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

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.

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.

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

Farmers sell wives after crops fail

North Indian farmers are selling their wives to survive, it has been revealed.

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.

Indian politician jailed for saying Dalit Queen 'ought to be raped'

Feud highlights rivalry in India's most populous state

World's biggest democracy heads to the polls

With 1,000 parties vying for votes, everything is to play for in the Indian elections.

India: The world's most remarkable election

As the largest democracy on the planet prepares to elect a new government, Andrew Buncombe reports on the choices facing the 714 million voters

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 descendant guilty of Muslim hate crime

India's main opposition party has said it will stand by a great-grandson of the country's first prime minister in forthcoming elections, even after an independent body found him guilty of hate crime and urged that he not be fielded as a candidate.

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.

Smile Train: the other Indian Oscar winner

When Brijmohan and Ruchi Gupta's baby was born, the young couple were nothing less than stunned. Their joy over the arrival of their first-born, Dimpy, was tempered by anguish over their son's twisted snarl of a mouth. "We were shocked to see it. We had never seen anything like it before, either in our family or elsewhere," said Mr Gupta, sitting today at Delhi's Sir Ganga Ram hospital.

Rangers hunt tigers after seven killed

Tigers have killed at least three children and four adults in north India in recent weeks, officials said today, forcing frightened villagers to stay indoors while forest rangers search for the wild cats.

Oppressed Dalits of Bangladesh fight for their future

The 'untouchables' are hoping to break centuries of discrimination with thehelp of the charity One World Action. Andrew Buncombe reports from Dhaka

V. P. Singh: Prime Minister of India who tried to improve the lot of the poor

If good intentions rather than hard results were the legacy of politicians, V.P. Singh might have been judged differently. As it transpired, the man who came to power championing the rights of India's poor and promising reform of some of the most inequitable elements of its society ran into widespread opposition from vested interests. As a result, his time in office as Prime Minister of India lasted little less than a year before he was forced out.

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