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The Caravan

The Caravan August 2017

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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Delhi Press Patra Prakashan Pte LTD
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12 Issues

in this issue

5 min.
finding their feet

Ghosh said that, after joining Bhaduri’s class, “slowly, I began to enjoy the practice sessions and especially looked forward to the chance to go out of prison and perform.” In central Kolkata, on an evening in late June, a dancer parted the black stage curtain of the Satyajit Ray Auditorium and peered at the audience he was about to perform for. Beside him, a policeman stood guard with a service rifle. Moments later, that performer, along with nine others, trooped onto the stage and began an hour-long show. Wearing costume masks, pleated pyjamas and long-sleeved kurtas, they performed a dance that incorporated steps from Bharatanatyam, Kallaripayatu and Manipuri styles, enacting the plight of birds threatened by environmental destruction. The dancers spread their arms wide, like wings, and depicted the life cycle of…

7 min.
pedals to the metal

“At the referendum everyone voted against the mines, because the interest of the environment was greater than one’s own political ideological beliefs,” Delgado said. When Ana Dubón was 13 years old, she began to work at a local radio station, earning $2 a day. Contributing about $40 a month to the family made her feel like an adult. Her pride surged when she got to host her own show a year later. Dubón lives in Guarjila village, in the Chalatenango department of northwestern El Salvador. While other young radio jockeys played reggaeton on their programmes, she spoke about injustices she was witnessing in her community. “In 2005, at just 15, I found myself talking about something serious: mining,” Dubón, now 26 years old, reminisced when I met her last August. “I knew nothing…

9 min.
poor fielding

“The disqualified men were openly attending BCCI meetings, claiming to represent their state association,” Guha wrote. In an interview he gave to ESPN Cricinfo in July, Vinod Rai, the chairman of the committee of administrators—the CoA—appointed by the Supreme Court to implement sweeping reforms in the administration of Indian cricket, said “disruptive elements” were stalling the group’s work, including the implementation of a new constitution for the Board of Control for Cricket in India. The court, he said, had not succeeded in persuading the BCCI’s members to pass the reformed constitution. “Then the court asked us to do it,” he continued. “We have tried our best to persuade them, build the consensus. Now that they have not agreed, I have sought the direction of the court.” Rai’s account was disingenuous—a self-serving misinterpretation…

9 min.
running argument

Historically, whenever the Indian government has turned its attention to economic offences it has failed to examine its own role in creating the conditions that allowed the wrongdoing. During the telecast of the group-stage Champions Trophy match between India and Pakistan at Edgbaston in early June, a cameraperson picked out the beleaguered liquor baron Vijay Mallya in the crowd, coolly sipping a drink. Mallya—whose brand, Kingfisher, was the tournament’s “Official Lager Partner”—promised in interviews after the game that he would attend all of the Indian team’s remaining Champions Trophy matches. Mallya’s appearance at the match created a media flurry, since he is wanted by Indian law-enforcement agencies for multiple alleged economic offences, including cheating and money laundering. He is also estimated to owe around R 9,000 crore to public-sector banks. Mallya left India…

9 min.
missing links

The Vedas include extensive details, such as of wealth measured in herds of cattle, which indicate a nomadic pastoral culture; they reflect little or nothing of the sophisticated urban civilisation of the Harappan people.As David Wesolowski, an Australian blogger who tracks research into genetic origins, has hinted, the ancient DNA from Rakhigarhi could well suggest a genetic linkage between the Harappans and the speakers of the Dravidian languages today. the upper reaches of the drying course of the Ghaggar-Hakra river (which, depending on preconceptions, may or may not be the Saraswati of the Vedas) were coming up. We also know that 2,600 years ago, the Indo-Gangetic region of north India was divided into 16 republics populated by Indo-European language speakers. But there is little clarity on what transpired during the 1,000…

62 min.
match point

IN THEORY, it should have been an easy match for Pusarla Venkata Sindhu. It was March, and the first round of the India Open, one of the Badminton World Federation’s elite Super Series tournaments, was underway. Sindhu, the world’s fifth-ranked player and an Olympic silver medallist, was pitted against the one-hundred-and-fifty-second-ranked Arundhati Pantawane. Twenty-seven-year-old Pantawane had won the gold medal at the Indian National Games in 2011, and her world ranking had peaked at number 40 in 2014, before a knee injury forced her to take 18 months off. She had made a comeback in July last year, and was playing well, but the 21-year-old Sindhu was fitter, six inches taller, in better form and a technically stronger player. Yet, it was Pantawane who first opened up a lead. Sindhu started with…