Voices

India is the fourth most dangerous place in the world for females, after only Afghanistan, Congo and Pakistan

Sikhs and Hindus accuse BBC of pro-Muslim bias

Hindu and Sikh leaders have accused the BBC of pandering to Britain's Muslim community by making a disproportionate number of programmes on Islam at the expense of covering other Asian religions.

Church burns as Indian religious riots spread

Hindu mobs ransacked a church and clashed with Christian villagers in eastern India as authorities struggled to control spiralling religious violence in the region, police said today.

Muslims demand independent Kashmir as Indian police kill 13

Tension rises as thousands gather for funeral of separatist leader

Children trampled as 145 die in Hindu temple stampede

A religious pilgrimage turned into a disaster when at least 145 people – most of them women and children – were killed as a crowd of thousands stampeded at a Hindu shrine in northern India.

Stampede kills 145 Hindu worshippers in north India

At least 145 people, mostly women and children, were crushed to death under the feet of thousands of pilgrims in a stampede at a temple in northern India on Sunday, police said.

The Konkans, By Tony D'Souza

Konkans are Indian Catholics who live around Goa, with English Christian names and a very different way of life from the majority Hindu population. In this novel the narrator's father, Lawrence, the first-born son of a Konkan family, marries Denise, a white woman visiting India with the Peace Corps. They relocate to Chicago and Lawrence's brothers arrive, looking for work. He feels obliged to look after them but hates the way they bring with them a culture he wants to abandon. Meanwhile Denise's love for him, which was really only ever a love for India, flounders, and his deluded belief that he can be accepted in a white, middle-class world, grows.

Kashmir tries to defuse shrine riots by revoking deal

Officials in Indian-administered Kashmir have stepped in to try to defuse a row over the donation of government land to a Hindu shrine which triggered the biggest protests in the area for almost two decades.

Discover the world's great religions

Free: an eight-day series with The Independent and The Independent on Sunday print editions

Paperback: Vishnu's Crowded Temple, by Maria Misra

India has hardly lacked good general histories of late, but Misra's sure-footed dance from the 1857 rebellion to today's fragile boom is special. Ordering a vast wealth of material into a narrative of pace and bite, she has a virtuoso grasp of the ways that ideas and beliefs shape change. This is history as nimble and protean as the modish monkey-god, Hanuman, himself.

Hindu shrine staff win right to keep their underpants on

Employees counting donations at a popular Hindu shrine in southern India will no longer have to take off their underpants at work after the local human rights commission intervened.

Nepal: On top of the world

In Nepal, a way of life that has remained the same for centuries is on the brink of profound change. Mike Higgins encounters a land of charm, simplicity and epic beauty, where the people are looking to the future

Love Marriage, by VV Ganeshananthan

Sleeping with the enemy who isn't one

Picture Post: The British Library reveals a collection of 17th-century manuscripts of a Sanskrit epic

One of the world's most enduring stories, The Ramayana has been told and retold throughout India and South East Asia for more than 2,000 years. Today, a collection of lavishly illustrated 17th-century manuscripts of the Sanskrit epic, hidden away in the archives of the British Library since 1844, goes on public display for the first time.

Paperback: The Book of Love, by James McConnachie

Atlantic £8.99 (267pp)

Why the heart of the Punjab beats to a drum

From devotional hymns to traditional folk melodies, this part of north-western India reverberates to the sound of music, says Cathy Packe
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