The Caravan6 min letti
Psus And Nation Building
In 1954, while Inaugurating the Bhakra Nangal dam, one of the ambitious projects included in the First Five Year Plan, Nehru christened it as a “temple of modern India.” Laying the foundation for the Nagarjuna Sagar Dam, he would repeat the same gest
The Caravan2 min letti
True Media Needs True Allies.
I think that there will come a time when people will ask of the Indian media: What were you doing in those five years when a government came to power that spread hate and poison, that controlled the media, what were you doing then? And very few in th
The Caravan18 min letti
Casting a Veil
THREE YEARS AGO, on 1 January 2018, an annual gathering of largely Dalit visitors to the memorial of Bhima Koregaon, near Pune, was attacked by mobs led by Hindu-nationalist organisations. For several weeks, these organisations had been trying to rou
The Caravan11 min lettiGender Studies
I, Mutant
It is difficult to describe, but being possessed comes closest to the feeling. A giant hand inside you, weighing you down. Whispering when you close your eyes. A lucid dream of something inside you that did not belong there. And it hurts like a bitch
The Caravan17 min letti
The Caged Bird
ON 3 APRIL 2020 , the publisher Rajkamal Prakashan went live on Facebook to host a virtual interaction between the writer Vinod Kumar Shukla and his readers. The video starts with him saying, “Main, Vinod Kumar Shukla, apne ghar par hoon”—I, Vinod Ku
The Caravan2 min letti
The Bookshelf
This collection is a history of Jawaharlal Nehru University, told through the eyes of several alumni, administrators and faculty members. It contains over a hundred photographs and reflects on the university’s expansion, the development of particular
The Caravan2 min lettiWorld
Editor’s Pick
ON 15 JANUARY 1935 , a consequential meeting of the Communist Party of China politburo began in the city of Zunyi. Its deliberations would help Mao Zedong (above) take control of the CPC. Zunyi had been captured from nationalist forces the week befor
The Caravan1 min letti
The Caravan
EDITOR ANANT NATH EXECUTIVE EDITOR VINOD K JOSE POLITICAL EDITOR HARTOSH SINGH BAL SENIOR ASSOCIATE EDITOR ROMAN GAUTAM DEPUTY POLITICAL EDITOR PRAVEEN DONTHI BOOKS EDITOR MAYA PALIT CREATIVE DIRECTOR TANVI MISHRA SENIOR ASSISTANT EDITORS MARTAND KAU
The Caravan7 min letti
Echoes of Resistance
At the end of an hour-long radio episode on Bengali protest songs, the singer and oral historian Moushumi Bhoumik performed a song written by Birendra Chattopadhyay, a twentieth-century socialist poet. A witness to the 1943 Bengal famine, Chattopadhy
The Caravan5 min letti
Travelling Voices
In the 1970s, when the bazaars first came to Uttarakhand’s Munsyari village, people began to purchase grain instead of growing it. Barley, one of the crops native to the region, slowly diminished in quantity and purpose. Rekha Rautela, who wrote abou
The Caravan5 min letti
Catch As Catch Can
In January 2018, we sat in a trawler on its fishing trip out of Malvan, a fishing centre and tourist town in southern Maharashtra. The boat cast a trawl net that was dragged over the seafloor, catching not only prawn, crab, and other commercially imp
The Caravan5 min lettiWorld
Contact Teaching
Last summer, Anke Brueggemann, an eighth-standard teacher at the Geschwister Scholl School in the German town of Solingen, heard a teenage boy on the playground scream, “Jude.” His tone was bitter and he was clearly using the word as a slur, Brueggem
The Caravan5 min letti
Pedalling Dreams
In the early 1970s, a Copenhagen-based cinema operator named Søren Sögreni wanted to buy a bicycle. He could not find one that appealed to him. Despite an exponential growth in the use of bicycles in the first half of the twentieth century, the easin
The Caravan6 min letti
Cultivating Deception
In the 1920s, as the Punjab countryside was aflame in what was till then the largest mobilisation against the British Raj, the government of India noted in its files: The Sikh peasant has been committed to a policy of “self-determination” imposed b
The Caravan13 min lettiInternational Relations
Parent Entity
When Dhruva Jaishankar was a fellow at Brookings India, in 2017, I sent him questions for a story I was reporting on the think tank for The Wire. His father, S Jaishankar, was then the foreign secretary, and I asked Dhruva what any diligent journalis
The Caravan47 min letti
The Hindu Hoax
TODAY, IN INDIA, nearly all media have been co-opted into “Hindu nationalism,” which appears to be virtually the only permissible perspective on politics. According to this perspective, “Hindu” is both an ancient religion and an ethnic group mythical
The Caravan24 min letti
Revolution Muted
ON THE NIGHT OF 23 FEBRUARY THIS YEAR, Delhi was on the brink of large-scale communal violence. For several months, peaceful protests had been taking place against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and the proposed National Register of Citizens. The pr
The Caravan32 min letti
The Devoted
ON 5 AUGUST, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone for a Ram temple in Ayodhya, Imran Khan—not to be confused with Pakistan’s prime minister—was most elated. For Khan, an anchor for the Urdu news and devotional-content channel Zee
The Caravan23 min letti
The EDIT WARS
“IT MIGHT BE AWKWARD, but please don’t scroll past this.” In July this year, the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation launched a donation campaign in India. A banner pinned at the top of every Wikipedia article noted that fewer than two percent of users m
The Caravan9 min letti
The Fine Print
In the December 2014 issue of The Caravan, we took a deep dive into two repositories of data that capture different dimensions of the media landscape. The first was the Department of Advertising and Visual Publicity, which oversees the central govern
The Caravan21 min letti
Lone Star
IN EARLY 1984 , the actress Parveen Babi announced her retirement from Bollywood in blazingly public fashion: she wrote about it in a cover story for the Illustrated Weekly of India. Titled “The Confessions of Parveen Babi,” the essay was diaristic a
The Caravan2 min letti
The Bookshelf
A weather forecaster tries to stay sane in the face of an impending storm, a group of friends is arrested for their covert radio operations around India’s independence, a woman leaves her husband and joins a circus—these are some of the characters in
The Caravan2 min letti
Editor’s Pick
ON 15 DECEMBER 1947 , the artists FN Souza, MF Husain, SH Raza, HA Gade, KH Ara and SK Bakre established the Progressive Artists’ Group in Bombay. The collective’s name was inspired by that of the Progressive Writers’ Association, which had been foun
The Caravan1 min letti
The Caravan
EDITOR ANANT NATH EXECUTIVE EDITOR VINOD K JOSE POLITICAL EDITOR HARTOSH SINGH BAL SENIOR ASSOCIATE EDITOR ROMAN GAUTAM DEPUTY POLITICAL EDITOR PRAVEEN DONTHI BOOKS EDITOR MAYA PALIT CREATIVE DIRECTOR TANVI MISHRA SENIOR ASSISTANT EDITORS MARTAND KAU
The Caravan9 min lettiMedical
Mask Off
“I have never worn a mask,” Jagdish Chandra told me, in November. The 51-year-old businessman from Kolkata said that he had taken six flights since September and that he carries documents that supported his right to not wear a mask while travelling.
The Caravan5 min letti
Tales Of The Crypts
In 2013, the autumn edition of Chowkidar, a journal published by the British Association of Cemeteries in South Asia, featured the story of one of its readers, Edward Mitchell. Mitchell knew his grandparents were buried in Poona’s St Sepulchre Cemete
The Caravan11 min letti
Line of Narrative Control
On 2 October, images of a war memorial in eastern Ladakh started appearing on the social-media accounts of some journalists. The memorial, “Gallants of Galwan,” was built for the 20 Indian soldiers who died in a violent physical clash with the Chines
The Caravan9 min lettiCrime & Violence
Now as Farce
Just four years ago, though it feels longer, towards the end of TS Thakur’s tenure as the Chief Justice of India, I interviewed a retired judge about the state of the Supreme Court. We started talking in the middle of the afternoon, and when I left t
The Caravan15 min letti
Screen Test
When I spoke to a senior staffer of News18 Tamil Nadu in October, I was told the entire organisation was crumbling. Numerous staff members had been forced to leave, the tone of the channel’s coverage had changed sharply over the last two months and a
The Caravan30 min letti
Executive (and) Editor
{1} AS IT BECAME CLEAR that Donald Trump had been ousted and Joe Biden was to be the next president of the United States, Anant Goenka tweeted, I hope after Biden’s victory, American news media takes time to introspect its partisan ways. They must m
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