An article in this morning’s paper struck me
What in the blue blazes is “saffronisation” of education? There is nothing in that article to indicate what it is that the students are actually protesting. They do this all the time in papers here. An article will quote a public official three different ways making an oblique reference to something. That will be the entire meat of the article. If you don’t happen to know what issue that public official is making a vague reference to, you won’t get anything out of it.
I often read papers from many countries. It helps to understand what people in those places think if world affairs. After all, no matter how much pride we take in being critical thinkers; what our papers say does frame the range of thought. But I have to say that Indian papers can be so unbelievably high context that they are almost information free at times. I once read an article that quoted a Pakistani official (about terrorism? Kashmir? The Mumbai attacks?). The whole article could be summed up as:
So and so said something about something
So what exactly does “saffronisation” of education mean?
The Times of India was part of my introduction to India. I learned a lot in those first few days. Corruption is rampant. Infrastructure is inadequate. The local term for rolling blackouts is “load shedding”. If you are against the nuclear treaty with the US, it is because you take orders from Beijing.
I also learned many other things:
- Some Bollywood actress that I’ve never heard of is ready to take on a bad girl image.
- Another Bollywood actress is ready to re-enter films after being in TV.
- So and so is moving to Kannada films from Tamil/Telegu/Hindi.
- So and so is moving the other way.
- Some actor has “no problem” kissing in his films and even looks forward to it.
NEWSFLASH! Man enjoys being paid substantial sums of money to kiss beautiful women on camera.
The thing is that I don’t even care about Hollywood stars. Fixating on the social lives people whom I do not personally know is just not for me. In a nutshell, I simply don’t care about “stars” and can recognize only a few. Now Bollywood stars really are just names to me; except that Khan guy who seems to be ubiquitous, that other Khan guy – the older one – who seems equally ubiquitous, the woman who starred in Jab We Met (what was her name again?) and that Ganesh guy who’s face I always seem to see on Kannada movie posters. The last on always wears his shirt half unbuttoned, seems to be photographed in a tough guy walk and wears mirrored Ray Bans.
My problem is that half of the Times of India is either about cricket or these Bollywood types. So earlier this week we switched the newspaper subscription to The Hindu; a paper somewhat similar to the New York Times in tone. So far this week, I have learned that:
- The nuclear agreement is potentially bad for India, especially after the US congress passed its list of “reservations”, because it would make India dependent on a fickle US for fuel.
- There are 6000 transgender individuals in Bangalore. They are often harassed by the police.
- Bollywood seems to have silently disappeared.
I am rather pleased with this latest development, though the newspaper man mistakenly delivered TOI today instead of The Hindu and Bollywood seems to have reappeared a mysteriously as it vanished.