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.

Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
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