Voices

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

The Island Quintet, By Raymond Ramcharitar

A carnal carnival in the Caribbean jungle of desire

Man cut off genitals to join eunuch beggars

An Indian man cut off his genitals in an attempt to join the country's eunuchs and increase his begging income.

Varanasi: The last stop before nirvana

The Indian holy city is regarded as the last stop before nirvana. But these days the place seems more interested in attracting tourists than the devout. Andrew Buncombe reports

Festival of light that's heavy on the calories

A Slice of Britain: This weekend, it's Diwali. Once a celebration only for Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, and Jains, today huge numbers of other Britons join in – and get their first taste of its dangerously delicious foods

Search for the real villain of Partition divides India again

The bloody birth of Pakistan has always been blamed on its first leader Jinnah. No longer, reports Andrew Buncombe

Luxurious life (and death) in Varanasi

I’ve always been a bit squeamish about dying. I’m probably a bit British in that respect. But in Varanasi, one of the oldest and most spiritual living cities in world, and set against the backdrop of the River Ganges, death is deeply ingrained in everyday life.

The Last Thakur (15)

This medical-ethics drama is like a sustained assault on the tear ducts. ,/p>

Abigail Breslin plays Anna, an 11-year-old girl who's kept her leukaemic sister (Sofia Vassilieva) alive through lymphocytes and bone-marrow transplants. Her parents want Anna to donate her kidney, and she's not going to let them – indeed, she hires a lawyer (Alec Baldwin) to win her "medical emancipation". Based on a Jodi Picoult bestseller, this is all of a tremble with big issues and major confrontations, most of them centred on Cameron Diaz's control-freak mom, and I found myself not believing a minute of it.

Inside Britain's first Hindu state-funded faith school

The pupils do yoga, eat vegetarian food and are calm and alert. But critics say the rise in religious education is divisive and wrong

It's not your funeral: guru's cremation hopes go up in smoke

A septuagenarian Hindu guru who wants to be cremated outdoors after he dies has vowed to continue his fight, after the High Court yesterday ruled that funeral pyres are illegal in Britain. Davender Kumar Ghai, 70, had travelled to the High Court to challenge a decision by Newcastle City Council which forbade his son Sanjay from cremating him outside.

Court rejects outdoor funeral pyre request

The High Court has refused a devout Hindu's request to be cremated on an outdoor funeral pyre after his death.

Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi, by Geoff Dyer

If ever there was a book of two halves, it is this, Geoff Dyer's first novel for over a decade. His last fictional excursion (though for Dyer the division is largely artificial) was Paris, Trance, a druggy elegy for 90s romanticism that was partly a reworking of Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises.

Nehru's great-grandson arrested in India

The great-grandson of India's first prime minister was arrested today as police investigated charges against him of making hate speeches and inciting violence against Muslims ahead of national elections, a court official said.

The Gandhis at war

The anti-Muslim tirade by a descendant of Nehru and Indira Gandhi has caused outrage in India and put him at odds with his family. But, as Andrew Buncombe reports, tensions within the political dynasty are nothing new

Nehru heir under fire for 'anti-Muslim rant'

A great grandson of India's first prime minister was filmed at an election rally allegedly threatening to cut the throats of Muslims.

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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 30 January 2015
Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee