Tora Agarwala

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

Articles By Tora Agarwala

‘Foreigners’, friends: Lost narratives from Assam’s several citizenship determination processes

In Assam’s several citizenship determination processes, some narratives are lost — like that of the Gorkhas, despite a notification declaring them as Indians. And like that of Tara and Maya, now forever bound by two months together at a detention centre

Crying Keelback: Guwahati researcher finds new snake in Arunachal, says there could be many more lurking in bushes

The name might sound melancholic but the discovery of the Crying Keelback snake or the Hebius lacrima in Arunachal Pradesh’s Lepa-Rada district is the cause of much cheer in the oft-ignored field of herpetology in the Northeast.

After viral video, Assam rapper asks: ‘If artistes don’t question govt, who will?’

With the Citizenship Bill likely to be passed soon, 24-year-old rapper from Assam Rahul Rajkhowa is worried about the future of his state. Last week, he wrote a song about it.

Manipur journalist Kishorechandra Wangkhem in jail under NSA, wife wages a lone battle

Ever since Wangkhem's arrest, Elangbam Ranjita has been rallying support for her husband: meeting with lawyers, appearing at court hearings, familiarising herself with the law, speaking at protests while shielding her two young daughters from the answer to a question they frequently ask, “Where is my papa? Why has he gone away for so long?”

How the Assamese are saving orchids through social media and cultivation

In India, there are 1331 species of orchids, found in the Eastern Himalayas including Northeast region, Western Ghats, and eastern part of western Himalayas.

‘No place for hindutva’: Manipur musician pens song against Citizenship Bill

The two-and-a-half-minute long video — a compilation of footage from the various protests and rallies against the Bill — is directed at the ruling-BJP government, condemning the party’s “atrocities” and “Hindutva propaganda”

War of the Orchids: how a few Assamese are battling to save a flower through social media and paper documents

A group of men and women in Assam are fighting to save a flower — by growing it in their backyards, bonding over it on Whatsapp and a month ago, formally grouping into a society for its conservation

Akhu Chingangbam on his new album, and travelling to Bangladesh

Akhu Chingangbam follows an ancient trail from Manipur to Bangladesh and returns with an album that reflects on journeys, both personal and political

Bobby, the Guwahati Zoo’s new star, is a six-year plan’s biggest success

Bobby — who still clings to her mother Lovely — is now a little over a month-old and the first success of the Golden Langur Conservation Breeding Programme at the Guwahati Zoo.

Meet Assam’s Padma Shri winners: surgeon Illias Ali and innovator Uddhab Bharali

From Assam, surgeon Dr Ilias Ali and grassroots innovator Uddhab Kumar Bharali have been conferred with the Padma Shri award. They share their thoughts on receiving the award.

Assam’s Bojro Ninaad: Citizenship Bill protest brings out the young and old, as well as memories of past

While AASU said that there were “definitely more than 10,000 people” at the protest, BJP state president Ranjit Dass dismissed the entire event as a “token programme".

Xilpi’r Xonkolpo: Zubeen Garg leads artiste protests against Citizenship Bill

The singer announced that he will be releasing his new song, “Politics nokoriba bandhu (Don’t do politics, my friend)” composed specifically to describe the BJP’s political agenda with regard to the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 

World’s tallest Durga idol was made in Assam by a Muslim artisan

"Artistes do not have any religion," says Guwahati-based Nuruddin Ahmed, whose 98-feet-tall Durga idol made it to the Limca Book Records 2019.

Assam cartoonist faces backlash for anti-Citizenship Bill cartoons

Since December 31, Rajbongshi, has shared seven of his cartoons against the contentious Bill which seeks to grant citizenship to non-Muslim minority communities from three neighbouring countries.

Northeast shutdown: Roads blocked, properties destroyed as protests over Citizenship Bill turn violent

Along with clearing the Bill, prime minister Narendra Modi led Cabinet also approved to grant the long-standing demand of Scheduled Tribe status to indigenous communities of the state.

Citizenship Amendment Bill: northeast unifies for bandh for the first time

In protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, the entire Northeast is observing an 11-hour bandh on Tuesday from 5 am to 4 pm.

The last grain: Assam NGO cooks a perfect recipe to revive moynagiri rice

Till the 1990s, moynagiri rice — an indigenous rice variety of lower Assam known for its exceptional taste and medicinal properties — was found abundantly, before it started disappearing. An organisation is now trying to get it back in business

Tiptop is Open

He lost a year of his life, and much more, when he was wrongfully declared a ‘foreigner’ in Assam. Can this carpenter from Bongaigaon make something of a second chance?

Express Rewind: Assamese cinema and the murmurs of a comeback

After years of being in the shade, Assamese cinema came under the spotlight in 2018 courtesy Rima Das’s Village Rockstars. As a new guard — a bunch of young and largely self-taught filmmakers — takes over its mantle, what does it mean for the 83-year-old Assamese film industry?

Taught in Translation: How a small network of people brings the outside world into Mizo homes

In the homogenous world of Mizo television, everyone from Prerna in Ekta Kapoor’s Kasautii Zindagii Kay to Elsa in Disney’s Frozen speaks fluent Mizo. But behind this vernacular crossover is a network of people: translators, dubbing artistes and editors. This is how they do it.