Sushmita Pathak

Darjeeling is nestled amid lush tea gardens and overlooking the snow-capped Himalayas in India’s northeast. But landscapes like these pose challenges while conducting elections.

What it takes to pull off the world’s largest election in India


Election officials spread out across India to set up voting booths in some of its most remote corners of the country. It’s to ensure, by law, that no voter is farther than 1.25 miles from a polling station. Poll workers haul precious cargo — braving extreme weather and difficult terrain — to make sure everyone votes.

Women voters expected to play significant role in India’s general election


The largest election in the world begins in India

Large group of Indian farmers sitting on a green ground outside

‘We are helpless’: Protesting farmers in India pose challenges — and demands — to Modi

Striped red-and-white flags adorn a sacred grove in a quiet neighborhood in Ranchi in India. The ubiquitous flags are an assertion of tribal identity.

Adherents of Sarnaism try to preserve their identity and culture by pushing for more recognition of their faith in India

Sacred Nation
A busy lunchtime at the Daryaganj restaurant, which claims to own the recipe for the original butter chicken and has been sued for copyright infringement by a rival Delhi restaurant.

Who invented butter chicken? Dueling claims battle it out in an Indian high court.


The grandsons of two now-deceased business partners are fighting over claims of whose grandfather invented the beloved Indian dish, butter chicken.

A construction crew works on Ram Mandir, a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Ram in Ayodhya, India, Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2024.

‘Religious triumphalism’: A grand Hindu temple opens on a controversial site in India 

Sacred Nation

On Jan. 22, a temple of Lord Ram will open its doors in Ayodhya, in northern India. The temple stands where the Babri mosque once existed, before it was torn down by a Hindu mob. The occasion marks a victory for Hindus and a sorrowful reminder for Muslims of the ongoing tensions between the two groups in a Hindu-majority country.

The US Embassy in Delhi, India, where visas are processed for Indian nationals to work and study in the United States. 

Visa delays dash ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ opportunities for students, workers in India

The price of higher ed

Getting visas to travel to the US has never been easy for people of certain nationalities. But pandemic closures made visa processing delays extend to a year or more. Now consulates are staffed up again, but as Sushmita Pathak reports from New Delhi, substantial delays remain because of large numbers of visa applicants.

Intricate carvings adorn the marble pillars inside a Jain temple in Ahmedabad, western India. Jainism is an ancient religion whose followers often renounce the world to lead a life of extreme austerity. Most of them are women, some as young as 8.

‘Happiness is in your hands’: Young Jain women continue to renounce the world

Sacred Nation

The Jain religious community in India makes up less than than 1% of the population. A steady number of them — even children — are renouncing the material world to join Jain monasteries.


Delhi is rolling out the welcome mat as leaders arrive for the G20 summit in India

But critics say that India has turned the G20 into a marketing campaign for itself — and for Prime Minister Narendra Modi — ahead of general elections next year. The summit will also be a test for India as it seeks to establish itself as a rising power and as a voice for the global south.