Namita Kohli

Namita Kohli was part of Hindustan Times’ nationwide network of correspondents that brings news, analysis and information to its readers. She no longer works with the Hindustan Times.

Articles by Namita Kohli

Women speak: #WeWillGoOut. Simply because we want to.

Young women are claiming their right to be out on the streets - day or night. Why can’t we?, they are demanding to know. But within these movements, issues of privilege, class and caste remain. 
(From left) Swarnima Bhattacharya, Bhani Rachel Bali, and Japleen Pasricha, organisers of the Delhi chapter of the ‘I Will Go Out’ march that took place in January. Young women such as these have been asserting their right to be out on the streets.(Saumya Khandelwal/HT Photo)
(From left) Swarnima Bhattacharya, Bhani Rachel Bali, and Japleen Pasricha, organisers of the Delhi chapter of the ‘I Will Go Out’ march that took place in January. Young women such as these have been asserting their right to be out on the streets.(Saumya Khandelwal/HT Photo)
Updated on Mar 05, 2017 08:29 PM IST
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In search of princess Phaya: Looking for Myanmar’s forgotten royals in Ratnagiri

Descendants of the last king of Burma still live in Maharashtra. Shorn of the royal grandeur, they say they are only namesake royals
The Thibaw palace at Ratnagiri in Maharashtra, where the last king of Burma was exiled by the British. The palace is lit up during an annual arts festival that takes place in January. The crumbling palace is now being restored by the state archaeology department.(Gurinder Osan/HT PHOTO)
The Thibaw palace at Ratnagiri in Maharashtra, where the last king of Burma was exiled by the British. The palace is lit up during an annual arts festival that takes place in January. The crumbling palace is now being restored by the state archaeology department.(Gurinder Osan/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Feb 26, 2017 10:48 AM IST
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Sohan Qadri: The reclusive Punjabi artist who had a thing for tantra

A retrospective at Kumar Gallery, Delhi of the reclusive Punjabi artist, Sohan Qadri, who lived in a small apartment in Copenhagen until his death in 2011.
A work by reclusive artist Sohan Qadri.(Photo courtesy: Kumar Gallery)
A work by reclusive artist Sohan Qadri.(Photo courtesy: Kumar Gallery)
Updated on Jan 21, 2017 10:52 AM IST
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Yarn Bombing: Using the fine art of knitting and wrapping yarn for a cause

Pankaj Saroj and Rahul Chaudhary are travelling across the country on four-month project to wrap the yarn in public spaces
(An e-rickshaw in Uttar Pradesh that is being wrapped in colourful yarn as part of the yarn bombing project. The rickshaw prompted many onlookers to request the artists to decorate their bikes and shops. Yarn bombing is a form of street art where artists use knits and crochets in public spaces either to protest, or simply to add colour.)
(An e-rickshaw in Uttar Pradesh that is being wrapped in colourful yarn as part of the yarn bombing project. The rickshaw prompted many onlookers to request the artists to decorate their bikes and shops. Yarn bombing is a form of street art where artists use knits and crochets in public spaces either to protest, or simply to add colour.)
Updated on Dec 03, 2016 06:46 PM IST
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How to be a good bahu: Meet Aparna Yadav, Mulayam’s younger daughter-in-law

Aparna Yadav, Mulayam Singh’s younger daughter-in-law, is the latest member from the powerful Yadav family to enter electoral politics. HT spends a day with her in Lucknow
Aparna Yadav says she has won over members of the Yadav family with her “feminine energy” and that they have now opened up to her.(Saumya Khandelwal/HT Photo)
Aparna Yadav says she has won over members of the Yadav family with her “feminine energy” and that they have now opened up to her.(Saumya Khandelwal/HT Photo)
Updated on Nov 27, 2016 10:51 PM IST
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How to be a good bahu: Meet Aparna Yadav, Mulayam’s younger daughter-in-law

Aparna Yadav, Mulayam Singh’s younger daughter-in-law, is the latest member from the powerful Yadav family to enter electoral politics. HT spends a day with her in Lucknow
Aparna Yadav says she has won over members of the Yadav family with her “feminine energy” and that they have now opened up to her.(Saumya Khandelwal/HT PHOTO)
Aparna Yadav says she has won over members of the Yadav family with her “feminine energy” and that they have now opened up to her.(Saumya Khandelwal/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Nov 27, 2016 10:26 AM IST
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For the love of God: The Royal Ramayana in pictures

Stunning 17th century illustrations of Ramayana, commissioned by the erstwhile Mewar royalty is now on display at Bikaner House in Delhi
The battle between Ram and Ravana. All of Ram’s weapons are of no use against the demon king, until Ram finally uses the Brahmastra.(Pictures courtesy: Roli Books)
The battle between Ram and Ravana. All of Ram’s weapons are of no use against the demon king, until Ram finally uses the Brahmastra.(Pictures courtesy: Roli Books)
Updated on Nov 05, 2016 09:41 AM IST
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Punjab’s protest pop: How the Dalits are telling the world they’ve arrived

Dalit singers of Punjab are asserting their identity through their music. It’s no call for revolution, but a strong, unapologetic statement of arrival
Punjabi pop artiste Ginni Mahi, 17, says she doesn’t believe in caste, but “Chamar Pop” has given her a good launchpad to realise her dreams of becoming a Bollywood singer.(Raj K Raj/HT PHOTO)
Punjabi pop artiste Ginni Mahi, 17, says she doesn’t believe in caste, but “Chamar Pop” has given her a good launchpad to realise her dreams of becoming a Bollywood singer.(Raj K Raj/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Nov 03, 2016 06:10 PM IST
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Stamped in history: Artist Shelly Jyoti’s works have Ajrakh prints on khadi

Researching Indigo led textile artist Shelly Jyoti to Bhuj, where she worked with ninth generation Ajrakh craftsmen
Textile artist Shelly Jyoti works with Ajrakh craftsmen in Gujarat. She has created 20 Ajrakh works on khadi for her upcoming exhibition in Delhi.
Textile artist Shelly Jyoti works with Ajrakh craftsmen in Gujarat. She has created 20 Ajrakh works on khadi for her upcoming exhibition in Delhi.
Updated on Oct 16, 2016 10:02 AM IST
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Hostel diaries: How sexist rules are stifling life for girls in BHU campus

No late evenings. No talking on mobiles after 10pm. How sexist rules are stifling campus life for girls. A report from BHU
At the Banaras Hindu University, girls have to get back to their hostels by 8pm. Girl students feel that the deadline is unfair because it prevents them from accessing the library and attending events on campus after 8pm. Unlike the girls, boys need to get back by 10 pm, and do not need permission to go out after that.(Raj K Raj/HT PHOTO)
At the Banaras Hindu University, girls have to get back to their hostels by 8pm. Girl students feel that the deadline is unfair because it prevents them from accessing the library and attending events on campus after 8pm. Unlike the girls, boys need to get back by 10 pm, and do not need permission to go out after that.(Raj K Raj/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Sep 25, 2017 12:15 PM IST
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Zakia and Noorjehan: Duo lead movement for reforms in Muslim personal laws

Islamic feminists Zakia Soman and Noorjehan Safia Niaz oppose the Uniform Civil Code and say that Muslim personal laws should be codified
Zakia Soman (left) and Noorjehan Safia Niaz are founders of the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA), an organisation that is fighting for Muslim women’s rights. The BMMA wants triple talaq and polygamy to be banned, and Muslim personal laws to be codified.(Saumya Khandelwal, Aalok Soni/HT)
Zakia Soman (left) and Noorjehan Safia Niaz are founders of the Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan (BMMA), an organisation that is fighting for Muslim women’s rights. The BMMA wants triple talaq and polygamy to be banned, and Muslim personal laws to be codified.(Saumya Khandelwal, Aalok Soni/HT)
Updated on Sep 11, 2016 10:14 AM IST
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‘Rajiv was pressured by Narasimha Rao, Najma Heptulla during Shah Bano’

Thirty one years after the Shah Bano case, Arif Mohammad Khan feels that the governments of the day have failed in ensuring that people do not see a conflict between freedom of religion and laws that ensure gender justice and equality
Former Congress leader and Minister of State Arif Mohammad Khan. Khan, a minister in the Rajiv Gandhi government, defended the Shah Bano judgment in the Parliament. He quit the party after Rajiv Gandhi changed his position on the judgment.(Vipin Kumar/HT Photo)
Former Congress leader and Minister of State Arif Mohammad Khan. Khan, a minister in the Rajiv Gandhi government, defended the Shah Bano judgment in the Parliament. He quit the party after Rajiv Gandhi changed his position on the judgment.(Vipin Kumar/HT Photo)
Updated on Sep 11, 2016 09:58 AM IST
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All in the family: Goa Civil Code a model for the rest of the country?

A clutch of “unique” clauses such as the “communion of assets”, equal property rights for both sons and daughters, and the fact that the laws apply uniformly to all state citizens has made the Goa Civil Code a “special” case. It is now being touted as a model for the Uniform Civil Code.
A portrait of a typical Goan family by the late cartoonist Mario Miranda. Family laws in Goa are uniform for all state citizens and are being touted as a model for a Uniform Civil Code in the country.(Mario Miranda)
A portrait of a typical Goan family by the late cartoonist Mario Miranda. Family laws in Goa are uniform for all state citizens and are being touted as a model for a Uniform Civil Code in the country.(Mario Miranda)
Updated on Sep 13, 2016 08:15 PM IST
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‘Teachers’ career, status and self-esteem badly mauled in this country’

Ahead of Teacher’s Day on September 5, Krishna Kumar, professor of Education, Delhi University and former director National Council of Educational Research and Training, spoke to HT about the reasons behind the current crisis in the teaching profession, and a few measures to resolve it
Krishna Kumar, professor of education, Delhi University says that restoring professional dignity for teachers has to be top priority.(Saumya Khandelwal/HT PHOTO)
Krishna Kumar, professor of education, Delhi University says that restoring professional dignity for teachers has to be top priority.(Saumya Khandelwal/HT PHOTO)
Updated on Sep 04, 2016 08:59 AM IST
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Teachers’ travails: Battling crowded classrooms and non-teaching duties

Crowded classrooms,acute staff shortages, irregular pay, and a long list of non-teaching duties, ahead of Teacher’s Day, HT looks at the condition of government school teachers in India
A file picture of a teacher taking class at a school in Badarpur, New Delhi. Many teachers in government schools such as this are forced to take classes outside the classrooms because of lack of space.(Subrata Biswas/Hindustan Times)
A file picture of a teacher taking class at a school in Badarpur, New Delhi. Many teachers in government schools such as this are forced to take classes outside the classrooms because of lack of space.(Subrata Biswas/Hindustan Times)
Updated on Sep 04, 2016 06:44 PM IST
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In the company of the tawaif: Recreating the magic with darbari kathak

A dance performance aims to change perceptions about courtesans by recreating the magic of their world
Darbari Kathak exponent Manjari Chaturvedi in an earlier performance of the show, The Courtesan - An Enigma. The dancer hopes to pique the interests of younger audiences in the legend of the courtesan.
Darbari Kathak exponent Manjari Chaturvedi in an earlier performance of the show, The Courtesan - An Enigma. The dancer hopes to pique the interests of younger audiences in the legend of the courtesan.
Updated on Aug 27, 2016 07:39 AM IST
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Surrogacy ban: Poor women stand to lose the ‘better option’

A ban on commercial surrogacy is not the solution, better regulation is
A surrogate mother at the surrogate house in Anand in Gujarat, India. Most women say they choose to do surrogacy because as daily wagers , they are unable to make ends meet.(Ravi Choudhary/Hindustan Times)
A surrogate mother at the surrogate house in Anand in Gujarat, India. Most women say they choose to do surrogacy because as daily wagers , they are unable to make ends meet.(Ravi Choudhary/Hindustan Times)
Updated on Aug 27, 2016 07:44 AM IST
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Telling tales: Watch Premchand’s two short stories on stage this weekend

This weekend, two of the legendary writer’s stories will be staged, even as his 136th birthday comes up later this month
Actors rehearse the play based on one of Munshi Premchand’s short stories, Beton Wali Widhwa.(Saumya Khandelwal/HT)
Actors rehearse the play based on one of Munshi Premchand’s short stories, Beton Wali Widhwa.(Saumya Khandelwal/HT)
Updated on Jul 16, 2016 10:28 AM IST
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Mrs Iron-Fist and the queen of hearts: A play on Noor Jahan

Noor Jahan, Jahangir’s last consort, managed him and his empire. She is the subject of a new play this weekend
The play Noor Jahan: An Empress Reveals(HT File Photo)
The play Noor Jahan: An Empress Reveals(HT File Photo)
Updated on Jul 09, 2016 08:09 AM IST
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A boy’s life: When Komal became Kabir, the man that she always was

How a young woman defied social norms, got gender affirmation surgery done, and became a man
Kabir Gawlani, an Indore-based engineering-graduate-turned businessman has transitioned from a woman to a man. Kabir hopes that other trans persons such as him will believe in themselves and realise their true identity.(Raj K Raj/HT)
Kabir Gawlani, an Indore-based engineering-graduate-turned businessman has transitioned from a woman to a man. Kabir hopes that other trans persons such as him will believe in themselves and realise their true identity.(Raj K Raj/HT)
Updated on Jul 06, 2016 04:54 PM IST
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‘Being denied what is integral to you’: The struggle for transgender rights

Medical expenses, social biases and legal hassles: transgenders in India have to counter several challenges
Kabir Gawlani, a transman in Indore, with his parents . Not all transgender people are lucky to have family support. Many face resistance and end up struggling to bear the expenses for gender affirmation surgeries.(Raj K Raj/HT)
Kabir Gawlani, a transman in Indore, with his parents . Not all transgender people are lucky to have family support. Many face resistance and end up struggling to bear the expenses for gender affirmation surgeries.(Raj K Raj/HT)
Updated on Jul 03, 2016 12:01 PM IST
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A playwright’s take on Guru Dutt and Geeta Dutt’s troubled marriage

A new play explores the tumultuous relationship between Guru Dutt and Geeta Dutt at a time when the couple was trying to stem the rot in their marriage
A scene from the play, Gardish Mein Taare, starring Sonali Kulkarni and Arif Zakaria. The play is based on the tumultuous relationship between filmmaker Guru Dutt and his singer wife, Geeta Dutt.
A scene from the play, Gardish Mein Taare, starring Sonali Kulkarni and Arif Zakaria. The play is based on the tumultuous relationship between filmmaker Guru Dutt and his singer wife, Geeta Dutt.
Updated on Jun 25, 2016 01:45 PM IST
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Parents at 70: Reproductive choice or pushing the ethical limits?

Elderly couples, some of whom are well into their 60s and 70s, are having babies via IVF. Are doctors pushing the limits when it comes to IVF in women over 50?
Sangrur couple Darbara Singh, 55, and Jasmail Kaur, 55, with their two- year-old daughter Manwinder Kaur in the village of Kheri.(JS Grewal/Hindustan Times)
Sangrur couple Darbara Singh, 55, and Jasmail Kaur, 55, with their two- year-old daughter Manwinder Kaur in the village of Kheri.(JS Grewal/Hindustan Times)
Published on May 21, 2016 10:24 PM IST
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The God of Small Things: The last few with Ram inked on their bodies

Members of Chhattisgarh’s Ramnami community tattoo the name of Ram on their bodies. But the struggle for livelihood means that this practice of tattooing is not prevalent anymore
Janaki Devi, in her late 40s , a follower of Ramnami Samaj, has tattooed the name of the Ram on her face and wrists. For Janaki, being a Ramnami is a matter of livelihood as well.(Raj K Raj/HT Photo)
Janaki Devi, in her late 40s , a follower of Ramnami Samaj, has tattooed the name of the Ram on her face and wrists. For Janaki, being a Ramnami is a matter of livelihood as well.(Raj K Raj/HT Photo)
Updated on May 14, 2016 08:59 PM IST
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Habitat Film Festival: A celebration of regional cinema

A festival that celebrates regional cinema will be held at the India Habitat Centre.
A still from the film Angry Indian Goddesses by Pan Nalin, that celebrates female bonding . The film will be screened at the Habitat Film Festival this week.
A still from the film Angry Indian Goddesses by Pan Nalin, that celebrates female bonding . The film will be screened at the Habitat Film Festival this week.
Published on May 07, 2016 11:30 AM IST
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Harsh reality: How a fisherman finds no romance in the beauty of nature

Ravi Agarwal’s pictures from a fishing village in Pondicherry force us to rethink the romance of the sea.
Updated on Apr 30, 2016 06:08 PM IST
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Songs of experience: The Mirasi women of Punjab

Celebrating the history of Punjab’s Muslim women singers. The 40-minute documentary film on the lives of women singers of the Mirasi community in Punjab was screened in Delhi this past week.
A still from the documentary film Mirasans of Punjab: Born to Sing, by Shikha Jhingan
A still from the documentary film Mirasans of Punjab: Born to Sing, by Shikha Jhingan
Updated on Apr 27, 2016 10:34 PM IST
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The story of the whole nine yards: How sari can be your comfort wear

A sari festival in the city this weekend is part of a sudden revival of interest in the garment among urban middle classes.
Himanshu Verma, curator of the sari festival, at a sari-styling workshop held in the city, as part of the festival.(Raj K Raj/HT)
Himanshu Verma, curator of the sari festival, at a sari-styling workshop held in the city, as part of the festival.(Raj K Raj/HT)
Updated on Apr 16, 2016 09:23 PM IST
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Chhattisgarh’s gold diggers: Adivasi rights versus industry interests

As the government struggles to decrease its reliance on imports, and augment its production of gold, the focus is on the reserves in Chhattisgarh’s Sonakhan. This February, the country’s first gold mine was auctioned, and the lease was won by mining giant Vedanta.
Villagers in Baghmara where the hills are to be dug up for gold.(Raj K Raj/HT Photo)
Villagers in Baghmara where the hills are to be dug up for gold.(Raj K Raj/HT Photo)
Updated on Apr 11, 2016 12:50 PM IST
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Gardens in India and the UK: The soothing power of flowers

A photography exhibition on gardens in India and the UK showcases the flowers and insects of these green havens, and those who labour to create them.
Viewers admire the display at The Garden Underground, a photography exhibition on gardens in India and the UK at Jor Bagh Metro Station.(Raj K Raj/HT Photo)
Viewers admire the display at The Garden Underground, a photography exhibition on gardens in India and the UK at Jor Bagh Metro Station.(Raj K Raj/HT Photo)
Updated on Mar 26, 2016 12:31 PM IST
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