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

India's fascism wears a mask like Churchill

The decline of Congress has paved the way for Hindu nationalists, finds Peter Popham - unless the Gandhi name can work its magic

The black heart of Indian politics

TWO DAYS before polling begins in the world's biggest election, there is little doubt about the most important issue - and it is nothing to do with policies. It is the infestation of Indian politics by criminals.

Obituary: Attia Hosain

Attia Hosain, writer: born Lucknow, India 20 October 1913; married Ali Bahadur Habibullah (one son, one daughter); died London 23 January 1998.

Sonia Gandhi rejects plea to fight elections

The office of Sonia Gandhi, the Italian-born widow of the former Indian premier Rajiv Gandhi, said yesterday that she would not contest forthcoming elections.

Sonia Gandhi keeps India guessing

With an election looming, all eyes are on the Italian-born wife of a former prime minister, writes Peter Popham

Obituary: Muqimuddin Farooqi

Muqimuddin Farooqi, party activist: born Ambetha, Uttar Pradesh, India 1920; joined Communist Party of India (CPI) 1940, member, national council 1958, central executive 1972, central secretariat 1981; married Vimla Kapoor (one son); died New Delhi 3 September 1997.

TODAY'S TELEVISION

You've got to admit that cosmologist Stephen Hawking is a pretty extraordinary man. I don't mean in the accepted sense of genius - I have no idea whether or not the author of A Brief History of Time should be taken at his own estimation as the spiritual heir to Galileo and Isaac Newton. I mean in the shallower sense that he has got to be by far the most disabled man to have fronted a major TV series.

Through bandit country on the magic bus

Best Discovery

Once a bandit ...

Phoolan Devi, India's 'Bandit Queen', is in trouble again. But this time, as she hears herself accused of murder, she is sitting in a seat in parliament.

Bandit Queen takes to the road again

India's notorious Bandit Queen, Phoolan Devi, is on the run again. The former outlaw, elected as a member of parliament from Mirzapur last year, went missing last week after mass murder, kidnapping and robbery charges against her were revived and her petition for advance bail was turned down.

India looks to Taj Mahal

India's Supreme Court, cracking down on chemical and carbon fumes threatening the Taj Mahal, ordered almost 300 coal-based industries in its vicinity to close by the end of 1997.

Foreign Office forced to rethink policy on Britons in distress

The Isherwood family were on their first foreign holiday. On the grassy verge beside a quiet road on the Greek island of Crete, Howard Isherwood pushed his four-year-old son, David, in a buggy, as his wife, Joan, walked beside them with their other son, Andrew, nine.

Books: Mutineers without bounty

Frank McLynn reviews a sober account of the bloodlust that characterise d the Indian Mutiny; Our Bones are Scattered: The Cawnpore Massacres and the Indian Mutiny of 1857 by Andrew Ward John Murray, pounds 25

Book review / Stabbing the serpent

I, Phoolan Devi by Phoolan Devi, Little, Brown, pounds 18.99

India creaks as Congress falls apart

This week's poll result leaves the world's largest democracy politicall y unstable, says James Chiriyankandath
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable