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

India is home to millions of Indigenous people consisting of hundreds of tribes. Now, the followers of Sarnaism want official recognition of their religion by the state.

Bollywood actresses from left, Siddhi Idnani, Yogita Bihani, Sonia Balani, Adah Sharma and producer Vipul Amrutlal Shah during a press conference for the movie "The Kerala Story" in Mumbai, India, May 17, 2023.

Is the fictional film ‘The Kerala Story’ cautionary or propaganda?

Indian students in uniform clothing arrive at a government-run junior school in Udupi, Karnataka state, India, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022. 

Indian govt removes parts of Muslim history from federal textbooks

Adani Group Chairman Gautam Adani attends the "Invest Karnataka 2016 Global Investors Meet" in Bangalore, India, Feb. 3, 2016. 

Indian billionaire businessman Gautam Adani faces scrutiny

People walk through an informal settlement for trash segregators in Bangalore, India.

Waste collectors in Bangalore face discrimination and exploitation

soliders with weapons

Russian weapons shortage reduces supply going to India


​​​​​​​For decades, India has depended on Russia for its weapons supply. It’s the cornerstone of the two countries’ ties, which go back to the Soviet era. But it can also be a liability, as India found out last week when it learned that a major shipment of Russian arms had fallen through because of the war in Ukraine.

Supporters of Waris Punjab De shout slogans favoring their chief and separatist leader Amritpal Singh and other arrested activists

Sikh separatist still on the run in India


In his latest video, Singh, a preacher calling for a Sikh homeland known as Khalistan, says he’ll surrender at a time of his own choosing.

Ramrati reads Ramcharitmanas every morning on the lane that connects Barakhamba to KG Marg, in New Delhi, India, March 29, 2014.

This 16th-century epic poem sparks political controversy in India

Lifestyle & Belief

In recent months, a 16th-century epic religious poem has ignited a political storm in India, after several officials said it was offensive to women and those at the bottom of India’s religious caste hierarchy. As the country heads toward general elections next year, some say that different parties are using the poem to appeal to various voters.

All Assam Students Union (AASU) activists hold hands together as they form a human chain to protest against the Citizenship Amendment Act on a road in Gauhati, India, Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020. Critics say the bill threatens the secular fabric of India. 

Citizen pain: Part I

Critical State

Critical State, a foreign policy newsletter by Inkstick Media, takes a deep dive this week into how states determine citizenship, with a spotlight on Assam, India, as the case study.  

man at podium outside in the snow

India’s Rahul Gandhi supporters finish 5-month rally and march against increasingly nationalist state


Rahul Gandhi, head of India’s opposition Congress party, started a unity march last September from the southern tip of the country, which ended on Monday. Gandhi is trying to drum up support for his party, opposition to the ruling BJP and, many observers say, trying to uphold democracy in the face of what’s becoming an increasingly religious state.