The Caravan

The Caravan August 2019

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The Caravan is India’s first narrative journalism magazine. Stories are reported in a style that uses elements usually reserved for fiction—plot, characters, scenes and setting—to bring the subject to life. Like The New Yorker, The Atlantic and Granta, the context of a Caravan story is something more substantial. In India, this niche—one for the intellectually curious, the aesthetically inclined and the upwardly mobile, has remained vacant. That is, until The Caravan.

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12 Ausgaben

in dieser ausgabe

2 Min.
true media needs true allies.

I think that there will come a time when people will ask of the Indian media: What were you doing in those five years when a government came to power that spread hate and poison, that controlled the media, what were you doing then? And very few in the Indian media will be able to hold their heads up and say that we were calling the powerful to account. I think Caravan is one of the few magazines that will be able to hold its head up, if it stays afloat. And I hope it stays afloat, which is why I’m saying, please read Caravan. ARUNDHATI ROY, Author I love reading The Caravan, because the kind of reportage it does, is away from the din of fast news, of something which is…

2 Min.
true media needs true allies.

Democracy just cannot survive without a free press. And certainly, a country like India, which is so diverse, can absolutely not survive without a free expression of facts and views. And because the mainstream media is now shutting its mouth, out of greed or out of fear, the role of magazines like Caravan becomes all-important. It is very important that all of us should subscribe to magazines like Caravan, so that they get an independent source of funds and can continue to be doing completely independent and fearless work. ARUN SHOURIE, Journalist and Politician My favourite literary genre is long nonfiction, and no one does a better job of it than Caravan magazine in India. I recall that the very best review that I read about my book The Difficulty of Being…

5 Min.
camera obscura

On the afternoon of 29 November, when I visited Jaykumar Shankar’s small office in Delhi’s Patel Nagar, his desk was strewn with hand-painted photographs and bottles of transparent photo colours. The photographs were for his upcoming exhibition with Vasantha Yogananthan, a photographer based in Paris who describes his work as “photographic practice that addresses the space between documentary and fiction.” The two began their collaboration in 2016, and Yogananthan’s work, A Myth of Two Souls—to which Shankar contributed—was released the following year. Shankar flipped through some of the hundreds of black-and-white photographs that he has painstakingly coloured by hand. “If someone who is not used to transparent photo colour uses it on the photograph, it will take only one dab for the photograph to be ruined,” he told me. “It is…

7 Min.
the sound of the fury

On a Sunday morning at the usually crowded Bandra Kurla Complex in Mumbai, the loud beating of drums began echoing through empty streets. It was a group of youths from Dharavi, the largest slum in Asia, who had gathered for their weekly practice of parai attam. The youths, part of a group called the Neelam Kalai Kuzhu—Blue Arts Collective—began by chanting a Tamil slogan: Parai ongi olikatum Idhu uzhaikum makkalin viduthalaikai Engal parai mulakam savukaga alla Uzhaikum makkalin valvukaga Onki adipathil kiliyatum Paraigal alla suya sathiya perumai pesuvor mugathiraigal Let the parai sound loudly For the freedom of the working people Our parai shouts not for death But for the life of the working people By beating loudly Let the veils of proud casteists be torn apart Parai attam refers to a performance of the parai—a hollow drum made…

6 Min.
king’s gambit

On 20 March, a Bangladeshi migrant working at a small eatery in the coastal Jordanian city of Aqaba complained to me about how little the jobs there paid, leaving “hardly anything to send home,” even as he conceded that “at home, I might not even get a job.” It was a sentiment echoed by not only the majority of migrant workers I spoke to—mostly Palestinians, Syrians, South Asians, Filipinos and Egyptians—but by the Jordanians themselves. There was palpable disappointment in the air because of the lack of jobs and meagre salaries. The government holds an ongoing refugee crisis partially responsible for the domestic situation, but the residents of Jordan no longer buy this explanation. During an interview at the World Economic Forum, on 24 January, the prime minister, Omar Razzaz, admitted…

11 Min.
scorched earth

At first light one day in July last year, Shivpal Bhagat packed his modest holdall and caught the first bus out of Kosampali—an Adivasi village in Chhattisgarh’s Raigarh district, fragmented by three coal mines and two power plants. After two hours of trailing coal trucks through patches of sal forest, Bhagat alighted at the Raigarh railway station, and boarded a cramped train to Bilaspur, another two hours away. With afternoon wearing on, he caught the Chhattisgarh Express to Bhopal. The next morning, having crossed the state border into Madhya Pradesh, the train approached Bhopal. Bhagat changed into a white shirt as the train pulled into the city, then squeezed into a shared auto for the last stretch of his journey. Finally, more than a full day after he left home,…