Editor’s choice: Best of Reuters India in 2012

December 24, 2012

Here are my picks for the best Reuters India stories of the year:

Sahara – massive, splashy … and mysterious
By Tony Munroe and Devidutta Tripathy
KHALILABAD, Uttar Pradesh – Like millions of Indians, Jag Ram Chaudhary invested with the Sahara conglomerate – 1,300 rupees a month in his case – to put away money for a rainy day. Read more here.

ANALYSIS – India’s deficit-cutting plan faltering as clock ticks
By Ross Colvin and Rajesh Kumar Singh
NEW DELHI – Finance Minister P. Chidambaram has banned government officials from holding conferences at five-star hotels, restricted travel and ordered a freeze on hiring to fill vacant posts. Read more here

INSIGHT – Punchups, kidnappings mar India’s efforts to privatise power
By Sanjeev Choudhary and Ross Colvin
NEW DELHI – It is rough being an employee of Torrent Power Ltd in Agra. Furious residents regularly take staff of the power distributor hostage or beat them up, stone-throwing mobs besiege the firm’s high-walled compound, and one official recently had to be hospitalised after he was hit on the head with a brick. Read more here

ANALYSIS – What slowdown? For some firms, India’s economy still humming
By Tony Munroe and Matthias Williams
MUMBAI/NEW DELHI – India’s economic growth may have slowed to a near-decade low, but you wouldn’t know it from the pace at which Britain’s Costa Coffee and many other consumer-focused companies are expanding. Read more here

INSIGHT – How Sonia Gandhi was persuaded to back India reforms
By Satarupa Bhattacharjya and John Chalmers
NEW DELHI – It had been a brutal August for the Congress party: economic growth was wilting, the monsoon rains were failing and the opposition had it cornered on yet another corruption scandal. Read more here

ANALYSIS – India’s “big bang Friday” reforms might just stick
By Satarupa Bhattacharjya and Frank Jack Daniel
NEW DELHI – There were quiet celebrations in the offices of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh late last week after he stunned the country with a slew of steps to revive the tanking economy. Read more here

INSIGHT – Deadly India car factory riot sounds alarm bells for industry
By Henry Foy and Anurag Kotoky
MANESAR, India – Hiding in his office near New Delhi as workers armed with iron bars and car parts rampaged through the factory, Maruti Suzuki supervisor Raj Kumar spent two terrified hours trying to comprehend the warzone his workplace had become. Read more here
For India’s new finance minister, there is no time to waste
By Manoj Kumar and Arup Roychoudhury
NEW DELHI – P. Chidambaram has a simple message for investors disillusioned by India’s policy drift: it is no longer ‘business as usual’ in the corridors of North Block, the sandstone colonial building that houses the finance ministry in New Delhi. Read more here

INSIGHT – Life and death on India’s slow train to prosperity
By Matthias Williams
KANPUR, India – As the Kalka Mail train pulls into Delhi railway station at dawn, it is every man, woman and child for themselves. Read more here

Indian scientists try to crack monsoon source code
By Ross Colvin and Jatindra Dash
NEW DELHI/BHUBANESHWAR – Scientists aided by supercomputers are trying to unravel one of Mother Nature’s biggest mysteries — the vagaries of the summer monsoon rains that bring life, and sometimes death, to India every year. Read more here

INSIGHT – Cheap generics no panacea for India’s poorest
By Henry Foy and Kaustubh Kulkarni
MUMBAI – Cheap generic drugs were meant to change the life of Nandakhu Nissar, whose mouth is swollen by a cancerous tumor. But the cashless and hungry 55-year-old sleeps on a pavement staring up at the windows of Mumbai’s biggest cancer hospital. Read more here
As crops rot, millions go hungry in India
By Mayank Bhardwaj
NEW DELHI – Every day some 3,000 Indian children die from illnesses related to malnutrition, and yet countless heaps of rodent-infested wheat and rice are rotting in fields across the north of their own country. Read more here

INSIGHT – Voice of Mumbai attacks points finger at Pakistan
By Sanjeev Miglani and John Chalmers
NEW DELHI – Forty-eight hours into the bloody assault on Mumbai in November 2008, smoke was billowing from the wreckage of the Taj Mahal hotel and commandos were flushing out the last gunmen holed up in the opulent landmark of India’s financial capital. Read more here

For full coverage of Reuters India in 2012, click here

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