Dance bars, it was said, were the soul of Bombay but it did not make much of a difference to the common people when they were shut down in 2005. It might, though, make a huge difference to the lives of several dance girls if they do reopen after the Supreme Court lifted that ban this week – though I am sure the government will fight hard to keep the ban in place. Read more

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I have had a friend – a sort of buddy – for years and I never cared to find out what caste she might belong to. Her name told me nothing but when I first visited her home some years ago at the peak of one summer, I was stunned to discover how caste matters even today to even people in an urbanized metropolis. Read more

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