iOS app Android app

Betwa Sharma

Entries by Betwa Sharma

Who Suffers Kashmir's Strikes and Curfews

(8) Comments | Posted February 28, 2013 | 7:23 PM

Each cycle of curfew and strikes in Kashmir takes a heavy toll on the livelihood of the majority of its six million inhabitants, and handicaps business especially in the transport and tourism industry.

The Muslim-majority Kashmir Valley, also called India Administered Kashmir, is one of the most heavily militarized regions...

Read Post

'Polluters and Beggars' at Climate Change Talks in Doha

(5) Comments | Posted December 10, 2012 | 12:17 PM

DOHA, Qatar -- During a public event at the United Nations climate change conference in Doha, India's veteran environmentalist Sunita Narain told a senior negotiator from India, "The Indian government should take a principled stand and walk out of the Doha climate talks if equity is not made a part...

Read Post

Gay Indian Men Speak Out on Forced Marriages

(34) Comments | Posted April 19, 2012 | 1:19 PM

Ravi grabs a table on the terrace of a dimly-lit café so that street noise can muffle our conversation. He is a gay man who cheats on his wife with other men. "This is my life," he says. "Do I like it? No." The 39-year-old sales agent, big-built and clean-shaven,...

Read Post

In Durban, Canadian Youth Bake to Beat Oil Companies

(2) Comments | Posted December 2, 2011 | 10:29 AM

Canadian youth activists in Durban organized a bake-sale to protest against the government's pro-oil company polices that appear to be dictating its performance at the U.N. climate talks in Durban. Their plan was to make enough money so that the Canadian government would represent "people instead of polluters. "Oil companies...

Read Post

"Occupy Durban" Looms Over Climate Change Talks

(8) Comments | Posted November 29, 2011 | 12:47 PM

As government delegates attended the first meetings of the 17th climate change negotiations being held in Durban, civil society members kicked off the "Occupy Durban" movement in a small green lawn close to the conference hall. "This is in solidarity with the Arab Spring and the Occupy Wall Street movement,"...

Read Post

Sex, Murder and Videotape From the Middle East

(0) Comments | Posted August 5, 2011 | 8:13 PM

Colorful lingerie and risqué poetry describe the frustration of a sexually dissatisfied Iranian woman in a video called Every Night Three Kisses by artist Negar Behbahani. "When everything is over in the first twelve seconds, every night this confounded countdown," says the protagonist.

Behbahani, who is from Iran, had to...

Read Post

India Survives Its Week of Leaks

(0) Comments | Posted March 26, 2011 | 4:29 PM

More cables from WikiLeaks this week shifted India's lively political scene into the chaotic gear. Allegations of bribery by the government led to disruption of the parliament's regular sessions and calls for the resignation of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

On Friday, Home Minister P....

Read Post

'No Vacancy' For Muslims in India's Capital

(14) Comments | Posted March 23, 2011 | 5:17 PM

Sanjay Kumar, a Hindu, was recently told to leave his home in Delhi because his wife is a Muslim and the landlord wanted her out. The young broker, who finds houses for people in the city, wasn't too surprised since he often has to tell his Muslim clients --"no vacancy."...

Read Post

Rural Women Turn Solar Energy Entrepreneurs in Indian Village

(1) Comments | Posted February 11, 2011 | 5:56 AM

Equipped with a new set of light bulbs, a group of rural women are ditching kerosene oil lanterns, increasing their income and getting more study time for their children -- all with one solar energy experiment.

"Now life goes on even after it is dark outside," said Leela Devi, pointing...

Read Post

Weary Travelers Offer Fixes for Massive Corruption in India

(2) Comments | Posted January 14, 2011 | 4:00 PM

(On the railway tracks in Bihar), India--The supremo train in India, called the Rajdhani Express, chugged sluggishly across the chaotic state of Bihar. It was running late by seven hours, which wasn't half bad since other trains were delayed by 15 hours or a day because of the thickening fog....

Read Post

Life Sentence for Indian Activist Shocks Nation

(11) Comments | Posted January 6, 2011 | 2:06 PM

The life sentence handed to Indian activist, Binayak Sen, for committing treason has been condemned by the Indian public as well as intellectuals like Noam Chomsky and Amartya Sen. The judgment of the Indian court is being described as brazen injustice.

"The process is the punishment....

Read Post

Meet the Real Planet Envoys in Cancun

(1) Comments | Posted December 10, 2010 | 2:25 PM

CANCUN, Mexico -- The annual climate change conference in Cancun winds down; meet the real planet envoys whose work does not revolve around the ifs and buts of working out a climate change treaty.

10-year-old Alek Howland has a very clear idea of the kind of planet he wants his...

Read Post

The Emergence of an Indian Wanda Sykes

(3) Comments | Posted December 8, 2010 | 3:46 PM

"Once upon a time, long, long ago, in a faraway land called India, I used to be a virgin," Radhika Vaz tells an audience over tea and cake.

"The second thing that I learned was that many, many men would not consider marrying a girl if she did not bring...

Read Post

India's Top Journalist Defends Herself on TV -- Did It Work?

(10) Comments | Posted December 1, 2010 | 11:09 AM

In the wake of accusations of political lobbying and inappropriate behavior for a reporter, Barkha Dutt, often described as India's Christiane Amanpour, defended herself before a panel of journalists in a first-of-a-kind grilling on Indian television.

In recent weeks, leaked government tapes of conversations between a corporate...

Read Post

Any Lessons From India's Big Fat Media Muddle?

(1) Comments | Posted November 30, 2010 | 1:54 PM

The jury is still out on whether Indian journalists engaged in political lobbying or if the things they said were acceptable in the course of haggling for information with their sources.

The media controversy has led to attacks and counterattacks but it has bypassed serious introspection on the...

Read Post

The Love Story of Elizabeth and Her Transman Deen: Meet Their Parents

(3) Comments | Posted November 26, 2010 | 1:39 PM

This is the second part of a two-part series. Read the first part here.

Meet the Parents

After 10 year of their "queer" children being together, the parents met only a few months ago during the month of Ramadan. Deen's parents were fasting, but they were happy to...

Read Post

Indian Media Where Art Thou on Media Scandal

(12) Comments | Posted November 20, 2010 | 1:38 PM

A shadow has been cast over the Indian media -- the bastion of the nation's democracy. A telecom and political scandal rocking the country has now sucked in top journalists but the media coverage of this new twist is timid -- a simple Google search shows that.

A few bloggers...

Read Post

The Love Story of Elizabeth and Her Transman Deen: Meet the Couple

(22) Comments | Posted November 19, 2010 | 9:22 AM


In college, Elizabeth Clark fell in love with a very butch woman, but only a few years later her lover wanted to live as a man.

This posed a dilemma for Elizabeth, because Deen's physical transformation could strip away her queer identity. The girl-girl couple would look like...

Read Post

India and China Greedy in Burma; Obama Scolds

(6) Comments | Posted November 9, 2010 | 1:01 PM

Even as President Barack Obama endorsed India's candidacy for the U.N. Security Council, he scolded New Delhi for not being tough on its neighbor Burma that has just pulled off dodgy elections, which are also the first in nearly two decades.

"Faced with such gross violations of human rights,...

Read Post

Batman Comics Writer Renovates India's Ancient Epic

(5) Comments | Posted August 26, 2010 | 7:24 PM

A Scottish comic books writer is telling one of the world's oldest stories as a new-age, sci-fi mythical narrative. The animated television series and video game, the creators say, will be like a "Psychedelic Lord of the Rings with Star Wars technology."

Unlike the Greek tragedies, the West...

Read Post