Women shine for India amidst a dismal Olympic performance

The Rio Olympics is almost over. India, the second most populous country in the world, will be coming home with just two medals, one silver and one bronze, unless a medal is won in the last wrestling event on Sunday.

Though India is never known as a great sporting nation, this performance was much poorer than the six medal haul including one gold and two silvers from London, 2012. But the silver lining of Rio 2016 for Indian sports was some sterling performance from women athletes. P V Sindhu won silver in badminton singles and Sakshi Mallik won bronze in 58 kilo gram freestyle wrestling. Dipa Karmarkar, first ever Indian athlete to qualify for Olympic gymnastics missed bronze by a whisker. Another notable performance was that of Lalita Babar, a 10th place finish in the 3000 metre steeplechase.

P V Sindhu (left) and Sakshi Malik

P V Sindhu (left) and Sakshi Malik

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“I am the first Simone Biles”

It made sense that Buzz Aldrin, a man who has walked on the moon and lived without gravity, was in Rio to watch a teenage compatriot defy the earth’s forces like no other athlete in history.

The former astronaut cheered as the United States won the women’s gymnastics team title on Tuesday and saluted the special quintet, one of whom was the extraordinary Simone Biles.

Biles, the innovator, the ground-breaker, is a gymnast who comes along every other generation or so – a 19-year-old hailed as the most talented anyone has seen. She is already a superstar of her sport and, by the time the Olympic flame is extinguished, is likely to orbit the same space as the planet’s most recognisable stars.

This 4ft 8in gymnast from Texas, placed into foster care because of her mother’s struggles with drugs and alcohol and adopted when she was five by her maternal grandfather and his wife, has already won two Olympic golds at her debut Games.

She could win five. She is expected to win five. She is almost untouchable.

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South Asian version of patriarchy in Norway

One of the several telephonic conversations between mother of a prospective bride and parents looking for brides for their sons among a South Asian community in Norway.


Free trial before wedding

I saw your daughter’s Twitter account.


She seems too engaged and active.

Yes, she is interested in social justice issues.

My older son is married to a doctor. And we only let her work a few days a week so she is able to take care of us and run the household. I am a doctor and my two sons are doctors. Women in our family don’t need to worry about money.

I see?

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Atheists taking pot shots at feminism ?

Many a time I had seen this, both online and offline, in the West and in the East. I never understood the logic and reason behind it. It seems some atheists just hate feminism, though they claim themselves to be feminists.

I just happened to see this tweet this morning.


What did he mean ?  His tweet is addressing feminists. He is implying that ALL feminists will criticise patriarchal religious values only if it is from Christianity. He is of the firm opinion that feminists do not and will not criticise patriarchal values seen in other religions, especially Islam.

He is supposed to be a rationalist, so before forming an opinion people will expect him to have solid evidence for his claim that feminists as a class do not criticise misogyny of Islam. But it seems he is selectively blind.  I can’t believe that he has not seen this picture.

I can’t also believe that he has not heard and read atheist feminists Ophelia Benson, Maryam Namazie , Taslima Nasreen and countless others who are vocally critical of misogyny in Islam.

So why he is generalising and branding all feminists with the same brush?  May be he wants people to think bad about feminism. May be he want people to think ALL feminists are hypocrites and are afraid of criticising Islam. What ever the motive, for me it is in very bad taste.