Will learning English help sexual minorities crack the job market?

If speaking English is “directly proportional” to one’s earning, the LGBTQIA+ community are only eager to learn the language and find a means to a better life.

What drives China to build its own space station

Tianhe-1 is the first and primary module of the upcoming Chinese Space Station (CSS) which would be fully functional by the end of 2022.

‘A political murder, total chaos’: Doctors describe India&...

As people thronged hospitals with Covid-19, oxygen shortage and disruption in supply emerged as a new issue, and doctors had to run after everything.

Machli, Charger, Ustad: Why name a tiger, after all?

A tiger acquires a name for any number of reasons: marking on the body, overall shape and size of the body or peculiarity of behavior. If nothing else, a name ensures semblance of dignity in death.

Back to chasing its steel dream, Odisha faces risk of another people’s movement...

Last December, Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik was quite ebullient at the annual convention of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI). “I am happy to note that the investor sentiment towards Odisha is extremely encouraging. Even during the difficult COVID pandemic time, I am happy to inform you that Odisha has been...

Immunisation and efficacy: The saga of Covaxin

Covaxin is a class of time tested vaccines that has a good track record of generating long-lasting immunity for many different virus-caused diseases, such as flu, polio, and yellow fever.

What the piling bodies and helplessness are doing to our overworked health workers

Healthcare workers all over the world are exposed to tremendous levels of risk for anxiety, depression, burnout, insomnia, moral distress and post-traumatic stress disorder.

A year on, pandemic has widened the gender gap in India and how

The Covid-19 pandemic only worsened the scenario for women, in terms of discrimination, patriarchal practices and prejudices that increased vulnerability.

Nature calls for bonding not lockdown and distancing

Amid the Covid-19 pandemic when humans have imposed lockdown and are maintaining social distancing, nature and wildlife seek bonding with them.

TOP 5 FOR THE DAY

Edamalakkudy panchayat: The only COVID-free haven in Kerala

In the midst of the mayhe...

WATCH: Do COVID patients need steroids? If so, when?

Alarmed by the indiscriminate use of steroids by physicians to treat COVID patients, Dr Randeep Guleria, a member of the national COVID-19 task force and director of All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Delhi, has cautioned that it could lead to “faster viral replication and severe viral pneumonia.”

Maruti, Toyota, Tata, make ride easier; extend warranty, free service

As the second wave of the COVID pandemic rages, India Inc has extended several gestures to provide some relief to its customers; such gestures are, in fact, win-win for the companies and customers, say marketing experts

Know the strengths and weaknesses of DRDO’s COVID cure

The Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) may have approved Defence Research and Development Organisation’s (DRDO) ‘medicine’ for “emergency use” in treating COVID patients, but health experts are apprehensive about using the drug since they argue its utility has not been established yet.

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Remembering Karukurichi Arunachalam and how he took nadaswaram to the masses

Born on April 26, 1921, exactly 100 years ago, Arunachalam was revered in the music world and took nadaswaram to newer audiences.

Why Kumbh in times of corona is reasonable for some, baffling for others

Until such time when every single person in the world believes in one story (which is basically never), we must make room in our hearts for those we perceive in the wrong.

A month on, mixed signals from Indian govt keep Myanmar ‘refugees’ in limbo

lt will be in the long-term national interest of lndia as well as the larger cause of humanity to respect the human rights of the persecuted Myanmar nationals.

Oxygen: The gasping reality behind the crisis

To meet the urgent demand for medical-grade oxygen, 28 captive plants in refinery and steel industries have been diverted to produce about 1,500 MT medical grade oxygen daily.

What’s the real drive behind temple facelifts in Odisha — tourism promotion or ...

Into his fifth consecutive term as Odisha Chief Minister, Naveen Patnaik announced his ambitious plan to develop Puri, the abode of Lord Jagannath, into a world heritage city.

How the syncretic culture of North Karnataka remains strong despite BJP’s rise

The syncretic culture of Hindus and Muslims celebrating each others’ festivals has been the norm for generations in several districts of north Karnataka.

Putting off NEET-PG exam, an unhealthy move bound to worsen Covid healthcare

The government recently postponed class 12 CBSE exams. Understandable, as there were lakhs of students slated to appear and they could be at risk of contracting Covid-19. But postponing NEET-PG that enables MBBS doctors to specialise? That appears to be a short-sighted decision with far-reaching consequences in hospitals which are already suffering...

How the new abortion law fails to give women the absolute right over their bodies

The new Act gives the right to seek abortion to unmarried women too, as it replaced the term ‘married woman and her husband’ in the original act of 1971 with ‘a woman and her partner’.

Is a caste-riddled India ready to look beyond surnames?

Chandan Saroj, 32, a native of Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh, holds two master's degrees—in Sociology and Philosophy and a bachelor of education (BEd) degree. When he appeared in an interview for the post of an assistant professor in UP's Higher Education Services Commission, he was surprised when the interviewers asked him about his beliefs on reli...

How the bitter Bengal polls turned into a catchy sloganeering game

The stinging lyrics and slogans come as a comic relief to the masses amid the bitterly-fought elections which is otherwise smeared by offensive remarks and personal attacks.

How Rajinikanth remade his way into superstardom

Rajinikanth is said to have proved his mettle as a commerical actor with remakes of Bollywood films, like Don, Thee, Paddiakathavan, and turned a superstar.

Tech monopoly, exploitation drive smaller players into despair

Big tech companies are dictating terms to customers, partners and also the government, even as they kill the competition by smaller players and garner a larger part of the revenues.  

When three is not a crowd: Tapping fungi for crop fertilisers

The fungi, arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM), could manipulate a specific group of soil bacteria to enrich the soil with nutrients that are required by the plant.

Why Hyderabadis can’t wait for their favourite Haleem this Ramzan

Haleem, the lip-smacking dish available during the Muslim fasting month of Ramzan, is getting ready to be served in Hyderabad from April 14, after a year’s break. It had not been available during Ramzan 2020 because of the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown.

Elections or not, Assam’s Sattras are a political hotspot

Bordowa is a small village located some 18 kilometres north-west of Assam’s bustling and chaotic town of Nagaon. With its modest houses, sprawling courtyard surrounded with betel nut trees and leisurely pace of life, Bordowa is indiscernible from any other ordinary Assam village for the uninitiated. This ordinary-looking village has been the ...

Dravida Aatchi: Why it’s not easy to erase 50 years of Dravidian rule

A combination of populist welfare measures along with social justice by DMK and AIADMK over the years has produced a political commitment to the provision of certain basic public services in Tamil Nadu.

Natham Colony caste violence: 8 yrs on, scars remain

The opening scene of Pariyerum Perumal, the critically acclaimed 2018 Tamil drama film, shows caste Hindu men unleashing violence on Dalits. To find their  attackers, Perumal, a Dalit youth, and his fellow villagers are hunting with dogs, including his own named Karuppi (black). Sitting near a pond, their discussion hovers around their identity....

How a co-op bank in Telangana helped avert farm woes for six decades

Almost every farmer feel the Mulkanoor Cooperative Rural Bank and Marketing Society in Warangal urban district has not only stood by them but has also changed their lives for the better

How this Bengal village became the home of Iyengars from South India

Godi Bero is just a dot on the map of West Bengal. Many in the state have never heard of this picture-postcard village in Purulia district that has been a treasure-trove of history, preserving a few centuries-old cultural links between South India and Bengal. Located behind two huge rock formations some 52 kilometres from the district headqua...

The second wave, emerging variants and the vaccines

After nearly a year of worldwide spread, infecting about 127 million causing 2.78 million deaths, the COVID-19 pandemic was appearing to recede during the first two months of 2021. However, COVID cases started to spike alarmingly during March this year in India, ranking it again third after the USA and Brazil among countries with COVID cases.

Bhavani Jamakkalam: Weavers in knots despite GI tag

It’s nearing lunchtime. In the scorching heat with temperatures already soaring over 40 degrees Celsius, two bare-bodied men and two women sit on the cow dung-smeared mud floor to weave Jamakkalam (thick cotton carpets) at Kuruppanaickenpalayam village in Tamil Nadu’s Erode district. The weavers in their late 30s and 40s, move their hands consta...

Why Hyderabad’s love for Irani chai is turning cold

When the K Chandrasekhar Rao government demolished the Telangana Secretariat buildings in Hyderabad last year to build a vaastu-compliant sophisticated complex, there was a ‘collateral casualty’ -- Irani chai served in the decades-old Tehran Cafe across the road. For decades, the tea joint had served as the most favoured hangout place of the sec...

Inside a museum of broken memories and families divided by war

Mohammad Ali was in his early 30s when the India-Pakistan war of 1971 separated him from his wife for ever. Overnight, the couple found themselves on opposite sides of the LoC. While Ali was in Hunderman village, his wife had gone to her native Bilargo village -- and between them lay a newly drawn border that sealed their separation. Over the ye...

Being a cartoonist in ‘too much democracy’ — hear it from Hasif Khan

In the heat and dust of the election season, how does the big picture look? Well, Adura Rama, Adura... (Dance Rama, dance). This is how 39-year-old Chennai-based cartoonist Hasif Khan sees the upcoming Assembly elections, where the ‘monkeys’ within the state are forced to dance to the tunes of the big brother from the Centre (in the present context...

A small tribe’s struggle to balance development and cultural identity

At the northern edge of the dense jungles of Jaldapara National Park in West Bengal, nestles a tiny village that attracts anthropologists from across the globe. The village, called Totopara, is home to the sub-Himalayan Indian Tribe called Toto, one of the smallest primitive ethnic groups of the country, considered endangered. That explains its ...

How a tiny temple became BJP’s big tool for renaming Hyderabad

What’s in a name? Apparently, a lot if the BJP sets its mind to renaming a place. After the BJP’s impressive show in the recent Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) elections -- winning 48 of 150 seats -- the party has renewed its push to rename Hyderabad as Bhagyanagar. The renaming attempt assumes more significance since the...

Mahabharata to Márquez: One family kept an art form alive for six generations

For at least six generations, the Thambiran family of Purisai village in Tamil Nadu has been the custodian of a traditional theatre art form -- Therukoothu. Purisai -- otherwise famous for the Agatheeswarar temple -- acquired a distinct identity, thanks to this family’s efforts in not just continuing the art form but also infusing modernity into it...

Playing the Malayali ‘card’ and loving it

What happens when there is one Malayali in a room full of people? Not much. He would more or less be invisible. What happens when there are two? That, God forbid, would be a chaotic reunion between two complete strangers with a sudden agenda – to celebrate everything that is simply Malayali! And yes, ignore everyone else. Rosemary Jacob an...

Why everybody’s favourite Manali is teetering on the brink

Apart from the snow-capped Himalayas, Manali is a unique combination of Indian art, history, culture, spirituality, and an astonishing natural environment. Due to the influx of tourists, Manali is losing it all.

Gyms to coaching classes to healthcare: How mosques in Hyderabad are transforming liv...

Women working out at a gym, students undergoing coaching for competitive exams, or career counselling, or picking up a book from the shelves of the library, high school boys reading textbooks, with a teacher around to clarify doubts, and men, women and children getting their health checkup. Ever imagined such activities taking place on the premi...

How Kannada news channels once again proved that misogyny rules

The coverage of the Ramesh Jarkiholi sexual harassment case, by targeting the woman victim, has exposed the misogyny within Kannada news channels.

Why Sri Lankan Tamils feel Deepa Mehta’s Funny Boy ignored their history

For a young boy from a Tamil family in the Colombo of 1970s and 80s, Arjie struggled to understand why boys were not allowed to wear lipstick. Or why his preference to dress up as a girl than to play cricket with his brother made him ‘sissy’ or a ‘funny boy’. If all that was not enough to make Arjie’s life difficult, the escalating political ten...

Memes: The joke is on you, Mr Politician

For some, long speeches of politicians are nothing but a bunch of lies and false promises. For others, these are boring as politicians endlessly attack opponents, more on personal issues than on policy or facts. But in the social media age where everyone is hooked to smartphones, these speeches are hard to ignore as they get quick traction becau...

Why the unsparing khaps still enjoy popular support

On April 17, 2018, Ishapur Kheri village in Haryana’s Sonepat district made national headlines after a khap panchayat banned girls from wearing jeans and using mobile phones. Reason: The informal body of village elders believed mobile phones and jeans were the main culprits behind girls eloping with boys. Referring to an incident wherein three c...

How Myanmar coup threatens to spoil India’s Act East dream

The military coup in Myanmar and subsequent mass unrest has threatened India's Kaladan connectivity project between Northeast and Bengal via Sittwe port.

Vaccine efficacy: What’s holding India back from ramping up genome sequencing

As vaccines are being rolled out across the world, and there are apprehensions regarding their effectiveness, genome sequencing would provide valuable inputs to tweak vaccine design.

How a 1950s Tamil novel challenged the caste and age barriers to love

There aren’t too many couples who dare to defy the older-woman-younger-man relationship stereotype or to break the ‘great Indian caste barrier’. So to do both in the 1950s was not just unimaginable but a freaky rebellious step. Writer T Janakiraman decided to explore this subject in his novel ‘Mogamul’ (Thorn of Desire). The plot follows a 20-ye...

Assam is stuck in time warp over identity and it’s not going to get over soon

When thousands of youths thronged the streets in Assam earlier this year carrying bamboo torches, chanting ah oi aah, ulai aah (come out, come out all), there was a sense of deja vu for septuagenarian Ramen Mahanta. The youth were opposing Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Assam on January 23 for failing to safeguard the Assamese identity....

Why Ingenuity, the first helicopter to fly on another planet, is such a big deal

Nasa’s rover, Perseverance, successfully landed on the Jezero crater on Mars on February 18. Safely tucked under the probe’s belly, another engineering marvel called Ingenuity rode along the 200 million km journey to reach the planet. Ingenuity is a mini-helicopter that will deploy and make short flights on the red planet in the coming months. I...

The law and logic behind rising sedition cases in Modi era

The Patiala House Court in Delhi last week granted bail to 22-year-old Disha Ravi, arrested in connection with the farmers’ protest “toolkit” case and charged with sedition. The court observed that it did not find any palpable reason to deny bail considering the scanty and sketchy evidence on record. “Citizens are conscience keepers of governmen...

How frontline staff reacted to first dose of COVID-19 vaccine

Reji Shaji, head of the surgical ward in a private hospital in Kannur, took her first dose of Covishield, the vaccine by Oxford-AstraZeneca on January 31. “We were very tense. Those who had taken it before us had shown mild symptoms of fever and body pain. So we had already popped a Dolo-650, before getting the shot,” she says. “Some of my co...

How Mizoram became a powerhouse of football in India

A common joke in Mizoram is that football is the only functional industry in the state. In the jest lies an incredible story of a tiny hill state becoming the country’s top churner of footballers. What is more spectacular is that it took only a few years for Mizoram to transform into the country’s footballing powerhouse from a minnow. It a...

When the world’s first-ever airmail service landed in Allahabad in 1911

Not many know that Allahabad, now Prayagraj, had made its mark in colonial modernity by recording the world’s first-ever airmail service in 1911.

What the fate of these Delhi farmers tells us about new farm laws

Farmers in Delhi's villages say they are left in the lurch with land pooling policy, and are not getting loans, MSP or other benefits.

Why it took Kerala so long to recognise the work of a woman editor of 1930s

Haleema Beevi, the first woman editor of Kerala, played multiple roles with a single objective—to empower, educate and organise Muslim women.

Karnataka’s reservation conundrum: Bending backward for forward castes

On January 14, Basava Jaya Mrutyunjaya Swami, the seer of the Lingayat Panchamasali Mutt in Kudala Sangama in Bagalkot district, started his 450-km padayatra (walkathon) demanding change in reservation categorisation for Panchamasali Lingayats within the state’s Other Backward Caste (OBC) list. The Panchamasalis, one of the largest sub-sects withi...

Percy has landed safely on Mars; what next?

Amid roaring applause, “Touchdown confirmed”, cheerfully exclaimed Dr Swati Mohan, guidance and control operations lead for NASA’s Mars 2020 mission, bringing to an end the anxious seven nailbiting moments. Perseverance, NASA’s Mars mission launched seven months ago, whizzing through 472 million kilometres of interplanetary space, had kept its r...

Ethnic fashion: Kashmir’s young make way amid political uncertainties

A good number of Kashmiri youths are part of the fledgling fashion industry that promote ethnic traditions, clothing lines, tourism spots and jewellery brands.

Nurtured by Teejan Bai, Pandavani waltzes into the future

With Teejan Bai, a new lease of life would be given to the folk art form called Pandavani as the unsung saga of the folk artist is going to be picturised on the silver screen.

Seaweed farming: In TN, women divers finally hope to turn the tide

For seaweed farmer Suganthy, work from home is not an option. But the travel to her workplace is a long ordeal taking about 2-3 hours. From her house in Pamban in Rameswaram taluk of Ramanathapuram district in southern coastal Tamil Nadu, she has to catch a bus to Rameswaram town, from where she boards a share-auto to Mangadu, a seashore hamlet,  a...

Gained in translation: Folk literature and other ‘gospel truths’ from Kerala

Kottarathil Sankunni’s Aithihyamaala (Garland of Legend), a popular lore and legends from Kerala, has now been translated into English by Vrinda Varma.

With or without labour unions, workers are left to struggle in electronic industry

Workers feel that had there been a union, their issues could perhaps have been resolved faster and in an amicable manner.

Ram bhakts at the door and the dog-whistles

RSS and its wings have begun a nationwide door-to-door fundraising campaign on behalf of the Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra (SRJTK) for the construction of Ram Mandir.

Malayalam films finally pull the cape off ‘superheroes’

The male lead in the recent Malayalam film, ‘The Great Indian Kitchen’, a hit on OTT, is a man (played by Suraj Venjaramood) with no noticeable blemish in his character (as per the usual parameters that ‘define’ a responsible Malayali male). He does not smoke or drink, doesn’t hang around with his friends unnecessarily but returns home straight aft...

Why long-dead English sahibs and memsahibs come alive at midnight in Kolkata

It was around 11.30 pm. The ever-bustling New Market had emptied long back, giving the semi-lit Victorian Gothic-styled giant shopping arcade on Kolkata’s Lindsay Street an eerie look. Seven to eight shadowy figures appeared at the main entrance of the deserted market. They were there for an unusual mission—to explore some of the haunted places ...

How Yakshagana art is keeping with the times, even in a Covid-19 world

In Akshayambara, an experimental Kannada play, the director uses contemporary theatre art and Yakshagana, the traditional multi-dimensional folk art of Karnataka, to weave in a story of gender role reversal. For long, men have played women characters in movies and plays. But how would people take it if a woman played the role of a man? Akshayamb...

Wetlands as wealth, not waste: How TN, Puducherry are fighting for Ramsar tag

Wetlands are widely recognised as important wildlife habitats and as being among the most biologically productive and biologically diverse habitats on the planet.

Rihanna’s tweet and India’s funny chorus

This tale, Dear Reader, you’d find really funny, On this, I am ready to bet every bit of my money, In the end, you’d be all ha-ha-ha And, not just ‘cause a newspaper headlined it Riha-ha This is about a hilarious fight on twitter To which not many would’ve given a s**t If many celebrities had not got their nicker, Khaki or othe...

Ye Haa… How Badaga folk music stayed in tune with times

The word music to ordinary Indian ears is largely about film scores. Other genres need specific prefixes such as 'folk', ‘classical’, 'pop', 'indie' or 'Carnatic'. While classical and pop do get their due in popular media, folk or indigenous music rarely gets the attention, unless the film industry embraces it. Folk or indigenous music forms ...

Burj is not the limit as UAE aims for Mars

All eyes are on Mars this decade, as space giants ramp up explorations to the red planet, with an intent to explore technologies that will benefit human habitats in future. A new entrant to this elite club is the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which is fast emerging as a strong contender for interplanetary space missions. The UAE space agency, the ...

A big budget in times of small mercies

This Budget has been a big hit because it gives growth a big push, the one thing the Indian economy desperately needs after a year of coronavirus lockdown.

The importance of vaccine cold chain in immunisation drive

To ensure the quality is maintained throughout, vaccines are transported under refrigeration in a process called Vaccine Cold Chain.

What Gandhi would have told Tikait, farmers on Delhi border

One morning, India woke up to a tweet that created a storm across the world. IM Gandhi @TheforgottenBapu: “M returning to earth for a few hours to speak to farmers. See you there #farmersprotest.” Frenetic enquiries by the government revealed it wasn’t some Martyrs’-Day hoax. Gandhi had indeed found a Christopher Nolan-esque wormhole and was ...

Heritage sites in Visakhapatnam take a beating

Several heritage buildings and sites in and around Visakhapatnam, which stand as sentinels of a glorious past dating back to 3rd and 4th century BC, are under threat due to massive rise in construction activity. The port city in the north coastal region of Andhra Pradesh is the new executive capital of the state under the three-capital plan of t...

Fund shortage, internal conflicts amid tall claims cripple Sanskrit studies

In Mani Ratnam’s Bollywood movie Guru, actress Aishwarya Rai dances to ‘Barso re megha’ song atop a historical monument located in Melkote, Karnataka. The picturesque Raya Gopura, an unfinished monument built during the Hoysala dynasty rule around the 10th century, on which she stands, overlooks a series of deep stepped temple tanks and farmland...

Return of Sasikala: Behind the making and unmaking of an almost CM

Shadow of Jayalalithaa. That is how Vivekanandan Krishnaveni Sasikala is often described. The rise and fall of Sasikala, a confidante of former chief minister J Jayalalithaa, is an interesting and significant chapter in Tamil politics. As she is set to be released from the Parappana Agrahara prison in Bengaluru on January 27 following her convic...

Jaya, jaya he: This 26 January, public is reclaiming the Republic

This 26th January, the public is fittingly taking charge of the Republic. The proposed tractor rally by farmers on the outskirts of Delhi in support of their demand for repealing farm laws will reiterate a lesson that was forgotten through decades of misrepresentation: the Republic is owned by the public, and the Republic Day is a celebration of...

COVID-19 vaccine rollout has begun. What we must know about it

Like the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel, vaccine rollout has begun around the world after a long period of COVID-19 distress.   From grim and gloom helplessness, a ray hope is at the horizon. At the time of writing this article, about 14 lakh doses of vaccine had been administered in India, with the world total crossing a staggering 6...

Appropriating Netaji: How deep is the political hypocrisy

The compulsion of electoral politics is such that those who swear by right wing Hindutva are today vying to appropriate the legacy of its biggest critic, Subhas Chandra Bose, ahead of the Assembly elections in West Bengal

How Tamil book lovers found a new paradise for reading during lockdown

One day, in the 1870s, Swaminatha Iyer was reading some verses from a printed copy of the Kambaramayanam, along with some fellow students at the Thiruvavaduthurai Adheenam. Just then, Ambalavana Desikar, an old-fashioned scholar and teacher of Mahavidwan Meenatchisundaram Pillai, happened to pass by. He enquired about the book in their hands. On he...

Tourists are back in God’s own country and loving it

Benoy PP has had a hectic three months since October but he isn’t complaining. The strong rebound in tourism in Kerala has only lifted the spirit of Benoy, general manager of Kerala Tourism’s hotels in Thekkady, and the entire industry. The pandemic notwithstanding, Thekkady and the rest of the Idukki district witnessed a huge number of tourists...

Baby blues: Why Indians need to be more sensitive to new moms

Postpartum depression (PPD) is referred to as a a major depressive disorder having its onset in the first four weeks of after a baby's birth.

US presidential transition: A glorious tradition in inglorious times

On January 20, Joe Biden will have former presidents Barack Obama, George W Bush, and Bill Clinton at his inauguration as America’s 46th president. But one man will be conspicuous by his absence—the outgoing president Donald Trump.

In the name of the cow, Karnataka’s ordinance slaughters civil liberties

Enacting the new anti-cow slaughter bill was never going to be easy for the BS Yediyurappa government in Karnataka. On December 9, 2020, the government quickly passed the bill in the Assembly, inviting severe backlash from opposition leaders. Congress leader Siddaramaiah slammed the government for passing the bill without discussion among legisl...

This Pongal, where have the humble bullock cart and Rekla races reached?

Mappillai vandhan mappillai vandhan maattu vandiyile Ponnu vandhal ponnu vandhal potti vandiyile Pullaiya petha amma vandhal mottai vandiyile Ponna petha appa vandhar ottai vandiyile This song from the Tamil film, Kaveriyin Kanavan (1959), penned by lyricist Thanjai N Ramaiah Dass, is an eulogy to a wedding procession wherein the humble-looki...

Hyderabad: Rohingyas wait to find an anchor after years adrift

It is time India and other countries accept and accommodate Rohingya refugees, considering the persecution they face in the country of their origin.

Scrapping of madrasas in Assam exposes religious bias and stereotypes

Fifteen-year-old Hafizur Rahman is confused about his future. A student of Class 10 at Howrarpar Senior Madrasa in Assam’s Dhubri district, Rahman aspires to be an Islamic scholar and teach at a madrasa. He, however, has put his dreams on hold for the time being after the Assam government enacted a law to convert all pre-senior (elementary to Cl...

This Maharashtra teacher solved school dropout problem and won a UN prize

On his first day at school in a small village in Solapur district of Maharashtra, Ranjitsinh Disale was shocked to see only 5-6 students against a capacity of around 60. It was his first day back in 2011 as a teacher at the Zila Parishad School, Kadamvasti, Paratewadi in Madha taluka of Solapur district. And there were no girls too in this prima...

Guns, graves and grief: Kashmir frozen in time

Nearly a week after her son Zubair Lone was buried at a sprawling cemetery—designated exclusively for militants—Sara Lone couldn’t take it anymore. Walking through a thick carpet of snow on January 4, she came out to demand that his body be returned to the family. “I don’t know what they did to him?” a wailing Sara told newsmen at Srinagar’s Pre...

Can good cricketers bat through the sticky corridors of BCCI?

Bishan Singh Bedi has never believed in pulling punches. Even as an active cricketer, he wasn’t shy of taking on the establishment if he believed the cause was just. That trait hasn’t deserted him in retirement, be it his sustained condemnation of Muttiah Muralitharan’s action despite the off-spinner getting the all-clear from the International Cri...

When some lawyers stood up and offered the nation a ray of hope

While festivity and cheer hung in the air in Bengaluru and across the world on the last day of 2020, it was business as usual in a small office in commercial Shivajinagar. A group of lawyers and staff in Manthan law firm were poring over documents, strengthening their cases against the government, which has been relentless in its attack on its oppo...

BJP govt’s stand on Rohingya issue has exposed the gaping holes in foreign poli...

Along with China, India’s role is considered vital in pursuing Myanmar to end the Rohingya refugee crisis, and New Delhi needs to raise the issue fervently at the world stage.

From e-com to building homes and more, an all-woman team in Kerala is smashing stereo...

Kudumbasree, the Kerala government’s ambitious poverty eradication mission, was launched in 1998 by helping women form neighbourhood groups and engage in employment opportunities.

What a new way to potentially stop profuse bleeding quickly means

The sight of a fresh wound or cut with blood spurting out uncontrollably could be quite disturbing. But what could be more traumatic or debilitating or sometimes even fatal is when that bleeding doesn’t stop. Our body repairs minor cuts and wounds by forming a clot at the wound site. However, when there is profuse bleeding in traumatic injuries ...

Remembering the Nilgiri Mountain Railway before the joy ride ‘ends’

For decades, honeymooners and adventure-seekers have looked for romance and escapade travelling through the lush green mountains of Tamil Nadu in a five-hour train journey. Yet the 46-km journey on Nilgiri Mountain Railway (NMR) up and down the scenic route of Mettupalayam -- at the foothills of Nilgiris -- to Ooty continues to be relived and recou...

Startups were already exiting Koramangala. Pandemic made things worse

In the early days of the decade, Aditya Rao, a young graduate from BITS Pilani was caught up in the startup-wave that swept through India. After a couple of failed attempts at building products, Rao in 2013 founded LocalOye -- an on-demand home service marketplace that connected consumers with local service providers such as carpenters, electrician...

Finally, superstar Rajinikanth isn’t acting anymore…about politics 

One may not know Rajinikanth personally, but if he were to be judged by his actions there is one sterling quality about him that seems to stand out -- he is an honest man. He also seems courageous and straightforward. These epithets for a person who is running away from a battlefield may seem odious, but he is sensible enough to realise that discre...

Why communist politics of classless society finds few takers in India

Siddhartha, a middle-class youth of the 1970s, was struggling to get a job amid rampant unemployment. In one of the many job interviews he faced, he was asked what the most significant and outstanding world event of the past decade was. After a brief pause, Siddhartha replied, “The war in Vietnam.” “More significant than man landing on the mo...

A year on, new Covid-19 strain threatens to bring back old chaos

As a few Covid-19 vaccines began rolling out, the world crossed its fingers, looking forward to better times in the coming year, hoping to limp back from the aftermath of the pandemic. However, the tale took an ugly turn in mid-December when scientists in the UK reported a new variant of  SARS-CoV-2  — potentially more contagious than the present o...

Along the LoC, remnants of ’71 war and a heartbreaking tale

Borders, they say, are just lines on land, and not hearts. But ask 55-year-old Mohamed Ali and he will tell you how a single line can break hundreds of hearts and homes. A resident of Thang near Turtuk in the Leh district of Ladakh, Ali -- more popularly known as Goba Ali -- lives in the last village on India-Pakistan border. Ali’s father and br...

MGR era: The darker side of a ‘golden period’

Ninaithathai Mudippavan. One who accomplishes what he has set out to do. Released in 1975, the iconic Tamil film by the above name was a superhit. The name signified much more for its star and part-time politician, Maruthur Gopalan Ramachandran aka MGR, who had only three years back broken away from the DMK to form his own party, the AIADMK. ...

Why are farmers wary of corporates? These Kerala farmers have a tale to tell

Alibhai, a coconut farmer in Kerala, isn’t aware of the ongoing protest against the new farm laws, at the Delhi border. The 67-year-old finds it strenuous to read the newspaper because of his weakening eyesight. Nor does he find his smartphone user-friendly. Old age ailments and a fading memory have made Alibhai weak. But despite his age and health...

Assam’s Maidams: India’s very own pyramids

Today, with the maidams having been systematically restored to safeguard their structural integrity, the Assam government is in the process of finalising the dossier of the site—which will be sent to the Centre and then to the Unesco for world heritage recognition.

Small private schools face permanent closure, teachers in limbo

Ashok Gowda, an architect-turned-entrepreneur, wanted to set up 10 schools in 10 years in Bengaluru. But with stiff competition and with reasonable profit, he managed to open and run three—a play school, a primary school with a state board syllabus and another with central board syllabus—in the suburbs of the city between 2013 and 2020. Gowda’s ...

From Kuttanad’s belly, Jallikattu writer Hareesh takes the bull by the horns

Until six months ago, I used to go on these walks with a friend of mine. One day, he had asked: ‘Why do you think young women bathe, make themselves pretty, and go to the temple?’ ‘To worship’, I had answered. ‘No. Look again, carefully. Why wear their best clothes and get decked up if it’s only to worship? They’re subconsciously giving the s...

From a lingo for crass villains to the hero’s lips, Telangana dialect has broke...

Six years after the formation of a separate Telangana state, the Telangana dialect appears to be the flavour of the season in popular culture now.

Amid India-China tensions, Ladakh’s nomads face a frostier winter

The fear of the uncertain environment — the ongoing India-China tensions along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh region — and scarcity of winter pasturelands in border villages amid massive military footfall and infrastructure buildup is adversely affecting the nomadic herdsmen community in Changthang region.

Why Kerala’s PHCs can boast of being the best in the country

Despite being quite unacknowledged, low level workers form the strong base in Kerala’s robust primary health care (PHC) network, an internationally acclaimed health care system.

Mission Hayabusa: What a Japanese hunt for asteroids reveals about Earth’s orig...

On December 6, the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency, JAXA, added another feather to its cap by achieving a magnificent space feat. JAXA’s robotic spacecraft Hayabusa 2 travelled to a near-earth asteroid called Ryugu, dug into its soil, retrieved the sample and returned with it to earth. A specially designed 16-kilo capsule on Hayabusa 2 enc...

ACT 1978: A silver lining amid the pandemic for Kannada cinema

Once hailed for its globally recognised arthouse films in the 70s, Kannada cinema has been creating an impact, of late.

A decade’s wait for justice: Cancer, depression, death consume Kashmir’s ...

A young Fancy Jan’s life unfurls before her mother Khatija Khan, moment by moment, every day, year after year. It's been 10 years since Khatija lost her daughter, then 25. But her memories continue to haunt every nook and cranny of their two-storey home in Margarmal Bagh area in Srinagar. No matter how much Khatija tries to avoid these memories,...

Flowers they’re a-changin’. No, it’s not Bob Dylan song but climate change

Over the last 75 years, the colour of flowers has changed in response to the increasing temperature and shrinking ozone layers.

Across the barbed fences, Bengal and Bangladesh face similar challenges

The growth of communal forces besides posing threat to the growth story is also challenging the founding ethos of West Bengal and Bangladesh.  

A year after CAA, law is dormant but hounding of protesters continue

A year after the BJP government passed the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), the legislation is yet to come into force. Many are experiencing hardships in jails without trials having even started or after having been freed for want of evidence.

Canadarm: A handy arm in space that will build a house on the moon

A heavy lifter robotic arm in space, Canadarm is all set to build the lunar gateway or a space habitat on the moon, just like it built the ISS.

Our God, our faith: Why tribal communities want a separate religious code

There are special provisions in the constitution for protection of tribal communities and preservation of their distinct culture and practices. However, there are many violations too.

Development projects spell doom for Western Ghats

Septuagenarian Leelavathi Bommayya Naik cannot imagine living a life outside her village Manjuguni in Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka along the Western Ghats. She has been living in a small patch of land with three of her brothers and their families for over seven decades. The area is home to around 1,500 people who harvest paddy, groundnut...

Why BJP’s experiments with yatras have a long way to go in Tamil Nadu

The BJP's month-long Vetrivel Yatra, a pilgrimage-like rally from one shrine of Lord Murugan to another is nothing but an attempt by the party to get a foothold in the upcoming Tamil Nadu state assembly elections due in April-May next year.

Cyclone Nivar: When the cycle of misery doesn’t end

An estimated 170 million population living on India's coasts are perennially at the receiving end of tropical storms and cyclones, and are forced to migrate following loss of land and job opportunities.

In Malabar, making and unmaking of a whole new genre of ‘home cinemas’

Home videos, shot mostly in rural settings in which the characters speak the local dialect, are phenomenally different from the mainstream Malayalam cinema.

Coronavirus using a second door to infect human cells. What it means

Another protein receptor called Neuropilin-1 found in the cell walls of blood vessels could be facilitating an alternative gateway for coronavirus.

In Hindutva vs Dravidian nationalism, where does Dalit politics stand in TN?

Formed as a result of increased caste atrocities in the state at the hands of the intermediate castes, the Dalit parties and outfits, however, seem to be finding it difficult to position themselves in the political spectrum between the proponents of Hindutva and the champions of now-softened Dravidian politics.

After Bihar resurgence, is the Left finally on the right track?

Just as political commentators started writing epitaphs of the communist movement in India, it stirred back into the reckoning with an impressive showing in just-concluded Bihar assembly elections, raising hopes of its revival. Even before Bihar happened, class politics has been made relevant in Indian politics again by a string of decisions tak...

Gemini Ganesan: King of romance and life

Despite being polyamorous, Gemini Ganesan's charm and integrity surely make him the true King of Romance.

The International Space Station: A home in the sky

Stationed 400 km above the earth's surface, the International Space Station (ISS) or the home in the sky circles the earth 16 times a day and has been doing so for the past twenty years.

‘Love jihad’ bogey: Why BJP sees hate in interfaith marriages

Experts opine that the term love jihad is oxymoronic and governments cannot and should not interfere with personal choices of people.

In Kerala, a Twenty20 story that’s no longer a crowd-pleaser

While some argue that the entry of corporates in governance is good since it benefits neglected sections of the society and enhances quality of life, others point to a number of conflicts in the arrangement, the environmental pollution caused by Kitex factories a case in point here.

Why BJP’s uproar over ‘Miya museum’ goes against Assam’s pluralism

A museum showing the unique culture and heritage of the Miyas, people living in the char-chaporis, would only bolster Assam’s rich history of syncretism.

Chandernagore and the nostalgia of a bygone French era

“The fate of the city changed the year I was born,” mused Nakul Dey, a retired employee of the West Bengal’s education department. The city, Dey was referring to, was slowly stirring back to life after a night of slumber. The autumnal sun had risen above the horizon across the Hooghly only a few hours ago, drawing out early risers like Dey for a...

Manusmriti: Why the ancient text continues to stir controversy

Manusmriti, the ancient text, whose exact origins are attributed to Manu—who is believed to be the first man and lawgiver during 5th century BC—is a discourse on the roles and moral codes to be observed by different sections of the society.

Diwali: Annual chaos over crackers isn’t enough to tackle the toxic air

As millions of others across the National Capital Region (NCR) wait to light up the night sky in Diwali, blowing to bits all concerns over the severely poor air quality, the annual chaos over ban on crackers has only become shriller.

Post lockdown, women in low-paying jobs take the heaviest hit

While ILO estimates India to have more than 4 million domestic workers, trade unions and NGOs put the figure at 10 million and 80% of them are women.

Trump is losing, but has proved he is no pushover

The 68 million votes Trump polled was a close call unlike many forecasts which talked of a landslide in favour of the Democratic contender Joe Biden.

IPL without fans cheering in stadiums is boring. Or is it?

You could never imagine a game of cricket being played in a stadium without the participation of fans. But, the year 2020 has been different for cricket, and sports in general.

When caste rears its ugly head in COVID times, education is the casualty

Many teachers across Karnataka have experienced a caste battle under the Vidyagama outreach education programme, wherein the upper caste people had a problem with lower caste students entering their premises, or accessing education with their kids.

Water on the moon: Why the Indian discovery is sidelined?

With all these discoveries, the amount of water present on moon is tiny. In comparison, the Sahara desert has 100 times the amount of water.

Life after COVID: The fatigue, the isolation and the haunting anxiety

Undergoing treatment at Kerala's COVID first line treatment centre (CFLTC) can be an exhausting experience, that leaves patients isolated and distressed.

Online threats: Why the potential rapists walk unleashed

While social media platforms fail to regulate violent content and rape threats and the police show helplessness, Indian women have every reason to feel unsafe both online and offline.

Assam-Mizoram border row: Deeper issues that connect and divide NE states

There are several such villages in the region where boundaries between states remain contested, often triggering inter-state conflicts akin to one witnessed recently between Assam and Mizoram, and Mizoram and Tripura, laying bare a major chink in India’s nationhood concept.

Phosphine fingerprints on Venus sparks debate on alien life

On September 14, 2020, an international team of astronomers and astrobiologists reported that they detected traces of a rare chemical — Phosphine — in the upper clouds of Venus atmosphere.

How MSMEs, households are falling deeper into debt trap despite FM’s stimulus

Data indicates most of the 6.33 crore MSMEs in the country, employing nearly 11 crore people, are hurting due to debt burden that worsened due to the COVID lockdown.

How SPB’s statue added fuel to a spooky superstition

Is it a bad omen to have a statue of a living person? Does it bring bad luck? Did it happen in the case of singer SP Balasubrahmanyam who had asked a sculptor to build a statue of himself? Not too surprisingly, in a world full of unfounded beliefs even in the 21st century, such questions do crop up often. But there are hardly any answers as to w...

What a Durga Puja away from pandals means for Bengal

An unfinished building, a rusted auto-rickshaw, empty glasses in a tea stall and an unlit hearth are some of the vignettes of life in the times of coronavirus portrayed at a Durga Puja pandal (marquee), as Kolkata turns into a city of art amid the pandemic. The theme of the artwork created by Somnath Dolui on a 50-feet-by-20-feet area for the Be...

Land swap: 5 yrs on, these people regret choosing India over Bangladesh

On July 31, 2015, as part of a historic land boundary agreement (LBA), India and Bangladesh exchanged 162 landlocked islands embedded deep inside the territory of the other country.

Lockdown slashed air pollution. Can we sustain the gains?

Experts opine that there can be sustainable unlocking and greening of economic revival to sustain the unexpected gains of the lockdown to whatever extent possible.

Jobless at home, migrant workers return to cities

With the government having no record of migrant workers, it’s obvious that they cannot plan anything for migrant workers, especiall in home states.

How a small idea and big resolve turned this village self-sufficient

Paradsinga village near Nagpur is slowly and steadily inching towards self-sufficiency with its indigenous cottage industries, an IT firm, sustainable organic farming.

How Kalam’s chat with Biju Patnaik gave wings to India’s missile dreams

Former president of India and missile scientist Dr APJ Abdul Abdul Kalam was one of the simplest men but also very cunning.

Hindu nationalism is rising in Tamil Nadu. Can BJP be far behind?

Growing up in Coimbatore’s Saibaba Colony, a middle-class neighbourhood, 27-year-old Prakashan* boasted of an ‘entourage’ of six close friends in college. That number came down a few years back to just two after Prakashan found a new ‘mission’ in life—to be proud of his Hindu roots. Some of those friends still don’t know what changed Prakashan’s...

Marijuana: What brought Bollywood to its knees keeps Manipur ‘high’

The cannabis plant has been the mainstay of livelihood for many villagers in Manipur, particularly in some of the economically backward districts, for decades despite a ban on its cultivation, posing a dilemma for the government’s anti-drug drive.

Mysterious elephant deaths in Coimbatore: A Botswana in the making?

Following reports about the mass elephant deaths in Botswana, conservationists in Tamil Nadu’s Coimbatore are worried if a similar bacteria is causing elephant deaths here.

Toxic tales: As aspirations grow, digital India swamped by e-waste

Sitting in a small rented shop in Yarab Nagar to the south of Bangalore city, Aasha Vadivelu and four of her family members sort through dry waste every day. For the poor family that has been dependent on waste segregation for livelihood for decades, things are turning for the better in the last few years. A rapid rise in mobile phone usage and ...

What gag orders on media in sexual abuse trials take away

Although trials in sexual harassment/rape cases have been generally held in-camera as stipulated under section 327(2) of CrPC, some argue that that the blanket ban on media from reporting the trial need not necessarily help the victim always.

Socialism: Where did the dreams and promises of a just democracy go?

The biggest setback to socialism in India was the idea that social change can be initiated through caste politics, experts observe.

Uttar Pradesh: When the regime rots and the rotten rules

The slow and sickening response of police and administration is pushing India’s most-populous state into an abyss that’s darker than ever.

Govt’s progress report on beti bachao, beti padhao far from ground realities

Five years after the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao scheme was launched by the Narendra Modi government, the state of the scheme to save the girl child remains dysfunctional at the ground level as workers battle patriarchal mindsets amid shortage of resources.

Gained in translation: A Tamil novel ‘written’ in Malayalam

Can a Tamil novel be written in Malayalam? Sounds baffling but seems possible, if a great translator can give the readers a work beyond the language in which it was written and yet retain the original essence. “A translation should always reflect the spirit of the author’s original work and that should be the thumb rule of every translator,” say...

Virtual marathon: When every mile is worth the while

As the COVID-19 pandemic brought the world to a ‘standstill’ with mass-participation events either postponed or cancelled, organisers of prestigious marathons across the world decided to hold virtual marathons instead.

I am a farmer. And I have something to say. Would you care to listen?

If the government really cares about us farmers, then it should first give them food security or assure minimum support price (MSP) doesn't go.

When 2 Kerala farmers took on Adani Group and won a legal battle

On April 15, 2009, farmers Rajan and PP Baby were surprised to see hundreds of trucks unloading sand in a field adjacent to their land in Kizhakkambalam in Ernakulam district of Kerala, an eastern suburb of Kochi. But the two, who also happened to be CPI(M) activists, were busy with the Lok Sabha elections that were being held in the state the next...

The sea that lay between Pa Singaram and literary world’s indifference

Set against the backdrop of the Second World War, Pa Singaram’s novels are some of the earliest known literature on Tamil migrants and seafarers.

Lights out: The dark truth behind coal mine accidents

Considering that miners work in hazardous working conditions in a high-risk sector, safety is always a concern, say experts and activists.

The pandemic of suppression is peaking and how

Apart from suppressing facts, the Centre is also being accused of rushing through its contentious policies at a time when the scope of protests and stakeholders interventions has been severely constrained by the pandemic.

Hindi row: How Periyar, Anna continue to inspire the language of resistance

While Periyar wrote and spoke against Hindi based on the social events of the time, Annadurai made it a political issue amid agitations in Tamil Nadu.

COVID casualty: What movie theatres taught us about loving and living life

For a regular movie goer, visiting a cinema hall is like being in a dream, where reality is forgotten and imagination is brought to life. But that came to a stop during this lockdown.

From rasoi to rozgaar, SHG workers kept the boat afloat

Soon after the government announced its first lockdown in March this year, the biggest worry for Veena KS, a farm labourer, was how to repay the loan of Rs 1.5 lakh borrowed by the self-help group run by her. Veena and 10 other women, part of Siddapaji women self-help group, had borrowed the money for self-employment and household expenditure. W...

Taken for granted, anganwadi workers are made to walk the extra mile

Thousands of families across the state whose children were given nutritious midday meals at school, but had to lose out on them due to the pandemic lockdown, received raw supplies through the anganwadi centres.

Could Project Dolphin be India’s great leap to save the endangered species?

With the number of dolphins going down, spotting of the species is becoming rarer and rarer, ironically sprouting a tourism industry on dolphin sightings in various parts of India.

Usually in high spirits, Kerala’s love for toddy is wearing off

Once a favourite of the locals in Kerala, toddy consumption has been seeing a steady decline over the years, thanks to many factors, including a decline in interest among the youths of today.

Remembering Bharathiyar: When poetry met the common man’s fight for freedom

Poet Subramania Bharathiyar is a common thread that brings together Tamils across the world, as his works still kindle a fire in everybody.

Madigas’ fight for equitable quota benefits shows caste still rules in India

Till date, the reservation benefits under the Scheduled Caste category has been skewed against the Madigas in Karnataka and Andhra.

Struggles of African-origin Siddis expose India’s ‘black lives matter’ pretence

Most Siddis still reside in the forests, surviving on agriculture and minor forest produce. One of the reasons for that, according to the community, is racial discrimination.

Godavari-Cauvery river linking: Tamil Nadu’s pipedreams and ground realities

But are such mega river-linking projects enough to solve the woes of people like Kannan? Both environmentalists and engineers beg to differ.

The PUBG ban and the gaming of the Indian market

Seen from the industry-specific perspective, the Indian government's ban on 118 games and apps with “Chinese links” certainly appears arbitrary.

‘Mor’ than meets the eye: The making of the Modi iconography

When the carefully choreographed pictures of Prime Minister Modi feeding peacocks and geese at his official residence were released last week, it was greeted with the usual hoopla.

Why the rice bowl in Kerala is shrinking

From 7.6 lakh hectares in 1955-60, the area under paddy cultivation in Kerala has come down to just 2.5 lakh hectares in 2018-19.

What ails Tagore’s abode of peace, Santiniketan?

Beneath the veneer of soothing vista of mango grove, Rabindranath Tagore's Visva Bharati University in Shantiniketan is gradually slipping into an abyss.

How uncertainty amid COVID-19 is hurting JEE, NEET aspirants

S Kavi Darshini, an 18-year-old girl who has completed her Class 12 from a government school in Krishnagiri district of Tamil Nadu, is full of anxiety these days as she doesn’t know how she will attend the NEET exam on September 13 at the exam centre in Coimbatore, which is over 300 km away from her house. “Though the restrictions on travelling ...

The op-ed space is shrinking in Hindi newspapers and what it means

Greater awareness of healthy nativism and regionalism, especially at the grassroots, can lead to a brighter future for the Hindi press.

Travelling to normalcy: It’s one small trip at a time

As governments and the industry look to revive tourism, a survey has revealed that 75 per cent of the respondents were concerned about health and safety.

How the uncharted hills of Chhattisgarh are navigating the pandemic

Tucked in a remote corner of Chhattisgarh, tribal Abujhmad is largely insulated from the tapestry of modernity, and as a result COVID-19 too.

How the poor and backward battle a skewed higher education system

Thousands of youths from backward and marginalised communities are waging many battles on the financial, social and political fronts to access higher education.

Ravaged by the pandemic, cities are trying to reboot

Throughout history, pandemics and plagues have targeted cities as if it was nature’s wrath for the destruction that cities have wrought on nature, killing its rivers and trees.

How deep has BJP’s ‘Ram baan’ stung Bengal

Several centuries after 15th century Bengali poet Krittibas Ojha tried to mainstream Rama in Bengal by depicting him as a devotee of Durga, another movement is now being launched to reinvent the mythical hero in the state.

The tale of a dying beach in Kerala

By the time the world comes back to normalcy after the COVID-19 shock, Shanghumukham beach in Kerala's Thiruvananthapuram would become a memory.

Facebook’s lack of control on fake news, hate messages lighting the matchstick

While Facebook has bowed down to governments in other countries after causing violence and riots, its content moderation is yet to raise alarm in India.

Tiger conservation doesn’t need eviction of tribals

Without the tribal people’s support, tiger conservation cannot be achieved, and so dialogues need to continue rather than evicting locals, and the community participation initiatives and tiger numbers are proof of that.

What it means to treat mental illness amid COVID-19

The wards in the Institute of Mental Health, Chennai, for the mentally challenged are a revelation, that challenge general perceptions about people with mental issues

Roja and the making of a whole new generation of nationalists

Wittingly or not, Mani Ratnam’s acclaimed film Roja, released on August 15, 1992, about a woman's battle to get her abducted husband back from Kashmiri terrorists set the trend for more such one-sided ‘patriotic’ movies.

Assam fire: 3 months on, villagers caught in OIL’s ‘smokescreen’

For nearly three months, a fire has been raging at OIL's natural gas field in Assam's Baghjan, leaving thousands of people homeless, their crops and cattle destroyed and the ecology affected.

Who is an Assamese? Panel report raises more questions than answers

In a latest ‘revolt’ to Centre’s ‘betrayal’, the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) released a confidential report prepared by a government-appointed high-level committee to answer the question ‘who is an Assamese’.

In the digital education race, many are yet to start

Meera Crasta (name changed), a class 9 student of a private English medium school in Bangalore, has a harrowing time every time she sits for online classes. All her classes are available online on Doordarshan’s Youtube channel but they are in Kannada. The Tamil-origin girl who has limited knowledge of Kannada and has taken up studies in English ...

While you’re having lockdown blues, life’s pretty dope for some

While the COVID-19 lockdown was a morose affair for most, illegal drug users continued to live a high life, albeit at a higher cost.

BJP’s Bengal blueprint threatens the hegemony of ‘bhadralok’

The Matua community in West Bengal, with their influential population, holds a strong political base that the BJP and Trinamool look to tap.

Assam floods: ‘The challenge is twice the size of Brahmaputra’

The devastation caused by the floods in Assam is terrible. This year alone, more than 56 lakh people were affected in 30 of the 33 districts since May and 109 persons have died.

How these Kashmiri women are struggling to spread BJP’s message in the Valley

Despite some Kashmiri women standing by BJP, issues like lockdown, internet blockade and domicile law are bound to affect the party.

Black magic and Bengalis: The wicked narrative against women

It was early morning and a road trip from Delhi to Shimla looked inviting enough to make Arumita Mitra slip into a dreamy nap inside the car. Outside, the sun was shining bright and the trees were swaying gently. Arumita was not alone in the car. A young couple, Arumita’s close acquaintances, and their 10-month-old baby were also travelling along w...

Law and disorder: How Yogi raj pushed UP deeper into hellhole

Crime stories topping news headlines headlines over the past week speaks volumes about the law and order situation in Uttar Pradesh under Yogi Adityanath, an alien insider in the Sangh Parivar, who was pitchforked into chief ministership by the RSS.

How Venkatram’s epic novel mixed humour, hallucination and sex

Tamil writer MV Venkatram's almost-autobiographical novel Kaathugal (Ears) is one of the most poignant works describing hallucination in detail.

How India’s ‘drone boy’ crash-landed

From a high of fame, 'drone' Prathap had a hard crash as his claims of having built drones and won international awards were exposed.

Mars rover: It’s finally time for Nasa’s Perseverance to pay off

NASA’s latest rover Perseverance will be launched towards Mars on July 30, 4:50 pm IST (4:50 am PDT) from Space Launch Complex 41 in Florida.

Digital divide exposes India’s neglect of tribal students

Sixteen-year-old Sreedevi has to walk at least 5 km from her home in Poochukottamparai tribal settlement in Tamil Nadu’s Tirupur district just to get a workable mobile phone signal. Sreedevi recently made headlines after scoring 95 per cent in her Class 10 board exams and became the first one from the forest-dwelling Muduvar tribal community to ...

What profiling of govt staff means for Naga society

In the Kenye family in Kohima, there is a much-shared joke they often laugh over: “What goes on and on and on? A gossipmonger’s tongue and the Naga peace process." Unfortunately, they say, this joke will never get old or die. Recent developments in the state have once again given the Kenye family reasons to believe so. The state government, at t...

The many Karthiks of Tamil cinema

What’s in a name? Well, a lot if it's a Tamil film and the hero goes by the name of Karthik. While Rahul happens to be the textbook hero of millennial romance in Bollywood, Karthik wields the same sway, if not more, over Kollywood filmmakers and their audience. This perhaps became more pronounced with Mani Rathnam's Alaipayuthey (2000). Since th...

Mohun Bagan-ATK merger: Will the end of an era kick off a new beginning?

In the early 2000s when Mohun Bagan was struggling to raise funds to sign Brazilian footballer Jose Ramirez Barreto, a fanatic fan mortgaged his house to arrange the money. For over a century the grand-old club Mohun Bagan Athletic Club -- commonly popular as just Mohun Bagan -- had been essentially run as a public institution dependent on the g...

Silk rout: COVID, Chinese imports take the shine off Indian silk

About 50 km from Bengaluru, on the way to Mysore, lies the Ramanagara silk cocoon market, one of the largest in Asia. Farmers from across Karnataka gather here to sell their produce through a bidding process. They arrange the cocoons in the bins allocated, as per different grades and qualities. Reelers who reel the cocoons together to produce si...

How the pallbearers of grief are shouldering death and despair

The coronavirus forced funeral rituals in India to undergo dramatic changes as many families refused to perform the last rites of their relatives over the fear of the spread of the virus.

Call of duty: How Haryana punches above its weight in the Army

It’s not just young men from Haryana who are enamoured with the Indian Army, brave women too have pulled their weight in the forces.

Chennai chutzpah: When the city labels migrants as ‘traitors’

The criticism against migrants leaving Chennai city seems unjustified as experts believe most of the city's population comprises settlers from outside and it is outsiders who built the city.

Rain or shine, IMD has been under the weather for a long time now

IMD’s repeated failures have given a leeway to private weather monitoring companies to come up, with a number of state governments hiring private agencies to firm up their plans.

Oscars: How Senthil Kumar’s Qube Cinema changed the Indian film industry

Senthil Kumar and his ventures Qube Cinema and Media Artists Centre have been working behind the scenes silently to ensure the Indian film industry's shift to digital.

Italian marines case: How the UN court order leaves India at sea

The Permanent Court of Arbitration's ruling that the two Italian marines cannot be tried in India is a severe blow to the country, feel experts.

Kolkata’s love for Chinese-Indians is limited to the cuisine

Since the first recorded Chinese settler, Tong Atchew in the 18th century, the Chinese community in Kolkata has grown considerably, although they have lost touch with their homeland and speak little Mandarin.

Unchecked, unquestioned, police atrocities continue

According to NCRB data, between 2001 and 2018 as many as 1,727 people have died in police and judicial custody.

Toy story: As ‘boycott China’ chorus grows, hopes revive for Channapatna ...

Channapatna toys, made of ivory wood, has a long history tracing back to the times of Tipu Sultan, and has been accorded the geographical indication tag.

TV set for change, courtesy COVID-19 break

The audience's shift to OTT during this COVID-19 lockdown will bring about a big change in TV content, feel some experts.

New domicile law amplifies anxiety over demography in J&K

Some experts believe the government has brought the domicile to disempower the permanent residents politically and economically.

Siddha: Understanding the science and history behind mysterious cures

Siddhars were the earliest known medical professionals who discovered a particular form of medicine from the forests and mountains, which is now known as Siddha.

Nabanna vs Raj Bhavan: Inside the murky corridors of power in Bengal

One loses count of the number of occasions West Bengal Governor Jagdeep Dhankar engaged in a war of words with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and her government since taking oath as Governor on July 31 last year.

Contract farming needs more than an ordinance

While from the outside, contract farming may seem a success story where the farmers were better off compared to their peers, there were issues.

COVID-19 vaccine soon? Why you need to keep the mask on for now

Bharat Biotech’s Covaxin, an inactivated virus vaccine for novel coronavirus, is a sweet respite coming amid the rise in COVID-19 cases in India.

A Ladakhi royal family fighting Chinese land grab since 1980s

The erstwhile royal Dorje family has lost their ancestral property, a heritage castle in Chabji to the Chinese while another one in Chumur area has been made out of bounds as it falls in the border buffer zone.

How lockdown spun medical nightmares for expectant mothers

Sometime in May, Promilla Devi, who was 32 weeks pregnant, visited a healthcare centre in Jharkhand’s Bokaro district with complaints of heavy bleeding. Suspecting it to be a case of placenta previa — low lying placenta — the healthcare centre run by Jan Chetna Manch sent her to the Sadar Hospital in Bokaro since it has an ultrasound machine, 24x7 ...

Keeladi: What makes Tamil Nadu keep digging deeper

Although Tamil Nadu has had quite a few excavations over many years, only a few like Arikamedu and Keeladi come to mind immediately.

Lockdown leaves handloom weavers hanging by a thread

The art of handicrafts and handlooms has overcome all kinds of hardships over the years. Hopefully, it will continue to preserve itself.

How COVID-19 turned big celebrations of life into small mercies

COVID-19 has brought the world to its knees, and created a new normal for almost all. What used to be big fat Greek affairs have seen a minimalist, stick-to-essentials makeover, especially special moments in life, weddings, birth of newborns, or even normal phases of life, like a career leap.

The butterfly chase in India is turning exciting. Here’s how

Rapid urbanisation and development have eroded the habitats of many animal, plant and insect species. Butterflies are no exception. That's why conservation efforts in this regard is a welcome change, even from urban spaces.

When a vibrant Kashmir is painted in radical colours

Cinema and alcohol have always attracted controversy in Jammu and Kashmir, with reasons being linked to political discourse and social sensibilities than to perceived radicalism or intolerance.

Athirappilly project: When people’s persistence can win the good fight

For villagers living in Athirappilly-Vazhachal region in Kerala’s Thrissur district and opposing the proposed Athirappilly hydroelectric project for over three decades, the tide in Chalakudy river is turning, albeit sluggishly.

Riding back in time as Atlas cycles slam on the brakes

Bhumika Sharma was flicking through a book in her study when she received a notification on her smartphone: “Atlas Cycle (Haryana) Ltd is closing its operations on June 3.” A rush of childhood memories started flashing before her eyes — how she would pedal 10 km from her village to her school in Sonipat city. “I am a lecturer at Sonipat’s GVM Co...

Our identity, legacy at stake in India-China face-off: Galwan family

For the Galwan family, the contested valley is at the core of their happiness and prosperity. They fear that if China won’t retreat from Galwan Valley, India may lose a strategic location and territory but the Galwans would lose the fulcrum of their existence, legacy and dreams.

Beyond Paatal Lok, the pain and progress of transgender people in Manipur

Paatal Lok, the nine-episode Amazon Prime series, breaks stereotypes about transgender people, with the role being played by a transgender person.

In the heartland of Changpas, brand ‘Ladakh’ battles Beijing’s belligerence

Changpas rear their livestock in eastern Ladakh’s limited and almost barren pasture lands, which the Chinese troops have been slowly encroaching.

Peddling food myths in the time of pandemic

Given the fear that comes with this pandemic, people tend to believe in ‘WhatsApp forwards’ that perpetuate food myths surrounding coronavirus.

Online classes in ‘digital India’ raise more questions than answers

The most common reason for not being able to attend online classes was not having access to a separate smartphone and network connection.

Dry taps water down COVID-19 battle in Chennai slums

It is portrayed as if there is no water scarcity in the city. Maybe the government will initiate some measures only if the rich get affected and are left without water.

Yesterday’s Gulabo, today’s Sitabo: Amitabh Bachchan as metaphor for India

Amitabh Bachchan’s cinematic odyssey is a metaphor for India. He has, like Forrest Gump, not just been present as a witness to several social, cultural and political transformations, but has had the good fortune — and the bad luck — to have been part of them, sometimes as the leading man, sometimes as the side actor, and once or twice as the sidekick.

How Indians are targeting LGBTQ+ community with ‘conversion therapy’

Despite the Supreme Court decriminalising homosexuality, the LGBTQ+ community is largely stigmatised and face persecution, even at the hands of families.

COVID-19: For Mizoram’s lost Jews, ‘promised land’ and kin seem farther away

In the wake of the pandemic and the ensuing financial hardship, Jewish organisations from Mexico, USA and Israel are sending aid to the Bnei Menashe community in Mizoram and Manipur. 

How app-based lenders are harassing, sucking borrowers dry

Thousands of customers have fallen prey to lending apps which are misusing data, overcharging customers and taking advantage of the digital illiteracy.

Beyond ‘Kerala model’, there is a lot to learn from Shailaja Teacher

It was due to Shailaja teacher's tireless efforts that the ‘Kerala model’ is today recognised as an effective anti-COVID strategy, not only by the country but around the world.

As cities unlock, fate of migrant workers in gig jobs remains locked

With the lockdown being relaxed in phases, many believe that the gig economy will be back to normal sooner than later and help migrant workers earn their livelihood.

Family portrait of novel coronavirus reveals a new type in India

While largely the coronavirus has been classified into two superclades, A and B, referring to Europe and South Asian origins respectively, a new variant has been found in India

Disability: 30 yrs after Anjali, Indian cinema is as cold and indifferent as ever

Anjali (1990) is a celebrated Tamil film made by the ace director Mani Ratnam that still continues to evoke a special attachment in many even now.

How hate-mongers turned a man-animal conflict into a Hindu-Muslim turf war

Malappuram, the only Muslim majority district in Kerala has often been referred as a ‘mini-Pakistan’. The reality, however, is far from these myths created outside Kerala.

As virus eclipses life, get set for a shadow play between sun and moon

The earth is set to eclipse the moon from the sun’s glare on the night of June 5, and it will be the second lunar eclipse this year.

Delta of decay: Human folly, nature’s fury ravage the Sunderbans

For nature’s fury, people of the delta in Sunderbans in West Bengal could not escape their share of blame and the worst is yet to come, believe many.

Bursting at the seams, urban slums became soft targets for coronavirus

Most places in Chennai where a high number of COVID-19 cases were found have been traced to densely populated slum settlements.

Coronavirus deepens rural reporting crisis in India

Because of the COVID-19 lockdown, many newspapers have run into losses and due to this, rural news reporting has taken a big hit.

Eat, pray and stay at home: COVID-19 has unleveled the playing field

Unable to practise and maintain fitness levels, and with uncertainty looming over events, whether state-level, national or international, including the Olympics, sportspersons fear a loss of competitiveness, opportunities and other benefits, including jobs.

Shramik Specials: Train to hell and back

A common refrain of migrant workers from across the country is that boarding the special Shramik train has become akin to winning a lottery.

Grit and compassion: How women are tackling strongman-led COVID-19 fight

Indian women have been at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19, and it has borne successful results for all to see.

Is it the end of the great American education dream?

Clouds of uncertainty looming over admission processes, academic schedules and financial aid at the US campuses, growing visa restrictions and job losses have hit aspirants very hard.

How lockdown has hit tribal communities and forest dwellers

Lockdown restrictions have affected tribal communities and forest dwellers, whose livelihood depend on collecting and selling forest produce.

How Koyambedu market became a COVID-19 super-spreader

Panic gripped Inbaraj when the police took scores of daily wage labourers engaged in loading and unloading vegetables and fruits from Chennai’s Koyambedu market for COVID-19 testing in early May. Since the lockdown was imposed on March 24, the scene at Asia’s largest perishable goods market had been scary. He has been striving hard for a meal. “...

Community radios going vocal about local issues, fight to stay alive

Community radios rise to the occasion during every disaster and go vocal about local issues at other times, but now they fight to stay alive.

On Eid eve, Ramzan is unusually quiet and sombre

Muslims across the country are adapting to the crisis but it has been hard for them to accept the new normal, especially in not having the mosque as their centre of rallying point during Ramzan.

For Indian expats returning home, COVID’s shattered a dream too many

For S Suresh, a server working in a Dubai bar, life had gotten better since he left his native Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu. “Since I was given food, accommodation and a decent pay, I always felt safe to be here, instead of looking back at my native.” But the novel coronavirus struck, forcing the bar to shut, leaving the daily-wage earner without a ...

Back in their villages, only hope for migrants is UPA-era MNREGA

More than any long term measures, the migrant workers seeking immediate relief after their recent nightmarish experience are pinning their hope on the MNREGA, once ridiculed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a living monument of the failure of the erstwhile Congress-led UPA government.

On his birthday, let’s see the world through Ruskin Bond’s window

Sitting at an altitude of 7,000 ft, a tiny space has become home to India’s celebrated author Ruskin Bond who’s turning 86 today (May 19).

The invisible women in the sea of migrant labourers

The word ‘migrant’ in the time of coronavirus lockdown conjures up images of tired, desolate men walking hundreds of kilometres trying to evade hunger and misery. However, women migrants who are either on their own or with their families, remain largely invisible as they quietly brave the transient times in the face of the pandemic. For 45-year-...

From telegram to e-mail, how India Post managed to remain relevant

Post offices have evolved over the ages to cater to the new needs of the new ages, but experts feel it could have become local internet service provider and acted like moving ATMs, especially in a time of crisis like this.

OTTs are replacing multiplexes and lockdown isn’t the only reason

OTT platforms give the option of watching any film through any medium. The films can be viewed on smartphones, TV, desktops or laptops.

Migrant workers: Labour without liberty

Experts believe that he decision of states to amend labour laws will be a body blow to the working class, especially migrant workers, and that taking the ordinance route for this was unconstitutional.

Covid-19 ‘infects’ administrations with new zeal, but for how long?

It took a pandemic to rouse the administration to ensure basic necessities for the marginalised and act against violations of law.

When liquor withdrawal in lockdown pushes tipplers to the edge

After 40 days of lockdown, the serpentine queues outside liquor shops across the country, disregarding social distancing norms, became a telling sign of the importance of alcohol consumption for thousands and the extent of addiction, even when a pandemic like COVID-19 was close on heels.

A conversation with Gandhiji in the time of coronavirus pandemic

What would Gandhiji who lived a century ago have to say to us as we negotiate the coronavirus pandemic in modern times?

Behind the wheel of an ambulance: Steering hope amid despair

For ambulance drivers on COVID-19 duty, they have to protect themselves fully and be ready anytime to transport patients to hospitals and back even as they navigate problems and face a high risk of contracting the disease.

How to bridge the gaping digital divide in India

Internet infrastructural support and access to information continue to be crucial in supporting our underserved populations in these critical times.

Anti-microbial resistance: When microbes get the better of humans

Antibiotic resistance is putting achievements of modern medicine at risk as life-saving activities such as organ transplantations and chemotherapy.

MSMEs struggle as migrant workers look to leave for home

Migrant workers say they would return from their homes only after there is clarity about the situation and the future. “We will leave now and will decide about coming back after a few months.”

Making the most during COVID-19 crisis

Companies in the edtech, foodtech, healthcare, telecom and OTT sectors have seen an uptick in demand even as others lost out, dragged down by a slow economic growth and coronavirus lockdown.

How the post-coronavirus world will look like

Everything was planned. And then nothing made sense anymore. The most disruptive event in our lives happened — COVID-19. As a bunch of individuals who’ve been predicting how people think and how their purchases can be influenced, we thought we could spend this time thinking about what the post-corona world would be like. We are not economists or...

Chithirai Thiruvizha: Missing Meenakshi’s wedding

One of the grandest of festivals in Tamil Nadu, the Chithirai Thiruvizha associated with Meenakshi Sundareswara temple, this time has been cancelled owing to the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown.

Citizens care: How volunteers teamed up to feed the hungry

It is the job of the government to take care of all its citizens, both rich and poor. Those in power should not become complacent just because some citizens have taken upon themselves to help these people.

Arunachal gets its first ICU as Covid-19 exposes NE’s health woes

Apart from Assam, most of the northeastern states have poor healthcare infrastructure, that leaves them exposed in the battle against COVID-19.

Taken for granted, nurses are overworked and underpaid

“I mutter a prayer every time I enter the COVID-19 ward in the hospital,” says Saroja (name changed), a 49-year-old nurse on COVID-19 duty in a tertiary government hospital in Chennai. The fear of contracting the virus lingers although she has 25 years’ experience and like nurses across the country, she has gone through the drill about precautio...

Sanitation workers: ‘COVID-19 or not, our lives are at risk every day’

Right next to a containment zone in Uttar Pradesh's Noida, a towering high-rise apartment complex with more than 1,100 flats houses a dirty secret. And Usha Devi, a sanitation worker, has been one of the many keepers of that secret for a couple of years now. Rain or shine, mahamari (epidemic) or Mahashivratri, her God, she says, has never been merc...

Truth be told, masks expose the hidden face

When the world goes back to being 'normal' (if ever), perhaps we will have mastered the art of being vulnerable, perhaps we will have understood that nothing lasts for ever, that power crumbles easily, that life is fragile, that love is precious.

COVID-19: For lab technicians, it’s a litmus test

With India scaling up the tests for COVID-19, the limited number of testers in the country are racing against time to identify cases quickly and prevent further spread of the contagious virus.

Like oil, the US may be worth a lot less in a post-corona world

The oil sell-off and potential demise of shale companies is a big threat to US. In post-corona world, it may have a diminished stature in geopolitics.

Police diary: ‘You either die a hero or a villain’

For constable Bittu Singh (name changed), a childhood memory has remained etched into his mind like words on a tombstone. Bittu, along with his elder bother and friends, was playing cricket in the lane leading to their red-brick house with a leaking tin roof in Uttar Pradesh’s Azamgarh district. Suddenly an argument ensued over a missed wicket a...

Doctors, the soldiers in the war against COVID-19

By the end of March, Anand (name changed) would have completed his graduation in medicine (MBBS). But in the middle of the month, he and his batchmates at Thanjavur Medical College Hospital in Tamil Nadu received a message that thrust them into the frontline of a crisis. “We were told that we will be on a month-long duty till April 28 in the COV...

Contact tracing, hotspots and plodding through sewers: Cholera in Bangalore 1895

During the cholera outbreak in Bangalore in 1895, there was then, as now, a constant battle between faith and reason, both in India and the UK.

Lockdown and loneliness: Lessons from literature

The COVID-19 lockdown has brought about a certain kind of loneliness among humans, but loneliness is a basic trait of human beings and it has been captured in literature in different languages through the ages.

How the pandemic has hit the hands that feed India

Farmers in many parts of Assam, Bengal and other states too are facing problems in harvesting and transporting their produce due to the COVID-19 lockdown.

Locked down, migrant workers are running out of hope

With no future to look forward to, migrant workers stranded in relief camps in other states yearn to go home. “From there we can make a fresh start," they say.

COVID-19 stigma: Indians have distanced themselves from rationality

A society devoid of rationalists will continue to invoke superstitious beliefs and practices. This gets amplified when top political leaders attach everything to mythology and vedas and puranas.

The scramble for COVID-19 vaccine and the challenges ahead

Research institutions across the world, from China to US to India have commenced development of a vaccine for the novel coronavirus and COVID-19.

What India’s wobbly healthcare system needs to survive future crises

In the wake of the COVID-19, experts believe the Indian healthcare system needs a major revamp to deal with future pandemics of this scale.

COVID-19: The wild are back to life, for now

The lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19 has brought about a temporary relief to elements of nature, especially the wildlife which plays a great role in running our ecosystem.

Indian Muslims battle Islamophobia amid COVID-19

What seems to be keeping the vilification of Muslims afire on social media and on the ground is the coverage of the pandemic, from a communal angle, by many news media outlets.

COVID-19 is changing consumer behaviour and how

The coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdown is changing consumption patterns of people and may have a long-lasting impact on certain industries.

How smallpox once pockmarked Bengal’s puja calendar  

As Basanti Puja passed off quietly in the state, it left many in Bengal, like everywhere else, in a state of daze and disbelief. Could this be the last spring and celebration?

For COVID-19 cure, WHO unites nations for global study

As the coronavirus is new, it is not surprising that there are no drugs against it. At present, the treatment for COVID-19 is primarily supportive care, including ventilation if necessary.

COVID-19: Reel-life apocalypses feel so real now

Cinema often reflects society but some filmmakers have gone the other way and projected an imagined future. Based partly on science and partly on fiction, these films remain just films until an imagined scenario becomes real.

Lockdown has outed the dirty little secret of modern Indian households

With COVID-19 lockdown forcing people to work from home, a hidden sexism has been exposed, thanks to the lack of domestic helps, which leaves women in the house to be expected to do all household chores and also her office work.

Eat sweets, sleep, repeat: Story behind Bengal’s sugar rush amid COVID-19

On the afternoon of March 31, retired bank employee Sudip Dasgupta hopped into his neighbourhood sweet shop in South Kolkata’s Jadavpur area as the state government allowed a four-hour window to tickle the taste buds of sweet-toothed Bengalis. Armed with a face mask and a jhola, the 67-year-old rushed to get his favourite dessert —  mishti doi (...

Slum dwellers worry job loss, price rise will break their backs before COVID-19 gets ...

Government will have to generate employment like beedi rolling, incense stick manufacturing, tailoring, among others to keep the informal settlers engaged, according to experts.

COVID-19 has unmasked India — the poor are on their own

Unfortunately for the poor, the Coronavirus continues to chase them as barriers have come up in their own villages, which wish to safeguard them against the impending disease.

What simple mathematics can tell us about coronavirus

As on March 26, 2020, the novel coronavirus pandemic (COVID19) has killed 18,589, and infected 4,16,686. Every minute, the virus is claiming more lives. Before we are convinced of the savagery of the novel coronavirus pandemic, let us look in comparison, say, the deaths caused by road accidents. The epicentre of the novel coronavirus, China, has...

With COVID-19, we also face a ‘pandemic’ of anxiety

A pandemic is not a public health issue alone — but economic and social as well. Incorporating cultural and social aspects into the scientific efforts by public health authorities coupled with people’s support can go a long way in fighting coronavirus.

Coronavirus sparks xenophobia against Chinese, Northeast Indians

Du Fengyan, 35, a Chinese from Beijing arrived in Mumbai, India on January 29, a day before India reported its first coronavirus case in Kerala. The airport authorities had screened him for the virus and had cleared him. As Fengyan toured the maximum city for a week, staying out of a hostel, little did he know what was in store for him, as the n...

Coronavirus: It’s critical to understand the science to avoid the frenzy

Like seasonal flu, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus is a respiratory disease. About 80% of infected persons will recover on their own, not even needing a visit to a doctor.

In times of pandemic, India’s R&D begs for attention

The COVID-19 crisis is attracting the best expertise from around the world to find solutions. But India has many other problems of its own, and will have more in the future, which require all the homegrown expertise we can get.

Behind the scenes: Indian TV’s ‘good bahu, bad bahu’ sagas

Dressed in chiffons, eyes highlighted with kohl and a long bindi on the forehead, she is often scheming about how to bring down the other woman — the female protagonist, who is angelic and sacrificial. If you have already guessed that this is the antagonist of popular Hindi soap operas from the stables of Ekta Kapoor and her spawns, you won’t be di...

Coronavirus is not man-made, only the rumours are

By analysing the public genome sequence data from SARS-CoV-2, researchers have convincingly concluded that "SARS-CoV-2 is not a laboratory construct or a purposefully manipulated virus", putting to rest all suspicions of bio-weapon gone astray.

Coronavirus is curbing carbon emissions, but for how long?

For Siva Kumar, 28, a management professional working for a China-based cross-border e-commerce firm, seeing his fellow Chinese colleagues flying down to Bengaluru every month was a routine. They visited Bengaluru for the company’s monthly review meetings. But since January, the travel restrictions placed across countries due to the novel corona...

CAA, NRC: BJP’s ‘Bangladeshi termites’ rant is now gnawing at India...

Dhaka, like its ethnic cousin Kolkata, is known for street protests and agitations. But even going by its own track records, the large-scale mass demonstrations Bangladesh’s capital witnessed earlier this month were unprecedented. The Islamists, as well as the secularists, were on the streets, for once, over the same cause — to oppose participat...

As coronavirus ploughs through life, COVID-19 threatens globalised world order

It is not often that one gets to act in a Hollywood movie, or for that matter, any movie anywhere. Today, in 2020 CE, the entire world appears to be “acting” in a classic Hollywood blockbuster where entire cities and even countries are in varying degrees of a lockdown marked by deserted streets, empty malls and humans dressed in white, moving, as i...

Is rightist Draupathi turning Dravidian Tamil cinema on its head?

Experts believe that one caste film like Draupathi will not have much impact on people and says it is wrong to think that Tamil Nadu is turning right.

After SC lifts RBI ban, crypto startups see a sliver of hope

Cryptocurrency experts say the government does not see technology as disruptive but perceive it as a threat to the banking culture and so seek to ban it.

Inside BJP’s hate message factory

Considering that the BJP leaders themselves engage in hate speeches, spreading misinformation and rumours continuously, the act of not condemning the posts on these party-monitored groups comes as no surprise. They let such content flow freely without any technological possibility of moderating them.

When violation cannot be justified as artistic manipulation

Acclaimed director Anjali Menon says not informing actress Rekha, who was a minor then, about the kiss (with Kamal Haasan in Punnagai Mannan) meant transgression of body rights.

Meghalaya: How CAA reignited the ethnic cauldron

In the wake of the recent violence in Meghalaya triggered by the anti-CAA protests, the fact remains that the perceived threat to tribal rights in Meghalaya is often amplified, as their interests are well protected by job reservation and land rights.

How a photo archive in Puducherry helps retrieve stolen idols

The French Institute of Pondicherry has over 1.7 lakh archived photographs of idols and temple art, recorded over a 60-year period since 1955, which has come to the help of police tracing missing or stolen idols in several Tamil Nadu temples.

An astronomer’s telegram: A bright red star Betelgeuse is dying

When Betelgeuse collapses and goes supernova, it would appear brighter than a half-moon for more than a hundred days

Ban and beauty: Unfair colour bias runs deep within

Being dark-skinned has always been looked down upon as a disadvantage, as fairness ads harped on the obsession to encourage brides and career women.

When social media runs riot, and paves the mob way

If, say, WhatsApp makes one pause for 30 seconds to check whether the information is unverified or asks the user to exercise caution while forwarding messages or while posting inflammatory speeches, the hatred one spreads can be reduced, feel experts.

Books to films: When a writer loses rights and is left in lurch

Writers, including the Jnanpith awardee, have been treated mercilessly by filmmakers who promise to adapt novels and books, only to give them the slip.

Trump’s visit had all the smoke but little fire

Only the politically very naïve would have thought that the American President’s visit to India would have set either the Potomac or the Indian Ocean on fire. But from the time Donald Trump and his delegation set foot in Ahmedabad, there was no doubt that the 45th President of the United States and his family that included the First Lady, Daughter ...

Waste wars: Hospitals need to manage biomedical trash

Waste management is beyond just data and adherence to the rules and regulations. It has to be supported by appropriate education, training, commitment of healthcare staff at the grassroots level.

The divine truth behind ‘Hinduisation’ of tribes in Arunachal

Look-alikes of Hindu deities have burgeoned across Arunachal Pradesh as efforts are being made to formalise the indigenous religions of various tribes of the state in a bid to thwart the growing influence of Christianity, which emerged as the largest religion of the state, as per the 2011 Census

Breakfast scheme at schools: TN govt is serving an old recipe on a new platter

The Tamil Nadu government's noon meal scheme is surrounded by a controversy in the state over its decision to tie up with Akshaya Patra, which removed onion and garlic from the ingredients.

Parai attam: Drumming up change was not easy, but it’s happening

On a February Friday, in an unassuming alley outside a marriage hall in Madurai, two kids break into a jig in tune with the beating of the drums. Inside the hall, the coy bride is waiting for her groom, her heart beating hard. As guests start crowding the venue, both her heartbeats and the sound of the drums grow louder. By now, even passersby coul...