Projects

It is a month now since ABN Network, India’s only satellite channel in Nepali language, went off air. On July 22, West Bengal police raided and sealed its corporate office and recording studio in Siliguri. The next day, Rachna Bhagat, the district magistrate of Jalpaiguri, issued an order restraining the channel from broadcasting news programmes…

Read more For a month now, India’s only Nepali satellite news channel has been facing an unofficial ban

The monsoons have just arrived, and Pothia is already a veritable wonderland. Clusters of jackfruit hang from trees, ready to ripen. Succulent gourds dangle from meshes of wiry branches. Green pineapples glisten, awaiting the yellow of maturity. Jute plants are a mutinous green. The last of the ripened corn fields are ready to be harvested.…

Read more A new home of fine tea: Bihar

An otherwise-quiet community centre of a Roman Catholic religious order, some 5 km from Siliguri, in North Bengal, has recently taken up a new role. From last Wednesday, it started functioning as an off-site school for students of Classes 10 and 12 of a reputed century-old school from Darjeeling, 62 km away, run by the…

Read more With no sign of strike ending, Darjeeling schools begin off-site classes to tutor board examinees

On a damp monsoon afternoon in July, a clutch of children were playing cricket in a lane in a residential area in Siliguri. Usually fond of football, which is more popular in the Darjeeling hills from where they had come, they had just discovered the joys of gully cricket – one of the ways in…

Read more ‘Are we also not Gorkhas?’ Trinamool supporters who fled Darjeeling hills want to return home

Forty-six days after a general strike began in the Darjeeling hills in support of the demand for a separate state, leaders of the 14 party-strong Gorkhaland Movement Coordination Committee are meeting in New Delhi on Tuesday. But well before the meeting, on July 27, they had already declared that the strike will continue. Beyond extending…

Read more Gorkhaland agitation: Weak leadership looms large over a strong mass movement

Late night, sometime in the hours before dawn, Rajen Lama* of Kurseong, a town in the West Bengal’s mountainous Darjeeling district, drives down to Siliguri, about 35 km away in the foothills. The first thing he buys when the shops open is formula milk. Next, he picks up some vegetables and rations for his family…

Read more Food shortages intensify in Darjeeling hills but the statehood movement remains strong

Five states in India are headed for elections in the next two months. The outcome of the regional elections is crucial in that it will decide how national politics will play out in the coming days, and years, leading up to national elections in 2019. For the 131-year old Indian National Congress, the principal opposition…

Read more ‘I think the “real” Rahul Gandhi is yet to emerge:’ Rasheed Kidwai on the Pitfalls of the Gandhi Dynasty

Nandan Nilekani, the former chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India, has hailed Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s move to demonetize high-value currency notes—removing 500 and 1,000 rupee notes, which together comprised 86 percent of the cash in circulation—saying it will boost India’s digital economy. “The shock given to the currency” will accelerate the…

Read more If India’s Demonetization Was All About Going Digital, Then Why the Rush?