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.

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