Splainer

Monday, April 11 2022


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Qutab Minar was actually ‘Vishnu Stambh’. Qutub Minar was built with materials obtained after demolishing 27 Hindu-Jain temples. The superimposed structure was built just to tease the Hindu community.

That’s the latest salvo fired in the culture wars by the rightwing group Vishwa Hindu Parishad—which wants these ‘temples’ to be rebuilt, and Hindus be allowed to offer prayers there. This is the second time that the Qutub Minar has become the target of controversy in recent weeks. BJP leader and National Monuments Authority chairman Tarun Vijay recently flagged Ganesh idols that were placed “disrespectfully” inside the complex. He too raised the issue of the 27 temples—calling their destruction “cultural genocide.”

 

Say hello to our new travel newsletter:  We hope you noticed the new travel-themed newsletter on the weekend—thanks to our partnership with Urbanaut, founded and run by the amazing Samyukta Ranganathan. Yes, there is travel content everywhere—websites, blogs, reviews… and yet it is almost impossible to find trustworthy advice except from friends or fam. Urbanaut’s guides help you rediscover India and its many treasures in this once-a-month newsletter. We love the integrity and passion that Samyukta and her team bring to everything they do. Nope, we’re not making a dime out of this. Check out the first edition here.


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Big Story

Pakistan gets a new boss: Meet Shehbaz Sharif

The TLDR: Imran Khan’s tenure as Prime Minister came to an expected if abrupt turn over the weekend. Getting ready to wear the crown: Opposition leader Shehbaz Sharif—a man with a colourful if lesser-known past. And Allah and the Army willing, he will hold on to the throne—and not just in the interim. So who is this Wazir-e-Azam and why does India have a more upbeat view of him?


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In today’s edition

Headlines That Matter

  • The Russian invasion: The latest update
  • Emmanuel Macron leads in French election
  • The Sunak-Murty drama: The latest update
  • Elon Musk's big plans for Twitter 
  • A flurry of stories about intolerance
  • Shanghai's growing Covid woes
  • An astonishing anti-aging achievement
  • The problem with MBAs
  • The world's skinniest skyscraper

 

Sanity Break

  • Momotaz Begom and Mizan Rahman's stunning performance of 'Prarthona.'

 

A list of good reads

  • New study links cow dung burning to black fungus epidemic
  • Is casual sex bad for you?
  • A tribute to Korean novels
  • How the South Asian bridal industry built an empire with WhatsApp

 

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