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’.
The humiliation of Manmohan Singh, now an accused in the coal allotment scam, continues even after his 7 Race Course Road days. The pain of being let down by erstwhile loyalists and protégés is not lessened by the fig leaf of support offered by the party at the last minute
Artists, writers, budding scientists, techno geeks and salt-of-the-earth rural innovators—the second edition of Rashtrapati Bhavan’s scholar In-residence programme brought together the brightest of the country’s creative minds