Stories written by Sujoy Dhar
One of IPS’s regular India-based writers for many years, Sujoy Dhar is an India correspondent with the Washington Times. He is the founder-editor of news agency India Blooms News Service and feature service Trans World Features, a columnist with Pakistan's Newsline magazine and a correspondent for PAN in Afghanistan. Sujoy also writes for a host of other Indian and international publications. | Web

INDIA: 25 Years On, Bhopal Tragedy Victims Still Crying for Justice

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.

INDIA: Security Experts Fear Maoists Targeting Civilians

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.

Niranjan and Dipali Sahu still recall the horrors of the anti-Maoist operation last year in their home village in eastern India's Lalgarh. Credit: Sujoy Dhar/IPS

RiGHTS: Villagers Pay Dearly for India’s War with Maoists

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.

RIGHTS: Gov’t Apathy to Indians on Death Row in UAE Assailed

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.

INDIA: After Slowdown, Art Market Picking Up

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.

HEALTH-INDIA: Bird Flu Virus Outpaces Culling in West Bengal

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.

POLITICS-INDIA: Communists Turn Unpopular Over SEZ Plans

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.

RIGHTS-INDIA: Muslim Youth&#39s Death May Cost Communists Dear

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.

RIGHTS-INDIA: Sikhs Worldwide Campaign for Death Penalty Abolition

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.

Volunteers Take a Break at Nirmal Hriday  Credit: Sujoy Dhar

RELIGION-INDIA: Mother Teresa&#39s Work With the Dying Lives On

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.

 Credit: Sujoy Dahr

ENVIRONMENT-INDIA: Rising Seas Threaten Bengal’s Deltaic People

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.

RIGHTS-INDIA: Communist Gov’t Evicts Farmers for Industries

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.

/ARTS WEEKLY/BOOKS: Split By Leftists and Fanatics

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.

RIGHTS-INDIA: ‘Human Horses’ Fade Into History

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.

FILM-INDIA: Nair Returns to Roots for Another Take on Immigrants

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.

HIV/AIDS-INDIA: Sex Workers Take On U.S. Holier-Than-Thou Bill

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.

/ARTS WEEKLY/ FILM-INDIA: A Reel Tribute To a Real Life Hero

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.

/ARTS WEEKLY/INDIA: Bold Film ‘Busts’ Female Beauty Stereotypes

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.

CULTURE-INDIA: Oscar Triggers Celebration, Anger in Red Light Area

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''.

SOCIETY-INDIA: Mayor’s Plans to Legalise Sex Work Triggers Debate

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.

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