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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

Recent entries

The Road to Redemption

Never, ever tell me that chess is a boring sport. On the last day of March in 2015, two players…

Assembly Proceedings

This is the 28th installment of Rhyme and Reason, my weekly set of limericks for the Sunday Times of India…

The Baptist, the Bootlegger and the Dead Man Walking

This is the 35th installment of Lighthouse, my monthly column for BLink, a supplement of the Hindu Business Line. Appearances…

The Seen and the Unseen 5: This Is All Because Of Rupal Ben

This is the fifth episode of my weekly podcast, The Seen and the Unseen. [embedded podcast] A few years ago,…

The Landscape of Freedom in India

Here’s the video and transcript of a keynote speech I gave at the Asia Liberty Forum on January 11, 2017…

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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