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  • A town where you can buy a house for ₹ 20,000

    |By Narendra Kaushik| Dalli Rajhara. The name is a tongue twister and sounds distinctly South Indian. The dusty town (walk around for a while and the iron ore sand would turn your shoes and trouser bottoms ochre-coloured), surrounded by seven hills a...

  • How Rajesh Khanna grew on me after death : A reminiscence

    [By Narendra Kaushik] New Delhi: It was sometime during the last monsoon before the 21st century that I landed at the door of Rajesh Khanna. He had asked me to come at around 3.30 p.m. But since work on another story brought me to Sarvpriya Vihar (So...

  • Hindi: India’s new English

    |By Ian Woolford, La Trobe University| The Conversation| Narendra Modi just returned from his first foreign trip as India’s prime minister. The two-day Bhutan visit focused on mutual trade and development, but one of the biggest stories in India was ...

  • Why Congress is opposing the land acquisition bill

    [By Narendra Kaushik] New Delhi: The fight over Land Acquisition Act or The Right to Fare Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (Amendment) Bill, 2015 is not about the farmer. And it is certainly not about...

  • Live: Elections 2017

    Most exit polls forecast a saffron Holi in Uttar Pradesh and a close fight between the Congress seeking to return to power in Punjab and AAP, a debutant in Punjab elections. Stay with us for LIVE updates on Assembly Elections 2017. ...

  • When scarred female bodies demarcate the Indian subcontinent’s polity

    [By Priyanka Borpujari] Why do women’s bodies become the site of the mad pursuit of possession of lands? When the bodies of women – and the dignity they deserve but almost always have to beg for – are mutilated to the bone, what is remembered? ...

  • Dadri lynching sparks outrage, but in which direction?

    [By Narendra Kaushik] “Don’t soldiers die every day on the border or in Jammu & Kashmir? Does anybody talk about their deaths? Why then make a mountain out of Akhlaq’s death?” asks Rajiv Kasana, a youth in Shahpur, a Gurjar village neighbouring B...

  • Messenger of God or Crime – jury is out on Ram Rahim

    |By Narendra Kaushik| Sirsa: No story seems to be more paradoxical than his. His millions of followers look at him as a paragon of virtues and a saviour who has descended on earth to liberate them from the trappings of materialism. They find him perf...

  • Thinking back to Gandhi amongst brute force and umbrellas

    |By Lisa Regan, University of Liverpool|The Conversation| In this age of the rule of brute force, it is almost impossible for anyone to believe that anyone else could possibly reject the law of the final supremacy of brute force. So wrote Mohandas Ka...

How India’s Caste System Survives

[By Shashi Tharoor] NEW DELHI – On January 17, Rohith Vemula, a PhD candidate at the University of Hyderabad in India’s Telangana state, hanged himself. Even in a country of 1.2 billion people, a single death can have a major impact. Vemula was a Dalit – a member of what was once known as the “untouchables,” at the bottom of ...

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Could a meteorite really have killed a bus driver in India?

[Monica Grady] There is nothing more certain in life than death – a cheerful thought for a dismal February. Even though we are aware of that inevitability, we don’t expect death literally to strike out of an empty sky, which reportedly is what happened to Kamraj, a bus driver in Vellore, a town in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. ...

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Why Delhi is the world’s most polluted city – and what can be done about it

[Prashant Kumar | The Conversation] In a bid to tackle its record air pollution, Delhi has banned cars from travelling on alternate days over the first two weeks of this year. It’s better than nothing, but it won’t be enough. The Indian capital has the dubious accolade of being regularly-cited as the most polluted city in the world, with air ...

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Public Safety Is Every Woman’s Human Right

[By Rakhi Ghosh] Khurda – She is a hardworking government school teacher and an attentive mother and wife today but she has been through her fair share of hell. The incident that changed Seema’s (name changed) life forever happened over 17 years ago on July 2, 1996. She had just taken up a job as a social worker, fighting for ...

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Why juveniles’ age should be lowered from 18 to 16

Increased awareness has transformed the reform system set up by the state for juvenile delinquents into an incentive for crime. [By Narendra Kaushik] New Delhi: “Don’t talk too much to them. It can be dangerous. They are hardened criminals”, Ram Singh (name changed), an employee of Special Home for Boys on Magazine Road at Majnu ka Tila, forewarned me uncorking ...

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The Chennai Warning

[By Shashi Tharoor] Thiruvananthapuram, INDIA – Even as world leaders were meeting in Paris to address climate change, the city of Chennai (formerly Madras), the capital of the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, reeled under the onslaught of the heaviest rainfall in 104 years. The city, home to five million people, has virtually shut down, with roads flooded and ...

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Why Kejriwal is no longer an odd number in politics

[By Narendra Kaushik] New Delhi: Let me begin with a PS (post script) Many of the politicians in the country particularly the ones belonging to the old guard, be it Mulayam Singh Yadav, Ramvilas Paswan, Prakash Singh Badal, M Karunanidhi, Mayawati and others, rose proclaiming lofty ideals pertaining to socialism, secularism and social justice. Their baptism into political life exuded hope ...

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Living the effects of climate change

[By Mari Marcel Thekaekara|New Internationalist] Paris is in focus again as the climate change talks take centre stage. All over the world, people are watching and waiting, pinning their hopes on these talks, praying desperately that something useful, something good will come out of it all, despite the cynics. At a local level, where I live in India, the subject ...

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Caste narrative in Bihar

[By Narendra Kaushik] New Delhi: Let me come straight to the point. To say that Bihar election results are a resounding negation of Political forces which are out to monger hate in the society and thus, create communal divisions is, to put it succinctly, only a half truth. I agree Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief Amit ...

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India’s Sacred Cows and Unholy Politics

[By Shashi Tharoor] NEW DELHI – The headlines out of India in recent weeks have often made sickening reading. Startlingly, the central protagonist in most of these stories is that most peaceable and innocent of animals, the cow. A Muslim man was beaten to death by a mob in a small town an hour from New Delhi in response to ...

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