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Can faith heal?

Billed as the largest gathering of humanity in recorded history, Maha Kumbh has commenced in Allahabad. Over the next few weeks, pilgrims will jostle to take a dip at Sangam—the confluence of two polluted rivers of the country, the Ganga and the Yamuna. Soma Basu reports on its impacts on…

Salvation for seers, curse for farmers

Practice of jal samadhi makes life hellish for people downstream of Sangam No one in Rasulpur Maryadi, near Bamrauli in Allahabad, dares to visit the village’s melon fields alone. Decomposed bodies, covered in saffron coloured silk, dot the wide expanse of the river bed of Ganga that meanders through the…

Resident evil

Despite the pretence of its ‘prized’ location, Bhuda village in Purulia continues to be held hostage by a toxic stream and an administration that has thrown its hands up in despair, writes soma basu

Disillusioned ‘Robinhood’

KOLKATA, 26 AUG: Maoist leader Arnab Dam alias Bikram, currently in CID custody, secretly wished to write a book on his life and learning. Apart from the arms and ammunitions, 20 scribbled pages were found in his possession when he was arrested from Purulia on 17 July. The pages (copies…

Water report says little, hides a lot

Even when the coliform count in the Ganga is 500 times more than the permissible limit, a Central Water Commission (CWC) report calls the river clean, raising a clamour that the report says little and hides a lot.
The report ~ Water Quality Hot-spots in Rivers of India ~ by the CWC was released in New Delhi by the Union water resources minister, Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, to provide the water quality scenario of our rivers.

Loan sharks prey on bidi workers in Pranab’s turf

Even though banks have been making a beeline for opening branches in Union finance minister Mr Pranab Mukherjee’s constituency of Jangipur, thousands of bidi rollers continue to fall into the clutches of loan sharks.


Victims of political intrigue and ‘green’ procedures launched in ignorance of an Act that guarantees their rights, tribals finds themselves reduced to a pitiful non-entity, says Soma Basu