Where life flows quietly

The following extract is being reproduced with permission from the Kalpanirjhar Foundation
Apr 20, 2018 00:00 IST

More shades than one

THE ISLAMIC CONNECTION: SOUTH ASIA AND THE GULF Edited by Christophe Jaffrelot and Laurence Louër Viking, Rs 699
Soumen Mukherjee Apr 20, 2018 00:00 IST

Seeing stars

Shreyashi Ganguly Apr 20, 2018 00:00 IST

Look deeper

Navras J. Aafreedi Apr 20, 2018 00:00 IST

Unheard melodies

Bhaswati Chakravorty Apr 20, 2018 00:00 IST

A portrait of the author as a young artist

Not many people know that under different circumstances, Charlotte Brontë - whose 202nd birth anniversary is tomorrow - might have gone down in history as an artist. As a 12-year-old, the first ambition of the author of Jane Eyre was to be a professional miniature painter. For her, art was not just a passion, but a career goal and a means of escape. Charlotte constantly battled a deep sense of unfulfilled ambition, exasperated by the societal constraints of her time. She did not want the kind of jobs available to unmarried women from modest backgrounds - she wanted to draw and paint.
Nayantara Mazumder Apr 20, 2018 00:00 IST

Find new ways

THE SNAKE AND THE LOTUS: A HALAHALA ADVENTURE (Westland, Rs 799) by Appupen takes the reader on yet another trip into the mythical universe of Halahala. Filled with suspense, as life in this world is nearing an end, it is a treat for science fiction enthusiasts. The artwork, steeped in black and white, is darker than the earlier works in this series in order to complement the story. The book plays on the old theme of humans versus machines, and the quest of the chosen one to save humanity. It marks a departure from the usually silent works of Appupen, as a narrator guides the reader through the plot. This book holds the promise of a new beginning, especially in the genre of graphic novels in India.

Apr 20, 2018 00:00 IST

Bleak picture

The more things change, the more they remain the same. Thus, even though government data has revealed that a higher number of rape cases are getting registered - which indicates that survivors feel more confident about approaching law enforcement agencies with sexual assault allegations - and the police are making more arrests, the rate of conviction remains abysmal. This revelation could not have come at a more significant time, given the recent rape and murder of a child in Kathua and the alleged rape of a young girl in Unnao, both of which have sparked nation-wide outrage. According to the National Crime Records Bureau, of the 33,318 rape cases lodged in West Bengal in 2015, only 420 saw the accused being convicted. The following year, convictions fell even further - 319 out of the 32,513 cases registered. Survivors of sexual assault have a hard enough time being believed when they speak up; these conviction figures will only bolster the misogynistic and tendentious argument, made by a sizeable section of Indian society, that an overwhelming number of rape allegations are false. Why does the conviction rate remain so low, in spite of the tightening of anti-rape laws and greater awareness in the wake of the Delhi gang rape in 2012?
Apr 20, 2018 00:00 IST

Grim battle

The rumble in the telecom jungle is just about ready to crank up to a crescendo as the three principals left in India's hyper-competitive market hunker down for a grim battle for survival. It has become imperative for Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio and the proposed Vodafone-Idea merged combine to make big investments to broaden their networks and service offerings at a time when their operations are crimped by wafer-thin margins. Early indications reveal that the Sunil Mittal-owned Bharti Airtel and Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Jio plan to float bonds to create a combined war chest worth Rs 36,500 crore ahead of what promises to be an enthralling slugfest. But here is the nub. The battle has already started to put a deep strain on the financials of the key players. Jio claims to have climbed out of a loss and reported a net profit of Rs 504 crore in the third quarter of 2017-18 (October-December). Its turnaround has put the heat on the others. The buzz on the street is that Airtel will report its first quarterly loss in the past 15 years when it unveils its fourth-quarter results on April 24. If that happens, it will be dramatic since the company earned a profit of Rs 305.8 crore in the previous quarter. Vodafone India saw its revenues fall in the third quarter to 1,063 million euros from 1,450 million euros in the same quarter a year ago - a decline of over 26 per cent. Idea Cellular has seen its losses swell to Rs 1,428 crore in the third quarter and the proposed merger with Vodafone is the only road to salvation.
Apr 20, 2018 00:00 IST

Danger in every sip; Lost trust; Unjust freedom; Study matters

Danger in every sip

• Sir - In the dreadful heat of summer, many people have nimbu pani and col... | Read»

Lost trust

• Sir - The article, "On a knife edge" (April 13), by Anup Sinha is thought... | Read»

Unjust freedom

• Sir - Hardly had the news of Salman Khan's conviction and imprisonment on... | Read»

Study matters

• Sir - Education plays an important role in a person's life. It shapes a p... | Read»

Apr 20, 2018 00:00 IST

A question of relevance

London this week is preoccupied with the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. It is an event made particularly special because this is probably the last occasion the Queen will perform her ceremonial role as the Head of the Commonwealth, an honour she inherited from her father, King George VI, when the old British Commonwealth was redefined in 1948 to accommodate the newly-independent colonies, particularly India.
SWAPAN DASGUPTA Apr 19, 2018 00:00 IST


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