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The Subcontinental Menu

Who are the least obese people in the world? Who said only man can give triple talaq? Find out...

The Subcontinental Menu
Illustration by Sajith Kumar
The Subcontinental Menu
outlookindia.com
2017-06-24T11:03:23+0530

Teenager Gives Talaq To Pursue Education

Even as a debate over abolition of triple talaq continues, a teenaged girl from West Bengal has stunned her community by divorcing her husband by uttering the talaq word thrice. The practice of oral divorce is usually considered to be a male prerogative but Mampi Khatoon, a resident of Mallickpur Mandirbazaar, 55 km from Calcutta, took recourse to it because her husband and his family did not want her to study. Mampi, the 16-year-old daughter of a poor tea-seller who got married in 2015, had recently enrolled herself at a high school, located nine kilometres from her village, but her in-laws were not pleased with her decision and wanted her to stop attending classes. Left with a choice to choose between education and matrimony, Mampi did not take long to make up her mind.


Cows, Not Bears And Bulls, On BSE Index

Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) is usually considered to be the exclusive territory of the bears and the bulls, but it was the cow which was being feted in the country’s premier bourses. A six-hour seminar on the ‘glorious Indian cow’ held at BSE International Convention Hall under the aegis of BJP MP Subramanian Swamy’s Virat Hindustan Sangam saw around 600 ‘delegates’ —gaurakshaks, to be precise—being awarded for ‘saving the cows from being slaughtered’. According to reports, loud cheers of “Jai Gaumata” rent the air as speakers extolled the virtues of cow dung, urine, milk and ghee, quoting references to the mythical Nandi and Kamdhenu cows. The high-yield Jersey and HF breeds, source of commercial milk supply across India, were denigra­ted for “mutated genes”. Swamy, on this occasion, demanded capital punishment for cow slaughter.


Bangalore Temple To Get Mega Idols

A temple at Ejipura in Bangalore, run by Sri Kothandaramaswamy Charitable Trust, will have a 108-foot-tall idol of the resident deity, which will have 11 faces and 22 hands. Another statue of the seven-hea­ded Aadisesha (serpent god) will also be attached. Two pieces of single rocks—one 64-foot-long and weighing 380 tonnes and the other 24-foot-long, weighing 230 tonnes—cut from a mini hill at Korakottai village in Chettikulum, have been loaded on two mega cargo trucks for transportation to Bangalore. However, they would be able to cover a distance of only 5 kms a day. The work to cut the rocks, which began in October 2014, could be completed recently. One face, two hands and two chakras have already been carved out of the bigger rock, while the rest of the carving would be done in Bangalore.


Fighting Gor Their Right To Puff In Prison

Inmates of Sambalpur jail in Orissa are up in arms and have even gone on a hunger-strike to demand an essential thing: their daily dose of puffs. At least 250 of the 600-strong prison want the prison administration to supply cigarettes, beedis, gutkhas and even cannabis to them. They are pleading with the authorities that they cannot survive without their quota of narcotics and tobacco because they have all been addicts for years. These prisoners claim that certain prison staff used to make such items accessible to them for a price but the supply had suddenly stopped after a recent raid by senior officials, which yielded narcotic substances worth Rs 10 lakh. Facing withdrawal symptoms, prisoners were left with no choice but to resort to agitation!


Hunt For A.Q. Khan’s Properties

The Bhopal administration has set out to trace the immovable properties that once belonged to the family of A.Q. Khan, known as the father of Pakistan’s nuclear programme, following a ‘directive’ from the Office of Custodian of Enemy Properties (CEP), Mumbai. Khan’s family migrated to Pakistan after Partition. The buzz is that the CEP office has sought a report on the status of Khan’s ancestral properties. Khan’s assets are on a list of 47 such properties with the district administration. It also has to conduct a survey to identify the current own­­ers of such properties.


The Least Fat People In The World

Bangladeshis are the least obese people in the world. Of the over two billion people who suffer from obesity, Bangladesh has the lowest rate at 1 per cent. It may be a happy coincidence that another Asian country, Vietnam, which emerged as a republic around the same time, also share the same low rate on the obesity factor. A recent report says the US has the greatest percentage of obese children and young adults at 13 per cent, while Egypt, with over 35 per cent, led in terms of adult obesity.


To Save Pashupatinath Monkeys

After the Pashupati Area Development Trust ‘proved’ to the country’s Supreme Court that the 600-odd monkey population in and around the premises of the Pashupatinath temple wasn’t a “nuisance” to pilgrims and tourists, they have come out with a rather tragic observation. The trust has appealed to the government and the public in general to help the monkeys living in the temple complex, who are starving due to the increased pollution in river Bagmati, which runs through the temple complex. As is characterisitc of urban development in South Asia, the Bagmati has been reduced to a drain in Kathmandu.  This has seriously affec­ted the monkeys’ access to drinkable water and food. Many of the sapiens in the temple complex are now falling sick. Hope­fully, the appeal will lead to some action.


Fence And Corridor

Afghanistan’s relations with Pakistan have mostly been inversely proportionate to Kabul’s ties with Delhi. The warmest phase in Indo-Afghan ties invariably coincides with one when Afghanistan’s relations with Pakistan are going through the worst period. Nothing perhaps, exemplifies this better than the interesting political developments that took place last week involving the three countries.

At a time when India and Afghanistan started their first air corridor to facilitate goods between the countries, Pak­istan began supervising the work on fences along its border with Afghanistan. The air corridor surely symbolises  growing Indo-Afghan ties and Kabul’s growing confidence in Delhi to deepen cooperation and expand it to other areas.

By contrast, the building of the fence on the Af-Pak border not only shows strains in bilateral ties but also indicate that they are unlikely to be mended in a hurry.

The air corridor symbolises growing India-Afghan ties. Pakistan’s fence along the AfPak border conveys just the opposite.

According to the Pakistan army’s Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), the fencing was an effort to improve the security situation along the international boundary. It said construction of the fence was to take place in two phases—in the first phase “high infiltration” prone border areas in Bajaur, Mohmand and Khyber Agencies will be sealed off, while in the second phase the area of Balochistan will be fenced off.

Pakistani media reports sugg­es­ted that besides fencing, the Pak­istani Army and Khyber Pakht­unkhwa Frontier Corps were also planning to construct forts and border posts to improve defence and surveillance.

An ISPR press statement said, “A secure Pak-Afghan border is in the interest of both countries and a well-coordinated border security mechanism is essential for enduring peace and stability.” Mohmand and Bajaur, abutting Nangarhar and Kunar provinces of the Af-Pak area, have seen an increase in terrorist activities recently, especially from groups like Jamaat-ul-Ahrar and Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan.

The Afghan government has often accused Pakistan of encouraging cross-border terrorism inside Afghanistan by harbouring these terror outfits.

Meanwhile, an aircraft packed with 60 tonnes of Afghan plants with medicinal uses marked the opening of the first air cargo between it and India. It was a reminder of the potential of trade and investment that Afghanistan holds. The cargo, worth $60 million, can lead to many more such flights between the two countries in the coming days, bypassing Pakistan.


Illustrations by Sajith Kumar

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