A little girl sleeps on her sister’s lap in a village in Jharia, Jharkhand. Their parents are coal pickers.
An underground fire has been burning in Jharia for the last hundred years or so. The heat makes it almost unbearable to live in the region. Efforts to stop the fire have been in vain. That fire has now spread overground. The CPM recently told the 14th Finance Commission that the fire in the Jharia coalfields of Dhanbad should be considered a ‘national disaster’.
It is Narendra Modi moment as one of democracy’s most popular leaders to play out the script of the India Ideal: the liberal state rising from the last wreckage of the socialist mind. Freedom is about daring—and he should know
With the aim of narrating history through the present, our reporters visit Champaran in Bihar, Chauri Chaura in Uttar Pradesh, Dandi in Gujarat, Vaikom in Kerala, and Vedaranyam in Tamil Nadu to report the various phases of freedom struggle