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THE INDIAN EXPRESS newspaper has this disturbing piece of news today  – a number of colleges in the state of Karnataka, including some in the capital city of Bangalore, have set a higher cut-off percentage for admitting girls. The reason: girls have out-performed boys in school board examinations.

Had the move not been so alarming, it could have been dismissed as absurd. It regressive and discriminatory and sends out a dangerous message – women are a threat if they perform well and shall be controlled for the benefit of men. It is similar to the untenable argument most often touted to dismiss sexual harassment of women – women invite lewd comments and behaviour because thy wear short and revealing clothes.

The move should be opposed by private citizens and government alike.


WHAT is the recipe for making your country’s cuisine popular abroad? Asking your most popular actor could be one. And if that actor happens to be Bae Yong Joon, you may well be justified in doing so. The gentleman has restaurants in Korea and Japan, but that is not the only reason why BYJ has people, especially women, eating out of his hands!

The Korean Wave heralded by export of Korean drama has expanded to interest in other aspects of Korean culture as well, especially in Japan, China and South-east Asia. In India though, a mention of South Korea usually brings to mind Samsung, Hyundai and LG rather than Jewel in the Palace, Emperor of the Sea (both of which have been shown on Indian television) and Winter Sonata (which has not). As for Korean restaurants here, they can be counted on the fingertips.

So what would help to popularise Korean food in India?

For one, a vegetarian like me would like to know how I can get hold of something like the staple Kimchi without fish paste in it.

But for starters, showing Winter Sonata on TV here would definitely help.

PS: Has BYJ hurt the fingers of his left hand? The way he is holding his hand in the picture with South Korea’s First Lady Kim Yoon-ok seems to suggest so.

July 2018
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