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Soutik Biswas, Delhi correspondent

Soutik Biswas Delhi correspondent

This is where to come for my take on life and times in the world’s largest democracy

India's Arvind Kejriwal makes an epic comeback

  • 10 February 2015
  • From the section India
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) supporters yell as they watch the results of Delhi Assembly Elections outside the party office at Patel Nagar on February 10, 2015 in Delhi, India.
Arvind Kejriwal is headed for a landslide win

As political comebacks go, Arvind Kejriwal's is surely epic.

Written off by his rivals and the media after suffering a drubbing at the hands of Narendra Modi's resurgent BJP in last May's general elections, India's most famous anti-corruption campaigner has bounced back.

The former tax inspector took on a ruling party at the peak of its power and felled it in the national capital. For sheer symbolism, Mr Kejriwal's victory in Delhi is astounding, the proverbial David slaying the all-mighty Goliath. The scale of the BJP's defeat makes Mr Kejriwal's win truly extraordinary.

How did India's most powerful and richest party - with its charismatic leader, fabled organisational skills and political nous - get it so wrong?

A little over a year ago, the BJP picked up 32 of 70 seats in hung elections to the Delhi state assembly. Last May, it took all seven of the capital's parliamentary seats, as well as bordering the capital. It rolled out the heavy artillery against Mr Kejriwal in Delhi - Mr Modi himself led the campaign, helped by nearly two dozen federal ministers and 120 MPs. But to no avail. "This is not just a defeat for the BJP, this is a decimation in a high-profile election," says Swapan Dasgupta, a columnist who is no admirer of Mr Kejriwal.

Read full article India's Arvind Kejriwal makes an epic comeback

Is Arvind Kejriwal set to regain Delhi?

  • 4 February 2015
  • From the section India
Aam Aadmi Party, or Common Man Party, leader Arvind Kejriwal addresses an election campaign rally in New Delhi, India, Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015
Arvind Kejriwal has run a strong comeback campaign

If opinion polls and the political buzz in Delhi are to be believed, India's leading anti-corruption activist Arvind Kejriwal is poised to lead his party to power in hotly-contested state elections on Saturday.

An aggregate of three leading polls shows Mr Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party (Common Man's Party) picking up 37 seats - two more than the simple majority needed to form a government.

Read full article Is Arvind Kejriwal set to regain Delhi?

RK Laxman: Chronicler of Indian life

  • 26 January 2015
  • From the section India
RK Laxman Voter cartoon
RK Laxman's Common Man cartoon ran in the Times of India for decades

As a young boy growing up in Mysore in southern India, RK Laxman did not remember wanting to do anything else except draw.

"My passion was sketching: street scenes, people and landscapes. I do not remember a day when I have not sketched." He was the youngest of six sons of a "strict" school headmaster.

Read full article RK Laxman: Chronicler of Indian life

Will the India-US nuclear deal work?

  • 26 January 2015
  • From the section India
Kudankulam nuclear plant in India's Tamil Nadu
The Kudankulam nuclear plant in India's Tamil Nadu state began producing electricity in 2013

"It's a joyous, happy moment," chimed Abhishek Manu Singhvi, a senior functionary of India's main opposition Congress party, after the US and India announced a breakthrough on a pact that will allow American companies to supply India with civilian nuclear technology.

It was a rare moment of bipartisan support for a deal which came during a heady opening day of President Barack Obama's landmark three-day visit to India.

Read full article Will the India-US nuclear deal work?

Why India should not get complacent over its tiger population

  • 21 January 2015
  • From the section India
Indian tiger
India says it now has almost a third more tigers than it did four years ago

How good is the news that India has almost a third more tigers than it did four years ago?

Experts say tiger numbers are the most reliable indicators of the health of the population. But they also warn that it is more important to monitor individual tiger populations every year to really get a handle on their health. "Once-in-four-years country-wide estimates do not have much practical use. But everyone, including politicians and conservationists, seems to set much in store by these numbers," says Dr K Ulhas Karanth, one of India's top conservation experts.

Read full article Why India should not get complacent over its tiger population

Why Indian author Perumal Murugan quit writing

  • 15 January 2015
  • From the section India
Perumal Murugan
Perumal Murugan is one of the finest writers in the Tamil language

"Perumal Murugan, the writer is dead. As he is no God, he is not going to resurrect himself. He has no faith in rebirth. As an ordinary teacher, he will live as P Murugan. Leave him alone."

With these dramatic words on his Facebook page, the well-known writer in the Tamil language announced his decision to give up writing forever. The provocation: wrathful protests against his novel Madhorubhagan by local Hindu and caste-based groups.

Read full article Why Indian author Perumal Murugan quit writing

Is Kashmir headed for direct rule?

  • 9 January 2015
  • From the section India
Kashmir election
The PDP's success has been attributed to widespread public discontent over the National Conference party's handling of devastating September floods that killed scores of people

Politics is the art of the possible, but more than a fortnight after elections results in Indian-administered Kashmir, no government is in sight.

To be sure, the split verdict hasn't made things easier.

Read full article Is Kashmir headed for direct rule?

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  • Gavin Hewitt, Europe editor Gavin Hewitt Europe editor

    The arguments over Europe, its politics and personalities


About Soutik

Before joining the BBC, Soutik worked with Indian newspapers and magazines and an international newspaper as a correspondent and an editor.

He was a Reuters Fellow at the University of Oxford.

Soutik has covered elections in Afghanistan and Sri Lanka, the tsunami in India and Sri Lanka in 2005, and militancy in Kashmir, working mostly on a series of stories on the state of youth and women in the disputed region.

In 2005, he used a laptop link to connect BBC News readers from around the world to a people living in a Pashtun village in Afghanistan. He revisited the village two years later to do a similar project and to see how life had changed.

He loves blues and jazz, and believes Derek Trucks is the best and most innovative slide guitarist alive.

He is a big movie buff, with Michael Haneke, Martin Scorsese, the Coen Brothers, Woody Allen and Satyajit Ray among his favourite directors.

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