Radhika Iyengar


Radhika is a Senior Sub Editor with the indianexpress.com  She is an alumna of Columbia University. She tweets @radhika_iy

The government’s obsession with cows: A case of misplaced priorities
Tue, Apr 25, 2017

In India, cattle protection has suddenly emerged as the government's prime agenda, marginalising or trivialising other issues higher up on the scale of grave importance.

Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi: Here’s what happened 1934 onwards
Mon, Apr 24, 2017

Within the Babri Masjid compound, there once existed a mosque for Muslims, as well as a shrine for Hindus to pray. A railing functioned as a barricade between the two prayer spaces.

By pushing Hindi is the government pushing it?
Thu, Apr 20, 2017

Language cannot be imposed upon people. Imposition spawns resistance. There are several instances in history that serve as evidence, including the history of East Pakistan (now Bangladesh)

What is Nikah halala, how it was established and where it stands in modern India
Wed, Apr 19, 2017

Nikah halala is a law that requires a woman to marry and sleep with another man in order to return to her first husband.

From Pakistan to Egypt, the Muslim countries that have moved ahead from Triple Talaq
Thu, Apr 20, 2017

In the name of tradition, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB ) finds triple talaq or talaq given in one sitting, sacrosanct and crucial, particularly for women.

In UP, a growing online market for cows: Uneasy sellers and discerning buyers
Tue, Apr 18, 2017

The sale of cattle through conventional means has dropped dramatically. Subsequently, there has been a sudden spike in the number of cow advertisements on e-commerce sites, particularly post the state elections.

Are Indians racist? Just ask Tarun Vijay
Sat, Apr 08, 2017

“If we were racist,” he argues, “why would we have all the entire south, which is completely – you know Tamil (sic), you know Kerala, you know Karnataka and Andhra – why would we live with them? We have black people around us.”

Romeo and Eve, and their strange association with sexual harassment in India
Wed, Apr 05, 2017

Both 'eve-teasing' and 'roadside Romeo' are Indian-invented-English-euphemisms, used particularly in South Asians countries like India, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh.

In literature and art from over 100 years ago, images of the cow as mother
Wed, Apr 05, 2017

Back in the day, even bhajans fiercely associated a Hindu’s manhood to his strength in defending the cow.

“I’ll have to start my own small karobaar”, says projector operator as Regal Cinema brings its curtains down
Mon, Apr 03, 2017

Kumar's trajectory of fate is similar to that of Regal's. Kumar and Regal are symbolic of a time when single-screened theater halls and skilled operators had a standing in society.

How CBFC has maintained its status as the Central Board of Double Standards
Mon, Mar 27, 2017

The argument that certain films are 'un-Indian' due to the nature of their explicit content, has been resurrected from time to time depending on the ruling political government.

Five Days of Yogi Adityanath’s UP reign: Key decisions he has taken so far
Fri, Mar 24, 2017

From the formation of 'anti-Romeo' squads to the ban on illegal slaughterhouses, here is a compilation of the actions the new UP Chief Minister has taken since he was sworn in.

Maternity (Amendment) Bill: Looks good on paper, but there’s more to it than what meets the eye
Fri, Mar 10, 2017

While India may be ahead of the United States (which gives its women employees 12 weeks of unpaid maternity leave), our Maternity Bill leaves out a large section of women in the unorganized sector -- and that's a colossal setback.

Karan Johar, Kangana Ranaut debacle and the complexities of the term, ‘Woman Card’
Fri, Mar 10, 2017

If Kangana Ranaut was playing the 'woman card' and 'victim card', Karan Johar was playing the 'man card' and 'bully card'

In the lexicon of profanities, a majority of them derogate women
Wed, Mar 08, 2017

Most of the pet cuss words however, are located, alarmingly, in sexism.

Karan Johar has a right to have children, like anyone else
Mon, Mar 06, 2017

Tradition and society dictate that marriage and biological parenthood should coincide. However, a physically and mentally stable adult who has the wherewithal to take on the responsibility of a child, should be allowed to become a parent

Is the Government correct in forcing students to get Aadhaar Card for Mid-Day meals?
Mon, Mar 06, 2017

India has one of the world’s highest demographics of children suffering from malnutrition. The government's responsibility should be to feed them, not arm-twist them into getting an Aadhaar Card.

RSS leader Kundan Chandrawat’s hate speech: No arrest; shows our complacency as a people
Sun, Mar 05, 2017

Chandrawat: "We sent 2000 to the graveyard". It's been over 24 hours since the RSS leader made the disconcerting claim regarding the Muslim deaths in the Godhra riots. Chandrawat however, hasn't been arrested, yet.

Gurmehar Kaur’s retraction of campaign shows how women who voice dissent are gagged in India
Wed, Mar 01, 2017

From Kaur to Zaira Wasim, those who've challenged authority or seemed to have 'displeased' it, have received hate threats and been forced into submission

How the American Press reported the Kansas Shooting
Tue, Feb 28, 2017

The shooting incident has been conveyed in a stoic voice, bearing no hint of emotion, empathy, or apathy, for that matter.

Facebook Live could have helped me fight cops’ moral policing
Fri, Feb 24, 2017

Vishnu Vichu's facebook live video of two cops morally policing him and his girlfriend, marks a new chapter in journalism in India. Not only does facebook live function as a distress signal for the citizens, but through it Vichu also assumed the role of a citizen journalist

Dear CBFC, the idea of women having sexual fantasies shouldn’t seem alien to you
Fri, Feb 24, 2017

In the 21st century, films which are bold, provocative and re-sculpting the language of Indian cinema should be welcomed with open arms, not suppressed.

Making profits through unnecessary Caesareans: The dark underbelly of India’s healthcare industry
Thu, Feb 23, 2017

In this country, where conversations regarding women and their concerns are often eclipsed, there is alarming rise in the number of caesareans, feeding the healthcare industry's money-making agenda

Health Ministry’s kit for adolescents marks a paradigm shift for a relatively conservative govt
Wed, Feb 22, 2017

Educational institutes in India have gained a notoriety for upholding and disseminating archaic ideologies pertaining to gender roles, relationships and gender identities. The Health Ministry's kit challenges these very social norms and taboos.

Can we have a mayoral committee govern our cities?
Tue, Feb 21, 2017

Last year, the debate of having a Mayoral committee entered public discourse, when Shashi Tharoor introduced it into the Parliament as a private member's bill.

From Tata Tea to Titan, Indian brands are adopting a new, socially-conscious language
Tue, Feb 21, 2017

There has been a surge of beautifully crafted, intelligently told Indian advertisements that either prod us to engage in sociopolitical issues with greater furor, or address issues pertaining to gender inequality and same-sex relationships

Govt plans to restrict maternity benefit to first child only. As usual, it’s the women who suffer
Mon, Feb 20, 2017

One could argue that this step would reflect better in population control. Would it though? Or would just make it far worse for pregnant women who desperately need financial assistance?

Smriti Irani’s latest attack on Priyanka Gandhi only ends up amplifying her importance in UP elections
Fri, Feb 17, 2017

While Irani's effort to drag Priyanka into a petty political battle may be deemed as petulant behavior, all eyes are currently on Priyanka who is campaigning in Raebareli

After two ceremonies and a funeral, can we please move on Tamil Nadu’s sake
Thu, Feb 16, 2017

In the last two months, Tamil Nadu has dominated the media attention. In the last two months, there have been two swearing in ceremonies, a funeral and a prison sentence; there has been Cyclone Vardah and the Jallikattu fiasco. Perhaps it's time to finally move on.

MNS mantra: If you engage in gunda-gardi, you will be rewarded
Thu, Feb 16, 2017

The MNS nominates the wives of two party members who participated in wrecking havoc before the release of Ae Dil Hai Muskhil. In doing so, it conveys that those who participate in gunda-gardi will be rewarded, directly or indirectly.

ISRO shows why we have to invest more on innovative institutions
Thu, Feb 16, 2017

Consider this to be a swift boost for the Indian morale to stratospheric levels. With its 35th successful PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle ) mission, this is a proud moment for India – its homegrown space agency has successfully transcended the records established by Russia and the United States.

Patriotism cannot be taught nor enforced: After cinema halls, is the national anthem compulsory in theater halls as well?
Tue, Feb 14, 2017

Can we explicitly convey our sense of patriotism? Can we express how emotionally bound we are to our country?

Table for One and a Glass of Wine
Tue, Feb 14, 2017

Valentine's Day has the proclivity to be more awkward than romantic – most of the time. Everyone is running on high expectations. Everyone is high-strung. At the same time, they are squirming with anxiety, uncertain whether they can “deliver” in equal measure.

Dear Suresh Prabhu, here are a few ideas for improving train travel conditions for the differently-abled
Sat, Feb 11, 2017

In a response to a petition backed by 82,000 supporters to improve the railway facilities for disabled people, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu asked the public for ideas. And we came up with a list.

‘The coolie groped me while carrying me into train’: This woman’s story is something Suresh Prabhu can’t ignore
Fri, Feb 10, 2017

Since the Indian railways aren't disabled-friendly, Virali Modi has been dependent on porters to board the train. She was manhandled by them on three separate occasions.

Samajwadi Party’s manifesto wants to empower women, but its scheme ends up helping men more
Wed, Feb 08, 2017

The party's Programme for Women Empowerment features a pledge that if voted to power the party would offer Rs. 2 lakhs to men who marry disabled or widowed women. It's an incentive to marry primarily for monetary reasons -- and that's a cause for concern