Arpan Roy is an Indian expatriate based in Singapore. An experimental physicist, he is also the founder and illustrator of The Bong Sense, a popular online magazine.
Rahul's gap year, salon controversy and tourist beef: India's interesting week
The vice president of the Congress party of India and the Grandson of India's first female prime minister, Rahul Gandhi, is embarking on an educational tour in preparation for a potential run to succeed Narendra Modi as Prime Minister of India in the 2019 election. The educational tour will cover topics like climate change, (which he will learn in Norway), and Artificial Intelligence (in Silicon Valley).
A hair salon run by celebrity stylist Jawed Habib has landed in hot water among staunch Hindu fundamentalists after it ran an advertisement depicting the Goddess Durga and her children receiving beauty treatments. The ad was in anticipation of an upcoming seven day festival, celebrating the Goddess Durga.
The tourism minister of India has asked visitors to get their fix of beef before traveling to India. The public announcement is part of a wider embrace of anti-beef sentiments among India's ruling establishment. Ironically, unlike the majority of India, where the consumption of beef is illegal, the states with the biggest tourist influx, namely Goa and Kerala, actually permit the consumption of beef.
A senior government scientist has lodged a complaint against her personal chef for "lying about her caste" and pretending to be Brahmin, the country's highest caste according to the controversial societal system. Enraged that a person of lower caste had prepared food for several religious occasions at her home, she filed a police complaint about the impersonation.