India Insight

from Photographers' Blog:

Waiting to die

July 23, 2014

Varanasi, India
By Danish Siddiqui

The River Ganges is sacred in Hinduism, and the city of Varanasi, which lies on its banks, is one of the oldest and holiest sites for Hindu pilgrims from all over the world.

Anti-superstition activist Narendra Dabholkar shot dead

By Kaustubh Kulkarni
August 20, 2013

Narendra Dabholkar, who campaigned against superstition in India for more than two decades, was shot dead in Pune on Tuesday, police said.

Finding harmony in music and Islam

February 20, 2013

The grand mufti whose words against music ended the short career of an all-girl teenage pop band in Kashmir last month made me wonder: is music really un-Islamic? He said that if women indulge in indecent, immoral acts such as singing, it would be a step toward their destruction. Is it really that simple in Islam? Of course it isn’t.

‘Nobody can stop you if you engage in art with dignity’: Zila Khan on singing and Islam

February 7, 2013

The members of Praagaash, an all-girl band in Kashmir, split up this week after an influential cleric deemed their music un-Islamic. Zila Khan, one of India’s most popular sufi singers and daughter of sitar maestro Vilayat Khan, spoke to Reuters about how singing is closest to worship and meditation and how children should be allowed to sing.

The news this weekend: LPG, Kejriwal, toilets, politicians… and Somali pirates

October 6, 2012

It’s shaping up as a busy weekend for India’s politicians…

The price of LPG — liquefied petroleum gas cylinders, or cooking gas — has risen 11.42 rupees per cylinder because dealers are getting higher commissions. TV channels attacked the government because this “shocker” comes right after the imposition of a cap on subsidized cylinder sales was imposed.

Is the outraged Indian over-sensitive or culturally prudent?

March 7, 2012

Protests are as common in India as the ‘Singh’ surname in the national hockey team.

Of sex swamis, lies and videotape

April 26, 2010

The recent scandals over two spiritual gurus have shaken the collective faith of their followers in India.

India’s 26/11 – religion no bar

November 26, 2009

A year ago, after the three-day siege of Mumbai ended and people took to the streets with candles and banners, a group of young Muslim men, carrying a hand-written poster, walked quietly with the surging crowds.

What makes a religious symbol conspicuous?

August 24, 2009

Last week, a college in Mangalore in India banned a student wearing a burqa from attending class. The principal told local media the college had a policy of not allowing symbols of religion.

Is caste behind the killing in Vienna and riots in Punjab?

May 26, 2009

Why did the murder of a preacher in a Sikh temple in Vienna spark riots in the faraway Indian state of Punjab, in which thousands took to the streets to torch cars, trains and battle security forces?