Twenty-five years after an industrial gas leak from the factory of a U.S. multinational firm in this ancient Indian city killed thousands and impaired nearly half a million, victims are still crying for justice.
As India mourns for the victims of one of its worst rail accidents that occurred on Friday in eastern state West Bengal, the political class is divided on whether the Maoist rebels were behind the incident that left 148 civilians dead.
Almost a year on, Dipali Sahu still recalls with horror the day an operation by the policemen and paramilitary troopers began here in June last year to take back control of the vast swathes of eastern India captured by the Maoist rebels.
Despite the Indian government’s pledge to extend assistance, legal or otherwise, to the 17 Indian migrant workers currently on death row in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), human rights advocates have decried its alleged insensitivity to the prisoners’ plight.
After sitting out the slowdown in the art market until last year, Ambica Beri, owner of an upscale art gallery here in the eastern Indian city of Kolkata, is cautiously hosting shows again this year.
When nine out West Bengal state’s 19 districts were declared on Wednesday to be in the grip of a bird flu outbreak, it belied Chief Minister Buddhadeb Battacharya’s assertions, earlier in the week, that the spread of the deadly H5N1 virus was well under control.
When acclaimed filmmaker Aparna Sen refused to participate in a state-run film festival, that began on the weekend, it was a sign of how alienated Bengali intellectuals have become from a programme of economic reforms undertaken by Marxists who have ruled West Bengal state for 30 years.
On a narrow lane in this city’s Muslim ghetto of Park Circus lives Kishar Jahan - a frail woman whose cry for justice following the suspected murder of her son who dared marry the daughter of a wealthy Hindu family, has caught West Bengal state’s ruling communists on the back foot.
On March 23, 1931, an Indian Sikh named Bhagat Singh attained martyrdom when he was hanged by the British for his role in the militant freedom struggle against the colonial rulers.
Garishly made-up sex workers hang around the seedy street that leads to ‘Nirmal Hriday’, the home for the dying founded by Nobel peace laureate Mother Teresa, in a portion of an abandoned temple to the Hindu demon-slaying goddess Kali.
Just weeks ago Subodh Patra, a villager on the Indian Sunderbans, lost the crops on his one-acre farm to rising sea water. And now he and his family dare not sleep at night for fear that even their humble dwelling will be inundated.
In a tiny hovel on a narrow south Kolkata alley, 87-year-old Nata Mullick recalls with pride and placidity his chilling career as a hangman and his last job which catapulted him to international fame two years ago.
Peasants living on the edges of this eastern metropolis are seething in anger at the world's longest serving provincial communist government which wants them to hand over their lush green farmlands for an automobile plant being set up by the Tata group, a flag bearer of capitalist enterprise in this country.
Flush after a court order lifting a ban on one of her many controversial books and sitting in the company of her Indian friends in this eastern city, Taslima Nasreen had every reason to look smug.
Hand-pulled rickshaws, one of the more abiding symbols of colonialism in Asia, are finally on their way out of this city where a feudal past struggles with communist rule and modern values.
In the cruel heat of a Kolkata summer, Mira Nair was in a hurry to wrap up the shoot of 'The Namesake' in early June and see her film on the editing table by September.
A battle cry by thousands of sex workers in the eastern Indian state of West Bengal threatens to trigger a worldwide protest against the United States for passing a bill that requires groups receiving U.S. AIDS relief money to publicly condemn prostitution.
He was one Indian independence leader whose life was the stuff crazy adventure stories are made of. In fact only art can imitate the life of a national hero like Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.
Tollywood, the eponymous Bengali film industry based in the ill-equipped Tollygunge studios of this eastern Indian metropolis, often rushes where perhaps Hollywood fears to tread.
Life in the mean streets of Kolkata's biggest red light district Sonagachi had only hopelessness to offer them. But the moments of glory at this year's Oscar night in Los Angeles might change the lives of the little shutterbugs who are 'Born into Brothels' - much to the chagrin of a few sex workers' organisations who have slammed the documentary as ''lacking depth''.
Bold plans by the mayor of this eastern Indian city to legalise sex work - the first time a public official has called for such - have triggered a debate between those who say it is time to legitimise its existence to protect human rights, and others who argue that it cannot even be done under the law.