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Reader's Digest India

Reader's Digest India October 2020

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Reader’s Digest has been the world’s biggest-selling magazine for nearly nine decades. It is also India’s largest-selling magazine in English. Beneath the fun and excitement of its pages, the Digest is, above all else, a serious magazine that never loses sight of the fact that, each day, all of us confront a tough, challenging world. To the millions who read the Digest, it is not a luxury—it is a necessity. Deep within its widely varied package of humour, real-life dramas and helpful information, there is in every issue of the Digest a subtle power that guides people in every aspect of their lives.

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12 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
humour in uniform

Officers don’t like to lose. Exhibit A: One naval officer’s write-up in the base newspaper of our unit’s lunchtime softball game: “In a spirited end-of-season finale, the Khaki Special (officers/chiefs) team fought hard but finished the season in second place. Meanwhile, the enlisted personnel (the Blues) won their last game but finished next to last in the standings.” What he failed to mention about the season … the two teams played only one game, against each other. —J. KIRBY SPENCER During basic training at Fort Dix, New Jersey, I was sent to the firing range to qualify as a marksman. After taking a few shots, I asked my sergeant how I’d done. “Son,” he told me, “you better learn to use a bayonet real good.” —EDMOND KRYSZ While in paratrooper training school, I asked the instructor,…

3 min.
over to you

Lessons for India’s Democracy Dr Ambedkar’s speech remains as relevant today as it was when it was delivered 71 years ago. Unfortunately, some dreams, such as ridding society of caste and creed, still remain elusive. Instead of marching forwards, we seem to be moving back towards medieval times. While all hope is not lost, and we still remain the world’s largest democracy, we do need to rise above partisanship and move away from politics of caste, religion and language (among others). The phenomena of cult worship of a party or leader must make way to ensure capable Indians are given the chance to lead. After all, India is, and should be, far greater than the elite ruling class or the elected officials who lead the nation. Elected politicians need to plan…

4 min.
nep 2020: the good, the worrisome and the ambiguous

WHEN the government announced the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020, it was greeted with a great deal of apprehension. Since Independence, India has had two major education policies, the first in 1968 and the second in 1986. The government appointed several commissions from time to time and most of them came up with excellent ideas and concrete suggestions. However, most of the transformative suggestions and workable ideas remained unimplemented. In the last 20 years we have seen the looming crisis of learning that has become the defining feature of our school system. We have also seen the decay of institutions that were once known for providing high-quality education. Most importantly, we have witnessed the steady erosion of faith in government schools. Therefore, the scepticism about the actual impact of policies…

2 min.
world wide weird

Tense Fences Barry and Hellynne Lee, both in their 70s, were charged with assault in June 2018. The Welsh couple’s crime? Spraying their neighbour, Harold Burrows, with a garden hose over their shared fence. The neighbours had been squabbling for years, but things escalated one day while the Lees hosed down their driveway. When Burrows confronted the Lees about yard waste the stream was pushing on to his lot, they turned up the drama—and turned their hose on him. Burrows, who recorded his surprise shower, later presented the footage as evidence to a judge. The court imposed a two-year restraining order, and the Lees have decided to look for a new place to live. Hopefully, with some time and space, the debacle will just be water under the fence! Finders Keepers What would you…

5 min.
my father, do not rest

On 1 February 1948, two days after Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination by Hindutva fanatics, Sarojini Naidu gave an impassioned speech on All India Radio, calling on the nation to remember the Mahatma’s death as a pledge to right action. Here is an edited version of her address. WHILE WE ALL MOURN—those who loved him, knew him personally, those to whom his name was but a miracle and a legend—though we are all full of tears and though we are full of sorrow, I feel that sorrow is out of place and tears are a blasphemy. How can he die, who through his life and conduct and sacrifice taught the world that the spirit matters, not the flesh, that the spirit has the power greater than the powers of the combined armies of…

1 min.
coming clean

Deodorant? No, I’ve never needed to buy any. People just give it to me, complete strangers sometimes.@SaintEd61Dry shampoo is the equivalent of unicorn blood for hair—it’ll keep it alive, but it’ll be a half life, a cursed life.@elliepeekMy twins hate to brush their teeth. So I just convinced them that it’s fun to brush someone else’s teeth. Problem solved.@hunz74The fact that Head & Shoulders doesn’t have a body wash called Knees & Toes disappoints me@TheRealSassy1I’m sick of men’s 3-in-1 bodywash–shampoo–conditioner. Throw toothpaste in there.@ComradTwittyDove chocolate tastes so much better than their soap.@RevSvenTV…