India home policy and society

17 NOVEMBER 2015

Ashok Singhal: Controversial Indian VHP leader dies

Mr Singhal was the international president of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) – an affiliate of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) – for more than 20 years. The VHP is a close ally of Mr Modi’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party

10 NOVEMBER 2015

India’s Modi attacked by party colleagues after big poll loss

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is facing a mutiny from senior members of his Bharatiya Janata Party for the first time in his premiership after a humiliating election defeat in the pivotal state of Bihar exposed deep rifts over his leadership


Huge blow for Indian PM Narendra Modi as he concedes defeat in Bihar key state election

Narendra Modi conceded defeat Sunday in a key election in Bihar, one of India’s poorest and largest states, in a major blow for the prime minister who fronted a no-holds barred campaign—full-results-news-national-pliw2Jbagjagc.html

29 OCTOBER 2015

PM Bhargava: India scientist to return award in protest at ‘intolerance’

One of India’s top scientists has said he will return a prestigious government award to protest against the « growing intolerance in the country »

28 OCTOBER 2015

Indian filmmakers return awards in protest at ‘intolerance’

A group of 10 Indian filmmakers has returned national awards in protest at what they say is a rising climate of intolerance. The group, including prominent directors Dibakar Banerjee and Anant Patwardhan, made the announcement at a press conference in Mumbai

25 OCTOBER 2015

Persistent anti-Muslim violence in India (1992-2015): Gainers and losers

The gruesome lynching of a Muslim by an excited Hindu mob on September 28, 2015 has been the latest in the series of incidents of anti-Muslim violence in India. Like the demolition of the Babri Masjid, this incident too is likely to have far-reaching consequences for the Indian polity. It also sent a wrong message to Pakistan, which has had worsening relations with India following the emergence of the Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014

24 OCTOBER 2015

Indian govt approves induction of women fighter pilots in IAF

The first women fighter pilots would be selected from the batch which is undergoing training at the Air Force Academy, the Indian Defence Ministry said

23 OCTOBER 2015

India literary council condemns attacks on writers

India’s Sahitya Akademi, which bestows literary honours, has condemned recent attacks on writers and rationalists. It came as 100 writers protested outside the council, demanding it take measures to protect freedom of speech

17 OCTOBER 2015

Indian Writers Return Awards to Protest Government Silence on Violence

 In the last month, 35 leading Indian authors and poets have returned coveted awards from the National Academy of Letters in a collective revolt against what Salman Rushdie this week called the “thuggish violence” creeping into Indian life under the Hindu nationalist government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi

16 OCTOBER 2015

Indian Supreme Court rejects Modi govt’s judicial reform move, revives collegium system of appointing judges

The Supreme Court Friday struck down a law giving Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government a bigger say in the appointment of top judges, calling the new system harmful to judicial independence in the world’s largest democracy, agencies report


Indian court convicts 12 men for 2006 Mumbai train bombings

Nine years after seven RDX bombs kept in Mumbai suburban trains exploded killing 188 people and injuring 829, a MCOCA court in Mumbai convicted 12 people in the serial blasts case

28 AUGUST 2015

India celebrates ‘victory’ in 1965 war with Pakistan

India has begun more than three weeks of celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of what it claims was victory in the 1965 war with Pakistan

27 AUGUST 2015

Indian army deployed to riot-hit areas of Gujarat

Thousands of troops patrolled Gujarat Thursday after at least nine people, including a police officer, died in the worst caste-based violence to hit Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state in more than a decade

26 AUGUST 2015

Patel row: Army out, PM Modi appeals for calm as 9 killed in Gujarat clashes

At least seven people were killed in clashes between police and protesters in Gujarat on Wednesday after a huge rally by the Patidars demanding a change in the reservation quota of the state

27 JULY 2015

Abdul Kalam, former Indian president and top scientist, dies aged 83

India’s former president and top scientist Avul Pakir Jainulabdeen Abdul Kalam, who played a lead role in the country’s nuclear weapons tests, has died aged 83

12 JULY 2015

1.6 million children in India left out of school system

A recent United Nations survey has shown that about 1.6 million young children in India are being left out of the school system. Girls are the most disadvantaged as most parents prefer to prepare them for marriage, rather than a career

11 JUNE 2015

India: Amnesty urges journalist death probe

Jagendra Singh died on Monday, a week after he was allegedly set on fire by a group of men in Uttar Pradesh state

28 MAY 2015

India’s Mysore crowns new maharaja Yaduveer Wadiyar

A 23-year-old economics graduate from the University of Massachusetts has been crowned the new maharaja of Mysore, titular head of the 600-year-old Wadiyar dynasty in southern India.

25 MAY 2015

 After one year, has Narendra Modi lived up to expectations? Some analysis

Is a year in power long enough to evaluate the performance of a new government? Possibly difficult in a country with many unresolved social and economic issues like India, but it is a good time for some stock-taking.

1 MAY 2015

India rejects US ‘freedoms’ report

India has criticised a US congressional panel claim that minorities in the country have been subjected to « violent attacks » after Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led BJP came to power

11 MARCH 2015

Manmohan Singh: India ex-PM summoned in coal scandal

A court in India has summoned former PM Manmohan Singh over a corruption scandal involving coal mining licences.

1 MARCH 2015

India’s ruling Hindu party shares power in Muslim-majority Kashmir

India’s ruling Hindu nationalist party was Sunday sworn into government in the country’s only Muslim-majority state for the first time after an historic power-sharing deal with a bitter regional rival.

26 FEBRUARY 2015

India parliament disrupted over Mother Teresa remarks

The Rajya Sabha was briefly adjourned on Thursday after opposition members denounced comments by the leader of a Hindu group who said Roman Catholic missionary Mother Teresa had tried to convert people to Christianity

24 FEBRUARY 2015

India’s ruling party BJP to govern Muslim-majority Kashmir for the first time

India’s ruling Hindu nationalist party will for the first time govern the country’s only Muslim-majority state of Kashmir under a power-sharing deal with another party, officials said Tuesday

17 FEBRUARY 2015

India PM slams religious violence after church attacks

India’s Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi Tuesday promised a crackdown on religious violence and freedom of worship for all faiths after a series of attacks on churches.

10 FEBRUARY 2015

Delhi election: Arvind Kejriwal’s party routs Modi’s BJP

An anti-corruption party has won a stunning victory in the Delhi state elections in a huge setback for India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

4 JANUARY 2015

India Has World’s Third-Largest Number of Billionaires

For the first time India has more billionaires than any other country outside the U.S. and China, according to an annual list of the world’s richest individuals released this week

30 JANUARY 2015

Indian police rescue hundreds of child slaves as young as six

Indian police have rescued hundreds of child slaves as young as six during days of raids on workshops in the central city of Hyderabad, a senior officer said Friday

22 JANUARY 2015

Muslim population in India rose by 24% during 2001-11

New Delhi: Muslim population in India has grown by 24 percent between 2001 and 2011 against national average of 18 per cent with the community’s representation rising to 14.2 percent from 13.4 percent of total population

1 JANUARY 2015

BJP’s push for ban on religious conversion sparks fierce debate

The Hindu nationalist party’s president, Mr Amit Shah, together with Home Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, is among those who have called for nationwide legislation to outlaw such practices, which often see people of a certain faith publicly pressured to abandon it

30 DECEMBER 2014

In India, a court on Tuesday discharged BJP president Amit Shah from three killing cases

A special CBI court on Tuesday discharged BJP president Amit Shah from the alleged fake encounter killing cases of Sohrabuddin Sheikh and his wife Kauser Bi, and Tulsiram Prajapati.

25 DECEMBER 1014

Thousands flee deadly violence in India’s Assam

More than 2,000 people have fled their homes in the restive Indian state of Assam after separatist rebels killed dozens of villagers, some of them children, an official said

23 DECEMBER 2014

Regional party wins most seats in key Kashmir vote

The regional People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has won most seats in elections in Indian-administered Kashmir, but not enough to form a government.

21 DECEMBER 2014

Mass conversion in India PM’s home state sparks anger

Hardline Hindu groups came under fire Sunday after some 200 Christians were converted in the Indian prime minister’s home state, amid increasing concern at the right-wing government’s perceived pro-Hindu tilt.

18 DECEMBER 2014

India’s biggest space rocket lifts off

India successfully launched its biggest ever rocket, including an unmanned capsule which could one day send astronauts into space, as the country ramps up its ambitious space programme.

10 DECEMBER 2014

 Malala and Kailash Satyarthi receive joint Nobel award

 Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafzai and Indian child rights campaigner Kailash Satyarthi have received the Nobel Peace Prize awards.

Furor over ‘conversion’ of Muslims in India

India’s opposition politicians have protested inside parliament against the alleged mass conversion of about 200 Muslims to Hinduism in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh.


Will Narendra Modi change India?

He is a powerful speaker and draws huge crowds. He talks about himself in the third person. He’s the most energetic leader India has had in years, burning the midnight oil and campaigning for his party with equal fervour.


Sadashiv Amrapurkar: Bollywood actor dies

Veteran Bollywood actor Sadashiv Amrapurkar who is known for his stellar performances in villainous roles in movies like Sadak, Ishq and Ardh Satya, died on Monday morning at the Kokilaben Dhirbubhai Ambani Hospital in Mumbai.

31 OCTOBER 2014

India pays low-key Gandhi tribute 30 years after assassination

No ministers of India’s new government attended the event honouring Gandhi, gunned down by Sikh bodyguards on October 31, 1984, in retaliation for ordering an attack on a revered Sikh shrine to clear out militants holed up in the complex

Bengaluru: India’s Bangalore city changes name

India’s technology capital Bangalore will be formally known as Bengaluru from Saturday, eight years after the state first proposed the name change.

20 OCTOBER 2014

BJP ousts Congress in two states

In Maharashtra, the BJP won 123 of 288 seats from Wednesday’s assembly elections, needing another 22 to easily form the government. In Haryana, the party won an absolute majority on its own for the first time.

13 OCTOBER 2014

India: Anger As Minister Says Christian, Muslim Dalits Should Be Denied Job Quotas

Christian and Muslim leaders lashed out Monday after India’s minister for social justice said the government would not be granting job reservation rights to “untouchables” who converted.

11 OCTOBER 2014

Anti-slavery fighter Kailash Satyarthi has saved 80,000 children

The 60-year-old activist has been campaigning against child trafficking in India for over 30 years, presenting child slavery not as a welfare problem but as a human rights issue that feeds illiteracy and poverty.


Top India politician Jayalalitha jailed for corruption

One of India’s most colourful and controversial politicians, Jayaram Jayalalitha, has been sentenced to jail for four years on corruption charges in a case that has lasted for 18 years.


India’s first Mars satellite ‘Mangalyaan’ enters orbit

An Indian spacecraft has reached Mars and entered the planet’s orbit, in a historic feat crowning India as the first country to execute such a mission in its maiden attempt.


India puts states on alert after al Qaeda announces India wing

The communally-sensitive states of Jammu and Kashmir, Gujarat, Assam and Uttar Pradesh were put on increased alert on Thursday, a day after after al Qaeda announced the formation of a wing in India and its neighbourhood.

India has highest number of suicides in the world: WHO

India accounted for the highest estimated number of suicides in the world in 2012, according to a WHO report published today which found that one person commits suicide every 40 seconds globally

27 AUGUST 2014

Modi’s ‘man with the golden touch’ has dark past

When Prime Minister Narendra Modi powered to a decisive victory in May’s national elections, the focus was not just on him but also on his closest aide Amit Anilchandra Shah, a portly, bespectacled politician with two murder cases against him

20 AUGUST 2014

India yoga guru BKS Iyengar dies

Mr Iyengar was credited with his own brand of yoga, and taught author Aldous Huxley and violinist Yehudi Menuhin, among other celebrities.

12 JULY 2012

India’s Modi makes landmark visit to disputed Kashmir

Narendra Modi accused Pakistan on Tuesday of waging a « proxy war » in Kashmir as he became the first Indian prime minister in nine years to visit Kargil, scene of a deadly 1999 conflict with Pakistan

11 JULY 2014

Tributes pour in for Indian actress Zohra Sehgal

Tributes have poured in for celebrated Indian actress Zohra Sehgal who has died in the capital, Delhi, aged 102

7 JULY 2014

 India rejects ban on Islamic courts

India’s Supreme Court has rejected a nine-year-old petition seeking ban on Islamic Sharia courts in the country but maintained that such courts were not legal and their decree could not be enforced

26 JUNE 2014

Delhi court summons Sonia, Rahul in National Herald case

Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi have been asked by a Delhi court to appear before it on August 7 on the basis of a complaint filed by BJP leader Subramanian Swamy, alleging that they had fraudulently acquired Associated Journal Ltd. (AJL)

12 JUNE 2014

India Rebuffs ‘Simplistic’ UN Criticism Over Sex Crimes

India has rebuffed accusations by a U.N. investigator that sex crimes are rife in the world’s biggest democracy, calling her analysis “simplistic” and full of “sweeping generalizations”

6 JUNE 2014

India Sikh groups clash at Golden Temple

Several people have been injured after Sikh groups brandishing swords clashed at India’s Golden Temple as special prayers were held to mark the deadly military offensive there in 1984

4 JUNE 2014

India police rescue ‘trafficked’ children

About 500 children rescued after police in Kerala state raid orphanages who fail to provide documents for children

29 MAY 2014

India gang rapes: Outrage over police ‘discrimination’

There is outrage over police inaction in a village in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh where two teenage girls were gang raped and hanged from a tree

26 MAY 2014

Modi sworn in as India’s prime minister

Narendra Modi has taken the oath of office as India’s prime minister at the start of a new era hailed by his Pakistani counterpart as an opportunity to end decades of regional instability.

21 MAY 2014

Will the Indian National Congress survive?

19 MAY 2014

India’s Congress party stands behind Gandhis

Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, leaders of India’s defeated Congress party, offered to resign on Monday after last week’s election debacle, but colleagues rejected their gesture, a senior party figure has said.

17 MAY 2014

India election results 2014: five reasons why Narendra Modi won

Some of the factors that played into the BJP’s decisive victory over India’s dynastic Congress party:

16 MAY 2014

BJP, allies win Indian elections

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) swept the Indian election on Friday with a landslide win of 283 seats, making it the largest single majority party in nearly 30 years

6 MAY 2014

Endgame for the Gandhis?

Corruption, lackluster candidates, falling GDP growth combine to hobble a tired dynasty

22 APRIL 2014

‘Rampant discrimination’ in India’s schools

Marginalised students, including Dalits and Muslims, being denied right to education by school authorities, report says

15 APRIL 2014

India’s Supreme Court creates official third sex for eunuchs and transgenders

After two thousand years of persecution, India’s two million eunuchs to be formally recognised as third sex and listed as ‘backward’ caste entitled to reserved government jobs and university places

India-born poet Vijay Seshadri wins 2014 Pulitzer Prize

India-born poet Vijay Seshadri has won the prestigious 2014 Pulitzer Prize in the poetry category for his collection of poems « 3 Sections. »

12 APRIL 2014

Women who have sex before marriage should be hanged, says senior politician in India’s Socialist Party

Abu Azmi, the Socialist Party’s Maharashtra unit chief, says that women who have sex before marriage should be hanged, while the Party’s leader says he will scrap a law giving the death penalty to rapists if he’s elected prime minister

10 APRIL 2014

India election 2014: Narendra Modi reveals he is married

Narendra Modi’s family confirms for the first time he has a wife and says the BJP leader was forced into a child marriage at 17 years old

7 APRIL 2014

India Begins World’s Largest Election

India’s general election has begun with voters casting ballots in two remote northeastern states. Billed as the world’s largest democratic exercise, the staggered election involving some 815 million voters will conclude in five weeks. Opinion polls say the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party is likely to emerge the winner on its promise of economic revival.

4 APRIL 2014

An Indian judge on Friday ordered three men to hang after they were convicted of two gang-rapes, the first death sentences to be handed down for multiple sex attacks since the law was toughened last year

25 MARCH 2014

Indian engineer dies in honour killing

The parents of an IT engineer who married her low caste boyfriend lured her home with the promise of a family wedding reception and then allegedly strangled her

20 MARCH 2014

Noted Indian author Khushwant Singh dies

Khushwant Singh, one of India’s best known writers who won fame for a book on partition of the subcontinent as well as his once-daring descriptions of sex, has died aged 99 at his New Delhi home

5 MARCH 2014

India’s Massive Parliamentary Elections to Begin April 7

India says it will begin its multi-stage parliamentary election in April, with opinion polls suggesting that an opposition, Hindu nationalist block could upset the longtime ruling Congress Party. In total, nine rounds of voting will be held, with the final round being held May 12. A final result is not expected until May 16

28 FEBRUARY 2014

India’s governance — worse than China’s?

India may be the world’s most populous democracy. But the quality of its governance is very poor, and much worse than China’s on many scores

20 FEBRUARY 2014

India’s top court halts release of Rajiv Gandhi killers

India’s top court on Thursday blocked the release of three of former premier Rajiv Gandhi’s killers after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh denounced their freeing as against all principles of justice

19 FEBRUARY 2014

India Tamil Nadu chief minister orders release of Rajiv Gandhi’s killers

The chief minister of an Indian state Wednesday ordered the release of all seven people jailed for plotting the assassination of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, meaning they could walk free in three days.

18 FEBRUARY 2014

Indian court suspends Gandhi killers death sentence

India’s Supreme Court commuted the death sentence Tuesday for three killers of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, citing delays in the case 23 years after he was assassinated by Tamil separatists.

India creates new state despite protests

India’s lower house of parliament has passed a decree to create the country’s 29th state amid chaotic scenes and uproar in from opponents of the bill.

14 FEBRUARY 2014

Delhi chief minister quits after corruption bill blocked

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, whose Aam Aadmi party sent shockwaves through India’s political establishment in local elections last year, quits to protest blocking of anti-corruption bill after fewer than 50 days in office

5 FEBRUAY 2014

India: 11 non-Congress, non-BJP parties join hands in Parliament

In indications of emergence of a Third Front ahead of Lok Sabha polls, 11 non-Congress and non-BJP parties on Wednesday formally joined hands as a block in Parliament to pitch for pro-people, anti-communal and federal agenda

23 JANUARY 2014

India: Woman gang-raped on orders of ‘kangaroo court’

Police in India’s West Bengal state have arrested 13 men in connection with a gang rape of a woman, allegedly on orders of village elders who objected to her relationship with a man.

21 JANUARY 2014

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has called off his sit-in protest to demand police reforms

Kejriwal told a crowd that two policeman he wanted suspended for misconduct would be sent on leave, but he failed to secure his main demand that the city’s police force be put under his government’s control

16 JANUARY 2014

India’s Rahul Gandhi to lead Congress poll campaign

India’s governing Congress Party has named Rahul Gandhi to lead its general election campaign this year

5 JANUARY 2014

India launches satellite from space centre

India has successfully launched its first rocket using domestically produced booster technology after several previous missions had failed

3 JANUARY 2014

Manmohan says Modi as PM will be disaster, blames him for presiding over riots

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today made it clear that he will not seek a third term as PM if the UPA returns to power and threw his weight behind Rahul Gandhi, virtually setting the stage for the declaration of the Congress vice president as the party’s PM nominee for the General Elections.

1 JANUARY 2014

New protests after suicide of 16-year-old gang-raped twice in Calcutta

There were angry demonstrations in Calcutta on Wednesday following the death of a 16-year-old girl who set herself on fire after suffering two gang-rapes and a campaign of intimidation to force her to drop charges against her assailants.

28 DECEMBER 2013

New Delhi gets ‘common man’ government with anti-corruption activist as chief minister

Arvind Kejriwal, a 45-year-old taxman-turned-activist-turned-politician, vowed to end corruption in the Indian capital, cut electricity bills by half and provide households with free water.

20 DECEMBER 2013

India government asks court to review anti-gay law

India’s government asked the Supreme Court on Friday to review a decision in which it upheld a colonial-era law that bans homosexual acts and makes them punishable by up to a decade in prison.

13 DECEMBER 2013

India’s BJP declines to form Delhi government

India’s main opposition BJP has declined to form a government in the capital, Delhi, despite emerging as the single largest party in state polls.

11 DECEMBER 2013

Indian top court says gay sex is an offence

India’s Supreme Court has upheld a law criminalising gay sex, setting aside a landmark lower court decision in 2009 which had overturned the colonial-era ban on homosexuality.

New Delhi: archbishop, priests and nuns arrested during peaceful demonstration

Mgr Anil JT Couto, along with other members of the local clergy, was taking part in a protest for the rights of Dalit Christians and Muslims. Police apparently beat the religious leaders present, charging the crowd with water cannons,-priests-and-nuns-arrested-during-peaceful-demonstration-29785.html


Anti-corruption party leads rout of ruling Congress in India elections

India’s ruling Congress Party has pledged a period of “deep introspection” after suffering a series of humiliating election defeats on Sunday.


Indian rocket to Mars successfully enters Earth’s orbit

India’s first mission to Mars completed its first stage on Tuesday, successfully entering an elliptical orbit around the Earth 44 minutes after take-off, the Indian Space Research Organisation announced.

24 OCTOBER 2013

Manna Dey, legendary Indian singer dies

Legendary Bollywood singer Manna Dey died in hospital today after a five-decade career on the soundtracks of Indian movie classics, reports said. He was 94.

17 OCTOBER 2013

India is home to nearly half of world’s 30 million modern-day slaves

There are close to 30 million slaves worldwide with India home to nearly half, a new report has claimed. The Global Slavery Index 2013, the first of its kind, estimates there are 13.9 million people living as slaves in India.


India’s ‘hugging saint’ Amma celebrates 60th birthday — with hugs

India’s « hugging saint », who has hugged more than 32 million people around the world, celebrated her 60th birthday on Friday in the company of disciples from around the globe.


4 India lawmakers arrested for deadly violence

Police said Saturday that they have arrested four state opposition lawmakers for allegedly inciting clashes between Hindus and Muslims that killed 48 people early this month in northern India.


India charges four with Mumbai gang rape

Four men have been formally charged in a Mumbai court over the gang rape of a young photographer in the city last month, a case that reignited anger about women’s safety across India.

Indian woman, 20, killed by her family for eloping with man from ‘wrong caste’

A young Indian woman was beaten to death and her boyfriend beheaded in an « honour killing » by relatives after they eloped in defiance of local caste rules.


Indian politicians face arrest over riots

A court in northern India has ordered the arrest of dozens of suspects, including politicians and community leaders, for inciting violence during recent Hindu-Muslim clashes that left 49 people dead, police say


Delhi gang-rapists’ lawyer makes ‘Taliban-like’ comment that he would have ‘burned victim alive’

The Indian lawyer for two of the four Delhi gang-rapists sentenced to hang last week has criticised the victim’s parents for allowing her to go out at night with a boy and claimed he would have « burned her alive » if she had been his daughter.


Governance in India: Women’s Rights

Women in India face myriad cultural challenges that impede social advancement, analysts say. Discriminatory family codes, lack of education, and cultural stigmas are only a few examples. Heightened media attention given to such inequities has raised pressure on the government to not just reform the institutional treatment of women, but also raise the level of dialogue on the larger issue of women’s rights in a rapidly modernizing society.

India’s opposition names hardliner Modi as PM candidate

India’s main opposition named hardline Hindu nationalist Narendra Modi as its prime ministerial candidate on Friday for next year’s elections, overriding doubts in the party about his polarising character.

Delhi gang rapists sentenced to death

Four men convicted over roles in rape and murder of 23-year-old woman in Delhi last year.


Girl, 6, ordered to marry rapist’s 10-year-old son

A village panchayat (council of elders) in Kota district in Rajasthan made a shocking order that a six-year-old rape victim has to marry the 10-year-old son of the alleged rapist, Malaysia Nanban reported.


Presidential decree reserves seats for Hindu and Sikh in parliament

President Hamid Karzai issued a Legislative Decree that would jointly entitle the Hindu and Sikh populations of Afghanistan a single seat in the National Assembly, increasing the total number of seats from 249 to 250. Many welcomed the decision as a major step by the government to better serve religious minorities in Afghanistan.


Narendra Modi blamed for fake encounter killings policy in Gujarat

A high-ranking Indian police officer awaiting trial on suspicion of staging extrajudicial killings and passing them off as shootings committed during major terrorism arrests accused political leaders in the state of Gujarat of approving the executions.

29 AUGUST 2013

Yasin Bhatkal: India Mujahideen ‘top militant’ arrested

Police in India have arrested Yasin Bhatkal, the alleged head of the Indian Mujahideen (IM) militant group, which has been blamed for a string of recent attacks, officials say.

28 AUGUST 2013

India: Fatwa ‘bans watching cartoons’

Religious leaders at the Darul Uloom seminary, in Deoband, declared that viewing animations – even those featuring comedy characters – was against the tenets of Islam

Gujarat government to rebuild mosques destroyed during 2002 anti-Islamic pogrom

Authorities will present the financing and restoration plan by October 1. Over 2 thousand Muslims and Hindu extremists destroyed about 535 places of worship during massacre. Local Islamic community sees plan as move by chief minister Narendra Modi to ingratiate himself with them ahead of elections.

Mumbai top cop’s ‘promiscuous’ comment sparks ire after rape

Mumbai’s top policeman has drawn anger in the wake of the gang-rape of a young photographer by suggesting that people must choose between a « promiscuous culture » that allows public kissing, or a city made safe by « moral policing ».

27 AUGUST 2013

Police guard ‘tribal Virgin Mary’ statue in India

Tribesmen in India have threatened to destroy a statue of the Virgin Mary dressed in a sari and posing as a local tribal woman if Christians do not agree to dismantle it. They say it is an attempt to lure local nature worshippers to convert to Christianity.

23 AUGUST 2013

Female photojournalist gang-raped in Mumbai

A 22-year-old photojournalist on her first magazine assignment was gang-raped in a middle class Mumbai suburb, reviving painful memories of the murder of a student in Delhi last year, which resulted in nationwide protests.

20 AUGUST 2013

Anti-black magic campaigner assassinated in India

Narendra Dabholkar was shot twice in the head and once in the forehead by two gunmen in Pune, Maharashtra, who had parked their motorbike 30 feet away outside a police post. He died as he was being rushed to a nearby hospital.

17 AUGUST 2013

Indian police capture alleged top terrorist

Indian police said they had arrested a top militant accused of helping mastermind the 1993 Mumbai blasts and over 40 other deadly bomb attacks across the country. Seventy-year-old Abdul Karim Tunda, an alleged member of the banned Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) group, was arrested by a special Delhi police team near the border with Nepal on Friday 16.

16 AUGUST 2013

India: A Bumbling Giant

14 AUGUST 2013

Submarine sinks after blasts, 18 navymen missing

After a series of deafening explosions, the Indian Navy’s Kilo class submarine INS Sindhurakshak sank with 18 sailors on board around midnight on Tuesday at the naval dockyard in Mumbai.

30 JULY 2013

India coalition approves new state of Telangana

India’s ruling Congress-led coalition has unanimously agreed to the formation of a new state in the Telangana region of southern Andhra Pradesh state, officials say.

24 JULY 2013

Beyond the debate, govt. accepts 65% Indians are poor

National poverty line will stand at a per capita expenditure of around Rs. 50 per day in rural areas and Rs. 62 in urban areas

21 JULY 2013

Indian investment moves marred by steel pullouts

India may be trying to lure foreign investors to revive its ailing economy, but the axing of two mega steel projects underlines obstacles even industry giants face, analysts say.

13 JULY 2013

Veteran Bollywood villain Pran dies

Veteran Indian film actor Pran Krishan Sikand, popularly known as Pran, has died in Mumbai at the age of 93.

1 JULY 2013

Indian officials say 3,000 still missing after floods

More than 3,000 people are still missing following floods and landslides which have ravaged northern India’s Uttarakhand state, officials have said, amid fears the death toll could touch 10,000.

16 JUNE 2013

India’s opposition alliance splits ahead of polls

India’s main opposition alliance split on Sunday, with the second-biggest party in the coalition pulling out after hardliner Narendra Modi was elected to lead the dominant party’s 2014 election campaign.                                                                                                                                                        

14 JUNE 2013

UN: India to be world’s most populous country by 2028

India looks set to overtake China as the world’s most populous country from 2028, according to the United Nations.

10 JUNE 2013

LK Advani: India BJP leader quits all party posts

One of the founding members of India’s main opposition BJP, LK Advani, says he is resigning from all his party posts.

9 JUNE 2013

Indian hardliner Modi to front India’s opposition

Controversial Indian politician Narendra Modi was chosen Sunday to front the main opposition’s campaign for general elections in 2014, boosting his chances of becoming the nation’s next prime minister.

3 JUNE 2013

Tripura: Christian man beheaded for not converting to Hinduism

After he married a tribal girl, her father pressured him to change religion. After a prayer ritual, a shaman performed the murder. His wife now fears for her life and that of their son.                                                                                                                                     

30 MAY 2013

Rituparno Ghosh: Bengali filmmaker dies in India

Award-winning Indian film director Rituparno Ghosh has died from a heart attack in the city of Calcutta.

25 MAY 2013

Maoist Attack in India Kills Congress Party Officials

Indian officials have expressed outrage over an attack by Maoist rebels on a convoy of ruling Congress party members that left at least 23 people dead. Saturday’s attack targeted the politicians as they left a campaign event in the eastern state of Chhattisgarh.                                                                                                                                                         

11 MAY 2013

India’s opposition calls on PM to resign

Demand for Manmohan Singh’s resignation comes after country’s law minister and railway minister are forced to step down.                                                                                                                                                   

7 MAY 2013

Indian Supreme Court Clears Controversial Nuclear Plant

The Indian Supreme Court on Monday 6 dismissed petitions questioning the safety of the Kudankulam nuclear power plant in Tamil Nadu state, against which the locals have been protesting due to safety concerns.                                                                                                                                           

1 MAY 2013

Sexual Violence Widespread in India, UN Says

A mission to India by the United Nations Special Rapporteur on violence against women has concluded that sexual violence and harassment is widespread in the country. After a 10-day visit to several Indian states, Rashida Manjoo said sexual violence targeting India women is perpetuated in public spaces, in the family and in the workplace.

29 APRIL 2013

8 myths about India’s growth

Is India different? Last month, India’s finance minister confidently declared that nothing could stop his country from becoming the world’s third-biggest economy. He may well be right, but size alone does not make India a special case. Its growth has been fast, but it is no trailblazer.,0&goback=.gde_1791498_member_237837386

24 APRIL 2013

India singing legend Shamshad Begum dies

Begum had been in poor health in recent months and died at her residence late on Tuesday, family members told the Press Trust of India (PTI) news agency.                                                                                                                                                                               

21 APRIL 2013

Indian protests after the rape of a five years young girl in Delhi

Allegations that the police had offered the family a bribe of 2,000 rupees ($37) to « keep quiet » contributed to the growing anger of protesters who gathered in the Indian capital. « They were reluctant to register our complaint [that she was missing] when we approached them the first time, » the father of the girl said. « Then the police asked us to be content with the fact she was at least found alive. »                                                                                                                                   

18 APRIL 2013

India has one third of world’s poorest, says World Bank

India now has a greater share of the world’s poorest than it did thirty years ago. Then it was home to one fifth of the world’s poorest people, but today it accounts for one-third – 400 million.                                                

14 APRIL 2013

Teenager exposes India’s ‘one month wives’ sex tourism

A 17-year-old girl has exposed the scale of Islamic sex tourism in India where Muslim men from the Middle East and Africa are buying ‘one month wives’ for sex.                                                      

2 APRIL 2013

Indian Tamil actors protest Sri Lanka war conduct

Tamil movie stars in India, including superstar Rajinikanth, are fasting for a day to protest what they say is the mistreatment of ethnic Tamils in neighboring Sri Lanka and to demand an international probe into alleged wartime abuses there.

31 MARCH 2013

India’s Hindu party elevates controversial leader

The main opposition Hindu nationalist party on Sunday  31 elevated Narendra Modi, a deeply divisive figure in Indian politics, to the party’s top decision-making bodies, with his supporters believing he could become prime minister in national elections next year.

29 MARCH 2013

Indian author flees after rape allegations

An award-winning Indian writer is on the run after five women who worked as cooks at a charity school he founded accused him of rape, police said on Friday. Laxman Mane, 63, disappeared after the women filed complaints earlier this week, alleging that he had repeatedly assaulted them between 2003 and 2010, mostly on the school premises in western Maharashtra state

22 MARCH 2013

Bollywood star convicted for illegal weapons

India’s Supreme Court sentenced Bollywood actor Sanjay Dutt to five years in jail for illegal weapons possession in a case linked to a 1993 bombing that killed 257 people in Mumbai.                                                                                            

19 MARCH 2013

UN Vote on Sri Lankan Civil War Threatens Indian Government

Discord in India about a United Nations resolution on war crimes committed during Sri Lanka’s civil war has prompted a key regional ally to pull out of the coalition government. The government says its stability is not under threat, but the Congress-led alliance has become more fragile                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Indian bill on tough rape laws passed by parliament

A bill containing harsher punishments for rapists, including the death penalty, has been passed by India’s lower house of parliament.                                                                                                                                                                        

14 MARCH 2013

Communist Party India, Left Movement, West Bengal, Naxalites

Questions and Answers

13 MARCH 2013

Five troops killed as gunmen attack Kashmir security camp

Militants in Indian-administered Kashmir have killed at least five security personnel in a gun and grenade attack near a school in Srinagar.                            

26 FEBRUARY 2013

Indian Parliament gives nod to anti-sexual harassment Bill

The Rajya Sabha today unanimously passed the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Bill which provides for deterrent punishments and brings in its ambit even domestic workers and agriculture labour, besides workers in organised and unorganised sectors.                                                                                                                                            

20 FEBRUARY 2013

Millions strike in India over high prices

An estimated 100 million Indians, angry about rising prices, low pay and poor working condition, walked off their jobs on Wednesday, on the first day of a two-day strike organised by eleven major trade unions.

Indian sisters aged six to 11 raped, murdered and thrown down well

The girls, whose mother is a poor, widowed domestic servant, were last seen outside a cheap roadside café selling rice and dahl, and may have decided to follow their killer because they were hungry.                


Afzal Guru: Delhi parliament attack plotter hanged

A Kashmiri militant sentenced to death over a 2001 plot to attack India’s parliament has been hanged after his final clemency plea was rejected.                                                


Report Faults Indian Government Over Widespread Child Sex Abuse

Sexual abuse of children is “disturbingly common” in India, and the government’s response to it has fallen short, both in protecting children and in treating victims, Human Rights Watch said in a report released on Thursday.                                                                                                                                                                                               


Why India lags behind China


Indian President approves death penalty in some rape cases

India’s president on Sunday approved harsher punishments for rapists, including the death penalty, after a brutal gang-rape in New Delhi sparked national outrage and triggered demands for tougher laws

23 JANUARY 2013

Rajnath Singh takes over India’s BJP leadership

India’s main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has elected veteran politician Rajnath Singh as the new party president.

15 JANUARY 2013

Indian caste councils praise families that carry out ‘honour killings’

In a submission to India’s Supreme Court, leaders of caste councils made a plea for greater understanding of those who kill their children for ‘honour’ but denied encouraging them.                                                      

13 JANUARY 2013

7 men gang rape bus passenger in India

In an incident eerily similar to a sexual assault that sent shock waves worldwide, Indian police say a woman was gang-raped over the weekend by seven men after she boarded a bus at night.                                                                             

9 JANUARY 2013

The girls stolen from the streets of India

The death of a student who was gang-raped on a Delhi bus has prompted anguished soul-searching about the place of women in Indian society. The widespread killing of female foetuses and infants is well-documented, but less well-known is the trafficking of girls across the country to make up for the resulting shortages.                                                                                                                              

6 JANUARY 2013

Haradhan Bandopadhyay passes away at 86

Noted screen and stage actor Haradhan Bandopadhyay, who had starred in many celluloid classics of legendary filmmaker Satyajit Ray, passed away after a brief illness. He was 86                                                                                           

4 JANUARY 2013

Gang Rape Reveals the Real India…

…and hopefully the glimmers of change                                                                                                                           

31 DECEMBER 2012

From the Delhi police: Why women deserve to be raped                                                                           

30 DECEMBER 2012

India gang-rape victim’s body cremated

The body of a woman who died after being gang-raped and beaten on a bus in India’s capital has been cremated amid an outpouring of anger and grief by millions across the country demanding greater protection for women from sexual violence.                                     

29 DECEMBER 2012

India mourns death of gang-rape victim

Shocked Indians are mourning the death of a woman who was gang-raped and beaten on a bus in New Delhi nearly two weeks ago in an ordeal that has galvanised people to demand greater protection for women from sexual violence

28 DECEMBER 2008

Indian teenager commits suicide after gang rape

A 17-year-old Indian girl who was gang-raped has committed suicide after police pressured her to drop the case and marry one of her attackers, police and a relatives have said.

23 DECEMBER 2012

India gang rape: journalist shot dead as protests continue

The Indian government failed to stem a wave of furious protest against the gang-rape of a student on Sunday, as a journalist was shot dead by police during a demonstration against another sex attack.

20 DECEMBER 2012

India elections: BJP’s Narendra Modi secures Gujarat win

Narendra Modi, the Hindu nationalist chief minister reviled for failing to stop the 2002 massacre of Muslims in Gujarat, was hailed as a candidate for India’s next prime minister after a landslide victory in the state elections.

ASEAN-India ties boosted by FTA conclusion

Twenty years of ASEAN-India ties received a boost in New Delhi on Thursday 20  with the announcement that the much-awaited ASEAN-India Free Trade Agreement (FTA) has been concluded, after discussions on the investment and services chapters were completed

12 DECEMBER 2012

Ravi Shankar, Indian sitar maestro, dies

Legendary Indian sitar player Ravi Shankar, a major influence on musicians ranging from The Beatles to violinist Yehudi Menuhin, has died at the age of 92 after surgery in the United States, his family said Wednesday.


Indian government wins controversial foreign retail vote

India’s government has won a crucial vote in parliament on its controversial plans to open the retail sector to foreign competition

30 NOVEMBER 2012

Inder Kumar Gujral, former Indian prime minister, dies

Former Indian prime minister Inder Kumar Gujral has died after a long illness in a hospital near the capital, Delhi, aged 92.

21 NOVEMBER 2012

Mumbai attack gunman Ajmal Qasab executed

Mohammad Ajmal Amir Qasab, the sole surviving gunman in the 2008 Mumbai attacks, has been hanged.

17 NOVEMBER 2012

Bal Thackeray, Hindu leader and Shiv Sena founder, dies

Hindu fundamentalist politician Bal Thackeray, the founder of the right-wing Shiv Sena party, has died in Mumbai at the age of 86.

16 NOVEMBER 2012

Rahul Gandhi to lead Congress poll campaign

Congress party leader, Rahul Gandhi, has been appointed the head of a committee which will look after party activities relating to the 2014 general elections.

India textbook says meat-eaters lie and commit sex crimes

Meat-eaters « easily cheat, lie, forget promises and commit sex crimes », according to a controversial school textbook available in India.


India’s Rahul Gandhi uses rally to take centre stage

Rahul Gandhi, scion of India’s Nehru-Gandhi dynasty, addressed tens of thousands of supporters at a rally in New Delhi on Sunday, raising his profile before a possible bid to become prime minister.

28 OCTOBER 2012

Indian prime minister reshuffles cabinet

Manmohan Singh, India’s prime minister, has reshuffled his cabinet in a bid to overhaul his government’s image ahead of state and national elections taking place over the next 18 months.

26 OCTOBER 2012

Foreign Minister S M Krishna quits before India reshuffle

The move comes ahead of an expected cabinet reshuffle by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh this weekend.

23 OCTOBER 2012

Indian girls ‘should be banned from owning mobiles’

Girls should be banned from owning mobile phones to stop them eloping, an Indian MP has said

21 OCTOBER 2012

Bollywood veteran film-maker Yash Chopra dies

One of India’s most influential film-makers, Yash Chopra, has died from dengue fever in Mumbai, aged 80.

18 OCTOBER 2012

India’s aircraft carrier hits more troubled waters

India’s long-stated intention to procure an aircraft carrier has suffered a further blow, hurting efforts to match China’s growing maritime clout, especially in the Indian Ocean region and the South China Sea, where India has invested to explore for oil and gas. The deferment by at least a year was conveyed last week by Russia, which is reconditioning the Admiral Gorshkov at an already escalated price of US$2.3 billion. The ship rechristened INS Vikramaditya was to have been delivered this year after several delays already

5 OCTOBER 2012

Five condemned to death for India ‘honour’ killing

Five members of a family in India were sentenced to death on Friday for the torture and « brutal » murder of a young couple in a so-called « honour killing » two years ago


India’s Congress Party facing leadership crisis over Rahul Gandhi’s reluctance

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh turns 80-years-old on Wednesday, and senior party figures believe he will not lead the party into the next general election, which could be as early as next year


India slowly confronts epidemic of missing children

More than 90,000 children are officially reported missing every year, according to data compiled and released late last year by leading children’s rights group Bachpan Bachao Andolan, which showed the problem was far greater than previously thought. Up to 10 times that number are trafficked, according to the group


Nuclear protesters briefly block Indian port

A government official says thousands of fishermen in nearly 500 boats blocked a port for nearly two hours, protesting construction of a nuclear power plant in southern India


Nationwide strike begins in India

Schools, shops and government offices were shut in some Indian states as protesters blocked road and rail traffic as part of a one-day nationwide strike against sweeping economic reforms announced by the government last week


Trinamool Congress quits India coalition over reform plan

A key regional party has pulled out of India’s governing coalition over its decision to open up the retail sector to global supermarket chains


India Backs Foreign Investment in Retailing

After years of intense debate, India’s government agreed on Friday to open the country’s retail sector to global behemoths like Wal-Mart and Ikea, pushing for a profound shift in India’s economic and political direction


Indian cartoonist jailed for mocking corruption

A political cartoonist whose drawings mock Indian government corruption has been jailed in a sedition investigation that was widely condemned as evidence of political leaders’ growing intolerance of criticism

31 AUGUST 2012

Gujarat riots: BJP’s Maya Kodnani jailed for 28 years

A special Gujarat court today sentenced Bharatiya Janata Party legislator and former Gujarat minister Maya Kodnani to 28 years in jail for her involvement in the 2002 post-Godhra riots in Naroda Patiya where 97 Muslims were killed