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Madhya Pradesh local body election 2017: BJP wins 25 seats, Congress bags 15
The BJP gloated over the 25 municipal bodies it won and Congress celebrated the winning of 15 of these bodies. [...]
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Trump disbands business councils after CEO exodus over Charlottesville remarks
US President Donald Trump said he is shutting down two business councils after several member CEOs quit protesting Trump's comments on the Charlottesville, Virginia violence. [...]
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Pamela Singh's best photograph – a woman dying in India's City of Widows
‘The town of Vrindavan is a magnet for bereaved women. Elderly widows come to this square to die in the sun’One day in 1994, while staying in Vrindavan, a small town in Uttar Pradesh, I went exploring on my own. I came upon a quiet square. It was midday and the Indian heat was sweltering. I saw a woman lying alone, swaddled in fabric. In the background of this shot, you can see a bundle of clothes. That’s her.I moved towards her and saw she was dying. She was extremely old and clearly in her final moments. I went to fetch her some water when a group of children appeared. They thought nothing of it. They explained that elderly women and widows often come here to die. She could no longer talk.Just as some Buddhists and Hindus scale Mount Kailash to perish in the cold, these widows pass away in heat of the sun Continue reading... [...]
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'I won't do toilets': the unvarnished reality of life as a maid in India
Domestic service can extract a family from extreme poverty – but it can also be a path to near-enslavement. Tripti Lahiri investigates the uneasy, and sometimes abusive, relationship between India’s modern-day ‘madams’ and maids“Knock twice, not three times. If someone banged your door hard, wouldn’t you get cross?” asks Preeti, a woman in her early twenties with a bachelor’s degree in political science – which may come in useful when preparing the group of women she now instructs on the art of being a superior maid. “Madam gets cross too. Knock on the door lightly like this, and ask for permission to come in.”Suddenly there is a loud bang on the door, which startles Preeti. The kudawala has come to pick up the garbage; he asks for it in a sullen tone with little apparent care for how his knocking is received. Much giggling ensues among the women.For the most part, the newly enriched in India are not bursting with compassion and generosity for othersToday's domestic workers no longer consider themselves far beneath the people they work for Related: The Inequality Project: the Guardian's in-depth look at our unequal world Continue reading... [...]
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Indian and Chinese troops clash in disputed Himalayan border region
Tension has been high in mountain region of Ladakh and skirmishes come as both countries face off in other areas along Line of Actual ControlIndian and Chinese troops clashed briefly on a disputed area of land in the Himalayas, officials said, exacerbating tensions during a months-long standoff between the two armies.Chinese troops threw stones at Indian soldiers near Pangong Lake, a major tourist attraction in the picturesque mountain region of Ladakh on Tuesday, an Indian defence official said. Related: Adani mining giant faces financial fraud claims as it bids for Australian coal loan Continue reading... [...]
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Floods and devastation in India, Nepal and Bangladesh – in pictures
Hundreds of people have been killed and millions displaced across the region as rescue missions set up shelters and strive to get food and water to victimsNearly 250 people have died in the last few days as a result of flooding and landslides that have devastated parts of northern India, Nepal and Bangladesh. Millions of people have been displaced across the region, and 245 people are recorded to have been killed by collapsed buildings or by drowning. Continue reading... [...]
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Flags and parades in India and Pakistan for 70th anniversary celebrations
Tensions in India over patriotic oath for children and order for Islamic schools to film independence day ceremonies National flags are being hawked at traffic lights, the Indian parliament has been illuminated, and monkey traps have been installed around Delhi monuments as India prepares to celebrate the 70th anniversary of its independence.Above Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad, this weekend, air force jets left a multicoloured trail as they rehearsed for the largest air show in the country’s history on Monday, when it celebrates its own creation in 1947. Related: Why Pakistan and India remain in denial 70 years on from partition Related: In limbo for 70 years, stateless West Pakistani families bear scars of partition Continue reading... [...]
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India celebrates Independence Day – in pictures
Indian Independence Day is celebrated each year on 15 August, and this year marks 70 years since British India was split into two nations – Hindu-majority India and Muslim-majority Pakistan – and millions of people were uprooted in one of the largest mass migrations in history Continue reading... [...]
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Adani mining giant faces financial fraud claims as it bids for Australian coal loan
Exclusive: Allegations by Indian customs of huge sums being siphoned off to tax havens from projects are contained in legal documents but denied by companySupport our independent journalism by giving a one-off or monthly contributionA global mining giant seeking public funds to develop one of the world’s largest coal mines in Australia has been accused of fraudulently siphoning hundreds of millions of dollars of borrowed money into overseas tax havens.Indian conglomerate the Adani Group is expecting a legal decision in the “near future” in connection with allegations it inflated invoices for an electricity project in India to shift huge sums of money into offshore bank accounts. Related: Government loan to Adani could be tainted by interference, economists say Related: Adani coal rail line money would be better spent supporting agriculture, analysis says Related: Taking on Adani is not just about climate change. It's taking back power from corporate plutocracy | Sebastian Job Continue reading... [...]
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Nearly 400 bodies recovered from Sierra Leone mudslide, toll expected to rise
Nearly 400 bodies have been recovered from a mudslide that hit a Sierra Leone town on Monday. Officials expect to recover more than 500 bodies. [...]
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Trump again blames 'both sides' for Charlottesville, Virginia violence
United States President Donald Trump on Tuesday once again said that both left- and right-wing groups were to blame for the violence that followed a recent white supremacist rally in the state of Virginia. [...]
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In limbo for 70 years, stateless West Pakistani families bear scars of partition
The descendants of thousands of people who fled their homes during the British retreat from India in 1947 are still denied welfare in autonomous Indian stateFlags and parades on both sides of border mark 70th anniversary of independenceThe scrubby lowlands of Jammu are stuck between the Himalayas and the dusty plains of Punjab, and home to 19,000 families stuck in time. West Pakistan no longer exists on world maps, but in the north Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir, clustered in poor villages along the Tawi river, there are still West Pakistanis.Like at least 14 million others, they fled their homes during the hasty British retreat from India in 1947, when the division of the subcontinent into one Hindu-majority country and another Muslim-dominated triggered religious violence. Related: India and Pakistan prepare for 70th anniversary celebrations Continue reading... [...]
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Modi tells India: 'Use resolve to oust Britain 70 years ago to now end terrorism'
Prime minister calls on nation to build future free of violence amid celebrations commemorating end of colonial rule India has marked the 70th anniversary of its independence with a military parade and a prime ministerial address from Narendra Modi on corruption, Kashmir and violence in the name of cows.Indians filled the streets around the Red Fort in old Delhi and monuments in the city’s newer imperial quarter as the nation of 1.3 billion celebrated the anniversary of the day in 1947 when India threw off British colonial rule and the union flag was lowered across the country. Related: India after partition – then and now Related: WhatsApp warriors on the new frontline of Kashmir’s conflict Continue reading... [...]
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India after partition – then and now
On the anniversary of Indian independence from Britain and partition, we compare contemporary images of Amritsar and New Delhi with those taken from 1947 to 1951The partition of India led to one of the largest mass migrations in modern history, with millions seeking sanctuary from violence in ancient tombs and forts, which were transformed into sprawling refugee camps. More than 15 million people were displaced after India gained independence from Britain in 1947, with Muslims heading towards the newly formed Pakistan as Hindus and Sikhs moved in the opposite direction. Continue reading... [...]
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India: the British Raj is dead – archive, 15 August 1947
15 August 1947: The wheel has come full circle and the British who went to India to trade are now once more in India only as tradersEditorialThe British people have no yearly celebration of a national birthday, for it would be hard to say when the life of contemporary Britain began, but in this respect they are unusual. To many countries a national day is as necessary as a national flag. July 4 and July 14 are likely to be hallowed dates for centuries, and October 10 to be revered by many hundred million Chinese of the future. To-day, August 15, on which Indian independence is inaugurated, may in time become a date no less revered than these other anniversaries, and by an even larger number of people. And the Indian national day may also have a prouder distinction. For while the national days of other countries so often commemorate glorious but bloody events Indians to-day are able to rejoice at achieving their independence without the prelude of country-wide civil war to which some months ago many had resigned themselves. Related: Mr Jinnah, founding father of independent Pakistan: from the archive, 12 August 1947 How many ages henceShall this our lofty scene be acted o’erIn States - unborn and accents yet unknown!. . . So oft as that shall beSo often shall the knot of us be calledThe men that gave their country liberty. Related: Why Pakistan and India remain in denial 70 years on from partition Continue reading... [...]
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I’ll get my goat: Kazakhstan's ancient sport for modern times
The sport of kokpar is like blood-drenched polo, with a headless goat as the ball. And even as Kazakhstan tries to forge a modern, high-tech identity for itself, this age-old game is being pushed as a defining part of its culture. By Will BoastThe most decorated athlete in all of Kazakhstan is a five-year-old Mongolian horse named Lazer. Born wild on the steppe, he lacks the lean grace of a thoroughbred or an Arabian. Except for his large head and broad front haunches, he is small enough to be mistaken for a pony. His coat is a dusty black, tinged with rust, and his unkempt mane hangs punkishly over his eyes. Short-legged, small-eared, with aloof, walnut eyes, he might be any one of the hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of horses ranging over the grasslands of this enormous, wide-open country.In the ancient nomadic game known as kokpar (roughly, “goat-grabbing”), Lazer is a champion many times over, with eight Kazakh National Games and two Central Asian Games titles to his name. Kokpar’s premise is simple: two teams take to a chalked-out 200-metre field to compete over a headless, freshly slaughtered goat, wrestling control back and forth in an attempt to score by flinging it into the opponent’s goal. Lazer has been trained for the game from an early age, learning to evade or dig in against much larger defensive horses. In fierce face-offs and chaotic scrums, it’s often a wonder that Lazer’s rider – a thickset, windbeaten man named Abdijaparov Abugali – can even hold on, let alone swing his body down Lazer’s flank in a headfirst lunge for the trampled goat carcass around which the horses stamp and circle. Continue reading... [...]
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‘They use ​money to promote Christianity’: Nepal's battle for souls
Critics allege that it is not just caste discrimination leading many Dalits in Nepal to turn away from Hindu beliefs and become ChristiansRam Maya Sunar had two miscarriages. Then she had a daughter, who died of pneumonia when she was one. “My second child died from tuberculosis at just six months. I’m still haunted by it,” Sunar says, sitting outside her concrete block hut in the village of Thakaldanda, in southern Nepal’s Makwanpur district. Related: Aid agencies accuse Nepal government of hampering their work Continue reading... [...]
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The Guardian view on India at 70: Democracy in action
India’s pluralistic democracy – which, like the EU, works because no single culture or language is central to its identity or unity – is under threat from rightwing Hindu extremistsWhen the British departed from the subcontinent 70 years ago, the most appropriate epitaph was probably provided by an Indian official who remarked: “You British believe in fair play. You have left India in the same condition of chaos as you found it.” The months that followed the partitioning of British India seemed to confirm the nature of the gift of independence. The subcontinent endured a lawless, bloody anarchy that encompassed some of the 20th century’s greatest migrations and crimes. Born in blood were two newly created nations of mostly-Hindu India, and Pakistan, a Muslim homeland in south Asia, as well as about 500 feudal autocracies, which ranged from princely states – some as large as a European nation – to village-sized chiefdoms. When the British predicted there would be many more partitions, it was because the former colonial masters thought “no one can make a nation out of a continent of many nations”.In Pakistan, that forecast came partly true, thanks largely because of an attempt to impose a single language – Urdu – on its most populous province, East Bengal. By 1971, after a civil war in which India played a part in stoking, Pakistan had been cleaved in two. The unfinished business of princely states remains: continuing revolts – in Pakistan’s Baluchistan, India’s Kashmir and Manipur – are rooted in identities distinct from the nations that swallowed them up. However, gloomy prophecies of fragmentation have been proved wrong decade after decade in India despite the poverty and diversity. It is perhaps India’s greatest achievement that one-sixth of humanity now cast their votes regularly in free and fair elections. Related: Why Pakistan and India remain in denial 70 years on from partition Continue reading... [...]
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From the archive: how the Guardian reported the partition of India 70 years ago
The end of British rule saw the country divided into two independent states - Hindu-majority India and Muslim-majority Pakistan1940 Indian nationalists Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru as well as Muhammad Ali Jinnah, leader of the All-India Muslim League, demand India’s independence.March 1940 Gandhi seeks a unified India after the British Raj is dismantled. Jinnah favours partition of India into Muslim and Hindu states. Continue reading... [...]
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In 1939, I didn’t hear war coming. Now its thundering approach can’t be ignored | Harry Leslie Smith
As a teenager I would just laugh at newsreels of Hitler and other fascists. I hope what happened next is not witnessed again by my grandchildren’s generation• Author Harry Leslie Smith, 94, is a second world war RAF veteranA chill of remembrance has come over me during this August month. It feels as if the 2017 summer breeze is being scattered by the winds of war blowing from across our world towards Britain, just like they were in 1939.In the Middle East, Saudi Arabia eviscerates Yemen with the same ferocity as Mussolini did to Ethiopia when I was child in 1935. The hypocrisy of Britain’s government and elite class ensures that innocent blood still flows in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. Theresa May’s government insists that peace can only be achieved through the proliferation of weapons of war in conflict zones. Venezuela teeters towards anarchy and foreign intervention while in the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte – protected by his alliance with Britain and the US – murders the vulnerable for the crime of trying to escape their poverty through drug addiction.Summer should be comforting, but it isn’t this year Related: It takes just one madman to press the button. We have two | Nick Cohen Continue reading... [...]
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Doklam: Independence Day meeting between India, China armies unlikely
The two armies held a flag meeting at Nathu La was held last week to sort out the Doklam crisis. The meeting, however, ended with no resolution. [...]
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Spate of child deaths at Indian hospital blamed on oxygen shortages
Hospital boss suspended as stories emerge of parents using hand pumps to try to save children, and others ejected from wardsAs oxygen supplies ran out at a hospital in northern India, desperate parents used manual pumps to force air into the lungs of their dying children. Others scoured the city for blood, syringes and other basic supplies that the facility lacked. They begged medical staff for help. Some said police hustled them from the wards after their children died.Indians have been reacting with horror as testimony emerges from inside the hospital in Gorakhpur in the state of Uttar Pradesh where at least 64 children, some newborns, are reported to have died over six-day period last week. Continue reading... [...]
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'Everything changed': readers' stories of India's partition
More than a million people were killed and many millions displaced by India’s partition. Readers share their memories of the forced migrationAt midnight on 14/15 August 1947, the largest recorded forced migration began. Millions of Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs were forced to journey hundreds of miles, with many experiencing brutal violence, as the Indian subcontinent was divided into two independent nation states: Hindu-majority India and Muslim-majority Pakistan.Communities that had coexisted for a thousand years succumbed to an eruption of sectarian violence. More than a million people were killed and between 10 and 12 million people were displaced along religious lines. Continue reading... [...]
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After criticism, White House says Trump condemns KKK, neo-Nazis
US authorities are investigating the outbreak of violence in Charlottesville, which has put new pressure on the Trump administration to take an unequivocal stand against white supremacists. [...]
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Narcotics Control Bureau arrests two more in Rs 3,000 crore drug haul case
The two were entrusted with getting the local buyer for the contraband. They are reportedly narcotics suppliers having operations in Mumbai. [...]
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Indian state suspends hospital chief after deaths of more than 60 children
Hospital officials deny lack of oxygen, cut off by supplier over unpaid bills, was the cause of the deathsThe head of an Indian hospital where dozens of children died in recent days has been suspended, as officials traded blame over cash shortfalls that led to supplies of medical oxygen being cut.The government of Uttar Pradesh state, run by India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata party (BJP), suspended the head of the state-run BRD medical college, Rajeev Misra, late on Saturday and ordered an investigation. Continue reading... [...]
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Motorcycle suicide bomber kills 15 people in Pakistan
Twenty-five people wounded after 25kg bomb detonates in Quetta amid celebrations for forthcoming independence day A suicide bomber on a motorcycle has targeted a military truck with a bomb killing eight soldiers and seven civilians in the south-western city of Quetta, Pakistani officials have said.Kabeer Khan, an explosives expert who examined the site, said after collecting forensic evidence that it was a suicide attack and that the attacker had been carrying 25kg of “incendiary explosives” on a motorcycle that he had rammed into the military truck. Related: Why Pakistan and India remain in denial 70 years on from partition Continue reading... [...]
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Modi-Mamata face off over Independence Day celebrations in Bengal schools
Amidst the raging controversy over BJP ruled Uttar Pradesh government's diktat making it compulsory for Madrasa students to sing the national song "Vande Mataram" on I-day, the Bengal government has decided to suspend all such school programmes on that day. [...]
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