Game Of the Season: Jhootbol

Four years. It is a four-year thing, this Jhootbol. Goes away and comes back around every four years. Each time a gladiatorial champ it crowns, each time that gladiatorial champ tries another grab at the crown. Great game this, Jhootbol, they call it the greatest show on earth. Mahadeb comes close, any day, I promise you, but Mahadeb isn't putting up a show at the moment. He is off stage. Gone.
LAZY EYESankarshan Thakur Jun 10, 2018 00:00 IST

Park girls with balls

Google Nasibpur, and you will not find much besides demographic data. Certainly not the fact that this village in Hooghly district's Singur block is ground for cultivating a passion most beautiful. Come evening and the huge playfield, a few minutes from the railway station, is taken over by girls coming in from adjoining villages.
Paromita Kar Jun 10, 2018 00:00 IST

Shoeshine Boy; Oh, Jesus; Street Smart

There might be big money in professional football, but it has always been the poor man's sport. Just a ball and golden feet and you are good to go. Little wonder then that so many football greats should hail from humble backgrounds. The Sao Paulo soccer museum in Brazil displays a variety of makeshift balls.
IroniesUpala Sen Jun 10, 2018 00:00 IST

Cultural conquests

The writer, Ian Jack, a Londoner of Scottish origin, once spoke of his country as being "formerly known as Great Britain". This was characteristically wry and apposite; for the political and economic decline of the United Kingdom has been under way for many decades now. Yet there is one area in which Britain is still Great; the quality of its periodicals. The Financial Times is the best daily newspaper in the world, superior to both The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. And when it comes to weekly magazines, The Economist is in a class of its own.
Politics and Play
Ramachandra Guha
Jun 09, 2018 00:00 IST

The Forbidden Fruit

Apple's attempt to nudge its users towards digital detox may not cut it. Sometimes a shove is the only way to get the job done
Jun 09, 2018 00:00 IST

Early disconnect; Deceptive results

Early disconnect

• Sir - A majority of children these days are addicted to smartphones, lapt... | Read»

Deceptive results

• Sir - The recent spate of losses in the several by-elections held across ... | Read»

Jun 09, 2018 00:00 IST

Putting forth an innocuous image

Once, panjikas or almanacs, apart from deciding which periods of time were auspicious, allowed readers surreptitiously to enter the prurient and titillating world of amours and spells and potions, STDs and mammary gland enhancers that appeared in the form of advertisements in these voluminous tomes. Such advertisements, which were the counterpart of publicity material put out by astrologers, beauticians, hairdressers, cosmetic companies and sexologists in newspapers today, were often greeted with sniggers and nudges, as salacious matter still does.
Soumitra Das Jun 09, 2018 00:00 IST

Big problems

Both of the most prolific writers for the Bengali theatre today have composed plays on the oppression of women starring three famous female characters in each.
Ananda Lal Jun 09, 2018 00:00 IST

Notes as heady as wine

Seldom do accompanying musicians get credit, even when it is rightly deserved. But when such musicians enhance a recital with a superb opening and interlude, their contribution cannot be ignored and one has to make a special mention of it. Such was the contribution of Amlan Halder (violin), Shiuli Basu (esraj), Kaushik De (harmonium) and Biplob Mondal (tabla) to Swapanparer Dak - a programme on Rabindrasangeet held at the ICCR recently. The lead performers at the event were Arindam Banerjee and Swapan Gupta.
Samarjit Guha Jun 09, 2018 00:00 IST

Battle for minds

Even if the Bharatiya Janata Party and its allies do not return to power in 2019 - admittedly an uncertain and unlikely scenario - their intellectuals certainly will have much to do with shaping the discussion in 2022 of what India, the republic, stands for at 75. And their imagination of India would be in contrast to what was mostly said when India turned 50 in 1997. The political scientist, Sunil Khilnani, wrote a nice little book, The Idea of India, to mark the occasion. He gave an elegant and sympathetic exposition mainly of Nehru's vision of India - a vibrant, secular and egalitarian democratic polity, engaged in modernization. No one then thought much of his use of the definite article before the word "idea". Surely, it would not have been unknown to Khilnani that Nehru's was not the only vision of the nation. But like many others he, too, may have assumed that with the writing of the Constitution in 1950, the contest between competing ideas of India had been settled for good.
Dipesh Chakrabarty Jun 08, 2018 00:00 IST

Money Matters

If further proof were required that violence against women bears consequences that go far beyond the women themselves, it is now available. New research has revealed that the Indian economy would experience a boost worth thousand of crores of rupees if only its states reduced domestic violence. The latest National Family Health Survey has shown that 22 per cent of women between the ages of 15 and 49 have experienced sexual and other forms of physical violence at the hands of their husbands. This alone amounts to at least five crore women. There are many reasons why such appalling figures endure - in spite of the existence of the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 - not least of which is the misogyny of the larger society, which is reflected in the unwillingness of successive governments to criminalize marital rape. More worrying, however, is the perceived lack of clarity among the judiciary regarding the interpretation of the domestic violence law, as a result of which perpetrators of marital rape often slip through the net. All of this directly results in women having to miss work - both paid and unpaid - each time they are assaulted. Counting only married women, this will amount to an annual loss for the economies of two Indian states - Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan - to the tune of Rs 13,000 crore and Rs 8,200 crore respectively.
Jun 08, 2018 00:00 IST


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