Once a month we cull the headlines to bring you stories from the world’s largest democracy — its politics, economy, culture and everyday life.
“Religious freedom groups have expressed concern after several villages in central India moved to outlaw the open practice of Christianity. According to World Watch Monitor, the villages of Belar and Sirsiguda in Chhattisgarh’s Bastar district have passed resolutions banning all non-Hindu religious activities, a move that has already led to a rise in anti-Christian violence, according to church leaders.” read more
“India is wrestling with an important question: How do you count the poor if you can’t agree on the definition of poverty? Debate over redrawing the poverty line—the product of reams of academic research, field surveys and mathematical modeling—might seem arcane but carries great consequence. Under a new formula proposed last month by a government-appointed committee, nearly 30% of India’s 1.2 billion people would be classified as poor,” read more
“Without warning, basketball has made front pages in India. There were two pieces of news, within a few days of each other. The biggie was that the NBA now had the first Indian-origin player in its sights. Simran “Sim” Bhullar, a 7 feet 5 inches, 163.3 kilograms, 21-year-old Canadian, the Ontario-born son of Indian immigrants, made it to the 2014 NBA draft. He was not one of 60 picked during the draft, but the next day, Bhullar signed a contract with the Sacramento Kings.” read more
“To fall asleep in Mumbai and wake up in Bhuj, travelling from Delhi to Kolkata or Lucknow to Varanasi – the journey is endless, but the one connecting factor in my travels across elephant land remains the Indian train. Perhaps a product of the British rule, today she reverberates with the rhythm of India. Romanticise her, or rubbish her, there are some pleasures which no other mode of transport can provide. Here are seven joys that are unique to train travel in India.” read more
“India’s parched rice, soybean, cotton growing areas will receive more rainfall next week as the monsoon is expected to continue its wet revival phase. Rains in the northwest India grain bowl as well as in soybean belts of western-central parts are expected speed up summer planting activities. India’s farm sector accounts for around 14 percent of the economy but two-thirds of the country’s 1.2 billion people depend on farming for their livelihood,” read more
“U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry visits India this week as Washington tries to revitalize ties it sees as a counterbalance to China’s rising power, but rapid progress is unlikely, despite the reformist reputation of India’s new leader. The visit by Kerry, and a trip by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel next month, follow the resounding election win of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in May and are meant to create a good climate for Modi’s planned visit to Washington in September.” read more
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