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In an Indian State, a Church Pushes an Anti-Muslim Conspiracy Theory

'Love Jihad' Tests India’s Diversity

India’s Kerala state is both highly developed and religiously diverse. Yet the Hindu nationalist “Love Jihad” conspiracy has found an unlikely foothold there, aided by the church, and pitting two religious minorities against each other.

The Movement to Place India’s Belittled Courtesans in a More Positive Light

Nostalgia for India’s Forgotten Courtesans

Many Indians who had been influenced by Western education and Victorian mores belittled Tawaif art and culture. The British Empire, oblivious of the Indian traditions and cultural milieu, gradually began to erode the Tawaif tradition by equating courtesans to prostitutes.

The Transformative Art of Wood Toy Carvers in India’s Varanasi

The Transformative Art of Wood Toy Carvers in India’s Varanasi

As for the toymakers of Varanasi, they seem to acknowledge their advantage. Carving wonders out of wood, they continue the legacy of making their wooden toys in various colors and sizes; a metaphor, perhaps, for the varying levels of hopes that continue shaping the talented community.

Devyani Nighoskar
India’s Volunteers Picked Up the Slack in the Government’s COVID-19 Response. Now They’re Exhausted

India’s Volunteers Picked Up the Slack in the Government’s COVID-19 Response. Now They’re Exhausted

Since the state of India has shirked its responsibilities toward managing our public health, ordinary people have been picking up the slack by doing voluntary relief work, acting as first responders, and searching for medical equipment to make up for shortages. Our volunteer efforts feel like the only way to ensure the survival of our communities.

Mehk Chakraborty
India’s COVID Nightmare

India’s COVID Nightmare

The pandemic’s second wave in India was merciless. In the first week of May, 2.7 million people were infected and 26,000 died. India’s metropolises became open memorials of death and anguish, the suffering belying cracks in the invincible and messianic image of Modi, who became diminished in his darkest hour.

Azhar Qadri
How the Idea of ‘India’ Came About

How the Idea of ‘India’ Came About

For the Mughal rulers, whose control covered much of the subcontinent, India could be imagined as something close to a unified state. However, for the millions of people beneath their rule, no sense of a “nation” or being part of “India” is evident.

Benjamin B. Cohen
Wading through the Mumbai Blues

Wading through the Mumbai Blues

In the three weeks of strict lockdown that ended up being extended to three months, millions of Mumbai residents watched the bare bones of the mega city being revealed.

Taran Khan