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Make No Mistake, India’s Modi is Not a Progressive on Any Score

Vinod Shetty of ACORN Foundation of India and the Dharavi Project

New Orleans    In one of those rare and marvelous coincidences, I had foregone my annual trip to Mumbai, because Vinod Shetty of ACORN Foundation of India and the Dharavi Project was amazingly going to be in New Orleans when I returned, giving us days […]

The Street Vendors Act 2014

Delhi               After eight days on the ground in India and two days in the air and endless discussions of the formally named THE STREET VENDORS (PROTECTION OF LIVELIHOOD AND REGULATION OF STREET VENDING ACT, 2014, which has become our primary organizing tool since formal passage and enactment on May 1, 2014, it was clearly time […]

Beautification, Fisher Folk, and Coal in Chennai

Suresh and Nity

Chennai      I had met Nityanad Jayaraman briefly in New York and promised to track him down and find out more about his work, so Suresh Kadashan and I began our day traveling across Chennai to find him.  As the auto rickshaw made its way, the police detour took us in a long […]

Riding the Rails to Chennai

Bengaluru train station

Chennai           Railroads are serious transportation in the giant expanse of India.  The trains are old, but reliable.  The amenities are not bare, but nonexistent, many of which are filled by hawkers jumping on from station to station selling tea, coffee, chai, samosas, hot tins of food, heaping buckets of food, purses, knickknacks, […]

Hawkers’ Work

Bengaluru       There are probably 200 markets in Bengaluru, a city of 8 million, known in the West allegedly as a tech-center, the Silicon Valley of India or in the famous novel, White Tiger, as a place where any Indian can be lost forever and reinvent themselves anonymously and invisibly.  We don’t know anything about any […]

Karnataka Government Becoming Environmental?

Gaur at the sharp boundary between tea plantation and native forest, near Valparai, Tamil Nadu. Photos taken by Dr Christopher Young.

Bengaluru       Although the national government in India seems so biased towards business and development that NGOs, unions, and others worry for their future, some state governments seem to be feeling the wind blow a […]