Projects

Karimul Haque’s house in Jalpaiguri’s Dhalabari village was a flurry of activity when two men came looking for him one sunny June morning. Haque was busy overseeing breakfast preparations for some 200 people — a new normal for his family during the pandemic. The two brothers said their mother, Gyaneshwari Rai, an asthma patient, had…

Read more Rider on a storm: How Jalpaiguri’s ‘Bike Ambulance Dada’ ferries patients from the remotest areas

A friend in the police department apologetically texted me with some “friendly” advice. “Don’t be extra active on social media over corona issues which may lead to panic and rumours. There may be legal issues over it,” he said. He wouldn’t elaborate further, but it didn’t take much to understand. A freelance journalist was arrested in Andaman…

Read more “You cannot report on anything that is not confirmed by the government,” Indian journalists report

TAMANNA NASEER, VISHAL ARORA and ANURADHA SHARMA, Contributing writers APRIL 20, 2020 20:19 JST India’s government has partially relaxed its nationwide lockdown, especially in rural areas, but farmers find themselves with no workers and severed from supply chains. (Photo by Harshita Rathore) BANGALORE/SOTAI/DARJEELING — India’s government on Monday partially relaxed its lockdown in rural areas, allowing farmers…

Read more Indian farmers fear for survival despite lockdown’s relaxation

“Earlier it (neutrality) was a cherished value. But not anymore. We cannot afford to stay neutral in the current atmosphere. I personally believe neutrality is not something we should be aspiring for right now.”–Rajagopal “When was the last time you saw such a headline?” R Rajagopal, editor of The Telegraph, asked a hall full of college…

Read more The Telegraph editor, R Rajagopal: Cannot afford to stay neutral

It was a pleasant summer day – bright sun, blue sky, puffy cumulus clouds and an occasional gentle breeze. There was a flurry of activity at the station as the coal-fired locomotive of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway huffed and puffed. Its murky smoke mingled freely with the chai, samosas and sel rotis, amid occasional cries…

Read more A replica of the Darjeeling Himalayan Railway in England could be a lesson in conservation for India

At Pussimbing tea estate in the Darjeeling Hills, any talk of the Lok Sabha election is unwelcome. “Sorry, please don’t ask us anything about politics,” said a man in his twenties. Another asked: “Is there any democracy here? We say something to you today and tomorrow they may come to arrest us.” The immediate provocation…

Read more In Darjeeling, the BJP is silent on Gorkhaland demand – but most Gorkha parties are supporting it

When Deepti D’Cunha was on her maiden visit to Sikkim in 2011, she found herself being chased by a song everywhere. The “immensely hummable” tune put her in “a skippy, joyous mood” every time, even though all she could catch was the refrain Resham Firiri, Resham Firiri. “It was such a catchy tune, and it…

Read more How a 50-year-old Nepali song about cats and dogs spread to India and other parts of the world