We replug a few of stories that you should read this weekend
GN Bureau | May 14, 2016
At Kondhavguda village, most people are out in the forest to pick wild food or firewood, tending to farms, washing at streams or carving out bricks from a muddy ditch. Aadi Kumbruka looks much younger than 30, but is already an inspiration for many. Though most farmers here grow around 30 varieties of crops in a single year, Aadi grows 80. Still, he trusts the forest for diversity. “We can never match the forest. If we grow 100 varieties, there are 200 different foods available in the forest,” he says. Summer breeds a wide range of food including fruits, monsoon rains spur bamboo shoots and mushrooms while winter fosters varied tubers.
Read: What makes tribals fight for forests
For the past two hours, the middle-aged farmer has been sitting quietly in his barren field at Kadambagachi off North 24 Parganas, around 30 km from Kolkata. Ali is gripped by thoughts that keep rising like waves in his mind and die down, leaving him more tense and desperate than before.Ali had cultivated jute last year but suffered losses due to the unseasonal showers that destroyed the crops. Worse, he failed to repay the loan taken from a private moneylender who is pressurising him to clear the debt along with interest or face the consequences. He wants to invest in farming again but shudders to think that the loss this year can reduce him to begging... Bad crop and ban by Bangladesh on export of raw jute are hurting both the farmers and the industry, impacting over 43 lakh people in the state.
Read: West Bengal’s sunset industry
"Just as we have an International Film Festival, we should have international performing arts festival. Currently, there’s no proper documentation of several arts and art forms including rare instruments, music and dance. Is this not a part of the Sangeet Natak Akademi’s mandate? We don’t even have a permanent art exhibition by the Lalit Kala Akademi. Why? Every year, I write to the Lalit Kala Akademi that we would like to include the Akademi’s permanent art exhibition in our Delhi International Art Festival, so please let us know whose work you are focussing now. And the reply is always same: ‘We have outsourced our gallery.’ The question arises that what happens to all the artwork that the Lalit Kala Akademi acquires? Why is there no such permanent art gallery in a vast country like ours? Why is there so much gossip about missing paintings? Every other museum in the world does it. Why can’t we?"
Read: Full Interview with artist Pratibha Prahlad
As Tamil Nadu goes to polls on May 16, the election commission has made extra efforts to curb the practice of bribing voters. By May 11 officials had seized Rs 98 crore in cash – a record-breaking figure that can go up in the few remaining days.
Read: Cash flow difficulties
Net banking is becoming passé. Banks today are offering their services on mobile phones for the convenience of users. Around 59 percent of customers avail various banking services on phones, according to KPMG, a global financial and business advisor. However, the security of such banking applications is still a matter of concern. While banks use two-way authentication process to identify their users, security experts consider this method is now as outdated and hackable.
Read: When banking goes mobile
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