News Activists carry posters as they shout slogans during a protest march against the gangrape and murder of a teenager, in India. The Indian politician has apologised after she said women invite rape.

She came under criticism from members of her own party who distanced themselves from her remarks

Thousands are feared dead in cyclone `calamity'

THOUSANDS OF people were feared dead and up to 1.5 million were left homeless after a cyclone swept across the east coast of India at the weekend. After an emergency cabinet meeting in Delhi, the Indian Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee, declared a national calamity.

Railway disaster victims burnt

THE SOMBRE chant of prayers echoed through the Himalayan foothills at the weekend when disfigured, rotting corpses were cremated, five days after hundreds were killed in one of India's worst train accidents.

Pyre for railway disaster victims

THE SOMBRE chant of prayers echoed through the Himalayan foothills at the weekend when disfigured, rotting corpses were cremated, five days after hundreds were killed in one of India's worst train accidents.

Monitor: The Indian press reacts to the West Bengal train crash

All the News of the World

Hundreds die in head-on crash

AS MANY as 500 people may have been killed and many hundreds more injured when two express trains collided head on at high speed in India yesterday.

Theatre: Touch of Chekhov in Calcutta

LAST DANCE AT DUM DUM NEW AMBASSADORS LONDON

Key Players in Delhi's Chaotic Politics

ATAL BEHARI VAJPAYEE

Collapse of coalition talks propels India into election

INDIA, THE stop-go state, went into stop mode yesterday when party leaders and the President admitted failure in their attempts to find an alternative to the government toppled by a single vote 10 days ago. The caretaker Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee, asked the President to dissolve the Lok Sabha (House of Commons) and elections will be called shortly - India's third in three years.

Letter: Double English

JOHN MORRISH mentions that 1.5 billion speak English worldwide, with the "best" English spoken in Calcutta ("The accent that dare not speak its name", 21 March). They learn this from the World Service of the BBC and from local sources such as the British Council. A strong regional accent is often not understood. During a career working abroad, I have often had to interpret into Received Pronounciation for a local audience the words of a British visitor. One exasperated Dutchman said: "Please speak Continental English not English English" in a perfect RP voice.

Short's hopes for poor of India

HALFWAY THROUGH her Indian journey, Clare Short came to Delhi yesterday to speak about Britain's approach to development aid, outliningher "new global vision for poverty elimination".

Indian Maoists kill 35 villagers

JEHANABAD IS the most violent district in the most lawless state in India, and late on Thursday night its dark reputation was reinforced when 35 people were massacred in the village of Senari.

The Mother Teresa of economics

Another award for Amartya Sen (right), with West Bengal's Chief Minister BIKAS DAS/AP

Exhibition Tibetan Refugees

Recent films such as Seven Years in Tibet and Martin Scorsese's Kundun have brought the plight of the Dalai Lama and his fellow Tibetans to a new, far wider audience. Having escaped from his homeland and Chinese aggression during the Lhasa uprising in 1959, the 14th Dalai Lama has since lived in India, and many of his devotees have made the difficult trek over the Himalayas after him. English photographer Neil Bailey recently visited Tibetan refugee camps in West Bengal and was invited to stay and record what he saw. The resulting images (right) are now on show at the Association of Photographers, with proceeds going to a refugee centre in Darjeeling.

A city of joy, an ocean of human misery

THE STOCKY man with the beefy arms and the frank, smiling face of a neighbourhood charcutier leans forward across the podium in a muddy village 50 miles from anywhere in West Bengal.

Buddha's ashes are put on show

THE ASHES of Gautama Buddha, who lived, preached and died in northern India, will be taken in procession today from the museum in Patna, capital of the state of Bihar, 70 miles south to Bodhgaya, the town where Buddha attained enlightenment under a peepul (or bodhi) tree.
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