News Indian Congress members and supporters celebrate after India’s Union Cabinet approved the creation of a new state

Congress-led federal government wants to create a new area called Telangana

Saracens strike back over England blueprint for Farrell

Saracens last night entered the Andy Farrell debate and admitted to being confused over what position best suited the former rugby league player.

Thug: the true story of India's murderous cult by Mike Dash

The sacred slaughterers

The jungle training ground of an army the world forgot

One of the biggest security problems facing India during this general election year comes from deep in Andhra Pradesh, where the mysterious Naxalite army has its hideouts

Hindu zealots protest at Pope's visit

INDIA'S prime minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee, sought to play down recent Hindu protests over Christian evangelisation when he welcomed Pope John Paul yesterday, telling him: "You know, Holy Father, that India is a land of religious freedom, but we have some intolerant fringes."

City Life Hyderabad: Cyber Towers, where the young hope to be hi-tech maharajahs

INDIA'S BEACON of hope sits in countryside dotted with mounds of broken granite outside Hyderabad, the capital of the state of Andhra Pradesh.

Column One: India's future: an ugly little man with a lap-top

IS INDIA capable of transforming itself? Or is it condemned to be stuck in the mud of its misery? Most contests in this huge democracy's current election campaign offer no optimistic answers to the question of whether a country this big, varied and unwieldy can accelerate into the future like a Japan, Malaysia or China.

Heat, dust and cyber cafes

From the smallest village to the mega-software firms of `Hi-Tech City', India is logging on as a computer superpower. Photographs by Tim Hetherington. Words by Peter Popham

Obituary: M. L. Jaisimha

NOT ONLY was M. L. Jaisimha one of India's old-style cricketers, good-looking and charming, but he was also one of the most stylish batsmen with an indolent grace that was both flamboyant and dashing .

Indian babies sold to West for adoption

THE DETACHED house in a rich suburb of the steamy south-eastern Indian city of Hyderabad appeared anything but extraordinary. But, if the police are correct, the neat home on East Maradpully street is the headquarters of a gang that has made thousands of pounds buying children from the poor and selling them in the West for adoption.

India puts on class act for minister

WITH A floppy raffia hat to ward off the broiling sun and a jacket a rich shade of green that went nicely with the endless round of yellow garlands, Clare Short strode out to inspect the new primary schools of Andhra Pradesh in south India, built with her department's money.

Babies' deaths haunt India

THE BADLY decomposed bodies of nine babies have been recovered from an open drain in the city of Hyderabad, central India, in the past eight days - a haunting reminder in India's most rapidly modernising city of the dire imperatives of poverty.

Obituary: Ghulam Ahmed

GHULAM AHMED was a tall, slim off-spinner who, with the left-arm all-rounder Vinoo Mankad, formed a potent spin partnership for India in the 1950s. His smooth action enabled him to bowl long spells, while his clever flighting and shrewd variations of pace, length and line brought him comparisons, on helpful surfaces, with Jim Laker. He was also a useful tail-end batsman.

Obituary: Ajit

AJIT WAS Indian cinema's most successful villain. Acting in over 200 films in a career which spanned nearly four decades, Ajit delivered his outrageously evil, double entendre one-liners with a deadpan face which inspired a genre of outlandish jokes and eventually made him into a national folk hero.

Obituary: Geoffrey Kendal

TILL THE early Seventies, few Indians knew that the real name of the Shakespeare Wallah - or the man who produced, directed and acted in Shakespeare's plays - was Geoffrey Kendal. Most simply knew this handsome and talented British actor-manager, renowned for playing Shakespearean characters across India, to packed houses, simply by his Indian sobriquet.
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