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Page No. 2, Vol: 1, Issue: 6 - D.L. No. 186 Dated 06/09/2012 - GOOD NEWS TAB Rs. 10.00




n July 2012, a class 11 student was shamed outside a

pub in Guwahati by a mob of lecherous men. The shame

was captured in a video clip and went viral on YouTube.

In the Seventies, Mahasweta Devi’s Dopdi Mejhen, a

farmer-turned-rebel warrior of West Bengal, is

gangraped by officers of the state, the law-keepers.

Mahabharata’s Draupadi was humiliated in front of the entire

Kuru clan as Dushashan tried in vain to disrobe her. The settings

are different but the untenable themes of oppression and

humiliation remain unchangeable. The discourse of the dispossessed,

be it Mahabharata, Ramayana or the tale of Ahalaya, has

shown women almost always as pawns in the kurukshetra of

male-dominated sexual politics.

Our cover story explores the idea of subjugation seen from the

perspective of class, gender and other social constructs through a

modern reading of the mythical narrative of the epic

Mahabharata for the stage. However, it must be conceded that

the modern-day interpretations carry the story ahead, adding new

layers of understanding. So Dopdi unlike Draupadi refuses to be

robed by men again. She uses the raw power of her brutalised,

naked body to lash out. The rapists are terrified when confronted

with this menacing avatar. The same body that the men ravished

with hideous hate becomes a weapon of protest.

Avijit Kargupta, the playwright-director of Chokh, also

interpreted the epic along Marxian lines. The war between the

Kauravas and Pandavas has been likened to the clash between the

superpowers of the world. It is not for nothing that stage veteran

Manoj Mitra once said what is not there in Mahabharata does

not exist in India at all.

In our big story, we track the life of Shiva Keshavan, the lonely

star of luge, one of the most-precisely timed sliding sports of

winter Olympics. The only known face of the country in winter

sports, the young boy’s love for snow was born in the beautiful

valley of Manali. Inheriting his passion for adventure and danger

from his parents, Shiva decided to make a career out of luge even

when nobody had heard of the sports. At 16, he became the

youngest luger to qualify in 1997 Winter Olympics. Determined

to blaze the trails in one of the world’s most dangerous sports,

Shiva went on to qualify for five World Championships and made

it to the top 100. Last year, he won the gold medal at the Nagano

Asian Championship.

In our photo story, we capture the lives of band partywalas as

they lead the fanfare in regal costumes, the loud music drowning

out their quiet struggle for survival.

Have a good day and let us know how you feel about the


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inside 4




Photo Story



Mahabharata, replete with politics of

suppression and the rise of the underdog,

holds a mirror to the 21st century India

19 Culture

Young actors carve out stage careers

independent of theatre groups


16 Environment

Focus on German Football Federation’s

initiative to raise environmental awareness

21 Food

A nondescript stall in central Kolkata cooks

up a storm with its Oriental specialties

Graphic Reportage

23 The daring rescue of a trafficked

girl reaches its conclusion

Big Story

A walk into the lives of bandwallahs —

their trials and tribulations

Spotlight on Shiva Keshavan, India’s only

face in the dangerous winter sports of luge


The need for counsellors becomes pressing

as social structures cave in and stress spirals

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