Aman Sethi

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Mourners and staff members of the Ghazipur crematory, in New Delhi, performing rituals in a parking area on Wednesday. Credit Ishan Tankha

The first 36 corpses were placed in the designated concrete cremation pits and set ablaze by 10 in the morning. After that, all the extra bodies went to the muddy parking lot, for a mass ceremony later.

On Wednesday, ambulances doubling up as hearses lined up along the narrow street outside the Ghazipur crematory, on the city’s eastern border. There were no cremation pits in the parking lot, so hospital attendants in protective equipment carried out the dead and placed them near the scorch marks left behind by the previous day’s pyres.

Ram Karan Mishra, the presiding priest of the parking lot, walked among the corpses unmasked and unafraid.…  Seguir leyendo »

India´s Water Wars

Army trucks rumbled along dusty village roads, soldiers opened fire, crowds panicked and eventually the Indian Army took control of Munak canal, the conduit that supplies three-fifths of New Delhi’s fresh water.

This happened late last month in Haryana, the state that borders New Delhi on three sides. Demonstrators from the Jat caste blocked roads and railway lines, torched buses, shops and homes, and switched off the water supply to the capital’s 18 million residents. They were demanding inclusion in India’s caste-based affirmative action program, seeking access to government jobs.

A local newspaper quoted one Jat protester as saying, “If we remain hungry, you, too, will die of thirst.”…  Seguir leyendo »