Irena Akbar

Irena Akbar is a Lucknow-based entrepreneur and a former journalist with The Indian Express.

Articles By Irena Akbar

Secularism is no spectacle: Inclusive India shines through simple, everyday interactions

An increasingly majoritarian India, though, seeks to complicate secularism, and burden minorities, especially Muslims, to prove their inclusiveness.

Many Muslims have exhausted their capacity to feel fear

Alienating Muslims, of course, has only been an appendage to the government’s larger project of developing a misplaced sense of Hindu pride - one that depends on the demonisation of Muslims.

Let Them Eat Cake, and, Biryani, Too

There are ways of returning to one’s roots while blending in. Tweaking the cake and yakhni pulao are some.

Why this liberal Muslim refuses to be patronised by the liberal Hindu

Comparison of the burka, a symbol of a besieged minority, with the trishul, a symbol of aggressive majoritarianism is callous and insensitive.

Inside the mind of the Indian Muslim

Cornered and demonised, the Indian Muslim struggles between fear and hope. The Indian Muslim is dealing with a silent, undeclared psychological war that the State has unleashed on it.

Bring on the burkinis: France unleashing its own brand of misogyny-cum-racism

In colonial India too, British missionaries campaigned against the “revealing” sari, urged Indian women to “cover up” and “delivered” them from evils such as sati.

A ‘love jihad’ ends in peace for couple but many others feel wounded for life

A year later, the love jihad story has fallen flat: the woman and the man, Kaleem, are living together at an undisclosed location in Meerut and are set to get married.

‘Like Lalu steals fodder, people think, the poor Bihari will steal petty cash’

In August 2004, Kunal left Sahrara, his village in Daraunda, Siwan district of Bihar, for Delhi with Rs 10,000 in hand.

Her diary: A day in the life of a cow in Noida, Uttar Pradesh

She is now the subject of intense debates and analyses. But this red-skinned bovine with a snipped off tail isn’t listening. She is just eating – at garbage dumps, at the homes of villagers.

25 years of Mandal protests- I had no idea what reservation was: Self-immolation survivor Atul Aggarwal

Aggarwal was then a 12-year-old Class VII student and “had no idea” what reservation was. “It had something to do with child psychology,” he says, sitting in his one-room flat in Noida.

Going school-to-school to sensitise children on abuse, harassment

Most complaints are generic — of shopkeepers passing lewd comments when the girls walk back home or go for tuitions.

2006 Meerut fire accident: ‘If my mother is not dead, why can’t they find her?’

It took 20 hearings for the lower court to declare Tayal’s mother dead...the district adminis-tration has appealed against the decision.

19 years of protest: The longest one-man dharna

Singh's demand: Return 4,000 bighas of land in his village Chausana, in Shamli district, UP, from the mafia to the government, so that it can be used for the benefit of the villagers.

‘Burqa rapper’ Sofia Ashraf is face of viral Nicky Minaj parody video

Ashraf now looks forward to writing content for digital media and television, and rapping on the side whenever she gets a project she believes in.

‘Indian’ Kalam and ‘Muslim’ Memon

One was the people's president, the architect of our nuclear programme, and the other was a 'blood-thirsty terrorist' who financed his brother's sinister plans to bomb Mumbai.

A book in hand or size of top?

The bigger question is whether there should be any uniform or dress code at all. Should there be any restrictions whatsoever on what one should wear or not to college?

‘Either Allah cures them or takes them back’

Tabassum and Mohammed Nazir tell Irena Akbar why they want mercy killing for their six children, suffering from a rare neurological disorder

Muzaffarnagar: Village debates a ‘love story’, two deaths

They were going around for five-six years. Everyone knew it. And so did their families, says one of the villager.

Old head on new body

Italian neurosurgeon Sergio Canavero is set to perform the world’s first head transplant — on 30-year-old Russian Valery Spridinov (inset), who suffers from a genetic muscle-wasting disease.

‘Finding’ the ‘lost’ Urdu: But did the language ever really go away?

What has been dying is not the language, but the credit given to the language.