India, don’t dodge the rape crisis spotlight

Original image from Google Maps.

Created by Monica Sarkar. Original image: Google Maps.

I received my first hate mail a few months ago. But it didn’t dishearten me – Winston Churchill’s famous words came into my head: “You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”

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Delhi gang rape: Getting rid of the criminals, getting rid of the crime?

Society hanged

“Society hanged.” By Monica Sarkar

Last week, the Delhi High Court upheld the death sentences of four men accused of raping and murdering a student on a moving bus – a case that caused fervent outrage amongst Indians and led to a subsequent change in anti-rape laws. Although the defence will appeal, many Indians who demanded the death penalty may feel justice is finally being served.

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Remembering Pandit Nikhil Banerjee: Pioneer of the sitar

Pandit Nikhil Banerjee. Photo by Bhaidu Sanyal (Found here:

Pandit Nikhil Banerjee. Photo by Bhaidu Sanyal (Found here:

Although he is not as well known in the western world as Ravi Shankar, any Kolkata citizen will know the name of Pandit Nikhil Banerjee and his legendary status in Hindustani classical music. As I write this piece, in a few hours, 27th January 2014 will mark his 28th death anniversary.

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Indian protesters: I salute you


We laid to rest the embodiment of a powerful soul last week. Someone who had the overwhelming courage to not only think the seemingly impossible, but believe in it enough to defy his opponents and make it true.

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MLK’s speech 50 years on: Has racism become smarter?

Creator unknown.

Fifty years ago today, Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his momentous, stirring speech “I have a dream”.  But do we listen, feel elevated and inspired, but then ignore it like a dream forgotten as soon as we wake up? And in the process, is racism just getting smarter at subsisting?

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Keeping chivalry alive in India: Men respond to rape crisis


Photographed by Aditya Mendiratta

Many female travelers are scrubbing India off their destination lists after the horrific gang rape and murder of a Delhi student in December 2012.

According to the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India, 35% less women visited India in the three months after the attack compared to the same period last year.

Since December, rapes have persisted and mass protests have erupted across the country, pointing at inefficiency in dealing with such crimes and an inherent patriarchal nature. But there’s one clear observation from the outcry: some of the voices belong to India’s men.

This article is published on – read more here

The day telegrams came to a final STOP



Indians awoke on Monday to find their 162-year-old telegram service rendered obsolete, superseded by SMS, e-mail and Twitter.

Arguably one of the oldest victims of the digital age, telegrams were the fastest communication method from the 19th century.

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While Indian football sleeps, its young hopefuls dream of playing abroad

Steve McMahon Football Academy, Delhi Photographed by Monica Sarkar

Steve McMahon Football Academy, Delhi
Photographed by Monica Sarkar

“Theatre of Dreams” reads the plaque on the classroom door of Manchester United Soccer School in Mumbai. Nutritional advice and tactics are scribbled on the whiteboard and a Wayne Rooney portrait hangs on the wall.

But if the future of the domestic sport lies at the feet of new talent, youngsters are dreaming of playing in stadiums abroad, not at home.

This article is published on – click here to read more.

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Violence against women is a crime the world over

Photographed by Monica Sarkar

Subject of respect or object of desire?
Photographed by Monica Sarkar

The tragic case of the Delhi gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old woman last year forced India to take a long, hard look at itself in the mirror and decide how to change.

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My religion is: What suits me


“What religion are you?” a man on the high street asks me, whilst holding a wad of leaflets promoting Islam.
“I don’t belong to any religion,” I reply.
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