sensuous eyes, the Sadhu was overwhelmed with desire for her.

As she poured the rice into his begging-bowl, he forgot his sacred vow of silence and let forth a groaning sound from his lips: “Oh no, oh no, oh yes, oh no…”

The merchant, who heard the Sadhu groan, looked out through the window only to see the Sadhu walking away in haste, moaning and groaning.

The merchant was disturbed.

Such a sacred person leaving his house with such seemingly hurt feeling! He rushed to the temple post-haste and begged the Sadhu to tell him the cause for the agonising sounds from his lips.

The Sadhu remained motionless and the merchant thought he would not speak, continuing with his vow of silence. But the Sadhu spoke — in a feeble, disembodied voice: “I was distressed at your house as I suddenly saw into the future. That beautiful daughter of yours carries a curse. When she marries, you and your wife, your sons and other daughters will all die”.

“What do I do?” asked a distraught merchant in great anxiety.

“There is only one solution,” said the Sadhu. “Put your daughter in a basket, close the lid and set her adrift in the Holy Ganga. However, tie a lamp to the basket and tether it to the bank of the river with a rope.”

Unquestioning piety has its dangers.

The merchant carried out the Sadhu’s instruction at night to the letter by doping his daughter, without telling anyone in the house.

As the basket with merchant’s daughter was wobbling in the water like a buoy, the Sadhu put his own plan into action. He called his two disciples and asked them to go to Ganga, look for the basket with a light and bring it to him without opening the lid, no matter what.

However, before the disciples could reach the Ganga and sight the basket, a local Prince who had gone to the Ganga for bathing, saw the basket, took it to his Palace and on opening the lid, was overwhelmed looking at a sleeping beauty.

When she opened her eyes, her peerless beauty mesmerised the Prince instantaneously and she too was immensely pleased and overjoyed to see a handsome Prince by her side.

They get married.

The Prince then orders his soldiers to put a monkey in that basket and leave it in the place where he had found it.

At last the Sadhu’s disciples sight the basket, carry it dutifully, despite the jumping noisy animal inside and place it before the Sadhu who by then had become impatient and even a bit angry too towards his disciples whom he asked to leave the place and leave him alone.

By now, the monkey was exhausted trying to escape and was quiet.

Alone in the shadowy darkness behind the temple, the Sadhu prepared to open the basket with pent-up passion and lust. His body chemistry changed awakening the coiled serpent all set to strike at the merchant’s beautiful, nubile daughter!

But when he opened the lid of the basket he was horrified to see a bony, hairy hideous monkey that sprang and attacked him furiously.

It was as if his own vile lust had jumped out of the basket, to punish and sear him for the rest of his life.

***

Like it was to Tarun J. Tejpal, the founder and editor of Tehelka, where his own vile lust had jumped out of the lift, to punish and sear him for the rest of his life — no matter he is acquitted or not.

However, fate may have a different plan for both — the victim and the tormentor. The victim of sexual harassment and rape (now under the new, amended law after Nirbhaya’s rape and death in Delhi), a junior journalist of Tehelka, if not married, may find her prince charming in time, but I am optimistic of a bright future for Tarun Tejpal as well, knowing my country, its political leaders and pseudo-intellectuals.

Public memory is short.

You can kill innocent Sikhs or you can kill innocent Muslims. You may utter a belated sorry when the day of reckoning comes during the election or use some subterfuge and indulge in rigmarole to soothe the seared souls of the survivors of these pogroms. And the perpetrators of the evil are again seen ruling us!

In a similar manner, who knows, the stigma and painful pecking at his once glorious persona may make him even more successful.

What could be the theoretical cause for Tarun Tejpal’s present predicament and plight suffering the “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” to quote Shakespeare in Hamlet.

Aroon Purie, the editor-in-chief of India Today explains it this way: “It is the ‘God’ complex which I have seen in so many successful men. They reach such heights of success that they live in their own world and think the normal rules of social behaviour do not apply to them, neither do the laws of the land.”

How true!

Many of the stakeholders in his mushroom companies numbering about eight, are all suspect. There seems to be reasons for this, which only an IT or ED department can unravel.

We find his business empire stinking and also sinking as we access internet. DLF and 2G Spectrum of Unitech, with names of Robert Vadra floating around, do give us a murky picture of his activities — a kind of Tughlaq Durbar.

When at parties, it was ‘who is who’ of Page-3.

***

I was reading a book titled ‘Tales’, a collection of stories by Acharya Ratnananda. Let me re-tell the story before taking leave.

There lived a proud but benevolent King.

One day he called his Prime Minister and said, “Mr Prime Minister, there is a misgiving in my mind that worries me and it is this: As you know, all of us in this creation have some definite work to do. A King rules, a soldier fights in war, a trader trades, a teacher teaches, a preacher preaches, a mason builds, though as people they do other things also. This is law of the nature. Likewise, even the creator, God, should have a job to do. What is that? I would like to know.”

The Prime Minister, unable to answer, suggested that since the question borders on spiritual and metaphysical studies, it be put to the Bishop. Accordingly, the Bishop was called before the King. The King repeated the question.

The Bishop did not know the answer but sought time for fear of punishment.

Next day, the shepherd boy of the Bishop saw his master worried and silent. “What troubles you, Master?” the shepherd boy asked. The Bishop dismissed him in the beginning but later relented and told him the King’s question, “What is God’s work?”

The boy told the Bishop that he knew the answer but would reveal it only before the King personally. Helpless, the Bishop took the boy to the King and said, “This shepherd boy would answer your question. Please ask him the question.”

The benevolent King, though seemed offended at the audacity of the Bishop, all the same, agreed to the suggestion and repeated the question.

The shepherd-boy heard the question and said that it was a very simple question but since the person asking the question becomes a Shishya, a disciple, and the person giving the answer becomes the Guru, a Master, the Guru should go up and occupy the throne and the disciple must come down and sit on the floor, which is the protocol.

The benevolent King accepts the proposition and vacates the throne which the shepherd-boy immediately occupies.

“Come on, give me the answer. What is God’s work?” The King was in a hurry and impatient.

The shepherd boy said in great aplomb: “Here is my answer. What is God’s work? Well, God’s work is to push down the Haughty and push up the Humble. The God’s work is seen right now here.”

To return to Tarun Tejpal, God seems to be working overtime to cut him to size and put him in his place. For now the Police lock-up in Goa is his place!

Tarun Tejpal and his cronies, always busy partying with social celebrities and political honchos, must have raised their cut-glasses of joy year-round and clinked them in toast to the chorus: “Cheers, let us screw India.”

This kind of non-patriotic cheering must have stopped since Tejpal’s arrest. So be it. And who has the last laugh? BJP!

(A longer version of this piece appeared on two consecutive days in Star of Mysore)

Also read: Tarun J. Tejpal steps aside as editor of Tehelka

Life yourselves up, dearie, or get into my elevator

POLL: Is sexual harassment rampant in Indian media?

Online petition to protect Tehelka journalist’s privacy

Tarun Tejpal was trapped in a skin not his own’

Tarun Tejpal: Fear and self-loathing in Goa

Aroon Purie and Vinod Mehta on Tarun Tejpal

Tarun Tejpal, Manish Tewari and relief at PBC

***

Tarun Tejpal on the five facets of his life

How Congress regime stepped in to help Tehelka

A magazine, a scam, a owner & his Goan house

NYT, WSJ weigh on Tehelka‘s Goa controversy

Tehelka promoter says he didn’t turn off FW tap

A worthy contender in era of Android and iOS

3 December 2013

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Will the print medium survive the digital age, is a question that is almost entirely viewed through the prism of newspapers and magazines. But there are other uses of printing, too, like for example, calendars and alamanacs. And, as the countdown for 2014 begins, a number of them have hopped up on Avenue Road in Bangalore.

Quiz question: which calendar/almanac used to be India’s highest circulated publication, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC), selling at one time more copies than India’s highest circulated newspaper? –

Photograph: Karnataka Photo News

A trained model couldn’t have posed better*

30 October 2013

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A leopard gives a photographer the “look” after falling into a well in a village in Karwar district on Tuesday night. The feline was later rescued by the authorities and released in the forests.

* Or, maybe, on second thoughts, an untrained photographer couldn’t have captured this better.

Photograph: Karnataka Photo News

Once upon a time, at Gulbarga railway station

6 October 2013

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K. JAVEED NAYEEM writes: On the day I left Gulbarga for good, upon completion of my studies and internship, I rode to the railway station from my room on my bicycle. To make things easier for me, my friends had taken my luggage in a cycle-rickshaw a little earlier and were waiting for me on the platform.

As I entered the platform and approached them I saw uniformed men of the Police Band standing in formation a little distance away. Before I could ask someone the reason for this, one of my friends told me that an important Police Officer was arriving by the train and the band was there to receive him.

The train soon arrived and we waited for the alighting passengers to get down before I could board it. But I saw no sign of any VIP getting down which seemed rather strange.

All my friends loaded my luggage into the compartment and expecting the train to start any moment, when I started bidding farewell to them, they asked me to get down with them for a moment, which I did.

All of a sudden there was the sound of crackers bursting and as if on this cue the Police Band started playing and to my utter confusion and consternation my friends grabbed me and tossed me into the air in a series of bumps.

All the people on the platform and in the train were as confused as I was over this unexpected commotion when the station master, S. Tuppadauru accompanied by the chief ticketing clerk Sunder Raj arrived on the scene.

While for a brief moment I thought that they had come to discharge their official duties and disperse the boisterous group of medicos, the station master shook my hand vigorously and congratulated me on becoming a doctor while Sunder Raj thrust a peda into my mouth, stifling any word of protest from me.

Ghani, the over-aged porter who had always carried my luggage over the last six years of my stay at Gulbarga appeared on the scene from somewhere with his toothless grin and garlanded me before bowing down to grab my feet.

Before I could dislodge him in embarrassment, Khan, the canteen contractor who used to always make the bread toast and omelettes to the perfection that I expected, during every one of my visits to his joint over the years, grabbed me in a rib-cracking bear hug.

Very soon Pandurang, the postman, Rajanna, my dhobie and Syed, my errand boy were there too, holding back their tears behind their smiles.

I am not a person given to shedding tears easily but on that occasion I simply could not hold them back. I never expected that I would get such a warm and emotional farewell from so many people after my six-year stay at a place which many people here had warned me would be comparable to hell.

A few bits and pieces of memorabilia from my past may be of interest here.

Sunder Raj the ever-smiling chief ticketing clerk I have mentioned served at the Gulbarga railway station for many years and he was one of the most obliging persons I have seen in my life. He would somehow manage to find and arrange a berth or at least a seat on all the out-going trains for all the medical and engineering students who had to go home at short notice in an emergency.

On the few occasions when he failed in his efforts he would accompany them to the compartment and request the TTEs to make some arrangement to see that they travelled in safety and comfort. And, all this he did without expecting anything in return except a smile.

Whenever anyone exhibited even the faintest trace of anxiety or impatience, his stock phrase was “zara aaram se, zara aaram se. Hojayega,” without the slightest hint of irritation.

I discovered during a subsequent visit to Gulbarga that Ghani, the porter died a few years after I left the place and now his son Haneef has donned the red shirt, toiling on the same platform. Khan is no more too but his family still runs the canteen at Gulbarga station as it has been doing over the many years before I went there.

The Raleigh bicycle I rode all through my high schooldays into medical college and out of it was bought for me by my father from a small bicycle shop just then opened by his cousin Umar at Aldur, our native village in Chickmagalur District.

It came to Mysore in a semi-knocked down state riding in the boot of our Dodge car to be immediately assembled by my father in a night-long job to meet my expectation and exuberance of riding it to school the very next day.

On the day I rode it into St. Philomena’s College for my PUC I was approached near the cycle stand by a puny man in a torn shirt and a once white dhoti who offered to engrave my name on its handle bar for a rupee.

I immediately agreed to the proposal and before the slightest risk of my changing my mind I saw him hammering away with a tempered steel nail and a flat iron bar. In almost no time at all I saw my name adorning my bike in beautiful flowing letters. I praised his workmanship and found out that he was Subramani from Chickmagalur.

He in turn was happy that I too was from his place and he offered to engrave my name on my fountain pen for just twenty-five paise. Now, before he could change his mind I placed my still unused blue ‘Mendoz’ pen which I had bought the previous evening for seven rupees, in his hand.

I was so fascinated by his deftness that I started meeting him every morning at the cycle stand to watch him at work on other students’ bikes and pens. Not satisfied with just watching Subramani at work, I started practicing his art at home with a set of self-made engraving tools much to the chagrin of my parents who felt that I was wasting precious time on useless pursuits.

But I soon discovered that I had a knack for this work too and continued perfecting it. Soon after my marriage, when my wife and I started our life together in a story-book rural hospital on the desolate edge of ‘Veerappan Territory’ I managed to make her very happy by engraving her name on all the pots and pans we bought!

This only goes to show that none of the ‘useless’ things we learn as we go along in life are completely useless! They rarely go waste and even if they do not earn us any money they certainly may earn us much admiration.

And, if this admiration happens to come from someone we admire, the effort certainly becomes supremely worthwhile!

(K. Javeed Nayeem is a practising physician, who writes a weekly column for Star of Mysore, where a longer version of this piece appeared)

Photograph: courtesy Wikipedia

It never hurts to be blessed by those who vote

3 September 2013

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There are few things more farcical in our democracy than the “Janata Darshan” that is a rage among chief ministers and assorted bigwigs inclined to show off the accessibility, where the aam janata turn up to seek redress from problems that should have been solved long ago by politicians and officials much lower down the ladder.

But in an age when CMs paint themselves as the all-powerful court of instant justice, who are in touch with the masses, it is unlikely to vanish. And in any case, they have their moments, like when the Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah had his cheeks squeezed by a lady who turned up at his home-office, Krishna, in Bangalore on Tuesday.

Photograph: Karnataka Photo News

What lies beneath the soil millions have walked

22 August 2013

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The Vidhana Soudha, buitt during chief minister Kengal Hanumanthaiah‘s time, may be Bangalore’s most famous building, but in the mind’s eye of the common Kannadiga, it is an area named after a movie hall that bears the greatest resonance.

“Majestic” is where the main railway and bus stations in Bangalore are located, disgorging people from near and far across the State into the big city’s bowel.

The last big construction was during the late R. Gundu Rao‘s time, when the Kempe Gowda bus station was built. As the innards of an iconic area are excavated for the metro rail project, the mind boggles to see how much longer is it going to take.

Photographs: Karnataka Photo News

Also view: The namma Metro photo portfolio

Pink, orange, red and black in the land of gold

19 August 2013

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Ammerahalli Lake near Kolar poses for the cameras on world photography day, August 19.

Photograph: Karnataka Photo News

‘Send Javeed Train Waiting Pemmaiah Unwell’

19 July 2013

K. JAVEED NAYEEM writes: The Telegram, perhaps the longest serving mode of communication we have had next to the post, has finally been laid to rest in our country amid much mourning.

I wonder where else it has met a similar fate because I am sure many other countries too would have considered it unworthy of living in the present era which perhaps is the acme of the communication revolution that the world has been seeing over the past two decades.

Much has been written in the print media over the past few days by way of epitaphs and nostalgic recollections of the telegraphic era and I do not wish to repeat the same here. I shall therefore only tell my readers what the telegram meant to me when it mattered to me most in my younger days.

***

The earliest memory of the telegram I have is of the news of my sister being born in Mysore which was conveyed to my father who was then at our coffee estate in Chickmagalur.

I was then four years old and as soon as he arrived in Mysore, we went to see her.

I took one look at her lying in a tiny crib next to my mother’s cot in the Mission hospital where I was born too and promptly announced to my parents that we could keep her with us just for a few days and then return her to the hospital.

My father to avoid the germination of any sibling rivalry, quickly assured me that we would do just that as soon as we took her for a quick tour of our estate, to which I reluctantly agreed. I did not know then that it was I and not she who was destined to go out of the house, just three months later to commence my long education process!

***

I was so fascinated by the speed with which it had once yielded results in summoning my father from so far away that I would now regularly throw tantrums and order that it be sent immediately on similar missions whenever I hurt my little finger or felt hurt that I had not come first in the class running race!

It was a different matter that I would invariably be very successfully placated with just a toffee and told that a telegram had been sent and the delay in seeing its expected result would invariably be attributed to disrupted lines due to bad weather and fallen trees near its destination which was not an infrequent occurrence in the Malnad areas.

As I grew up the telegram suddenly started playing a more important role than summoning my dad.

Until then whenever the holidays started my father under prior telegraphic intimation would send our estate manager and his most trusted lieutenant P.M. Pemmaiah to Mysore to take me to our estate.

He would arrive by bus from Chickmagalur and because I liked travelling by train more than by bus, take me by the first morning train to Hassan where my dad, his elder brother K. A. Sathar and their best friend Muthu Rao would be waiting at the railway station in a 1947 army disposal olive green Jeep to receive us.

From there we would head straight to the Modern Café for my favourite Masala Dosa and Jamoon before heading away towards Chickmagalur.

***

One day when I was expecting my escort Pemmaiah to arrive, most unexpectedly we received a second telegram that read “SEND JAVEED TUESDAY TRAIN WAITING HASSAN PEMMAIAH UNWELL”. When my grandfather read it out with an anxious expression on his face and explained what it meant, my joy knew no bounds.

I immediately rejected my uncle, Prof. M. J. Sadiq’s suggestion that he would accompany me up to Hassan, although it was unanimously supported and seconded by all elders as they all felt that I was too young to travel alone.

I promised and swore that I would be a very good boy on that day and also on all days to come thereafter and would never put my hands or head out of the windows or get down from the train, come what may, except at Hassan.

But opposition was intense and the elders relented only after I declared that I would not eat anything or go unless I was allowed to do it on my own. And, I did it.

To the little boy that I was then, that was the greatest journey of my life and I cherish its memory to this day. The 75 miles I did in just five hours is a world record for me and the greatest part about it is no one in the world can break it now!

(K. Javeed Nayeem is a practising physician who writes a weekly column in Star of Mysore, where a longer version of this piece appeared)

Photograph: courtesy Christian Science Monitor

A sea of milk flows from one state to another

16 July 2013

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India’s fifth tallest waterfall, the Dudhsagar, on the border of Goa and Karnataka in all its milky glory, on Tuesday, as the Mandovi receives copious rains.

Photograph: Karnataka Photo News

Caught on film: The Dalai Lama’s hair-raising tale

5 July 2013

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The Dalai Lama is nothing if not funny. On a visit to the ISKCON temple in Bangalore on Friday, the (totally tonsured) Tibetan spiritual leader plays around with the tuft of Madhu Pandita Das, the ISKCON president and chairman of the Akshaya Patra foundation.

Photograph: Karnataka Photo News

Also read: Does Sri Krishna need Walt Disney for inspiration?

Corruption, religion, spirituality and the Dalai Lama

The diabetes mega scam MSM won’t talk about

30 June 2013

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K. JAVEED NAYEEM writes: Last week, a relative called me up when I was in the middle of my practice to ask me if I knew that the anti-diabetic drug I had been treating his wife with had been banned by the Indian government, according to a newspaper report he was reading.

Surprised that I had no wind of this development from the two morning dailies I had just finished reading, I switched to the online edition of his newspaper to discover that what he had informed me was indeed true.

***

Our country with a conservatively estimated population of over a hundred crore now has a population of about ten crore diabetics.

If you are stunned by this figure I am not surprised as it certainly appears very huge. But with the incidence of diabetes, conservatively estimated again, to be between seven and nine per cent of the population, that is exactly what it translates to.

Now, at least 30 per cent of these ten crore diabetics are being treated or would have been treated sometime sooner or later in their lives with a drug called Pioglitazone which is one of the very potent anti-diabetic drugs available almost all over the world in any doctor’s armamentarium.

This is the drug that was being used as the last resort when all else failed to control the disease, before recommending Insulin injections which most patients understandably dread, both because of the pain and the cost.

This was a drug that had some very unique beneficial properties, the most important one being its ability to reduce the development of insulin resistance in the body. It was therefore a very good add-on drug that would also help in reducing the dose of insulin required to bring the blood sugar levels down.

This drug was also capable of reducing the levels of Triglyceride, one of the bad Cholesterols in the blood that can increase the risk of heart attacks. But like almost every other drug this drug too was said to be potentially capable of sometimes causing some serious side effects which notably were almost unheard of in Indian patients.

I have been treating almost a third of my diabetic patients with it over the past 12 years of its existence in India and I have never come across even a single patient who developed any of the serious side effects.

And, I have never come across any of my fellow doctors, including exclusive diabetologists who have encountered them in their practices.

Most importantly, it was also a drug that was indigenously manufactured and therefore cheaply available across the length and breadth of the country and this perhaps was what sounded its death knell in our poor nation.

***

Just a few years ago there appeared on the medical horizon a new class of drugs called the Gliptins, developed and manufactured overseas, by seething rich pharma giants under strong and strict patents.

They were touted as the miracle molecules that could revolutionise the treatment of diabetes by obviating the need to use insulin and were hastily thrust, at an astronomical cost, into almost all the third-world countries, including India which could ill afford them.

Imagine even a well-to-do diabetic patient having to take tablets costing around forty to forty five rupees every day, life-long.

How many Indians can afford this kind of treatment for themselves when there are many other things to do for the rest of their family members with their hard-earned money?

Most importantly, despite aggressive marketing these newer drugs simply failed to even make a tiny dent in the management of diabetes because they simply failed to live up to what was expected of them by way of their efficacy.

So all those who stood to lose heavily after breeding and backing the wrong horses had to quickly do something to rein in their losses.

***

There is a sentence in Wilbur Smith’s novel of the same name that says, ‘When the lion feeds, someone has to die’. And so the first victim that had to die to keep the powerful Gliptin lion alive was Rosiglitazone, a sibling of Pioglitazone.

It was accused of first degree murder, quickly tried, convicted and summarily executed although more than a hundred other more lethal drugs still rule the roost here, flying across sales counters, without doctors’ prescriptions.

Close upon the heels of this macabre victory the honourable ‘Brutuses’ turned their daggers on the present victim citing its banishment from France and Germany, although it is still very much in use in almost the whole world, including the United States, Canada, Japan and the rest of Europe.

In fact it is still the tenth largest selling drug in the United States.

Now in our country, with Pioglitazone gone, the Gliptins, which have failed to do anything impressive, will be the only option for diabetics who desperately try to avoid embarking on Insulin. And, this is where all those who peddle them will stand to gain their billions from their clever act.

***

So investing just a few millions in ‘buying’ the help of someone in our health ministry only amounts to offering the crumbs that fall off their plates onto the dining table.

Perhaps the makers and marketers of the different kinds of Insulins too are abettors of this heinous crime as patients who do not benefit from Gliptins now have no other option than to start them.

Today, it is a matter of pride that Indian doctors are among the most respected and trusted all over the world. With their academic excellence and clinical skills they have made a tremendous impact on the healthcare front and are much sought after both by patients and research foundations.

We have some of the best professional societies for conducting research on almost all the major diseases well within our country.

Yet, without seeking the opinion of any of these bodies and without as much as a debate or discussion among the many excellent academic fora that we have in our country for the study of Diabetes and with just a stroke of the bureaucratic pen, someone, somewhere, sitting in the ivory towers of administration in New Delhi and who does not know the A, B or C of pharmacology or medical practice has signed the death warrant that is bound to spell doom for at least three crore Indian lives.

It is an act that will amount to being the biggest genocide in history if only we have the far-sighted vision to foresee it. And if we do not have this vision, it will be a tragedy that will most likely go unnoticed because it is not going to happen at once like the Bhopal gas disaster to make a noticeable impact, unfolding silently like a Biblical pestilence only over the next few decades.

Diabetic patients who cannot afford the Gliptins, the prices of which have shown no signs of coming down and which cannot do much good even if made affordable, simply cannot keep their disease under control.

All those who cannot afford Insulin injections or accept the pain and inconvenience of embarking on them will stand to lose.

Elderly patients who stay alone and who do not have the dexterity to inject themselves and who could have kept the disease under control for many more years with oral tablets of Pioglitazone will be the most helpless losers.

And, to top it all, uncontrolled diabetes is a disease with unimaginable morbidity and the highest mortality, all of which is easily avoidable with proper management.

Despite the grim scenario that is set to unfold, all is not lost yet and I still see hope for all the hopeless if a few professional bodies seek a legal remedy from the Supreme Court against this ban which certainly smells of a mega-scam and demand a rethink, taking all pros and cons into consideration.

We can at least retain the drug with a stipulation that it should be used very judiciously only in those patients who are not at risk of its side effects.

But with the Gliptin and Insulin lobby being very strong, perhaps tomorrow itself you may find the media abuzz with write-ups and blogs calling my kind of writing ill-informed and amateurish.

Well paid ghost writers can certainly write a more effective charge-sheet than what an unpaid doctor like me can do and I may naturally be no match for them. But the truth needs to be told in the interests of all those who stand to lose.

The millions of patients who will lose their lives due to their reluctance to buy the expensive medicines that will help them live just a wee bit longer, while their loved ones die of hunger.

Or, the loved ones who will live on, after losing much, much before their time, the ones who nourished and nurtured them.

(K. Javeed Nayeem is a practising physician who writes a weekly column in Star of Mysore, where this piece originally appeared)

How to keep your head up with half a kilo of gold

12 June 2013

Photo Caption

Photo Caption

The commodification of women to sell everything from anything to nothing is bad enough, although Priyanka Trivedi (top) doesn’t seem to mind the least bit. But what to say of marketers who now do not think twice before using impressionable young girls and infants to satiate the growing and maddening thirst for the yellow metal?

For the record, Union finance minister P. Chidambaram says:

“I have one thing to say, don’t buy gold. Gold is not the safest investment. Every ounce of gold that we import, contributes to current account deficit.”

Photograph: Karnataka Photo News

***

The commodification of women portfolio

RamyaOne more example of commodification of women

RamyaAnother example of commodification of women

Anu PrabhakarAnother example of commodification of examinations

RamyaLike, bombers get scared looking at bombshells?

RamyaNow, what will those fools do with these kids?

Aindrita RaySurely all that glitters is more than just gold

Jennifer KotwalThe best ice-candy melts before nice eye-candy

RamyaWhat it takes to smoothen some rough blades of grass

Nicole FariaDenims, diamonds, Miss India and the Mahatma

Priyanka TrivediSee, a brand ambassador always gets good press

RoopashreeObjects in the mirror are closer than they appear

Gul PanagYou are almost tempted to say ‘Intel Inside’

RamyaDon’t ask us what it is, but it sure costs a bomb

Mandira BediIt ain’t so easy to woo an iPhone4 user, sister

Tejaswini Prakash: As if we didn’t have traffic diversions already

Pooja Gandhi: Why Vodafone subscribers experience call drops

Raveena Tandon: From a flower of stones to a stone of flowers

Sameera Reddy: Finally, some ‘commodification’ we are OK with

Jayanti, Bharati, Tara, Padmaja Rao: The great gold obsession

Bhavana: When you see plastic, just bend and pick up

Patel Basappa, Krishnappa & lessons in humanity

11 June 2013

K. JAVEED NAYEEM writes: Very recently we read about an incident in our City where a software engineer who sought shelter from sudden rain under the balcony of a building was dealt with rudely by the house owner and driven away. This resulted in outraged people of the area pelting stones at the building in disgust and creating a minor law and order problem for a brief while.

While it certainly seems like a very unusual kind of reaction from the building owner I am not very surprised because there will always be some people who are unusually circumspect with the tendency to see everyone around them with a suspicious eye.

Such people simply refuse to accept the possibility that a person who has entered their premises under duress may just be another soul in distress and not someone with malicious intentions.

Soon after this report appeared, K.B. Ganapathy highlighted how in a show of unusual kindness a very ordinary person offered not only shelter but also a refreshing glass of buttermilk to an elderly stranger who happened to turn to his house for a glass of water after a long and exhausting walk.

It was only much later after this kind deed that the host discovered that his accidental guest was none other than the RSS chief K.S. Sudarshan who had got lost while on his morning walk during a visit to our city.

Most people, whether they are rich or poor, generally tend to be kind to strangers in distress they happen to meet. It is only a few very rare ones who tend to be otherwise and they should not influence our impressions of the goodness of our fellow human beings.

***

My late father while telling us about his school days used to always give the example of this inborn goodness that he had seen in an elderly gentleman of his era.

It appears he and his brothers used to walk to and from our estate to their school in the village located at a distance of about ten kilometers.

Somewhere in between there was the house of the village head who was known as Patel Basappa and many school children, especially during the summer months would stop and take rest on the masonry platform, popularly called ‘jagali’ which was in front of this house.

Whenever the children asked for a glass of water, Patel Basappa’s wife or mother would offer them freshly made buttermilk in large brass tumblers instead of plain water and this was not an occasional occurrence but a daily practice.

Although there was a small rivulet that they would wade through and cross every day on their way to school and back, the old man would warn them never to drink the river water as it would make them sick.

Every Saturday, which was the day of the village weekly shandy, the Patel would himself sit in his armchair with a cloth bag full of puffed rice and roasted gram (kadle-puri) and offer handfuls of it to the children on their way back from school.

This was an event all the children would gleefully look forward to and not one soul including the sick ones would miss school on Saturdays!

***

Many years ago when borewell digging rigs were not very common I happened to visit Chamarajanagar on my trusty Lambretta scooter to hire a rig to get a borewell dug in our estate.

It was a rather rainy day and on our way back it started raining rather heavily between Nanjangud and Mysore. I stopped and left my scooter at a house at Tandavapura telling the lady of the house that I would pick it up the next day and rode back to Mysore in the rig, sitting alongside the driver in his cabin.

When I went back by bus early the next morning to fetch my scooter I was pleasantly surprised to see it washed of all the mud and grime that it was plastered with from my wanderings of the previous day. Thanks to someone’s kindness it now stood sparkling clean.

When I approached the old lady who was now tending to her two goats and asked her who had washed my scooter she smiled and said that since it was looking very dirty she had fetched a pail of water from the well and done it herself. I did not know how to thank her for her concern and kind-heartedness.

***

On another occasion while I was doing my MD a friend who was newly-married and was visiting Mysore with his wife had borrowed my scooter for a few days to go round the city visiting friends and sight-seeing.

On the last day of their trip while they were returning from the Brindavan Gardens the scooter broke down and they had no other option late in the evening than to leave it at a house in Belagola village nearby. They returned to the city by bus and informed me the nature of the problem and also where they had left the scooter.

I went to Belagola early the next morning and as I used to always keep all the essential tools along with a spare spark plug, a headlamp bulb and a set of control cables in the tool compartment, I had it purring smoothly in just a few minutes time.

When I thanked Krishnappa, the owner of the house, and took leave of him, he and his wife Kamala would not let me go without having breakfast! They said that it was an honour for them to have three doctors visiting them in less than twenty four hours and pleaded with me to have just a couple of chapaties with some freshly ground coconut chutney.

Their simple fare was so good that I ended up having not two but four chapaties with dollops of butter melting on each one of them!

I told the couple that I was equally touched and honoured to be their guest and reassured them that they could approach me for any help with their health problems. Thankfully they seem to be bestowed with very good health as they never had an occasion to see me as my patients but still many people from Belagola and the nearby village of Hosa Anandur come to me, giving me their reference.

My good old Lambretta too; once my round-the-clock companion and my work horse that served me faithfully for more than thirty years without giving me any pain beyond a slightly broken front tooth from a fall, still remains with me, enjoying its retirement and my admiration!

When Dr Radhakrishnan added to Bhagwad Gita

26 April 2013

Ahalya Chari, the head of the Regional College of Education from 1967-70, passed away in Madras recently, at the age of 92. Here, Krishna Vattam, the longtime Mysore correspondent of Deccan Herald, pays tribute and recounts an incident involving “Miss Chari” and another former resident of Mysore, the late president of India, Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan.

***

By KRISHNA VATTAM

In my 40-year-long association with Deccan Herald as a reporter, I have had experiences of many incidents which have left a deep impress on my mind.

One such incident I am going to narrate is my visit to the Regional College of Education (RCE) and its affiliate Demonstration Multipurpose School (DMS) in the Manasagangothri campus in 1965—and the time I spent in the presence of two great teachers, one a Universal teacher, Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, and the other, an embodiment of Jiddu Krishnamurthy’s teachings, Miss Ahalya Chari.

It was at the invitation of Miss Chari that Dr Radhakrishnan, the philosopher-savant, had come to Mysore, to participate in a simple function to mark the planting of saplings on the campus.

It was 7 August 1965. It had rained all through the night before. But there was a bright sunshine in the morning. The rain drops that had collected on the tender leaves turned into various hues as the sunrays fell on them.

The entire surroundings seemed to be in communion with God.

It was least anticipated by the gathering that the occasion would pleasantly turn out as an event for presentation of a philosophical treatise and brilliant exposition of the profound truths of the Bhagavad Gita by Dr Radhakrishnan.

A group of girls—Vatsala, Ratnamala, Usha— accompanied by Miss Chari and teachers Anantharamaiah, S. Keshava Murthy and Mohanraj rendered in chorus an ancient prayer found on the inscriptions of the world-famous Belur temple.

The prayer, with its ennobling ideals, had an electrifying effect on the minds of those who had gathered.

It reads:

“Yam Saivah Samupasate Siva iti Brahmeti Vedantinah

Bauddhah Buddha iti Pramanapatavah karteti Naiyyayikah

Arhannityatha Jainasasanaratah

Karmeti Mimamsakah.”

The meaning is “Whom the Saivas worship as Siva, the Vedantins as Brahmam, the Buddhists as Buddha, the Naiyaayikas who specialise in knowledge as the chief agent, the followers of the Jaina code as the Ever Free, the ritualists as the principle of law, may that Hari, the Lord of the Three Worlds, grant our prayers.”

No sooner the group had completed the rendering, Dr. Radhakrishnan asked the group to recite the two lines he recited in continuation of the original three lines.

The entire gathering, having the thrill of their lives, recited the two additional lines:

“Christ & Allah

“Kraistvah Kristuriti kriyapararatah Alleti Mahammadah Soyam Vo Vidadhatu Vanchitaphalam Trailokyanatho Harih.”

The meaning is: “Whom the Christians devoted to work as Christ and the Mohammedans as Allah.”

Dr. Radhakrishnan explained that had Udayanacharya, who composed these three lines, been writing in this age he would have added those two lines which he (Dr. Radhakrishnan) had composed.

While interpreting the 11th verse in the fourth chapter of the Bhagavad Gita, the book he published in the early 1940s, Dr Radhakrishnan had an occasion to comment on the wide catholicity of the Gita. In this context, he quoted Udayanacharya and added his own two lines to encompass the whole universe.

The Radhakrishnan-effect is still felt by all those who were fortunate to attend that sublime function. Though those Acharyas — Dr. Radhakrishnan and Miss Chari — are no more amidst us. I cherish that incident.

(A longer version of this piece originally appeared in Star of Mysore)

Newspaper scan: courtesy B.N. Balajee

Also by Krishna Vattam: Before the slumdogs, the Mahout Millionaire

Gangavva, yele southekaayi bandaithe kanava!

Why have Doctors stopped making house-visits?

12 April 2013

K. JAVEED NAYEEM writes: Most of the books that recount the experiences of medical practitioners from a bygone era, which I re-read from time to time, invariably tell us about their very interesting house -visit experiences.

A.J. Cronin’s autobiographical masterpiece Adventures in Two Worlds and his novel The Citadel are two very notable examples while James Herriot’s four omnibus editions are in no way inferior or far behind, although they deal with a vet’s adventures with animals and their very interesting owners.

In yester years, almost every movie would have a scene where a doctor, clutching his signature black bag, would make a house visit to see a patient. Interestingly, on his way out the bag would invariably be carried, by the patient’s son or other relative who would see the doctor off!

The mortifying diagnosis that the doctor would announce almost in a whisper would be TB, which then had no cure. And when a cure for TB finally did come somewhere in the early 1960s the diagnosis promptly changed to cancer, to heighten the impact of the patient’s helplessness.

Another thing that intrigued and amused me then was why while a doctor was shown making a house call even to see a mildly sick patient, almost no movie ever showed a patient being taken to see a doctor in his consulting room as is the practice now.

***

While making house calls was almost standard practice for most doctors in the past, these days house-visits by doctors are almost unheard of and now even in a serious emergency it is almost impossible to get a doctor to come home and see a patient.

Very often when death comes calling at home and the relatives are not able to say with certainty whether the person is dead or only deeply unconscious it helps if a doctor sees him or her to dispel any lingering doubts. But to get a doctor to make a house visit even to do this is not very easy and anxious relatives have no other option but to shift the person to a hospital only to be told there that he or she is beyond any help.

It is also not very easy for elderly persons who stay alone without their siblings or other relatives to seek and get medical help in an emergency. These days this situation has become commonplace, with children working far away from home being unable to attend to the medical needs of their elderly parents on a day to day basis.

And most elderly people have some medical problem or the other which needs periodic attention.

Even for those aged people who have their relatives with them it is not very easy to go over to a hospital if they happen to be very infirm or bedridden especially if they live in an apartment block where a stretcher trolley cannot be accommodated in the elevator.

Considering all these difficulties it will certainly be a very great boon to society if some doctors are available who would be willing to make house calls in an emergency.

Very often I have told many doctors who have not been doing very well in their practices that they can certainly improve their standing by agreeing to make house calls and I have found that those who followed this advice seriously quickly became very successful. But the sad part is that once they become well known and patients start coming to their clinics they invariably stop going to patients’ homes in times of need.

There is indeed a very great demand for house calls in our society and doctors would do well to include this service in their daily practice.

***

Some years ago I met a very successful doctor in Bangalore who is doing very well financially without any postgraduate qualifications. Very surprisingly he has no clinic. He only makes house calls every day and is busy from morning till evening six days a week.

He has a very organised approach and he registers all his calls in a diary and at the beginning of each day he prioritizes them according to the seriousness of his patients and the traffic conditions so that he does not waste time in traffic jams.

Every patient’s number is called back and recorded for safety’s sake and it is also messaged to another mobile phone at home. His driver doubles as his secretary, maintaining his diary and holding on to it at all times. He never accompanies his master into the patient’s house and he never leaves the car during the calls to preclude any compromise to their safety.

This doctor has become so popular that he gets regular referrals from consultants who can keep a better watch on their patients’ progress through him. He has now narrowed down his area of operation to what he can manage best and he told me that there is certainly much scope for many more players if they can co-ordinate their operations.

I hope this trend picks up and helps in getting medical care to bedridden patients’ bedsides in the comfort and convenience of their homes, saving them the bother of going to hospitals for every tiny problem. Thankfully this kind of medical care seems all set to make a beginning in our own city too.

A very close friend of mine and a fellow-physician with very good qualifications and a good deal of experience too called me up recently to tell me that he has seriously thought of starting this kind of practice as an act of public service. I was overjoyed and wished him well as I knew that he would indeed be doing some much needed good to ailing humanity.

I hope he does not get disillusioned by any initial teething troubles that are bound to be there and more importantly I also hope that other members of our fraternity see the sense in what he is embarking on and encourage him. Three cheers to the man who has decided to step out of the box to put some good cheer into the lives of those who need it most!

(K. Javeed Nayeem is a practising physician who writes a weekly column for Star of Mysore, where this piece originally appeared)

FREE: Four sure-fire steps to ward off Swine Flu

5 April 2013

K. JAVEED NAYEEM writes: Whether we accept it or deny it, it is a fact that Swine Flu cases are on the increase in our country.

It is a potentially dangerous and often fatal affliction with a very high degree of infectivity brought on by physical contact and droplet transmission through coughing and sneezing. Anxious patients and their accompanying persons ask me how they can avoid getting infected.

Here are the most effective measures that can arrest its spread.

# Firstly, avoid shaking hands with all the persons you meet in a show of great Western warmth. A very Indian ‘Namaste’ or ‘Aadab’ can be an equally warm way of expressing your affection and regard without endangering yourselves and the person you are greeting.

# Secondly, avoid hugging people and pecking them on their cheeks as most members of the fair sex do these days. It is certainly more dangerous than shaking hands.

# Thirdly, avoid very crowded areas and air-conditioned halls without good cross-ventilation. Air conditioners are notorious for ensuring that all those present receive a fair dose of the infection they are trying hard to avoid!

# Lastly, if you are in doubt, use hand sanitisers liberally to keep yourself safe after shaking hands, especially with your doctor!

(K. Javeed Nayeem is a practising physician who writes a weekly column in Star of Mysore, where the full version of this piece appeared)

Also read: FREE: Five easy steps to a stress-free life

A doctor’s prescription for a happy, new year

Once upon a time, when my doctor was an angel

The doctor who dissected the body of J.B.S. Haldane

If there’s a traffic jam, it’s most likely cause is…

13 February 2013

Photo Caption

It’s probably a cruel thing to say, given that Ratan Tata has hung up his gigantic boots and is enjoying the fruits of recruitment. But, surely, it is no exaggeration to say that 8 out of 10 cars that break down in the middle of the road are ones bearing his surname?

As one did near the Vidhana Soudha in Bangalore, on Wednesday.

Photograph: Karnataka Photo News

Also read: The best advertisement for safety of Hyundai?

Double-riding a Honda in the era of helicopter joyrides

Yet another shameless plug for a true Indian great

23 January 2013

Photo Caption

Presumably after buying vegetables for the day, as he said he would following his retirement, former Indian cricket captain and India’s second-most prolific batsman Rahul Dravid (right) makes time to be present at the launch of an advanced trauma centre at a hospital in Bangalore on Wednesday.

Photograph: Karnataka Photo News

Also read: Player No. 207 is the modern-day Vijay Hazare

India’s greatest match-winning batsman is…

Does our ‘sanskriti’ sanction regressive MCPs?

11 January 2013

The journalist and author Sandipan Deb in Mint:

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat said that rape happens in India, not Bharat. Let us be charitable. Let us assume that by Bharat-India he was not referring to the rural-urban divide that is now the media’s fashionable metaphor. Let us assume that by Bharat, he meant our ancient sanskriti, and by India, he is talking about all of us corrupted by Western culture. But this is so naïve an interpretation that it beggars belief.

Our puranas and epics are chock-a-block with tales of lusty gods and wildly libidinous heroes. Consider Indra, king of the gods. Overcome with lust (not an uncommon occurrence for him), he made love to Ahalya, wife of Rishi Gautama, pretending to be the rishi, and was trying to sneak off when the irate husband caught up with him and cursed him with a thousand vaginas on his body—sahasrayoni.

Later, after much pleading, he turned the vaginas into eyes. Ahalya, though innocent, received no such pardon. Gautama turned her into stone, and thus she remained till she was touched by the foot of the great god Rama, whose treatment of his wife was certainly rather dubious.

Krishna actively encouraged his friend Arjuna to kidnap Krishna’s sister Subhadra; in fact, in the days of the Mahabharata, kidnapping a woman seems to have been the norm for Kshatriya wooing: think of Bhishma abducting Amba, Ambika and Ambalika for his two step-brothers. And, of course, we fondly tell our children about the teenage Krishna hiding the clothes of the gopinis while they bathed, and returning them only when they came out of the lake, helpless and naked. But then gods are allowed these acts of venal sexual harassment.

Let’s face it, our popular culture even to this day is deeply influenced by regressive and chauvinistic attitudes that our sanskriti glorified. The men in our mythologies were certainly as recklessly randy—if not randier—than anyone thought up by the West.

And let’s not talk about the deification of the mother.

Kunti does not know what her sons have brought home, and asks them to share the booty equally. The five dutiful men then happily sleep with Draupadi, who had given her heart to Arjuna. And such is our ethical system that Draupadi dies early on the long trek to Heaven: her sin being that though she had five husbands, she loved Arjuna more than the others.

(Former managing editor of Outlook* magazine and founder-editor of Open, Sandipan Deb is the author of The Last War, a retelling of the Mahabharata set in the Mumbai underworld)

Read the full column: Fruits of a regressive culture

Also read: Ramayana, Upanishads and the Delhi gangrape

Vacuous media sleazeballs moralizing on Mohan Bhagwat

Are South Indians less ‘giving’ than the others?

10 January 2013

photo

South Indians are the least likely to loosen their purse strings to donate but when they do, they are most likely to dig and deep and give lots, the quantum of individual donations being only slightly lower than their counterparts in the West.

That is the one-line summation of a nationwide study of philanthropic habits of urban Indians by an aid foundation last year (sample size: 9,000).

# 73% South Indians had made a donation in the previous year, unlike 100% in the North, 85% in the East and 77% in the West.

# 36% in the South Indians had donated to a recognised charity, as opposed to 30% in the West, 24% in the East and 15% in the North.

# The average value of each donor in the South was Rs 1,069, just shy of Rs 1,116 in the West, but well above Rs 623 in the North and Rs 302 in the East.

# Sikhs (99%), Buddhists (91%) and Christians (90%) were most likely to open their wallets; Christians (61%), Buddhists (45%) and Jains (37%) were likely to do so to charitable organisations.# Muslims (84%) and Hindus (83%) were neck and neck in general donations and in donating to recognised charities, 24% and 25% respectively.

# Missionairies of Charity (10%) was most likely to receive donations, followed by the PM’s relief fun (7%), Plan India and Rotary Club (4%); Helpage India, Red Cross, UNICEF, CRY (2%).

# Individuals are more likely (63%) to give to strangers than friends, neighbours and colleagues (24%) or maids or servants (11%) .

Infographic: courtesy Mint

Also read: Five reasons why South is better than North?

Another reason why South is ahead of the North*?

North or South. Rich or poor. Hindu or Muslim.

Why more South Indian firms are not on Sensex

Everybody is a child to somebody or the other

9 January 2013

Photo Caption

At the inauguration of the 8th international children’’s film festival, the veteran actor, B. Saroja Devi, proceeds to give Puneet Rajkumar a nice little hug, in Bangalore on Wednesday.

Photograph: Karnataka Photo News

Also read: An old flame ignites the media’s insensitivity

Corruption OK. Massacres OK. Romance, not OK?


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