Tora Agarwala

Tora covers the Northeast for The Indian Express. Follow her on Instagram  and Twitter @toramatix

Articles By Tora Agarwala

Meet Banwang Losu, Arunachal man who scripted history by creating new alphabet for ancient tribal language

What started as a school boy’s project turned into a landmark event in the history of the Wancho tribe in Arunachal Pradesh: an independent script for their language that now has a place in the Unicode.

Pangchenpa, Garo and Sherdukpen: Winning at the National Awards, little-known languages from the Northeast

How National Awards for films in Pangchenpa and Sherdukpen — dialects that have speakers as few as 4,000 — is more than just a certificate of recognition, but a step towards language preservation too.

NRC in Assam: 39-year-old in jail, family traces Bihar links, asks how ‘Sah’ a Bangladeshi

While figures are not public, maximum exclusions from the NRC are believed to be from the Bengali community (both Muslims and Hindus). Cases like Amila's have slipped unnoticed through the cracks, even as the deadline for the final NRC list, August 31, draws near.

Call Me By My Name: How the ‘Miyas’ of Assam are re-appropriating the slur

They are young, full of dreams, and are calling themselves the ‘Miyas’ of Assam. What does poetry, identity and the NRC offer them?

Assam Floods: How a college turned into a jail overnight

As 80% of Assam was inundated, so was Dhubri District Jail. That meant turning a college into a jail in a couple of hours, escorting 409 prisoners through rising waters to it, in a town under a total blackout, and ensuring no one escaped

Nestled in Assam’s hills, a tree that spouts deep red dragon blood

This is the first-ever sighting of the Dracaena cambodiana or the 'dragon tree' in India: a shrub-like plant that yields a deep red resin, high in medicinal value

Explained: Why Supreme Court extended deadline to publish final NRC

In Assam, the NRC was first prepared in 1951 -- the current exercise is a bid to update the 1951 register, and in the process, determine who is a legal Indian citizen based on a cut-off date: March 24, 1971.

Explained: Why Assam is prone to floods, and what the solution is

A look at why Assam has traditionally been flood-prone, what measures have been taken over the years, and what has been proposed as a long-term solution.

This comedian has a message about the Assam floods — but it’s no joke

According to the latest reports, more than 52 lakh have been affected in almost all 33 districts of the state. “But you guys don’t know about it, right? The media has better things to do.” says Mishra, in the eight-minute long clip.

NRC deadline approaching, families stranded in Assam floods stay home, don’t want to be rescued

In minority-dominated areas of Assam, home and land are tangible markers of identity in a state that is days away from the July 31 deadline for publication of the final National Register of Citizens (NRC).

Assam floods leave seven dead, Shah takes stock

Around 14 lakh people across 25 districts in the state have been affected by the floods.

Assam floods: Hog deer killed while seeking refuge in Kaziranga

As heavy rains continue to lash and leave 25 districts reeling in Assam, Section 144 was imposed around the vicinity of the Park, 90 per cent of which is currently submerged.

Landslides kill two sleeping 10-year-old girls in Arunachal Pradesh school hostel

Around 3.30 am on Thursday, a portion of one of the hostel buildings collapsed, burying the victims in their sleep. The victims, two 10-year-olds — Rhinchin Lhamu and Genden Wangmu — were students of Class V and VI, respectively.

Among those still missing in NRC, son of freedom fighter and Assam agitation participant

Bordoloi’s family was excluded from the list ever since the first draft was published on the midnight of December 31 last year.

In Assam, a 14-feet-long King cobra rescued from a tea garden

While the King cobra is found in Assam and across the Northeast, the Friday rescue is noteworthy because of its size.

In Kaziranga, now a special force to protect the one-horned rhino

The Special Rhino Protection Force, which consists of 74 men and eight women, underwent 43 weeks of training and is currently deployed across the Kaziranga National Park.

Music taps the flow of film on Assam chars, its fisherman and farmers

Nodir Kul Nai tells the trials and tribulations of a group of ordinary river-folk in Assam — farmers and fishermen by day, musicians by night

Move to transport Assam elephants to Gujarat suspended

The fresh order has come a day after an expert veterinary committee said that there was "every possibility of a heatstroke" the elephants could suffer, in case the transport was permitted

How a chance rescue in Arunachal Pradesh led to the discovery of a new tortoise species

The first-ever sighting of the elusive Manouria impressa or Impressed Tortoise in an Arunachal Pradesh forest will give a boost to the field of turtle conservation in Northeast India.

A new Bodo film tells the story of Assam’s bloody past

In the deeply personal Jwlwi-The Seed, filmmaker-actor Rajni Basumatary, manages to tell the story of not one but a thousand families, who grew up amidst the violent insurgencies of Northeast India