News Demonstrators gather near effigies representing the convicted rapists during a protest in New Delhi in December 2013; the case of the 23-year-old physiotherapy student who was gang-raped caused a lot of anger in the country. The story of a new gun named after the victim has been met with horror and anger from millions across India

Activists call the revolver an abhorrence to the student's memory

A caste of 130 million gets ready to fight for equality

AS INDIA prepares for the 125th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi's birthday this year with the launching of a thousand eulogies and the unveiling of statues in towns and villages everywhere, there is little evidence in this land of Gandhi's teachings.

Obituary: Lovraj Kumar

Lovraj Kumar, oil executive, civil servant: born Nainital, Uttar Pradesh 26 August 1926; married (one daughter); died New Delhi 3 February 1994.

Architecture Update: Indian summons

QUINLAN TERRY has been summoned to design a hotel near the Taj Mahal, Agra. Mr Terry, whose work includes the Richmond Riverside development on the Thames in Surrey and the new library for Downing College, Cambridge, says: 'When you spend your life doing the Great Tradition (Classical architecture), designing an Islamic Indian building is like falling off a log.'

Bandit Queen broken by jail

PHOOLAN DEVI, the gun- toting 'Bandit Queen' of India, scourge of high caste Hindus and darling of the country's rural downtrodden, walked out of court in New Delhi yesterday a free woman. She had been in jail for 11 years, awaiting trial after giving herself up.

Indian troops quell riots

More than 500 troops were rushed to Kanpur, in northern India, yesterday to quell riots which flared up after a right-wing Hindu politician was murdered, Tim McGirk writes from New Delhi.

Bandit Queen seeks to escape past with a gun and a prayer

THE Chambal River in central India is also known as the River of Revenge. It runs through a maze of ravines that for centuries has been the abode of marauding bandits. India's most notorious woman outlaw, Phoolan Devi, nicknamed the 'Bandit Queen', will soon be released from prison, and many fear the Chambal will again flow with blood.

Party bust-up

A brawl on the floor of the assembly of the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh left at least 50 MPs injured, AFP reports from New Delhi. MPs threw microphones, water glasses and shoes at each other and several were dragged bleeding from the chamber.

Blaming strangers for a family failure

THIS has been the Year of Tortured Children - about as grim a sobriquet as I can imagine attaching to 1993. We have had the massacred innocents in Bosnia, the starving children of Africa, the drowned infants of India. Yet nothing hits home like our own, local, battered and beaten babies.

Letter: Social change in India

Sir: Tim McGirk is right ('India's Untouchables reach for power and change', 3 December) to highlight the role of casteism in Indian polity. However, he is mistaken in saying that the state bureaucracy in Uttar Pradesh is still dominated by Brahmins and other high-caste individuals and any attempt by the new administration to change the status quo could spark off an unprecedented social conflict.

Hindu leaders arrested

Eight Hindu nationalist leaders were arrested yesterday after challenging the Indian government to take them into custody over the destruction of a 16th-century mosque, Reuter reports from Lucknow.

India's Untouchables reach for power and change: The caste system is being challenged as never before, writes Tim McGirk in New Delhi

FOR MORE than a millennium, a rigid social hierarchy has dominated in India, with the priestly upper-caste Brahmins on top, followed by the warrior Kshatriyas, and the Vayshyas, who are farmers and merchants. Beneath them are the Sudras, the manual workers, and lowliest of them all, the outcastes or Untouchables, who do the foulest jobs, sweeping latrines and disposing of carcasses.

Indian voters check advance of Hindu right

MADHYA PRADESH, India's largest state, had long been regarded as an unassailable fortress of right-wing Hindu nationalists. As state assembly elections approached, one member of the Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Kailash Joshi, boasted that he would win a place in the Guinness Book of Records for the maximum number of electoral victories in a row.

Hindus fail to regain three Indian states: Lower castes and Muslims unite to elect socialist-untouchable coalition

HINDU militants have failed to regain control of three Indian state assemblies where they had been dismissed from power a year ago following the razing of a mosque by Hindu zealots.

Death brings toll to 11 in India election: 47,000 arrested as 325,000 police deployed in Uttar Pradesh

AT least one person was killed when violence erupted yesterday in Uttar Pradesh, India's most populous state, as millions voted in an election considered crucial for the Prime Minister, P V Narasimha Rao.

Indian truckers gain ground

INDIAN truck drivers, on strike against taxes and corrupt officials, scored their first victory yesterday when the authorities in Maharashtra, one of the country's main industrial states, agreed to their demands. Elsewhere the strike continued for a third day, driving up prices and causing panic buying in some places.
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Russia Today’s new UK channel began broadcasting yesterday. Discussions so far have included why Britons see Russia as ‘the bad guy’
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New UK station Russia Today gives a very bizarre view of Britain

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Left: An illustration of the original Jim Crowe, played by TD Rice Right: A Couple dressed as Ray and Janay Rice
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By performing as African Americans or Indians, white people get to play act a kind of 'imaginary liberation', writes Michael Mark Cohen

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Top Gear presenter is no stranger to foot-in-mouth controversy

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The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes