On December 8th the Indian Supreme Court reinstated Section 377 of the Penal Code making sex against the order of nature a crime again. But India seems to have changed, without their Supreme Court.

Hell at Tehelka

Nov 27, 2013

When violence against women was big in the news in India, an investigative magazine called Tehelka did an explosive sting operation. Its reporters went undercover to 23 police stations around Delhi and got cops talking about rape.  The results were shocking. Most cops were happy to blame women for wearing skirts that don’t cover them fully. For having a drink.  For going out with a boyfriend and his friends. Real rape they said was rare. And those who  were really raped would never complain anyway. This year the magazine produced a special issue on sexual violence

Beware the Bhoots!

Oct 30, 2013

Sandip Roy is haunted in India.

Unbearable Durga Puja

Oct 16, 2013
Sandip Roy

A mother goes back to her parents once every year with all her children. That sounds like hardly the excuse for five days of city wide festivities. But that’s exactly what happens during Durga Puja in Kolkata.  Because This is no ordinary mother. It’s the ten-armed mother goddess Durga coming back to visit her home with her four children. And Kolkata shuts down to welcome her back.

Modi the Magnificent

Oct 10, 2013

Elections are next year in India.  But Narendra Modi, the man who wants to be the next prime minister of India is holding his first major rally in the nation’s capital. Everything is outsized about it. The mammoth audience. The three levels of security the press has to go through. The one hundred foot tall cut out of the man towering over the crowd – welcoming or menacing depending on your point of view.

Miss America's not fair enough... for Indians

Sep 18, 2013

Her name is Nina Davuluri and this Indian American is the new "Miss America."  Indians are of course in a self-righteous lather about the blatant racism expressed on twitter recently, but here’s the ugly truth. Nina Davuluri can be Miss America. But she could never be Miss India. Or even Miss Indian-American Fremont. She’s just too dark

First Post

Dark and Beautiful

Aug 14, 2013

India’s obsession with fair skin is legendary. The matrimonial ads have their own complexion code pyramid. There’s fair and lovely at the top. Then the glowing wheatish complexion. Then medium complexion apparently unglowing. Those who don’t mention complexion at all are just assumed to be dark. You routinely hear someone described as pretty even though she’s so dark. Actress Nandita Das tells that she’s used to it now.

Purple bag nostalgia

Aug 7, 2013
Sandip Roy

Nostalgia today is no longer reserved for the disappearance of things we feel had been around forever. Or perhaps it’s our notion of forever that has shrunk - from 163 years for the telegramto 13 to 5. The MusicWorld store  was not even a decade old.


Sandip Roy

She was just the Park Street rape victim. The woman who went to a nightclub in Kolkata in February 2012 and was tossed out of a car in the dead of night, battered and gang raped.  

Recently the Park Street rape victim did something almost unthinkable in India. Suzette Jordan revealed her identity.


Elderly respect in India

Jul 10, 2013
Sandip Roy

In the last couple of weeks the state has been rocked by reports of brutal gang rapes. Sandip Roy takes us to the rally against the violence in College Square.

Sandip Roy

Today we revisit a previous dispatch so Sandip can recover from the flu. 

In America, Sandip discovered coma-inducing lunches of all you can eat chicken tikka masala and saag paneer and naan for just 9.99. Well, what goes around comes around. The great Indian buffet has come to India - with a vengeance.

India Times

India it seems is no country  for its children. The national crime records bureau shows child rape cases went up 336 percent between 2001 and 2011. And that, the report by the Asian Center for Human Rights says is just the tip of the iceberg.

India’s Supreme Court is yet to rule on the repeal of its anti homosexuality law. But just because marriage equality isn’t on the table yet does not mean a country like India doesn’t have its own way of thinking about all these issues.



The December gang rape in Delhi spurred such huge protests in India, a surprised government had to act quickly.

Painted and Dented

Jan 16, 2013
IBN Live / IBN Live

In the wake of the anger in India over the gang rape and death of the 23 year old woman in Delhi, India’s politicians have been all over the map. One said just because India won its freedom at midnight it didn’t mean women could roam the streets at midnight. But the reaction that really went viral came from Abhijit Mukherjee, a newly-elected member of parliament. In an interview with a Bengali television channel, he dismissed the women at protests and vigils as highly dented and painted.


On today’s Your Call, we’ll have a conversation about the rise in consumer spending in China and India.  By 2020, Consumer spending in China and India is expected to reach 10 trillion dollars a year. Who are these new consumers? And how are they changing their societies? Join us live at 10 or send an email to How is the rise in consumer spending impacting the global economy? It’s Your Call, with Matt Martin, and you.


All you can eat India

Nov 14, 2012

In America, I discovered coma-inducing lunches of all you can eat chicken tikka masala and saag paneer and naan for just 9.99. Well, what goes around comes around. The great Indian buffet has come - to India - with a vengeance.  

Absentee voter

Nov 7, 2012

Why do American elections matter to the world when barely 50 percent of Americans show up at the polling booth? Sandip Roy votes absentee... from India.

Happy Puja!

Oct 24, 2012
Sandip Roy

Durga Puja is the highest of high holidays for Bengalis when the mother Goddess comes home for five days every year. Bengalis abroad get very nostalgic at the mention of Durga Puja. The Bay Area hosts about half a dozen alone. But back in the Puja's home territory there's much grousing that the grand puja has become too tacky, too commercialized and too nouveaux riche. 

The 70th birthday celebration of Bollywood's biggest star says as much about the people of India as it does about Amitabh Bachchan.

A fatwa on your speech!

Oct 10, 2012

Salman Rushdie's memoir Joseph Anton has brought the fatwa back into the news. India has the dubious distinction of being the first country to ban the book's import. Sandip Roy looks at how that decision still reverberates in the country.

Saundhi Mitti

Oct 3, 2012

Monsoon has always been the most important season in India - whether it's from the point of view of the economy or the Bollywood rain dance. But coming back to India after years in America, Sandip Roy finds the memories of monsoons past don't always live up to the realities of monsoons present.

The leader of the world’s biggest democracy and one of the most powerful women in the country said they just couldn’t manage to talk to each other. "I waited and waited but didn’t even get a text message" said the chief minister. "But I left two messages and she didn’t answer" said the Prime Minister’s office......


Dengue Songs

Sep 19, 2012

The scariest disease racking Kolkata these days is one no one is sure how to pronounce.The government first blamed the media. Then it blamed private hospitals for trying to drum up business. Now it’s swung into action. We have three wheeler auto rickshaws trundling around the city singing dengue ditties – about stagnant water and garbage and mosquitoes. It’s all about dengue awareness.

Fair and Lovely?

Sep 12, 2012

I learned about "tighty whities" in America thanks to Calvin Klein.
It was only after I came back to India that I encountered the dark side of the tighty whitey. I always knew Indians had an obsession with fairness. But I have to admit I was a little taken aback to find that in the new India you could lighten not just your face, or your arms but also your very very private parts.......