Voices

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

The Big Picture: Divine presents

Hindu pilgrims carrying holy water from the River Ganges make their hurried way to a sacred temple near Allahabad in India's north west. There the pilgrims, wearing saffron dyed clothes and known as Kanwarias, will offer the water to Shiva, the Hindu deity.

Pic of the day: Glorious mud?

Amongst a throng of bodies daubed with sacred mud, a young Hindu boy raises his hands in quiet prayer. He is smothered in grey gloop – all that remains of a dried-up pond, which is believed to have healing powers.

Sri Lanka looks for help from above to revive its post-war tourist trade

Authorities expect sites featured in ancient religious saga to draw holidaymakers

Nitin Mehta: Come to Kumbh Mela to see the miracle that is modern India

During the last two months the world's greatest religious gathering has been taking place at Allahabad also known as Prayag in the state of Utter Pradesh in India. Kumbha is a Sanskrit word for a round pot with no handles, Mela means "a gathering", or a fair.

India's 'modern-day Nero' to be grilled over Muslim bloodbath

Narendra Modi, tipped as a future prime minister, is called to appear before tribunal investigating 2002 Gujarat massacre

The exiles dreaming of a return to Kashmir

The 400,000 Hindus driven out by Muslim extremists 20 years ago hope talks beginning this week will bring them a step closer to going home. But does it suit the Indian government to prolong their misery?

Hindu healer wins funeral pyre battle

It took four years of complex legal wrangling, nearly bankrupted an ailing Hindu guru and has cost the tax-payer tens of thousands of pounds. But in the end open air cremations were legal all along.

Court ponders Hindu man's funeral pyre plea

A Hindu fighting for the right to be cremated on a traditional funeral pyre took his case to the Court of Appeal today.

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown: My Bollywood love affair

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown has always been obsessed by Indian movies. They have punctuated her life, marking marriages, divorce, births and deaths. In this passionate memoir, she explains how her dreams were made in Mumbai – but why she now despairs for the industry she loves

Man offers his tongue to gods

A childless Indian man sliced off his tongue as an offering to the god Shiva in the hope of becoming a father.

Ganges braced for 60 million bathing pilgrims

As millions of Hindus prepare to descend on the holy city of Haridwar, the authorities have urged people to avoid dirtying the Ganges – India's most sacred river yet one of its most heavily polluted.

Independent Appeal: Safe haven for women beaten and abused in Kashmir

For the past two decades, domestic violence has been a low priority in one of India's most troubled regions. But a bold initiative is now addressing the issue – bringing Hindus and Muslims together, reports Andy Buncombe

Lenore Kandel: Beat poet whose 'The Love Book' fell victim to one of San Francisco's longest ever court cases

Much like Leonora Carrington was to the Surrealist movement, the visionary poet and counter-culture activist Lenore Kandel was a peer and a participant, not a moll, muse or girlfriend. She helped to set the bar higher, bridged the Beat and hippie eras, was a presence in Kerouac's Big Sur and had a cameo in Kenneth Anger's film Invocation of My Demon Brother. Yet in spite of Kandel's influence and cause célèbre status, her poetry was lost for decades.

Report flays top Indian politicians for clashes

An Indian government investigation released yesterday reportedly implicates dozens of Hindu nationalist politicians – including a former prime minister – in the 1992 demolition of a mosque which sparked deadly communal riots.

BNP signs its first non-white member...

... but he's only joined because he hates Muslims
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Voices
Caustic she may be, but Joan Rivers is a feminist hero, whether she likes it or not
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Day In a Page

Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

The other Mugabe who is lining up for the Zimbabwean presidency

Wife of President Robert Mugabe appears to have her sights set on succeeding her husband
The model of a gadget launch: Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed

The model for a gadget launch

Cultivate an atmosphere of mystery and excitement to sell stuff people didn't realise they needed
Alice Roberts: She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

She's done pretty well, for a boffin without a beard

Alice Roberts talks about her new book on evolution - and why her early TV work drew flak from (mostly male) colleagues
Get well soon, Joan Rivers - an inspiration, whether she likes it or not

Get well soon, Joan Rivers

She is awful. But she's also wonderful, not in spite of but because of the fact she's forever saying appalling things, argues Ellen E Jones
Doctor Who Into the Dalek review: A classic sci-fi adventure with all the spectacle of a blockbuster

A fresh take on an old foe

Doctor Who Into the Dalek more than compensated for last week's nonsensical offering
Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

Fashion walks away from the celebrity runway show

As the collections start, fashion editor Alexander Fury finds video and the internet are proving more attractive
Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy

Meet the stars of TV's Wolf Hall...

... and it's not the cast of the Tudor trilogy
Weekend at the Asylum: Europe's biggest steampunk convention heads to Lincoln

Europe's biggest steampunk convention

Jake Wallis Simons discovers how Victorian ray guns and the martial art of biscuit dunking are precisely what the 21st century needs
Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Don't swallow the tripe – a user's guide to weasel words

Lying is dangerous and unnecessary. A new book explains the strategies needed to avoid it. John Rentoul on the art of 'uncommunication'
Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough? Was the beloved thespian the last of the cross-generation stars?

Daddy, who was Richard Attenborough?

The atomisation of culture means that few of those we regard as stars are universally loved any more, says DJ Taylor
She's dark, sarcastic, and bashes life in Nowheresville ... so how did Kacey Musgraves become country music's hottest new star?

Kacey Musgraves: Nashville's hottest new star

The singer has two Grammys for her first album under her belt and her celebrity fans include Willie Nelson, Ryan Adams and Katy Perry
American soldier-poet Brian Turner reveals the enduring turmoil that inspired his memoir

Soldier-poet Brian Turner on his new memoir

James Kidd meets the prize-winning writer, whose new memoir takes him back to the bloody battles he fought in Iraq
Aston Villa vs Hull match preview: Villa were not surprised that Ron Vlaar was a World Cup star

Villa were not surprised that Vlaar was a World Cup star

Andi Weimann reveals just how good his Dutch teammate really is
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef ekes out his holiday in Italy with divine, simple salads

Bill Granger's simple Italian salads

Our chef presents his own version of Italian dishes, taking in the flavours and produce that inspired him while he was in the country
The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

The Last Word: Tumbleweed through deserted stands and suites at Wembley

If supporters begin to close bank accounts, switch broadband suppliers or shun satellite sales, their voices will be heard. It’s time for revolution