Journalism From South Asia
Female Contraception: India’s Lethal Method
Misogyny forces women to use permanent contraception under extremely unhygienic conditions, while male contraception can be cheaper and safer. With a doctor performing more than a surgery a minute, this story talks about the death of several women in
New Laws That Kill The Forests
The Narendra Modi government\’s latest law on coal mining pronounces death sentence to dense forests of central India. This is a story of resistance against the laws and big companies that want a foothold in the mineral-rich region.
The men who blame women for rape
A drive through rural Haryana where more than a dozen rapes were reported in a day. The men of the local governing bodies who order rapes as punishment, justify their stand.
Where Prostitution is A Tradition
Natpurwa is a village where women have been forced into prostitution for centuries. Instead of trying to curb it, authoriries and police add to the meAnd one of them is determined to help the others break free.
This website is a peek into the perspective I have about the world and its complexities. As a journalist, I focus on Human Rights issues and politics in India. But, have also worked on gender, religion and international affairs. As I child I was fascinated with television. My oldest memory of television is that of the title music of Doordarshan News, India’s Public Broadcaster. It was, at that time, the only TV station in the country. Growing up in a conservative Hindu family, what we watched on TV, was dictated by the head of the family – then, my grandfather. So, I watched a lot of bland, single-framed, classical music shows, health shows and farmer education shows. Despite the uninteresting choice of programming, the magic of television did not elude me. Then came cable television, which gave an interesting twist to the tale of Indian democracy. I got hooked to it, just as the rest of my generation did. It was our window to the world, I suspect, that is what got me interested in news and current affairs. I watched ‘The World This Week‘ and ‘Surabhi‘, tirelessly. Television, to me, became a medium to tell interesting stories. Whether they are about chickens or cars, about people or politics. However, even though, the age of television seems to fade, the power of video storytelling is strengthening. Here is a peek into my first documentary on the Rationalist movement in India. At the age of 18, I went on to study journalism in Lady Shri Ram College, New Delhi and worked with New Delhi Television as an Output Editor after graduation. Three years later, I was offered a Fulbright grant to study Broadcast Journalism at the Graduate School of Journalism, Columbia University in New York. In March 2015, I was a Chevening Scholar at the University of Westminster. Apart from producing multimedia content, I also write regularly for The New York Times, Al Jazeera America, Scroll.in, Dawn, The Express Tribune, South China Morning Post, The Hindu and The Christian Science Monitor. In the past four years, I have reported from eight countries across the world and 18 states in India. Travelling is my only religion. I love to swim in cold lakes in the country. Music intoxicates me more than any alcohol. The only campaign I support and advocate is ‘Free Hugs’.
Latest Blog Posts
It was 10 minutes to 10 on a clear Sunday morning. I sat on the sun-drenched lawns of Hotel Crowne Plaza, Bangalore, looking forward to a morning of poetry on the last day of the Bangalore Literature Festival. Enjoying the breeze on my face, I began reading while waiting for the poets to come on[…]
ALLAHABAD, Uttar Pradesh—The sun rose on Leader Road, Allahabad, which leads to Allahabad Junction Railway Station, warming up a chilly Monday morning. Several local men had already begun to prepare generous shares of potato curry and puris to offer to Kumbh Mela pilgrims free of cost. As I stood at the corner of the street holding an[…]
In the early 1980s, when Ghulam Ali’s melody ‘chukpe chukpe raat din’ and Nazia Hasan’s sensuous ‘aap jaisa koi’ took Indian film-viewing audience by a storm, the armies of both nations were engaged in a severe conflict on the highest battlefield on earth – the Siachen glacier. Two decades later, the Siachen conflict grew to become one of the major factors for the[…]
Twelve hours was enough for veteran actor Kamal Haasan to lose all hope (or whatever was left of it) in India’s political structures. Last night, the Madras High Court had lifted the ban by the Tamil Nadu government on Hassan’s film Vishwaroopam. However, in the morning, police halted screening across Chennai. Frustrated and fed up,[…]
Reading that Dabangg 2 had made close to Rs150 crore in less than 14 days perked up my interest. After all, I wondered, what would it take for a film to become one of the highest grossing Bollywood films of all times? With enormous curiosity and an absolutely open mind (I haven’t seen its prequel, Dabangg.) I marched[…]
Palestine’s elevation to a non-member observer ‘state’ of the United Nations is an exciting development. However, at the other side of these celebrations, there needs to be an objective stocktaking of the challenges ahead in the Israel-Palestine logjam. Since the main takeaway for the Palestinians is to make use of their new status to try[…]
Unlike the Pakistani media that reported the hanging of Ajmal Kasab sparingly, the Indian media featured the story very prominently all day yesterday. I can vouch for the fact that for Indian television and online journalists it was a busy field day. Literally, all angles of the story were covered – the actual hanging, the mercy petition,[…]
Two days ago, on the eve of the first presidential election debate, President Obama’s team began running a new ad targeting Mitt Romney on outsourcing and China. The ad starts with a still photograph of Barack Obama and his gruff voice booms in the background, “I am Barack Obama and I approve this message.” Next, there is[…]
Waking up to read about the death of a man like Arthur Sulzberger, the former New York Times publisher, is, indeed, very sad. The man’s contribution to free and meaningful journalism in the 20th century is, arguably, unparalleled. Today, where the foremost concern in media circles around the democratic world is to find a balance between hard-hitting[…]
For those of us who thought that the world had seen enough violence, that we should now focus only on turning the economic recession upside down, we were proven wrong yet again. Yesterday, a top Iranian official was quoted by the Iranian public TV channel, Press TV, as saying that the war between Israel and[…]