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The Caravan

The Caravan March 2020

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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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Delhi Press Patra Prakashan Pte LTD
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12 Issues

in this issue

1 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.
to look for america

Some of the most seminal works in photography have used the idea of the road trip to define who Americans are. Walker Evans spent a decade during the Great Depression compiling his masterpiece American Photographs. Robert Frank’s The Americans portrayed the angst-ridden post-war United States of the 1950s. In the 1970s, Stephen Shore captured the textures of American life in American Surfaces, while in the early 2000s, Alec Soth’s poetic series, Sleeping by the Mississippi, portrayed life along the country’s second-longest river. These photographers journeyed through the “open road,” capturing the essence of their nation, standing witness to the world they chronicled. The Levee, the Magnum associate Sohrab Hura’s photographic journey along the Mississippi River, follows this road map, with full recognition of his position as an outsider. Unlike his predecessors,…

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…

7 min.
wine and divine

The Bektashi, a Sufi order in the Balkans, have a joke. A Bektashi man is praying at a mosque. While others pray for grace and faith, he prays for plenty of wine. The imam hears him and rebukes him for asking god for something sinful. The Bektashi replies, “Well, everyone asks for what they don’t have.” Atop Albania’s Mount Tomorr last summer, I contemplated buying a bottle of wine labelled with the face of the early Muslim martyr Abbas ibn Ali. The bottle, which cost 700 lek—around four hundred and fifty rupees—seemed, to me, an incredible provocation, collapsing the sacred and the profane. It was late August, around 1 am on the second night of the annual Bektashi pilgrimage up the mountain. Almost two thousand metres above sea level, in a…

6 min.
pride and prejudice

The building on the outskirts of Kampala that houses Icebreakers Uganda, a non-profit working for sexual minorities, was bustling with activity when I visited in July last year. Programme managers sat hunched over their laptops writing grant applications. A group meeting was in progress in the living-room-turned-meeting-room. Other activists slouched on the red couch at the entrance, waiting for the next meeting. For an uninformed local seeing it from the outside, the building would seem as unremarkable as any other. But behind the jet-black, unmarked iron gates were the offices of at least four queer-rights organisations. They included Kampala’s first LGBTQ+ clinic, where a doctor visited thrice a week for consultation, as well as a safe house for at-risk queer Ugandans. Other groups in the compound were Rainbow Mirrors, the Extend…

7 min.
swept away

In the aftermath of the sweeping electoral triumph of Arvind Kejriwal and his Aam Aadmi Party in Delhi, liberals throughout the country hailed the result. Prominent commentators across the board, whether journalists or celebrities from other spheres such as Bollywood, interpreted it as a rejection of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s hate-filled campaign in the capital. Reacting to exit polls on 8 February, all of which showed a decisive victory for the AAP, Shekhar Gupta, the former editor of the Indian Express, tweeted that the verdict “will be a stunning repudiation of the politics of polarization in Delhi.” Nothing could be further from the truth. The liberal reaction is part of a familiar pattern. Ever since the AAP appeared on the Indian political landscape, liberals have not just misunderstood the nature of…