Jaipur Lit Fest gets massive crowds for books and fun

North India’s two annual cultural jamborees have this year again pulled in tens of thousands of expanding crowds from home and abroad as they reach their ten-year anniversaries – the Jaipur Literature Festival last month and the India Art Fair next year. Both provide a mixture of culture, education and entertainment, having begun in a relatively…

Trouble in the Air

Trouble in the AirThis winter, the air quality in Delhi plummeted so low – with record levels of the tiniest and the deadliest particles that can enter the lungs and other organs – that even the National Capital Territory’s chief minister, Arvind Kejriwal, was forced to admit that the metropolis had turned into a “toxic gas chamber”. The city’s…

Asia in 2016: India

Asia in 2016: IndiaLandmark economic reforms introduced in India last year contrasted sharply with rising extremism, suggesting that the rapidly growing country is still battling old demons of religious divisiveness, rigidity and orthodoxy even as the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi adopts a more streamlined financial outlook. Growing intolerance of dissent was highlighted in February 2016 during…

Indian Women Take On their Predators

Indian Women Take On their PredatorsUrban Indian women, long besieged by sexual predators, are empowering themselves to teach their tormentors a lesson – including, in some cases, banding together to beat and berate them. Realizing how Indian law enforcement agencies can no longer be trusted for their safety, they are employing a range of methods from buying small arms and…

The Invisibility of Older Women

The Invisibility of Older WomenAs fertility rates decline and life expectancy increases, the proportion of people aged 60 and over is growing globally, and nowhere so more than Asia. Currently more than 900 million people are aged 60 or over worldwide (12.5 percent of the global population). Nearly two-thirds – 533 million – are in the Asia Pacific region,…

S.H.Raza’s Death: Sunset of India’s ‘Progressives’

S.H.Raza’s Death: Sunset of India’s ‘Progressives’India has lost one of its greatest modern painters with the death at 94 of Syed Haidar Raza. He was a leading member of the Bombay-based Progressives Artists’ Group of the late 1940s and 1950s that now dominates the top end of the Indian art market, and his passing marks the gradual closing of a chapter in…

A Gay Indian Artist Shakes up London’s Tate Gallery

A Gay Indian Artist Shakes up London’s Tate GalleryJune is usually the  month when London auctions of modern Indian art hit the headlines with dramatic million-pound sales, but this year they have been unremarkable and have been overshadowed by the opening at London’s Tate Modern gallery of a fascinating retrospective exhibition, called You Can’t Please All, of figurative works by Bhupen Khakhar, a provocative Indian artist…

Pizzazz in Delhi Street Art

Pizzazz in Delhi Street ArtDelhi’s annual India Art Fair that took place last weekend had style and crowds, but there was more artistic spontaneity on display a short auto-rickshaw ride further to the south of the city, where street artists were painting railway containers at a cargo depot in the shadow of a mountainous rubbish dump. This is the…

Crowds, Personalities at Jaipur Lit Fest

Crowds, Personalities at Jaipur Lit FestWhether you want to hear about the provision of toilets and treatment of excreta in India or the life and times of a transgender, or listen to one of Britain most famous comedic personalities or a pressured Indian bureaucrat defending his patch, or how the US has caused chaos in the Middle East by ousting…

China and India Lag on Health Care

China and India Lag on Health CareChina and India, often cited as two rising economic powerhouses, are less than fully equipped in terms of health care, a key attribute of national economic development, according to Amartya Sen. Emergence of the United States, Europe, Japan and Korea as developed economic powerhouses validates Sen’s argument. China and India, representing one out of three people…
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