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The Caravan

The Caravan July 2018

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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Country:
India
Language:
English
Publisher:
Delhi Press Patra Prakashan Pte LTD
Frequency:
Monthly
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12 Issues

in this issue

4 min.
joint solution

Osteoarthritis, which results when the cartilage and bone in the body’s joints wears down from stress, often causes swelling, stiffness, chronic pain and difficulty in walking. The condition is widespread in India; a scientific paper from 2016 estimated that between 22 and 39 percent of the country’s population suffers from it. There is no cure for osteoarthritis, though doctors recommend various treatment regimens, from lifestyle changes to joint-replacement surgeries. A lab in Assam is currently researching what may become a sophisticated new treatment for the condition—a silk-based tissue implant. Biman B Mandal, an associate professor in biosciences and bioengineering at IIT Guwahati, along with Jonathan Knowles, a professor at University College London, have developed a technology to synthesise mats made of silk proteins and bioactive glass fibres, creating a tissue substitute…

6 min.
fast and furious

On 1 December 2017, the day Nuriye Gulmen was released from prison, she filmed a video from her bed. Amid pillows nearly swallowing her emaciated frame, she thanked her supporters for rallying against her incarceration. Gulmen, a 35-year-old academic, had been on hunger strike for nine months, and had lost half of her body weight. Gulmen was one of around 100,000 public-sector workers—including 5,000 academics—whom the Turkish government had dismissed from their jobs after a military coup was attempted in July 2016. Many of the purged individuals had called for an end to state violence in Turkey’s Kurdish province. Others were critics of Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erodgan, and some were followers of Fethullah Gulen, the Muslim cleric whom the government blames for orchestrating the attempted coup. In November 2016, Gulmen began…

8 min.
the caste card

The battle for the 2019 elections today seems more open than expected. Three distinct and possible outcomes include the return of Narendra Modi as the prime minister of a Bharatiya Janata Party-led government that commands a majority; a National Democratic Alliance not led by Modi that manages to secure a majority; or a government comprising parties currently in opposition where the Congress plays a significant role. Key to any of these scenarios is how the BJP fares in Uttar Pradesh, where it won 71 of the 80 seats in 2014. With the Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party and the Akhilesh Yadav-led Samajwadi Party bringing together their respective Dalit and Yadav-Muslim support bases, this number is set to decline. The questions that remain are by how much, and what the BJP can do…

8 min.
speaking out of turn

The Karnataka assembly election that took place this May was replete with high drama and plot twists. Following a hung assembly in which the Bharatiya Janata Party was the single largest party, but the Congress and Janata Dal (Secular) made it past the halfway mark in a post-election alliance, Karnataka governor Vajubhai Vala was faced with a tough choice regarding whom to invite to form a government. Although the BJP leader BS Yeddyurappa was first sworn in as chief minister, the Supreme Court mandated a floor test for the party to prove its majority in the house through a vote of confidence within 48 hours. With one day left to go for the test, Vala stoked controversy by appointing a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh member and former BJP minister KG Bopaiah…

9 min.
the story of india

Last summer, on a visit to my home city of Bengaluru, I stood waiting for a train at the newly renamed Dr BR Ambedkar Vidhana Soudha metro station. In the background, I could hear gentle twangs of a veena in the style of Carnatic classical music. The contrast between the name of the station and the style of music, which has been the reserve of upper castes for centuries, was quite amusing to me. However, the music is so ubiquitous in the city that I doubt most long-term residents even notice it. To many outsiders, it is a defining marker of Bengaluru’s culture. You could be a Pardhi tribal living in and around the same street corner in Mumbai for the last three generations, but your story would always be of…

74 min.
the darkest hour

{ONE} IT WAS COMMON for Jayanta Kumar Das to find bundles of documents on the doorstep of his house in Puri, Odisha. Having spent two decades in the Indian Air Force, Das retired as a sergeant, in 2001, aged 39. He started brokering land deals, which exposed him to a lot of corruption. When the Right to Information Act was passed, in 2005, Das felt enabled. At the turn of the decade, he was scratching away at what came to be called the Odisha chit-fund scam. His name began appearing in the press as the scandal surfaced. “So people know me,” Das told me recently. “And because they know that I work honestly, they send me information.” Sometimes his dog chewed documents up before he could open the door to find…