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About Amit Varma

Amit Varma is a writer based in Mumbai. He worked in journalism for over a decade, and won the Bastiat Prize for Journalism in 2007. His bestselling novel, My Friend Sancho, was published in 2009. He is best known for his blog, India Uncut. His current project is a non-fiction book about the lack of personal and economic freedoms in post-Independence India.




Bastiat Prize 2007 Winner

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11 September, 2007

“Her Rosy Cheeks And Her White Gown”

Suddenly I have become a fan of our education system. Consider the following excerpt from an SC Class X Marathi textbook:

My wife bathes twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. At night she changes into clothes that are as white as a swan. This is what she is wearing right now. With her rosy cheeks and her white gown, I can’t help but stare at her for a few moments.

I can imagine kids being given this excerpt in their comprehension exam and being asked, “What happens next?” The Times of India reports that the story it is from, by the noted Marathi writer PB Bhave, has become quite controversial. The report adds:

Another chapter about a snow-white cow who drives the bulls crazy has also not gone down too well with teachers. The chapter goes on to describe how this cow spends half a night wandering about in the fields with a black bull.

Yes, snow-white cows tend to drive bulls crazy. But perhaps children should be allowed to discover that for themselves. Ok, no, I’m just jealous: Not only did I study in a boy’s school, my textbooks weren’t remotely so exciting. Sigh.

(Link via email from Anon.)

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