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Thursday, November 26, 2020



The author is a journalist working with The Indian Express

In Bihar’s Chhapra, street plays are making voters laugh – and think
Wed, Oct 28, 2020

In an election campaign dominated by songs and videos on social media, a small group in the land of legendary poet Bhikhari Thakur is sticking to nukkad naataks.

Tale of two Delhi Ramlilas: One that went ahead, one where Covid took centrestage
Wed, Oct 28, 2020

For the Shriram Bharatiya Kala Kendra, this year’s Ramlila was a determined leap of faith. For Mehrauli’s Classic Ramlila, the pandemic’s pressures proved too much.

The curious case of caste in Bhojpuri cinema
Sun, Oct 11, 2020

Like much of Bihar, the modern Bhojpuri cinema is shaped by caste, and is yet unable to tackle it head-on.

Avni Doshi makes it to Booker shortlist: 3 reasons why you should read her Girl in White Cotton
Wed, Sep 16, 2020

Here are three reasons you should not miss out on Girl in White Cotton.

Cisgender, agender, bigender, genderqueer: What are these terms, and why do they matter
Thu, Sep 03, 2020

Several gender identifiers are in use – Facebook offers over 60 to choose from. Why do we need so many terms? Is the profusion actually muddling up the message they seek to convey?

Beyond the juloos: How Muharram is observed, what is its message
Mon, Aug 31, 2020

What are the traditions associated with Muharram? What is their significance?

Math lessons from Kashmir: Large group of students + social distancing = open air classrooms
Sun, Jul 12, 2020

Students are gathering with chairs and seating mats – placed metres apart, of course — as a teacher brings their interrupted classes to Eidgah ground in Srinagar.

Sushant Singh Rajput suicide: Nepotism is bad, but wishing death on other actors won’t fix it
Tue, Jun 23, 2020

Actor Sushant Singh Rajput was struggling with mental health. The worst way to disgrace his memory is to subject others to bullying and mental harassment.

Online classes for toddlers: Kids unimpressed, parents, teachers say lot to learn
Wed, Jun 17, 2020

Is it fair to expect a 3-year-old to sit through digital lessons? How is the change impacting teachers? As Karnataka bans online classes up to Class 5 and Maharashtra considers a similar proposal, parents and educators share their experiences.

Why migrants are walking home: ‘We know of govt schemes, they won’t help’
Wed, May 20, 2020

The migrants at Ghazipur are desperate, disillusioned, and convinced they are on their own. ‘You think walking was our first choice? This is our only option,’ they say

Talking to Tablighis: ‘Nizamuddin incident distressing and unfortunate, but don’t make it a witch-hunt’
Thu, Nov 19, 2020

The Tablighis we spoke to say the COVID-19 spread is deeply distressing. "It was definitely an oversight. The managers at the markaz should have had it emptied when the first rumbles of coronavirus were heard."

Why you must not take COVID-19 lightly only because a lot of other diseases ‘kill many more people’
Sat, Mar 21, 2020

While panic over the coronavirus outbreak must always be avoided, downplaying concerns over a disease that is spreading fast, and in unpredictable ways, can have serious consequences.

Explained: What is ‘mac-binding’, the condition specified for Internet use in J&K?
Fri, Mar 06, 2020

What is mac-binding? What are the other conditions on internet usage in Jammu and Kashmir?

Unaccustomed Earth: How Afghan refugee women are working on building a new life
Fri, Feb 28, 2020

Back home, most of them had never imagined earning their own keep. In India, they are using exile as an opportunity.

Life, interrupted: Of normalcy, cricket matches and going to school in Kashmir
Tue, Feb 25, 2020

Just like you and me, Kashmiris want to study, work, get on with their lives. But the complex realities of the state have made an ‘ordinary life’ out of reach for most ordinary people.

Innovation in times of internet ban: A Kashmiri boy’s journey to the Indian Science Congress
Mon, Feb 24, 2020

Numair Wani and his friends have created an anti-pollution device that makes smoke from Srinagar’s hamams less toxic.

At Srinagar’s Sharika Devi temple: ‘Pandits were driven out, but those who stayed, survived thanks to Muslims’
Sun, Mar 01, 2020

Near Srinagar’s Hari Parbat, both Hindus and Muslims mourn a city changed forever, a home they all lost. Both say “some forces” made ordinary people from the two communities fear each other.

Kashmir’s Pari Mahal: A palace that isn’t, built by a king who wasn’t
Thu, Feb 20, 2020

Tucked away on the Zabarwan range in Srinagar is a spiritual retreat – and a story of what Prince Dara Shukoh did one summer.

Shaheen Bagh on results day: Silent protest, loud message
Fri, Feb 14, 2020

At Shaheen Bagh, placards all around announced the results day would see a silent protest. "Our protest is beyond one election. Words can be twisted. We won't allow either the winners or the losers to manipulate us," a protester said.  

Explained: Who was Kaka Hathrasi, the poet PM Modi quoted in Parliament
Mon, Feb 10, 2020

Hathrasi’s humour was “light, bright and sparkling”, but also razor-sharp and unsparing.

Tracing Afghans in Delhi: ‘CAA won’t help. No one wants to settle in India, there are no jobs’
Tue, Feb 04, 2020

The Afghans who have Indian citizenship say their vote will be based on ‘positive action on ground, not emotive issues’.

Explained: A sweet tale of how India imported halwa, and made it its own
Tue, May 05, 2020

'Halwa' comes from the Arabic word 'hulw', which means sweet. A dish that came in from Turkey is now served as kada prasad in Gurdwaras, is associated with the Hindu festival of Navratri, and even plays an important role in the Union budget.

Women of Shaheen Bagh have a message for PM Modi: Have Chai pe Charcha, listen to our mann ki baat
Sun, Jan 19, 2020

As part of the Tum Kab Aaoge campaign, Shaheen Bagh women penned thousands of postcards to the Prime Minister, which will be mailed to his office and residence on Monday.

Deepika at JNU: With far more to lose, Bollywood’s women have shown far more spine than its ‘heroes’
Thu, Jan 09, 2020

In Bollywood as in the world, it is the women who are smashing the status quo, at great personal risk. The actors, with far greater appeal and access, remember political causes before their movies, but then retreat to asking questions about mangoes.

Is Nithyananda’s Kailaasa a territory or a state of mind?
Tue, Dec 10, 2019

While our earthly, mundane minds could only think of land and territory, Nithyananda seems to be reviving a grand tradition that can solve the world's problems.