After deluge, scientists at top Bangalore institute count the cost

Last Friday, scientists at one of Bangalore’s top research institutes, Jawaharlal Nehru Centre for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR), we...

How Nilgiris tea redefined taste buds with fresh blends, brands

After tourism, tea is one of the major attractions in the 'Queen of Hills', The Nilgiris district in Tamil Nadu. First introduced in 1835, tea has been grown commercially from the 1850s in the hills. About 135 million kg of tea is manufactured annually from here by more than 65,000 small farmers in about 66,000 hectares. Of the 65,000 farmers...

Parallels between Surya’s ‘Jai Bhim’ and Nihalani’s arthouse ...

T J Gnanavel’s Tamil film, 'Jai Bhim', a courtroom drama, continues to hog the news for one reason or the other. Either the Vanniyar community seems hurt by certain portrayals in the film with former Union Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss dashing off a letter of protest to actor Surya, or for the accolades the film is picking up. Or, even the supp...

Photographer’s journey to get Madurai youth who lost his legs back on feet

The frenzy over football in the state, however, prompted an artist-photographer K R Sunil to revisit the deadly accident in Kuthiran in 2011, in which a 13-year-old football fan from Madurai had lost his legs. Sunil wanted to find out what happened to this teenager, whose dreams of being a footballer had been crushed.

Nonagenarian Gandhian Nayak & his spirited campaigns for a liquor ban

In 1942, days after the Quit India Movement was flagged off under Gandhiji’s leadership, like other students of Bana Bihari High school in the sleepy Kujang town of Odisha’s Jagatsinghpur district (then under undivided Cuttack district), Padmacharan Nayak, a tenth grader, stayed away from class for four months. His eyes light up as he reminisces ab...

Surya was told no fight, no love: Justice Chandru on making of ‘Jai Bhim’...

‘Jai Bhim’ is a realistic, hard-hitting portrayal of police violence that irrevocably changes the life of a happy tribal couple in Vriddhachalam in Tamil Nadu. Rajakannu (played by Manikandan), an innocent Irula tribal eking out a living as a snake catcher, is falsely implicated in a robbery case and hauled off to the police station along with two of his relatives.

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Faultlines

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‘Salim Ali Bird Count’: A rare chance to know more about our feathered fr...

Are you curious about birds and want to know their numbers in your city/town? Here’s your chance: The Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) will be celebrating the birth anniversary of ornithologist Dr Salim Ali (November 12) by holding ‘Salim Ali Bird Count’ between November 5 and 12. You don’t need to be an expert on birds to participate in th...

Webinar: Climate change: India must step up, but others have a role too

Days before the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, UK, India has said setting net zero carbon emissions targets is not the solution to climate change. A wide-ranging panel of environmental experts from around the country endorses that view, with the caveat that India can on its own take steps to limit the damage from environmental disasters. Rich ...

Tropical cyclones augur well for mangroves, but…

Tropical storms, in the last 21 years, have had an overall positive impact on the ability of mangroves in India to fix carbon dioxide, a key climate-warming greenhouse gas, says a study. Researchers at the department of geography at the University of Georgia in the United States, looked at how mangrove productivity or carbon assimilation (indica...

No phones, no data… Kerala tribe unable to watch first film in their mother tongue

It has been more than a month since Kenjira, a film in Paniya, a language spoken by the Paniya tribe, has been released on OTT, but those who belong to the scheduled tribe living in Kerala’s Wayanad and the neighbouring areas of Karnataka are unable to watch it. Many don’t have smartphones. Those who do don’t have sufficient data to watch a movie o...

One life, many trysts: Nalini Jameela’s journey from red street to red carpet

When Nalini Jameela, a sex worker, published Oru Laingikathozhilaliyude Athmakatha (The Autobiography of a Sex Worker) in 2005, the book sold like hot cakes in three months, giving her the status of a best-selling author. A revised edition and two other books followed. It was a turning point in the life of Nalini, who worked as a sex worker for ...

Weatherman says monsoon this year was normal, was it?

Aggregate numbers sometimes hide more than they reveal. On September 30, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) announced that the southwest monsoon was normal in 2021 since the country received 870 mm of rainfall between June and September. According to the department’s long-period average (LPA) calculated on rainfall data collected between ...

Durga Puja pandals reflect Bengal’s tradition to break free from dogmas

Remember the Durga idol depicted as a migrant-worker mother embarking on a journey home on foot with her children in tow, at a South Kolkata puja pandal last year? This year the deity, again depicted as migrant worker, finds herself locked in a detention camp with her children, as the puja committee, the Barisha Club in Behala, decided to come up with a sequel to their earlier thought-provoking theme to depict an ongoing crisis.

The coming out of Superman: How we got here and what it means

It’s been barely two months since DC Comics took the internet by storm when it revealed that Batman’s sidekick Tim Drake, a.k.a Robin, was actually bisexual. On Monday (October 11), the U.S-based comic industry giant has taken another bold step by announcing that Superman too will be coming out as bisexual in an upcoming November issue of the comic...

The case for ocean optimism

Yes, we’ve got an ocean of bad news. Climate change is warming and acidifying seawater, stressing or destroying coral reefs. Marine species ranging from whales to algae are endangered; overfishing is crushing many subsistence fisheries. Coastal ecosystems have been wiped out on a grand scale; key ocean currents may be faltering; mining firms are...

5 foods to smarten your brain and stave off mental decline

We all have that elderly uncle or aunt who is sharp as a whip, witty as, well, Tyrion or Jamie Lannister, and who doesn’t forget names or places or incidents. How did they manage to not just live a long healthy life but also remain mentally smart in old age? There is food for the brain that can help with that - directly impacting inflammation...

Maharashtra tribals believe ‘Waghoba’ is their saviour against animal attacks

There is no state in India which isn’t battling the challenge of man-animal conflict, posed by a multitude of factors like urbanisation and commercialization, population explosion, food security and many more. While the problem looks insurmountable, the Warli tribals of Maharashtra have shown the way towards understanding the conflict from the pers...

Demand to renegotiate Indus Water Treaty with Pakistan. Know why

A parliamentary standing committee has recently urged the Government of India to renegotiate the Indus Water Treaty (IWT) with Pakistan, as climate change and environmental impact assessment (EIA) issues are missing in the original 1960 treaty. This is the first formal attempt by India to raise questions over the basic structure of IWT, citing envi...

Viewing India’s Good, Bad & Ugly through the Bollywood lens

The ugly face of politicians, the lack of justice for the voiceless poor, the powerless judiciary or the lure of crime in urban cities - Bollywood, for all its song and dance, manages at times to reflect all these facets of Indian society and more in their movies. Sometimes, it may be over the top but the message hits home. Besides tapping into ...

Come winter, Kashmir beekeepers, with all apiary, move to Rajasthan

Erratic climate changes in Kashmir are affecting organic honey production, which has been thriving in the region in the past few years. The sudden rain, warmer winters and unpredictable storms have lead to bee mortalities and hamper production in the 70,000 bee colonies that have cropped up all over the region.This is one of the reasons many beekeepers take their precious colonies of bees and move to warmer climes like Jammu, Punjab and even further south to Rajasthan during winter months. It is an annual pilgrimage the beekeepers of Kashmir undertake to ensure they keep producing honey and generate big bucks.

Writer Ashokamitran’s son restores water body as tribute to father

Thanneer talks about the chaos of life during the first known water crisis in Madras in the late 1960s

So you thought King Cobra is a single species? Study proves otherwise

For the longest time, king cobras were considered to be a monotypic genus. This means the world’s longest venomous snakes all over the world were regarded as a single species under the genus Ophiophagus.

Giving shape to his grandfather’s dream to build another Konark Sun Temple

Mohapatra's grandson, the 24 year old Smitesh Mohapatra, has mustered up courage and seems committed to fulfill the wishes of his grandfather, the Padma Bibhushan recipient and Rajya Sabha Member to build the prestigious Adityanarayan (another name for the sun) temple. The work had come to a standstill when COVID had struck a mortal blow.

Lokame Tharavadu: Mega art event in Kerala celebrates hope & diversity

More than 3,000 art works, 267 artists, six large venues spread over 3 km and a long list of various cultural programmes. That makes up the contemporary art exhibition, ‘Lokame Tharavadu' (The world is one family), which was flagged off in the picturesque coastal town of Kerala’s Alappuzha on April 18 this year. The organisers however had to clo...

Rajasthan: Law meant to save camels is leading to its decline

Camels were once a prized possession for breeders in Rajasthan. Madhavram Raika, a breeder from Pali district, said that his father owned 150 camels. Of these, both young and adult male camels would be sold at a handsome price, sustaining the family for decades. A law in 2015, the Rajasthan Camel (Prohibition of Slaughter and Regulation of Tempo...