Priyadarshini Sen is an author at Religion News Service.
Outcry over Jesuit priest Stan Swamy’s arrest tests Indian authorities’ anti-terror sweep
(RNS) — Swamy is among 16 writers and activists who have been arrested by the ruling BJP government for allegedly inciting caste-based violence.
Faith leaders pair with health officials to save India’s largest slum from COVID-19
(RNS) — The densely populated shantytown was the most vulnerable spot for the virus to spread, but Dharavi’s rate of infection is down to 11 cases a day.
A Catholic priest takes on interfaith fight against COVID-19 in a sacred Hindu city
(RNS) — Though anchored in Christianity, Mathew draws from a broad swath of spiritual traditions to reach his fellow citizens, including Mahatma Gandhi’s ideas of cosmic consciousness.
India’s pioneering transgender activist defends gains in pandemic
(RNS) — After helping win a landmark court case for India’s transgender people, Ranjita Sinha has mobilized to counter the community’s drastic loss of jobs and health care during the coronavirus pandemic.
Making his kitchen his pulpit, Indian priest highlights the pandemic’s hungry
(RNS) — D’Souza’s ‘Food for the Soul’ show has gained over 6,000 subscribers across India since Prime Minister Narendra Modi ordered a nationwide lockdown.
Woman Sufi saint inspires Badr Baabou, an LGBTQ activist in Tunisia
(RNS) — Badr Baabou, a Muslim LGBT activist and head of the Tunisian Association for Justice and Equality, draws inspiration from the 13th century Sufi saint Aisha Al-Manoubya.
Hindu nationalists open self-styled religious courts as a rebuke to Sharia law
ALIGARH, India (RNS) — Last year, the right-wing Hindu Mahasabha Party demanded the closure of all Muslim Sharia courts in India. When their petition was denied, the party set up its own unsanctioned courts across Uttar Pradesh, based on Hindu principles of justice.
A school where Muslims and Hindus pray together stirs strife in divided India
ALIGARH, India (RNS) — Founded to help poor children of both of India’s predominant faiths, the Chacha Nehru’s inclusivity has irked Muslim and Hindu leaders alike.
Pollution of a sacred river becomes a symbol for India’s environmental challenges
BANGALORE, India (RNS) — This city’s early 1990s tech boom outstripped its waste management plans, leaving its Vrishabhavathi River choked with industrial waste.
In Kashmir’s war-torn landscape, imams take up the environmental cause
SRINAGAR, India (RNS) — After years of conflict that have harmed the Kashmir Valley’s natural beauty, locals here have more faith in religious leaders to protect their heritage than they do the government.
Atheist ashram on Lord Krishna’s home turf roils India’s Hindu nationalists
(RNS) — Two brothers who once devoutly supported the Hindu nationalist agenda have turned to rationalism, attracting attacks from religious leaders and politicians.
Refurbishing holy site, India’s Modi levels ancient spiritual landscape
VARANASI, India (RNS) — Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘dream project’ at an 18th-century shrine to Lord Shiva has swept up monasteries, old-age homes and shops that had existed for generations.
India’s Hindu prime minister touts hometown’s Buddhist links as vote nears
VADNAGAR, India (RNS) — Is Indian Prime Minister Modi’s interest in Buddhist antiquities genuine, or just a play for votes among his country’s dispossessed?
India’s Hindu nationalists vow to restore deity’s birthplace to former glory
AYODHYA, India (RNS) — Local politicians are attempting to remake a town whose name is synonymous with anti-Muslim violence into a tourist destination for Hindus from India and around the world.
India’s Supreme Court threatens hereditary priesthood at Jagannath temple
PURI, India (RNS) — Replacing their hereditary rights to perform temple rituals with salaried, merit-based priests, say the workers at the Jagannath Temple here, would corrupt a centuries-old practice.