Gopika Kaul

Goa: Paradise Lost?

On 18th February, a young British schoolgirl, named Scarlett Keeling, was found dead on a beach in Goa, a western Indian state extremely popular with foreigners, especially those on shoestring budgets looking for some sun and sand. Suddenly, Goa – the perfect holiday haven, that attracts millions of foreign tourists each year, a majority of them British – is not being talked about for its sandy beaches, great food, or for its quaint churches.

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The Distressed Farmer

On 29th February, the Indian Finance Minister Mr. P. Chidambaram, announced the yearly budget and, as expected, a series of heated debates ensued. One of the biggest points of discussion centered around a Rs. 600 billion ($15 billion) bank loan waiver for debt-ridden farmers, 150,000 of whom have been driven to suicide between 1997 and 2005.

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A Neverending Wait

If you’ve been newly married and your soldier husband either goes missing in action or is taken prisoner during a war, then how long would you wait for him to return? For many Indian women, the answer is: a lifetime. And beyond. Paramjit Kaur, a woman living in the Western Indian state of Punjab, waited thirty-five years.

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Sail Away….

If you love speed and you live in India, there’s little you can do on its crowded roads. So, the rich have found a way around this challenge; they’ve taken to the water. It’s the new craze- zip away from the madding crowd in a glittering yacht, complete with all the luxuries.

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Dirty Pretty Things

In the film ‘Dirty Pretty Things’, Audrey Tautou – playing a desperate Turkish immigrant in London – almost loses her kidney in exchange for a British passport. At the last moment though, she manages to escape the horrific operation that was to be performed in a seedy London hotel. Many of India’s poor, however, have not been as lucky.

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India’s Top Cop

India’s first woman police officer is on a mission, and it’s a daunting one: To make India a safer place. After taking voluntary retirement from the police force last year, Kiran Bedi- known for her no-nonsense, hard-taskmaster style of functioning – is not giving up on the job of trying to make India safe

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