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  • The Caravan

    Blending Out

    IN THE SUMMER OF 2019, when Salman Toor ushered me into his studio in Bushwick, a neighbourhood in New York City's borough of Brooklyn, a tiny section of his wall caught my eye. There, he had pinned a disparate collection of references for paintings he was working on for his India debut, in December, at Delhi's Nature Morte gallery. I Know a Place, the title of the Pakistani artist's exhibition, depicts a surreptitious utterance...

    • 15 hrs ago
  • The Caravan

    Closed Ranks

    DAVID C MULFORD, then the US ambassador to India, sent a confidential cable to Washington, DC in 2005, titled, 'Socioeconomic Future of Indian Dalits Remains Bleak.' This was a status note on the condition of Dalits in the country. Ram Nath Kovind, the current president of India but then a Bharatiya Janata Party MP from Uttar Pradesh, was interviewed by American diplomats, and told them that open discrimination against Dalits had...

    • 15 hrs ago
  • The Caravan

    Underlying Conditions

    The global coronavirus crisis has been called many things: a pandemic, an unprecedented crisis, a re-run of sorts of the Spanish flu's decimation of the human population just over a century ago. In India, from the eyes of anyone who studies public health, it is also a catastrophe that has been in the making for decades, perhaps since as far back as Independence. In weeks of reporting since India saw its first COVID-19...

    • a week ago
  • The Caravan

    A Numbers Game

    The annual budget, presented by the finance minister, is one of the most awaited government documents every year. Seen as a statement of account of the nation-it spells out how the government intends to mobilise resources and spend public money-these documents show the economic priorities and the agenda of the government. Unlike many other government documents, budgets are presented to the parliament, debated and voted upon, and...

    • 4 weeks ago
  • The Caravan

    Beneath The Uniform

    THE PRESIDENT'S BODYGUARD—a unit of the Indian Army—is considered one of the most prestigious postings within the armed forces. In 2018, one Gaurav Yadav from Haryana's Revari district filed a public-interest litigation in the Delhi High Court, alleging that the recruitment policy of the President's Bodyguard discriminated by caste. The unit, as Yadav correctly pointed out, only recruits from three...

    • 4 weeks ago
  • The Caravan

    Rank Injustice

    ON 12 JANUARY 2017, three days before Army Day, Lance Naik Yagya Pratap Singh, then posted with the Forty-Second Infantry Brigade of the Indian Army, in Dehradun, uploaded a video on Facebook. It soon went viral, and was picked up by news channels. The mobile-phone footage showed the soldier in camouflage fatigues, facing the camera with squared shoulders, his image blurry but his voice sharp and clear. In June the previous year,...

    • 4 weeks ago
  • The Caravan

    Delhi Violence

    6 March 2020 5.15 pm: #DelhiViolence | UPDATE: The death toll has risen to 53. Officials from four hospitals-Jag Parvesh Chander, Lok Nayak Jai Prakash, Ram Manohar Lohia and Guru Tegh Bahadur-have confirmed that a total of one, three, five and 44 persons, respectively, have died at these hospitals. 5.15 pm: #DelhiViolence | UPDATE: Death toll at GTB hospital has reached 44, according to Sunil Kumar, the hospital's...

    • a month ago
  • The Caravan

    Stepsons of the Soil

    EXACTLY A YEAR AGO,in one the deadliest militant attacks in Kashmir, a suicide bomber drove a car filled with explosives into a convoy of the Central Reserve Police Force, on the Jammu-Srinagar highway in Pulwama, killing 49 security personnel. The incident invigorated the reelection campaign of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Bharatiya Janata Party, which began using national security as its primary plank for the...

    • 2 months ago
  • The Caravan

    The Graveyard Talks Back

    This is the text of the 2020 Clark Lecture in English Literature, instituted by Trinity College, Cambridge. Arundhati Roy is the first Indian writer invited to deliver it. Thank you for inviting me to deliver this, the Clark Lecture, now in its one hundred and thirty-second year. When I received the invitation, I scrolled down the list of previous speakers, the many "Sirs" and Sir-sounding names who have...

    • 2 months ago
  • The Caravan

    House of Horrors

    On 8 January, the Central Bureau of Investigation told the Supreme Court that it had found no evidence of murders being committed at the Muzaffarpur shelter-home and that all the '35 girls were alive.' The Caravan's ongoing investigation of the case has revealed that at several stages of the inquiry there is significant variation in the total number of minors involved in the case. All the government and court...

    • 2 months ago

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