Neha Banka

Neha Banka is a journalist based in Kolkata and writes about Asia, women’s rights, religion and culture.

Articles By Neha Banka

Explained: What is the Mid-Autumn Festival all about and how is it celebrated?

The Mid-Autumn Festival is an important celebration across East Asian and Southeast Asian countries, particularly those that have Chinese communities.

Failed Rohingya repatriation from Bangladesh to Myanmar: A status check

Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh refused to board buses that would have taken them to Mynamar. This resulted in Myanmar missing the August 2019 target for repatriation.

Explained: How Juventus FC signed a North Korean football player to play on its under-23 team

Playing for Juventus would give Han a bigger platform and a larger paycheck, despite details of the payment not being made public.

Explained: Why Donald Trump’s reversal of light bulbs standards is a blow for environment

The rollback of the rule — originally enacted during the presidency of George Bush and finalised by Barack Obama — was welcomed by the US energy industry but criticised by environment groups.

Explained: Was Enid Blyton racist and sexist? Royal Mint thinks so, scholars debate

The UK Royal Mint believed that featuring author Enid Blyton on the coin would result in a backlash due to the author’s “racist, sexist and homophobic views”.

Explained: Why Chinese celebrities are promoting China’s stance on Hong Kong protests

Over the past few weeks, celebrities have been posting pro-China images, messages and music on their personal social media accounts that has in turn been promoted by Chinese government-backed media outlets.

International Day for Remembrance of the Slave Trade and Abolition: how it tells stories of Indian indentured labourers

Indentured servitude from India started in 1834 and lasted up till 1922, despite having been officially banned in 1917 by British India’s Imperial Legislative Council after pressure from freedom fighters like Mahatma Gandhi.

Explained: Why Amazon fires are worrying

Man-made fires in the world’s largest rainforest have sent smoke to populated cities and the Atlantic coast. Why does it bring focus on President Bolsonaro’s policies? What impact can it have on the environment?

Explained: Why West Papuans are holding violent protests against Indonesian govt

On August 17, reports emerged accusing West Papuan students in Surabaya of allegedly throwing the Indonesian national flag into the sewer. As soon as reports of this alleged incident began circulating, Indonesian authorities raided the university, threw tear gas into dormitories and took 43 people into custody.

Explained: How Bauhaus design school influenced global art, architecture and design

Bauhaus was founded on principles of how design could be used to serve people and transform society. The aftermath of WWI left Germany in ruins and emerging nationalist groups called for nation-building by returning to traditional roots and values, impacting post-war Germany in various ways.

In West Bengal, some villages celebrate Independence Day after August 15; here’s why

The village of Ratua in the district of Malda and the village of Balurghat in Dakshin Dinajpur district are two other towns that celebrate independence day after August 15.

Kolkata: Five spots linked to the freedom struggle you must know about

A fitness club that was actually an underground society for anti-British revolutionaries, a tea and toast shop where freedom fighters would gather. Some forgotten buildings that remember Kolkata's glorious past.

Tamil Nadu: Owner of Korean guesthouse abuses Indian workers, booked

In a copy of the FIR obtained by, Kito Zhimomi, one of the four employees of the guest house, filed a complaint against Won under IPC Section 294 (b).

Explained: As Boko Haram completes a decade, the history of this Nigerian terror group

The group, officially called Jama’a Ahl as-Sunna Li-da’wa wa-al Jihad, is more commonly known as Boko Haram, a nickname given by the country’s local Hausa-speaking population, because of its rejection of Western education and culture.

Explained: Why Lebanese rock band Mashrou’ Leila’s concert has been silenced by church groups

The four-member band was scheduled to perform on August 9 to mark the group’s 10th anniversary, but they decided to cancel the show following online threats to stop the performance.

Explained: Why Singapore blocked a satirical rap video by two artists of Indian ethnicity

The video produced by the Nairs called ‘K. Muthusamy’, after the name given to the Indian character in the Nets advertisement, is a criticism of racial disparities in Singapore and is full of expletives.

Documenting Kolkata’s architectural heritage, one Instagram post at a time

In Kolkata, every building tells a story. The story of the city's past, of the many communities that call it home. As redevelopment sweeps history aside, these Instagram accounts are preserving bits of it.

Explained: UNSC Resolution 47 on Kashmir

What is the UN Security Council resolution 47 on Kashmir, and what did the United Nations ask India and Pakistan to do. The Indian Express explains

Explained: What happened in El Paso and Dayton and what it shows about history of gun culture in US

The Second Amendment of the US constitution states that “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed,” making gun ownership in the US a constitutional right.

Explained: The assault case against rapper A$AP Rocky, and the US govt’s curious interest

Video footage published by the tabloid Aftonbladet appeared to show Rocky and his associates fighting with two men. As the video circulated, clips were posted on A$AP Rocky’s Instagram account showing a security guard telling locals to stop following the artist.