Andrew Buncombe

The Independent's Asia Correspondent Andrew Buncombe is based in Delhi. His dominion ranges over India, Pakistan, Burma, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, occasionally parts of South East Asia and - or at least he is hoping - The Maldives.

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Ruling Congress party scion Rahul Gandhi (left) is being challenged by nationalist opposition leader Narendra Modi in the nine-day elections

India elections: Rahul Gandhi and Narendra Modi sling mud as country prepares to vote

The leaders of India’s two main parties heaped fresh attacks on one another in an increasingly bitter campaign prior to the first of nine days of voting.

New start: The makeshift school by the Yamuna Bank station

India elections: A better future for Indian children lies under the railway arches

As the country goes to the polls, Andrew Buncombe visits a Delhi school which changes young lives

Indian villagers listen as they are addressed by election candidate Kumar Vishwas

India elections 2014: 814m voters registered – 100m more than last election

Around 120m will be first-time voters

Narendra Modi at an election campaign rally near Jammu, India

Could Muslims hold the key to India’s upcoming election?

Voting gets underway in the biggest-ever democratic process next Monday and ahead of the first of nine polling days, the ruling Congress party has been reaching out to India’s Muslim groups.

A young Myanmar Muslim Rohingya refugee looks on behind a wired fence

With ‘Rohingya’ not an option on census forms, Burma’s new democracy is facing an identity crisis

Recently, discrimination has turned to violence, especially in Rakhine state

Pakistan's former military ruler Pervez Musharraf denounced treason charges against him as a 'vendetta'

Pakistan's former leader Pervez Musharraf pleads not guilty to high treason

Charges carry the death penalty, should the trial proceed that far

A Tamil woman cries as she holds up an image of her disappeared family member during the war against Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) at a protest in Jaffna

UN launches official investigation into Sri Lankan war crimes

Five years after the Sri Lankan army crushed the remnants of a once-powerful rebel force, the United Nations is to launch a formal investigation into allegations that war crimes were committed by both sides.

A Bharatiya Janata Party supporter holds high a mask of their prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi

The battle for Varanasi: As India goes to polls, can anything stop the Modi wave?

It is being called the battle for Kashi. Two weeks before India embarks on a massive, month-long election, one of the most intriguing and closely watched contests is shaping up in the ancient, sacred city of Varanasi.

A handout photo taken on 19 March 2014 shows Royal Australian Air Force Airborne Electronics Analyst Flight Sergeant Tom Stewart from 10 Squadron watching a radar screen for signs of debris on board an AP-3C Orion over the Southern Indian Ocean during the search for missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370

Missing Malaysia Flight MH370: Even if Australian debris is the lost plane, recovering its black box could take years

Officials have warned that even it the debris discovered off the Australian coast is from missing Flight MH370 it could be years before teams recover the black box data recorder essential for revealing what happened to the plane.

A handout picture made available by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) on 20 March 2014 shows a map of its search area for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. Objects possibly related to the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane have been spotted in the southern Indian Ocean, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said

Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370: Search called off for day after two pieces of debris spotted floating in Indian Ocean

Initial attempts to identify debris have been hampered by bad weather, and now bad light

Day In a Page

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe: Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC

How I brokered a peace deal with Robert Mugabe

Roy Agyemang reveals the delicate diplomacy needed to get Zimbabwe’s President to sit down with the BBC
Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy attacked as 'sinful'

British Muslims's Happy video attacked as 'sinful'

The four-minute clip by Honesty Policy has had more than 300,000 hits on YouTube
Church of England-raised Michael Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith

Michael Williams: Do as I do, not as I pray

Church of England-raised Williams describes the unexpected joys in learning about his family's Jewish faith
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife

A History of the First World War in 100 moments

A visit to the Front Line by the Prime Minister's wife
Comedian Jenny Collier: 'Sexism I experienced on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

Jenny Collier: 'Sexism on stand-up circuit should be extinct'

The comedian's appearance at a show on the eve of International Women's Day was cancelled because they had "too many women" on the bill
Cannes Film Festival: Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or

Cannes Film Festival

Ken Loach and Mike Leigh to fight it out for the Palme d'Or
The concept album makes surprise top ten return with neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson

The concept album makes surprise top ten return

Neolithic opus from Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson is unexpected success
Lichen is the surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus, thanks to our love of Scandinavian and Indian cuisines

Lichen is surprise new ingredient on fine-dining menus

Emily Jupp discovers how it can give a unique, smoky flavour to our cooking
10 best baking books

10 best baking books

Planning a spot of baking this bank holiday weekend? From old favourites to new releases, here’s ten cookbooks for you
Jury still out on Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini

Jury still out on Pellegrini

Draw with Sunderland raises questions over Manchester City manager's ability to motivate and unify his players
Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

Ben Stokes: 'Punching lockers isn't way forward'

The all-rounder has been hailed as future star after Ashes debut but incident in Caribbean added to doubts about discipline. Jon Culley meets a man looking to control his emotions
Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

Mark Johnston: First £1 million jackpot spurs him on

The most prize money ever at an All-Weather race day is up for grabs at Lingfield on Friday, and the record-breaking trainer tells Jon Freeman how times have changed
Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail. If you think it's awful, then just don't watch it'

Ricky Gervais: 'People are waiting for me to fail'

As the second series of his divisive sitcom 'Derek' hits screens, the comedian tells James Rampton why he'll never bow to the critics who habitually circle his work
Mad Men series 7, TV review: The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge

Mad Men returns for a final fling

The suits are still sharp, but Don Draper has lost his edge
Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground as there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit

Google finds a lift into space will never get off the ground

Technology giant’s scientists say there is no material strong enough for a cable from Earth into orbit