Apr 2022

Apr 2022/
Friday
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I’m Burning Up!

Great parts of the country never experienced a spring this year—and are instead wilting from a spate of heat waves that kicked off in March. What’s happening, why and is there any respite in sight?

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Apr 2022/
Thursday
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Water World

This week, the United Nations, South Korea and a company called Oceanix unveiled the prototype for a floating version of the port city of Busan—which will be the first ever on the planet. This may be the future for cities around the world threatened by rising sea levels.

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Apr 2022/
Wednesday
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We’re All Atwitter

Elon Musk, the tech universe’s biggest bad boy has bought one of the most influential social media platforms—Twitter. While some are predicting calamity, others are cautiously optimistic. We look at the immediate fallout, reactions and prognostications.

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Apr 2022/
Tuesday
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Do You Speak Indian?

Missing in the hand-wringing over Netflix's woes—it lost 200,000 subscribers last quarter—is the role of overseas markets in its poor performance. And the abysmal failure to crack the Indian market is a big part of it. We connect the dots between Mumbai and Los Angeles to show you why.

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Apr 2022/
Monday
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A Stream of Woes

Netflix lost a huge chunk of subscribers for the very first time in a decade. Some of the reasons—including those offered by the streaming platform—are tied to the US market. But a big part of Netflix’s negative growth may reflect its poor performance in India—specifically, a failed, Hindi-centric content strategy.

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Apr 2022/
Friday
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Define ‘Illegal’

The Supreme Court heard petitions challenging the demolition drive in Jahangirpuri yesterday—and offered temporary relief to its residents. But the case may end up being determined not by the intent or target of the drive, but the rules governing illegal construction in Delhi.

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Apr 2022/
Thursday
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Bulldozer Brahmastra

Civic officials razed shops and houses in Muslim neighbourhoods in Delhi—despite a Supreme Court order. It is part of a new pattern that has emerged over the past month. First, there is a religious procession, then a riot—followed by arrests and, inevitably, a demolition drive. Is this punishment-by-bulldozer even legal?

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Apr 2022/
Wednesday
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La Bataille

The centrist Emmanuel Macron is facing off against rightwing Marine Le Pen in the presidential election. But key to this election lies in the hand of leftwing voters—including Muslims immigrants, the youth and the working class—who may deliver an ‘accidental’ victory to Le Pen.

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Apr 2022/
Tuesday
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Kitne Ka, Bhaiya?

The prices of basic food items have risen to all-time highs. What’s happening and will it get worse? We look at the deeper causes for spiralling food inflation using the example of lemons—and explain why some are worried about wheat prices in the near future.

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Apr 2022/
Monday
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Badshah of Bedlam

The tech titan has offered to buy the social media platform for $43 billion. Twitter responded by adopting a rather colourfully-named strategy called the ‘poison pill’ to block him. Everyone is agog with anticipation as they await the next round of this tech mahabharath.

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Apr 2022/
Thursday
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The Breakup

Actor Johnny Depp has sued his ex-wife Amber Heard for writing a Washington Post op-ed that implicitly accused him of domestic violence. We typically do not focus on celebrity drama, but the lawsuit is notable because it follows a familiar pattern in the #MeToo movement—where a woman airs her accusation in a public forum and is then sued for defamation (as with MJ Akbar). We look at the laws involved and whether Depp is likely to win.

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Apr 2022/
Wednesday
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A Giant Jar of Mystery

Researchers recently discovered 65 sandstone jars scattered over four sites in Assam. They have no connection to any other part of India—and are instead linked to the Plain of Jars in Laos. Who made these jars and why—these still unanswered questions could hold the key to one of the great mysteries of our ancient history.

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Apr 2022/
Tuesday
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Pillar of Society

One of Delhi’s most iconic monuments is once again the target of Hindu nationalism. Rightwing groups claim it is built using materials of 27 temples destroyed by Muslim conquerors. That is exactly right. But the minar’s history is more complex than that of Islamic triumphalism—and cannot be easily reduced to Hindu vs Muslim divides of the present.

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Apr 2022/
Monday
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The New Wazir in Town

Imran Khan’s tenure as Prime Minister came to an expected if abrupt turn over the weekend. Getting ready to wear the crown: Opposition leader Shehbaz Sharif—a man with a colourful if lesser-known past. And Allah and the Army willing, he will hold on to the throne—and not just in the interim. So who is this Wazir-e-Azam and why does India have a more upbeat view of him?

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Apr 2022/
Sunday
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Discover India

As much as India frustrates, it fascinates. And at Urbanaut, it is our mission to stop pegging wondrous places and experiences in India to something abroad—“Himachal is the Switzerland of India”—by making incredible, world-class experiences a norm right here in our own country. Here’s what we’ve chosen for you this month.

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Apr 2022/
Friday
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Crazy Rich Indians

The Chancellor of the Exchequer—once the golden boy of British politics—is in the middle of a media firestorm because of his wife’s tax status. His wife being Akshata Murty—daughter of Infosys founder Narayana Murthy and a woman often described as “richer than the queen.” What’s the big fuss about and is it really fair to target Sunak because of Murty’s money?

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Apr 2022/
Thursday
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Veg or Non Veg?

Every Hindu festival has now become an excuse to turn meat into a divisive issue. Ugadi in Karnataka and Chaitra Navratri in Delhi were no different. But is this really about ‘Hindu’ traditions?

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Apr 2022/
Wednesday
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Delivery (Dis)Service

India’s anti-monopoly watchdog has launched an investigation into the practices of your fave delivery apps—based on a complaint filed by very angry restaurant owners. We look at why they are upset with these companies.

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Apr 2022/
Tuesday
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War Crimes

Earlier this week, after Russia retreated from areas outside Kyiv, Ukrainians found bodies of civilians—bearing shocking signs of torture—and a mass grave. The discovery has fueled global outrage and calls for harsher sanctions. We look at what happened in Bucha—and explain how it fits a pattern established by Moscow in past wars in Chechnya and Syria.

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Apr 2022/
Monday
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The Khan of Chaos

Pakistan was thrown into an unprecedented constitutional crisis as the Prime Minister dissolved the Parliament—and called for elections. What caught our eye: The Pakistani military’s public declarations of affection for the US in the midst of this chaos. What’s going on here?

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Apr 2022/
Friday
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Girls Got Game

The Indian cricket board has finally signalled that it will move ahead on its plan for an Indian Premier League tournament for women—after dragging its feet for years. We thought it a perfect excuse to revisit the history of women’s cricket in India—and the stepchild treatment it continues to receive even in the 21st century.

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