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Cracked Earth

In the time of toxic air In the time of toxic air

By Rohit Negi

Addressing pollution in Southasian cities requires going beyond the 'development versus environment' d...

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Well - read

Reframing the city Reframing the city

By Sunalini Kumar

Awadhendra Sharan's 'In the City, Out of Place' might be the most important book on Delhi in recent ti...

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Prescience or coincidence Prescience or coincidence

By Elen Turner

Dalrymple’s detailed look at the first Anglo-Afghan war hypothesises parallels between then and now....

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People & Politics

Life in a desert Life in a desert

By Sher Ali Khalti

Tharparkar district in Pakistan suffers from a man-made disaster that stems from government apathy.

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Neither here nor there in chhit mahal Neither here nor there in chhit mahal

By Anuradha Sharma

Law, disorder and struggle on the chhit mahals of India and Bangladesh.

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Bangladesh’s free-speech problem Bangladesh’s free-speech problem

By Chettria Patrakar

On the face of intolerance and hostile laws bloggers in the country are still unsafe.

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25 Years of Archives

  • Taliban-Afghan government peace talks in Islamabad Image: From 'Pakistan on the Brink' by Ahmed Rashid. Penguin Books, 2013.

    Taliban-Afghan government peace talks in Islamabad

    On 7 July 2015, peace talks commenced in Islamabad between Taliban leaders and a delegation of Afghan government officials, including Deputy Foreign Minister Hekmat Khalil Karzai. Afghan Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid, however, said he wasn’t able to confirm the Islamabad meeting.

    From our Archive:

    Raza Rumi on Pakistan’s relationship with Afghanistan (April 2014)

    Thomas Ruttig on the poetry of the Afghan Taliban (January 2013)

    Vijay Prashad reviews Ahmed Rashin’s Pakistan on the Brink (June 2012)

  • Presidential eligibility law in Burma Aung San Suu Kyi Photo: Left Bank Pictures

    Presidential eligibility law in Burma

    On 24 June 2015,  during the parliamentary discussions on the proposed constitutional amendments, a military-appointed MP warned that changing Article 59(f), which precludes presidency for individuals whose spouses and children hold foreign citizenship, would undermine Burmese sovereignty. Opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, whose two sons hold UK citizenship, is currently ineligible to become president.

    From our Archive:

    Joseph Allchin on Luc Besson’s biopic on Aung San Suu Kyi. (March 2012)


    Moegyo on Burma’s opposition. (February 2011)


    Larry Jagan on the Burmese consolidation of military rule. (June 2008)

  • Pakistan to establish Urdu as official language Ramzak Camp in present-day North Waziristan, beyond which the linguist Georg Morgenstierne was not allowed to proceed. Photo: Flickr / Drregor

    Pakistan to establish Urdu as official language

    On 7 June 2015, the federal government in Pakistan asked all government departments to implement a 14 May decision to establish Urdu as the official language. Heads of these departments have been asked to propose ways in which Urdu can replace English as the official language.

    From our Archive:

    Manzoor Ali on the death of minority languages in Pakistan. (March 2015)

    Danial Shah on discovering a language unknown to many even within Pakistan. (September 2013)

    C K Lal on the role of Hindostani in the region. (September 2008)

  • Delhi assembly elections Photo: Shahid Tantray

    Delhi assembly elections

    As Delhi gets ready for the assembly elections of February 7, a look at our recent coverage of elections in India. Also, a primer on the electoral systems in Southasia.

    From our Archive:

    Paranjoy Guha Thakurta on mass media and the Modi ‘wave’ (June 2014)

    The electoral systems in Southasia (September 2014)

    A photo essay on the 2014 Jammu & Kashmir state assembly elections (January 2015)

  • Supreme Court clears Rajapaksa for a third term Illustration: Paul Aitchison

    Supreme Court clears Rajapaksa for a third term

    On 11 November 2014, Sri Lanka’s Supreme Court announced that President Mahinda Rajapaksa has no legal impediments to contest a further term. Presidential term limits were removed from the constitution in 2010 through an amendment passed by over two-thirds of the Parliament. Rajapaksa is now set to stand for an unprecedented third term in the office.


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On 9 June 2015, Jagendra Singh, a freelance journalist in Lucknow, died from major burn injuries he sustained after he was allegedly set on fire. Singh had been posting Facebook posts on corrupt practices by Uttar Pradesh’s Minister of State for Backward Class Welfare, Ram Murti Verma, and had been allegedly attacked in the past by Verma’s associates and the police.

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  • Wage board wars

    S Murari, 21 July 2015

    I agree with the National Labour Commission's observation that wage boards are outdated and bilateral negotiations are the best bet. This was told to ...

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  • Himal in the classroom

    sonali sathaye, 20 July 2015

    I teach Sociology to the Class 11s and 12s and regularly use Himal in the classroom. I find it an excellent resource because while the research and an...

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  • A heart of stone

    , 14 July 2015

    A great story, I really enjoyed reading it as it has reminded me of some scenes that I have witnessed during my services in southern Afghanistan, real...

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