India Yatra is an ambitious medley of journeys and reportage across India, to understand how the country has changed since the last general elections and to understand its emerging aspiration. The stories will be told by more than 30 reporters who will crisscross the country to hone into all the pertinent issues that shape India.

Debt trap: Between a rock and a dry place in Vidarbha

Money from the government could not save farmers’ lives in drought-prone western Vidarbha, Maharashtra. The Congress lost 10 of the 11 seats in this former stronghold in the last election. And fresh polls are just weeks away, reports Dharmendra Jore.

Dammed: Who took my water, Vidarbha farmer asks

Congress politicians in suicide-prone eastern Maharashtra lost a battle with their own leaders: As farmers await irrigation water from a dam, the government has allocated a quarter of it to a private power plant, Dharmendra Jore reports. Special: My India My Vote

On the border, a 60-year battle of the invisibles

1 lakh Hindus who fled Pakistan during Partition are trapped in a strange impasse in Jammu — they are citizens, but
remain refugees. They can vote, but they can’t own property. This time, they plan to put up a candidate. But can they win? Arun Joshi reports.

At the headquarters of rage, an island of calm

The Daringibadi area saw no rioting when the rest of Orissa’s troubled Kandhamal district was burning. It has zero tolerance for religious hatred. And it wants peace for votes, reports Rajesh Mahapatra.

A Pune journey: Farmers to millionaires to unemployed

Farmers became rich in Pune, Maharashtra, selling land to a massive IT hub and buying machines to help build it. But in the post-downturn realty freeze on Sharad Pawar’s turf, the earthmovers and cranes have fallen silent and farmers are looking with hope towards politicians. Ketaki Ghoge reports.

In blind spot of elections, dreamless are dreaming

In Kinnaur, Himachal Pradesh, votes had no meaning in past years — due to the icy terrain, voting was often after the national elections were over, results declared. Not any more. Will voting with the nation give them a voice?

The new Bhadralok: Bytes of change in Kolkata

The bandhs continue. The CPM is still in power. But the corporate culture of big-ticket IT has enthralled a corner of Salt Late City. And the youth can’t wait to get on board. Soumya Bhattacharya reports.

Forced dress code: Ties and skullcaps

In an apparent vote-seeking move, a Central scheme has offered Rs. 6,000 a month to any institute classified as a madrasa — so regular schools in Bahraich are swiftly taking on the tag, and students are having to wear headscarves or skullcaps. Naziya Alvi reports.

Minority report

Tamil Nadu’s Muslims take pride in their harmonious relations with Hindus, and have a dim view of madrasas up north

There is nothing Dharavi about Dharavi

The shanties of Mumbai’s iconic slum will soon be replaced by luxury homes, office spaces and buildings for the slumdwellers. Ahead of the elections, residents want something else to go too — the tag of ‘Asia’s largest slum.’

There’s no hunger in hunger capital

Behind India’s back, Kalahandi has transformed beyond recognition. And voters won’t be pacified by free grain any more. Now, they want a university, a rail network, better prices for produce. Rajesh Mahapatra reports.

The kicking buffalo and other rustic tales

Millions of lives are connected to Punjab’s farms and livestock. But the curious case of an animal hospital and a disheartened vet in southern Punjab tells the larger story of its rural heartland, where every election season the promises flow in, but little else. Paramita Ghosh reports.

Voila, drought city has guests: Rain, bumper crops

In bundelkhand, farmers no longer gather in the village squares to chat aboUt the weather — or politics. in fact, there is no sign of the approaching general election. Even the politicians are waiting for the harvest season to end. Pankaj Jaiswal reports.

Big bosses want to be on the little box

With 110 million people watching, reality TV is a snapshot of the real India and reaches out to a ready-to-be-tapped audience. So politicians want to be on it — it is India’s new political theatre. Neelesh Misra reports.

Belgaum: Battling split personality

It’s a battle of rival chauvinisms. The tussle for Karnataka’s contested border district has pitted Hindutva against
Kannadatva. And neither side is willing to give an inch. Samrat reports.
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