Varanasi’s Secular Dream

Varanasi is still the India we knew and loved, where despite differences and grouses communities co-existed peacefully. However, we are now ruled by Hindutva fanatics, who have been targeting minorities in every possible way, from lynching to exclusion as Indian citizens in the country’s archaic National Register of Citizens, which was revived last year by…

Handwashing helps stop COVID-19. But in India, water is scarce

In the village of Kaithi, in the Bundelkhand region in north central India, there is one shared tap for every five households. Bundelkhand has suffered 13 droughts in the last two decades. Water shortage is a way of life there. And with COVID-19 now spreading rapidly, people in Kaithi and other villages face a disconcerting…

A Numbers Game

India has one of the largest populations of illiterate people in the world at 266 million, amounting to 35 per cent of the global total. This is a huge concern for a developing country, which is expected to become the world’s second-largest economy by the year 2050 and which will have the youngest population in…

10 Years Of Right To Education: A Progress Report

By 2030, India is poised to become the world’s third-largest economy with the largest young, working population globally. The RTE could usher in rich dividends in its growth story and help it gain a huge advantage over arch-rival China and its rapidly ageing population. It is well timed (never a day early, actually), but could…

Time is Money

On average, commuters in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Kolkata spend 1.5 hours more travelling each day than their fellow commuters in other Asian cities during peak hours, according to the Boston Consulting Group. Meanwhile, the number of vehicles on our roads – as a daily driver I am painfully aware of my own contribution –…

May 23 Will Not Be a Defining Moment in the History of Secular India

Exit polls on Sunday evening predicted a second landslide win for the right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, renewing a question that was asked repeatedly over the past few weeks: whether India can handle another five years of Modi. Here’s the short answer. Yes, it can. There’s a long answer…

Anger is consuming India

What stands out in the Karbi Anglong video is unbridled, savage anger. It points to the unshakable fact that much of India has been overtaken by a sense of insecurity, fear and paranoia. This anger is now targeted against anything that doesn’t fit our narrow definitions. The anger could be over differences in religion, caste, community, or merely way of…