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A psychological look at 'honour killings'

It might be time to apply a psychoanalytical approach to honour killings and other social issues of our times, in order to devise ways to engage with pathologies at a community level, says Rakesh Shukla


Mizoram's unwanted citizens

By Jayanta Kumar Bhattacharya

Thirty-seven thousand people violently displaced in ethnic clashes in Mizoram have been living in miserable conditions in six makeshift camps in neighbouring Tripura for over a decade. Despite having documents to prove their citizenship, the Mizoram government doesn’t seem to want them back


'We lacked a civil society movement to halt the hatred in Gujarat'

By Melanie P Kumar

When minorities have no place in a state sworn to secularism, when freedom of speech and expression is curtailed, what vibrant Gujarat are we talking about, asks Father Cedric Prakash, human rights activist from Ahmedabad


Binayak Sen's release: A victory for civil society

What kind of man inspires such a huge swell of civil society support wondered this correspondent as she marched with all the rest to Central Jail in Raipur, demanding the release of Binayak Sen just days before he was granted bail


"We are fighting for democracy and dignity"

By Nilanjan Dutta

Angry at the brutality unleashed by the police in combing operations for Maoists, the tribals of remote and backward Lalgarh district in West Bengal refused to allow police to enter their villages this election and forced polling booths to be set up on the outskirts. They have drawn up a 10-point development charter as well


'There is a huge gap between the voiceless and those who have a voice'

By Melanie P Kumar

Ilina Sen, wife of public health activist Dr Binayak Sen, who has been behind bars for the last two years for suspected links with extremists in Chhattisgarh, talks about Dr Sen’s work and the long and continuing struggle to secure his release


'The poor pay the most for food - and also for health'

By Pamela Philipose

Isn’t there something wrong with the fact that there is one Indian doctor available for every 1,325 Americans in the US, but only one Indian doctor for every 2,200 Indians, asks Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland and human rights activist


Stony resistance

By Peerzada Arshad Hamid

A strange debate is going on in Kashmir these days. Newspapers and scholars are debating the legitimacy or otherwise of stone-pelting as a form of civil society resistance. Is it Islamic or un-Islamic? A seminar was also organised on the subject


"Independence, even after I die"

By Dilnaz Boga

On the 50th anniversary of the Tibetan Uprising, 73-year-old Tibetan nun Anila recalls the torture and violence she experienced in 1959, when the Red Army overran Lhasa. It took her more than 20 years to make her way to India and be reunited with her husband


'It is imperative that we come face-to-face with the demon within us'

By Deepa A

Human rights activist Teesta Setalvad plans to set up a Museum of Resistance in Ahmedabad's Gulbarg Society, the site of a massacre during the Gujarat riots of 2002. In this interview, she explains why such a memorial is necessary


Curfews and the women of Ima Keithel

By Chitra Ahanthem

The Market of Mothers in Imphal, Manipur, is the only marketplace that is run and controlled entirely by women. Over the generations, it has been an arena for women's uprisings and opinion-moulding. But curfews and general strikes are now affecting the women who trade here


'Things have changed; 16 years ago coming to India was seen as treason'

By Aditi Bhaduri

Pakistani peace activist Karamat Ali discusses the many civil society initiatives to lay the groundwork for peace between India and Pakistan


Similar yet different: What dalit activists think about Barack Obama

By Anuja Mirchandaney

As Barack Obama is sworn in as the first black President of America on January 20, 2009, dalits in India debate what this means for marginalised communities in both countries


Songs of connectivity

By Deepti Priya Mehrotra

The deep roots of Islamic culture in India were explored in a week-long celebration of multiculturalism in Delhi recently


Caste walls

By Anosh Malekar

Dalit Bhimnagar was separated from Maratha Dare by a 60-foot road when the villages were set up to rehabilitate Koyna dam oustees. Now, a new barrier in the form of a 155-m wall has caused simmering caste resentments to erupt in this western Maharashtra region. Our correspondent travelled to the divided villages to investigate how strong the caste divide really is in 21st century India


Blue is the colour of peace

By Anita and Edwin

An international peace meet in Tumkur, Karnataka, explored the stages of transition for India's dalits: from a subjugated peace, in which dalits live with the dominant castes in subjugation and fear, to resurgence, conflict and finally, peace with dignity


Rainbow Walk: Coming out, in pride

By Rajashri Dasgupta

In Kolkata, a city known to provide space to the marginalised, the LGBT community celebrated its sexuality and publicly declared its alternative sexual preferences


Criminalising beggars instead of rehabilitating them

By Neeta Lal

A recent survey in Delhi revealed that many beggars are able-bodied and educated, forced into beggary by unemployment. The findings underscore the absence of a cohesive and humane national policy for beggars in India


Brutal eviction

By Aparna Pallavi

In yet another conflict over land between tribals and the forest department, government authorities brutally evicted 1,500 families from a stretch of land in Ghateha village in Madhya Pradesh, claiming they were illegal settlers. The tribals are now in hiding, desperately trying to earn enough to get by


The seeds of a new social movement

By N P Chekkutty

Trade liberalisation has had a severe impact on Kerala's fisherfolk. With no organised lobby to fight for their rights, the fisherfolk have been fighting among themselves, leaving the wealth of the sea to be plundered by middlemen and the global marine industry. But this August, traditional and mechanised fishermen across caste and communal divides, came together to fight the 62-day ban on monsoon trawling



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