Aug 2021

Aug 2021/
Tuesday
...
A Monumental Error

A Rs 200 million (20 crore) renovation of the iconic site has sparked outrage at the ‘Disneyfication’ of a cherished memorial. We look at what has changed—and why people are so angry

Read more >
Aug 2021/
Monday
...
Do You Count?

Everyone knows that caste counts in India, but we don’t count caste in our national census—except for scheduled castes and tribes. Why is that? And why have successive governments—including the current one—opposed a caste census? And why are anti-caste activists the biggest supporters for a detailed enumeration of caste identities?

Read more >
Aug 2021/
Friday
...
Blast of Horror

Two suicide bombers staged a bloody attack right outside Kabul airport—killing at least 90 Afghan civilians and 13 US troops. The group behind the attack: Islamic State Khorasan—a bitter foe of the Taliban and best known here for its Indian recruits. We lay out a chain of events and take a closer look at IS-K.

Read more >
Aug 2021/
Thursday
...
Taliban-Chini Bhai Bhai

As the United States retreats in haste and humiliation, Beijing is poised to seize a golden opportunity to fill the void—and take total control of its Central Asian backyard. But that dream could just as easily turn into a nightmare. Here’s a quick overview of the strategic stakes for China.

Read more >
Aug 2021/
Wednesday
...
Arrests in High Places

Maharashtra police have arrested Narayan Rane for a verbal threat to “slap” Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray—in what is the latest salvo in the Shiv Sena-BJP war. We usually ignore petty politics but this is the first arrest of a cabinet minister in twenty years—so it’s worth explaining how and why it happened.

Read more >
Aug 2021/
Tuesday
...
Invisible Man

A Rolling Stone cover story on indie music has unleashed a huge uproar over the erasure of Dalit artists—specifically a Tamil rap star named Arivu. We look at the song and artists at the heart of the row, and the politics of caste and pop music.

Read more >
Aug 2021/
Monday
...
A Gene-ious Solution

An Indian company has developed a Covid shot which is the world’s first DNA vaccine for use in humans. And the government has just approved it for emergency use. This is an immensely exciting moment—but marred once again by inadequate trial data.

Read more >
Aug 2021/
Friday
...
Back to the Future

As protests spread across cities, the Taliban showed every sign of returning to their old ways—even as the scramble to flee the country continues. Here’s an update on the fast-moving developments in Afghanistan.

Read more >
Aug 2021/
Thursday
...
Pakistan: A Horror Story

A mob of 400-plus men in Lahore sexually lynched a woman who was filming a TikTok video on the country’s Independence Day. The gruesome event is just the latest example of escalating violence against Pakistani women—whose plight gets very little attention as all eyes are on the Taliban.

Read more >
Aug 2021/
Wednesday
...
Parting is Such Bitter Sorrow

The Afghans are incorrigible. There is nothing we could do to save them. That’s the defence offered by the Americans to justify the catastrophic withdrawal—and the resounding victory of the Taliban. But the facts offer far messier and complicated answers as to why the Afghan government collapsed overnight.

Read more >
Aug 2021/
Tuesday
...
Things Fall Apart

Contrary to popular predictions, there was no fight or even negotiation over the future of Kabul or Afghanistan. Taliban just walked into the capital city over the weekend—thereby taking control of the entire country. President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, and the Afghan military and police simply melted away.

Read more >
Aug 2021/
Friday
...
Ready, Steady… Oh No!

On Thursday, something went terribly wrong as the Indian Space Research Organization tried to launch a state-of-the-art satellite. The reason: a huge technical glitch in the third and final stage of the mission. Here’s a quick look at why the launch failed—and why it matters.

Read more >
Aug 2021/
Thursday
...
Back to Fundamental(ist)s

The Islamic extremist group is seizing control of the nation with dizzying speed—and many expect Kabul to fall within 90 days. But who is funding these guys? And where are they getting their arms?

Read more >
Aug 2021/
Wednesday
...
A Royal Disgrace

Virginia Roberts Giuffre has filed a lawsuit in a federal court in New York accusing the prince of sexually abusing her—when she was a minor. The civil case may not put Andrew in jail but he is now the first member of the royal family to face such a legal action—which promises both great public humiliation and, perhaps, monetary damages. And that’s unprecedented.

Read more >
Aug 2021/
Tuesday
...
It’s Getting Hot In Here

The latest UN Assessment Report is out. It is important because it is based on the best available evidence and gives us a clear picture of where we are, where we are headed—and how to change course. We promise to keep it short so you don’t have to wade through monotonous prophecies of catastrophe.

Read more >
Aug 2021/
Monday
...
The Golden Arm

The young man from Panipat sent an entire nation into a paroxysm of ecstatic joy when he threw his javelin for 87.58 metres—and secured our first gold medal in track & field. We look at this moment of great national pride—and see where credit is due, and where it is not.

Read more >
Aug 2021/
Friday
...
Going For Bronze

Since there isn’t a big headline that needs explanation, we’re doing an Olympics roundup—with a big spotlight on hockey.

Read more >
Aug 2021/
Thursday
...
India’s Daughter

Earlier this week—in the midst of a heady celebration of India’s daughters winning Olympic medals—a nine-year old Dalit girl was allegedly gangraped, killed and forcibly cremated in Delhi. The tragedy did not make front page news. This is her story.

Read more >
Aug 2021/
Wednesday
...
The Predator

The New York attorney general's office issued a report with graphic details of how the state’s governor Andrew Cuomo sexually harassed at least 11 women. It is a shocking example of how powerful men can abuse women—brazenly, repeatedly and over decades—while holding public office.

Read more >
Aug 2021/
Tuesday
...
Tourism Trap

A plan to construct luxury beach villas on three islands is just the beginning of an ambitious project to remake Lakshadweep in the image of the Maldives—which is likely to be disastrous both for its people and its ecology.

Read more >
Aug 2021/
Monday
...
Medals, Medals Everywhere!

Here’s everything big that happened while you were busy with really important weekend stuff… for example: long afternoon naps:)

Read more >