Tora Agarwala

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

Articles By Tora Agarwala

Former ULFA militant pulls the trigger on change… with love, brotherhood and honesty

Once a cadre of the ULFA’s most dreaded battalion, today Moni Manik Gogoi is still waging a battle. But this time around he has a different set of weapons.

Jungle book: First person accounts that retrace history of an Arunachal Pradesh forest

A writer and an illustrator pair up to create ‘The Eaglenest Memory Project’, a book that tells the story of a forest and its people through warm personal accounts of its residents.

From Xotphool to Xomidhgos, Assam teacher wins Union ministry award for his garden of indigenous flora

In Lakhimpur, a retired professor is nurturing varieties of rare, indigenous plants to save them from extinction. This month the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare will honour this feat.

For the 19,06,657 excluded, now a legal aid App to help contest NRC list

NRC eHandbook, available on Google Playstore, will act as a reference guide not just for lawyers and paralegals but even for journalists or researchers, who want to understand the NRC process.

In Assam, anganwadi kids get a taste of diverse food and cultures

A weekly initiative, the Dibbi Adaan Pradaan in Assam’s Hailakandi district, is a tiffin box exchange programme aiming to promote not just better nutrition but a diversification of food palettes among rural children

On Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary, telling his story in six languages from the Northeast

A children's book on the life of Mahatma Gandhi has been translated into six languages from the Northeast — Adi, Apatani, Miju-Mishmi, Nocte, Nyishi (Arunachal Pradesh) and Bodo (Assam).

This Naamghar in Assam’s Jorhat marked an epochal moment in Mahatma Gandhi’s fight against untouchability

In 1934, Mahatma Gandhi ceremonially threw open the doors of a Brahmin family’s Naamghar to the Harijans — a landmark development in his fight to abolish untouchability.

#PositiveNagaland | An empowerment initiative gives Naga youth another chance

Launched in 2006, Youthnet has changed the lives of close to one lakh youngsters, helping them seek employment in a state grappling with one of independent India’s longest-running insurgencies.

‘We underestimate our audience’: Rima Das on her latest film, Bulbul Can Sing

Rima Das speaks on Bulbul Can Sing, and her penchant for rawness, be it her actors or the characters they play

In Assam’s Karbi Anglong, an ancient funeral epic — twice the length of Homer’s Iliad — is being recorded for the first time

Performed from memory, the Kecharhe Alun is a significant death ritual of Assam’s Karbi tribe. The oral epic has never been properly studied, recorded, or documented — until now.

In Kohima Village, an octogenarian is preserving a treasure trove from World War II 

The war is long over. The memories are long gone. But in an annexe built in an octogenarian’s home in Nagaland's Kohima Village lies The Little Museum of The  Great War — filled with relics from one of the fiercest battles of World War II.

‘We need to talk about our bodies’: 22-year-old Naga girl wins Gates Foundation initiative

22-year-old Sekulu Nyekha from Nagaland is among 40 winners selected for an initiative by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to raise awareness about family planning and reproductive health around the world.

Mamata’r Sithi: One of Assam’s most loved poems set to get reel rebirth

From recitations in auditoriums of schools and colleges across Assam to a full-length feature film next year, the journey of Hem Barua's Mamata'r Sithi, one of Assam's most loved poems.

Project Borgeet: Syncing Assam’s 600-year-old songs to the symphonic orchestra

A young musician has led Assam's 600-year-old Borgeet to be recorded by the Macedonian Symphonic Orchestra, in an initiative that is first of its kind and scale.

NRC Final List: ‘Thought India was safe?’ Anger abounds in a Hindu settlement of Assam’s Barak Valley

In a Hindu Bengali settlement of migrants just outside Silchar city, many residents failed to figure in the final NRC. "Why are we getting involved in this mess? We are Hindus,” says a resident.

Helping schools in remote, conflict-ridden areas of Manipur teach new lessons in peace

A retired Army colonel and his trusted team are building a network of schools and hostels to promote peace and education in the remotest, most strife-torn parts of Northeast India

Assam’s NRC final list released: Questions, despair, and a man with a bag of papers

In Brahmaputra Valley, a large number of Bengal-origin Muslims might be among the excluded; in Barak, Bengali Hindus could comprise a large chunk.

Final NRC: 40 years of hanging on to a driving licence… ‘now this’

As Das stood dispondent, a bystander sympathised, “Maha shomshya (What a big mess).”

Final NRC: ‘I don’t know what to do… will anyone give me a job?’

An SC bench of Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Sanjiv Khanna had ordered on May 10 that “declared foreigners” who had spent more than three years in Assam’s detention camps could secure conditional release on the fulfilment of certain conditions.

Man behind NRC petition: ‘Intention was never to throw these people out’

Till date, Pradip Kumar Bhuyan, a 1958 IIT-Kharagpur graduate has kept away from the media, refusing interview requests and questions on the issue. Despite that, in Assam, many are of the opinion that without Bhuyan, there would not have been an NRC.

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