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  • The Caravan

    The Apostle of Hate

    SHORTLY BEFORE HIS EXECUTION, in the early hours of 15 November 1949, Nathuram Vinayak Godse, the Hindu-supremacist fanatic who killed Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi on 30 January 1948, recited a prayer: O affectionate motherland, I eternally bow to youO land of Hindus, you have reared me in comfortO sacred and holy land,May this body of mine be dedicated to you and I bow before you again and again! Namaste Sada Vatsale...

    • 3 weeks ago
  • The Caravan

    Drawing the White Curtain

    LAST YEAR, during what locals were touting as the coldest winter in 12 years, I made a visit to Srinagar. Despite it being the tail end of chillai kalan-the period from late December to the end of January, the coldest and harshest part of the season-the city received a fresh fall of snow. Winter in Kashmir has three stages. Chillai kalan gives way to chillai khurd and eventually to chillai bache-bache means...

    • 3 weeks ago
  • The Caravan

    Fighting for a Future

    Hong Kong erupted in large-scale protests in June 2019, and there are no signs yet of them slowing down. The immediate trigger was a proposed change to extradition laws, but the demands of the protestors over the past seven months have grown wider, presenting foundational challenges to the political life of the territory. Hong Kong was a colony of the British Empire until 1997, when it was returned to China after 155 years....

    • 3 weeks ago
  • The Caravan

    Lands of the Gods

    The decades-old Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi case has come to be the most intractable property dispute of our times. Most reports locate the starting point of the conflict at 1949, when Hindu idols were surreptitiously placed under the central dome of the Babri Masjid in the dead of the night. Years later, in 1984, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad started the Ram Janmabhoomi movement, mobilising Hindus across the country to build a...

    • 3 weeks ago
  • The Caravan

    Alpha and Beta

    One morning in December, Hemant Soren stepped out of his father's house in Jharkhand's Dumka district, dressed in a brown kurta and white pyjamas, to address a series of election rallies in the rural areas of Santhal Pargana. While speaking with women tribal volunteers, Hemant suddenly remembered that he had forgotten his gamcha-a red and white scarf-and went back inside to get it. He returned with the gamcha, and with...

    • 3 weeks ago
  • The Caravan

    The Tyrant of Unnao

    ON 16 DECEMBER-a day that has come to be associated with the 2012 gangrape of a young physiotherapy student in Delhi-a trial court in Delhi announced verdict in another case of rape, by a former Bharatiya Janata Party leader. The court convicted Kuldeep Singh Sengar, a member of the Uttar Pradesh legislative assembly, for rape and intimidation of a minor. Sengar was convicted under various sections of the Indian Penal Code...

    • 4 weeks ago
  • The Caravan

    Resist to Exist

    This third chapter of "Resist to Exist"-a Caravan Originals video series on Kashmir-takes us through the struggle of women dealing with the arbitrary arrests of their family members in the Valley. "They just come pick up children," Sumaira Bilal, a resident of downtown Srinagar, whose husband has been imprisoned for over four months, said. "Then, when those children come out on the roads with stones in...

    • a month ago
  • The Caravan

    Block List

    On 14 October, I logged in to find that Facebook had disabled my account "permanently." This is the highest level of prohibitory action taken by the platform against a user. I had received no warning, so I wondered if it might be a technical glitch. I asked my friend to look for my page but they texted back: "it is eerie all trace of you is gone." I went through the now familiar ritual-I have been suspended once...

    • 2 months ago
  • The Caravan

    The Ministry of Truth

    On 24 October, amendments made a few months earlier by the central government to the Right to Information Act, 2005 came into effect. These changes have severely compromised the independence of the commission-among other distressing alterations to the act are provisions that give the government power over deciding the tenure, salary and dismissal of information commissioners. When the RTI Act was passed, 14 years ago, it...

    • 2 months ago
  • The Caravan

    Manufacturing Normalcy

    ON 9 AUGUST, the last Friday before Eid-ul-Adha, thousands gathered in the streets of Soura, a neighbourhood in Srinagar, for a massive protest against the Indian state. Four days earlier, the home minister, Amit Shah, had announced the effective abrogation of Article 370 in the Constitution, which had provided Jammu and Kashmir a special status that allowed the state to have its own separate constitution and state flag....

    • 2 months ago

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