The Caravan

The Caravan October 2019

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

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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…

5 Min
root and branch

On the afternoon of 30 July, I stood atop a watchtower inside the Chandaka–Dampara wildlife sanctuary, gazing at the recently transformed landscape. “We were not able to see them,” Brahmanand Behera, a member of the sanctuary’s anti-poaching squad, told me, pointing to trees in the distance. “Not even the mountains, nor those factories. But then, Fani came and took away all the trees surrounding this tower.” As per the estimates of Odisha’s forest department, 111,724 trees were destroyed inside the sanctuary due to Cyclone Fani, which hit coastal Odisha in May. It was the peak of summer, and warnings of an imminent cyclone had already been issued. The state government took its customary precautions, moving people off the coast to shelter. On 3 May, along with the overcast conditions came the…

7 Min
sins of their fathers

Reny George hugged Nitish and asked him about his day in school. He ruffled the 11-year-old’s hair, and told him he should spend more time studying than playing cricket. “Yes, daddy,” Nitish sombrely said, before slouching on his bed. It was 4 pm, and over a hundred boisterous children were trooping across the garden on their way home from school. Reny stood at the door, smiling, with open arms. Everyone wanted to tell him of their triumphs and trials at school. Reny sat on the floor surrounded by the children. “Okay, now one by one,” he said. The 136 children who live in Reny’s home, a three-acre facility located in the outskirts of Bengaluru, are the sons and daughters of prisoners incarcerated in Kerala and Karnataka. Reny was once such a…

10 Min
the desire to mislead

Two long-awaited papers based on the science of ancient DNA, published in the journals Cell and Science, have confirmed and expanded on what has been reported in the recent past about human settlement in South Asia. Unfortunately, their reception has proved that, while they reveal much about our past, what is more worrying is what they reveal about our present. The study in Cell is based on the DNA from a single sample, a female, from a 4,500-year-old burial site in the Harappan city of Rakhigarhi. A summary of the results highlighted in the paper states three key findings: the individual was from a population that is the largest source of ancestry for South Asians; Iranian-related ancestry in South Asia split from the Iranian-plateau lineages more than twelve thousand years ago;…

10 Min
the lie of the land

On 5 August 2019, the home minister declared in parliament that the special status granted to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 of the Constitution was going to be scrapped. The announcement came amid a communications blackout, the house arrest of prominent leaders and the mass deployment of troops in the state. Any longtime observer of events unfolding in Kashmir would admit that there was not much left of the nominal autonomy granted under Article 370—the basis on which Jammu and Kashmir acceded to the Indian union after Independence. The enduring installation of military forces to subdue a civilian population has contributed to deep-rooted anger and resentment in the Valley. The more devastating implication of the presidential order, however, lies in the removal of Article 35A, which recognised permanent residents of…

9 Min
fees of doing business

In the run up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, in April this year, the Infosys cofounder Narayana Murthy delivered the convocation address to the students of Indian Institute of Management, Kolkata. Without naming any political party, Murthy said that no country could make economic progress without “freedom of faith” and “freedom from fear.” Many interpreted his remark as a dig against the BJP government. In May, the Infosys Foundation, an NGO run by Infosys, found its registration cancelled by the home ministry. Now that the Modi government has returned to power, Murthy seems to have had a change of heart. On 23 August, he said that the Indian economy is in the best shape it has been in the last three hundred years, despite an avalanche of evidence that might…