Potholes, new tribes and driverless cars: India's interesting week

Updated 6:11 AM ET, Wed August 2, 2017

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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.

The Fatal Potholes of Mumbai

Deep potholes on the roads of the state of Maharashtra are a persistent nuisance, especially during the monsoon season. The problem recently made the news after the tragic death of Jagruti Viraj Hogale, a well known biker and member of a woman's only biker club. Jagruti lost control after her bike fell into a deep pothole and was crushed by a passing truck. The authorities decided to blame the victim rather than take responsibility for the situation.

The Parsi Population Problem

While India's overall population continues to increase rapidly, the country's Parsi community faces a population problem of a different kind: It's decreasing rapidly. Originally followers of Zoroastrianism who settled in India in the 8th century, the number of Parsis in India has halved in the last 60 years and now stands at approximately 57,000. The "Jiyo Parsi" scheme initiated by the government to tackle the issue, encourages the Parsis to go forth and multiply with cheeky taglines like "I'd rather have a dog than a baby. But the really cool ones have both." It seem to be working as the 102nd Parsi baby was born since the initiative was launched in 2013.

No Driver, No Car

India's Minister of Transports and Highways, Nitin Gadkari, said that driverless cars would never be allowed in India as they will result in unemployment. Critics have pointed to a different reason: haphazard roads, lack of markings, livestock and unmarked turns, would turn driverless cars into deathtraps.

Indians become the 44th Tribe of Kenya

The Kenyan government decided to recognize the South Asian community as their "44th tribe," or ethnic group. This is surprising considering the fact that the Indian community has existed in Kenya since the 17th century. Indian laborers contributed to the building of the country's rail network, with many dying due to malaria. In the immediate past, the community has been instrumental in the country's struggle against colonialism and eventual freedom.