Niha Masih

Niha Masih

Niha Masih is a national affairs writer covering right wing politics, social justice and identity-based hate attacks.

Articles by Niha Masih
Dalit families who fled Mirchpur village continue to live in makeshift camps in Hisar. Their homes were burnt down in 2010.(Burhaan Kinu/HT File Photo)
Dalit families who fled Mirchpur village continue to live in makeshift camps in Hisar. Their homes were burnt down in 2010.(Burhaan Kinu/HT File Photo)

SC/ST Act is like an umbrella, it ensures we are safe, say Mirchpur Dalits

Hindustan Times, Mirchpur, Hisar | By Niha Masih
UPDATED ON APR 12, 2018 02:55 PM IST
Despite a rare, legal victory, Dalits of Mirchpur are back on the streets — to fight for the SC/ST Act that helped them win a case seven years ago.
Umesh Rudrap and his wife Manju at their residence at Kondhwa in Pune. They got married 28 years ago and faced backlash from their communities, which, Umesh says, had impacted the lives of their extended family and children.(Pratham Gokhale/HT Photo)
Umesh Rudrap and his wife Manju at their residence at Kondhwa in Pune. They got married 28 years ago and faced backlash from their communities, which, Umesh says, had impacted the lives of their extended family and children.(Pratham Gokhale/HT Photo)

An unwritten social boycott scripting the fate of many

Hindustan Times, Pune | By Niha Masih
UPDATED ON APR 09, 2018 08:18 AM IST
Many face backlash and are boycotted from their communities for marrying outside their caste. With the social boycott bill, that came into effect last July, there is hope for the victims.
The 2017 Karnataka bypolls, which Congress won against odds, signalled a shift towards a more professional style of political management, unusual for the Congress and even more so for chief minister Siddaramaiah, considered an old-school political strategist.(PTI file photo)
The 2017 Karnataka bypolls, which Congress won against odds, signalled a shift towards a more professional style of political management, unusual for the Congress and even more so for chief minister Siddaramaiah, considered an old-school political strategist.(PTI file photo)

Karnataka elections: Can Siddaramaiah repeat his bypoll success?

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By Niha Masih
UPDATED ON MAR 27, 2018 08:20 PM IST
As the dates for the crucial Karnataka elections are announced by the Election Commission, a look at how the Congress led by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah turned around the party’s prospects in the state.
Members of the women’s ice hockey team of India play at Karzu Ring in Leh. The players are aged between 15-30, and are being trained by four-time Olympic gold medallist from Canada, Hayley Wickenheiser.(Sanchit Khanna/HT PHOTO)
Members of the women’s ice hockey team of India play at Karzu Ring in Leh. The players are aged between 15-30, and are being trained by four-time Olympic gold medallist from Canada, Hayley Wickenheiser.(Sanchit Khanna/HT PHOTO)

Girls breaking barriers on ice get boost from Olympic champion

Hindustan Times | By Niha Masih
UPDATED ON FEB 06, 2018 03:41 PM IST
Little known in the country, the women’s ice hockey team of India, based in Leh, has managed to catch international attention by fighting odds and daring to persevere with a sport that has become their life’s passion
The first death anniversary of Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula being observed at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on January 17, 2017.(HT File Photo)
The first death anniversary of Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula being observed at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on January 17, 2017.(HT File Photo)

Rohith Vemula’s death anniversary: Education still a Dalit dream

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By Niha Masih
UPDATED ON JAN 17, 2018 08:37 PM IST
Hindustan Times talks to a few Dalit students to understand what is ailing the government’s higher education schemes especially designed for the community.
Suneeta and Munni Pottam outside the Supreme Court in New Delhi. (Raj K Raj / HT Photo)
Suneeta and Munni Pottam outside the Supreme Court in New Delhi. (Raj K Raj / HT Photo)

Meet the Bastar girls taking on security forces over extra-judicial encounters

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By Niha Masih
UPDATED ON JAN 13, 2018 08:23 PM IST
Suneeta Pottam and Munni Pottam have filed a case against extra-judicial encounters allegedly by security forces, and have asked the Supreme Court to take it up.
Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani addresses protest rally at Parliament Street in New Delhi on Tuesday.(HT Photo/Burhaan Kinu)
Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani addresses protest rally at Parliament Street in New Delhi on Tuesday.(HT Photo/Burhaan Kinu)

Jignesh Mevani Delhi rally Highlights: We don’t believe in love jihad, we believe in ‘pyar, ishq, mohabaat’, says Dalit leader

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By Niha Masih
UPDATED ON JAN 09, 2018 06:23 PM IST
The Yuva Hunkar Rally was held amid heavy police presence where the demand for the release of Dalit outfit Bhim Army’s founder Chandrashekhar Azad was raised. Here are the highlights
A neonatal care ward of a hospital in Ahmedabad, Gujarat.(Siddharaj Solanki/HT File Photo)
A neonatal care ward of a hospital in Ahmedabad, Gujarat.(Siddharaj Solanki/HT File Photo)

Malnutrition, sex ratio: Health indices show ‘Gujarat model’ is in a poor shape

Hindustan Times, Bharuch/ Dahod | By Niha Masih
UPDATED ON DEC 07, 2017 09:43 AM IST
While the BJP and Modi rode on the success of the Gujarat model in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, economists have long argued that Gujarat was a relatively well developed state.
Domestic violence doesn’t always leave tell-tale signs of physical injuries. It often scars the person deeply from within.(Shutterstock)
Domestic violence doesn’t always leave tell-tale signs of physical injuries. It often scars the person deeply from within.(Shutterstock)

Home Truths: Why we need a strong law against domestic violence

Hindustan Times | By Niha Masih
UPDATED ON DEC 03, 2017 08:58 AM IST
Diluting Section 498A of the Indian Penal Code will deprive women of necessary and crucial legal protection from domestic violence and dowry harassment, say women’s rights activists and lawyers
Prime Minister Narendra Modi offers prayers to Narmada River during the inauguration of Sardar Sarovar Dam at Kevadiya in Narmada district.(PTI FILE)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi offers prayers to Narmada River during the inauguration of Sardar Sarovar Dam at Kevadiya in Narmada district.(PTI FILE)

Gujarat elections: BJP battles farmer ire over Narmada waters

Bhavnagar/Botad/Surendranagar | By Niha Masih
UPDATED ON NOV 28, 2017 10:56 AM IST
Gujarat elections 2017: Farmers in Saurashtra say they have voted for the BJP in the past but are now fed up with waiting for water.
Ramesh Sarvaiya, one of the victims of the Una flogging, can now quote BR Ambedkar’s works and wants to carry forward the Dalit icon’s legacy by working on ending caste discrimination.(HT Photo)
Ramesh Sarvaiya, one of the victims of the Una flogging, can now quote BR Ambedkar’s works and wants to carry forward the Dalit icon’s legacy by working on ending caste discrimination.(HT Photo)

Gujarat elections: Dalit anger over Una flogging still runs high

Hindustan Times, Sanand | By Niha Masih, Sanand
UPDATED ON NOV 28, 2017 04:29 PM IST
Dalits, who make up 7% of Gujarat’s population, mostly voted for the BJP in the last elections. But this time, the Una movement leader says the community is angry.
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi addresses a rally in Ahmedabad on Friday.(PTI Photo)
Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi addresses a rally in Ahmedabad on Friday.(PTI Photo)

Rahul Gandhi says Centre delayed winter session to avoid questions on Rafale, Doklam

Hindustan Times, Ahmedabad | By Hiral Dave and Niha Masih
UPDATED ON NOV 24, 2017 10:40 PM IST
Gandhi in on a two-day tour of Gujarat. On Friday, he interacted with fishermen, Dalits, pharmaceutical industrialists, doctors and teachers at separate events.
Sheela Kaur, who had testified against Congress leader Sajjan Kumar, at her home in New Delhi’s Tilak Vihar on Wednesday.(Sanchit Khanna/ HT Photo)
Sheela Kaur, who had testified against Congress leader Sajjan Kumar, at her home in New Delhi’s Tilak Vihar on Wednesday.(Sanchit Khanna/ HT Photo)

‘My family was murdered in front of me’: Sheela Kaur is an eyewitness but still awaits justice for 1984 anti-Sikh riots

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By Niha Masih
UPDATED ON NOV 03, 2017 09:34 AM IST
One of the few surviving witnesses to the anti-Sikh riots, Sheela Kaur has identified Congress leader Sajjan Kumar as the man who instigated the frenzied mobs .
Rajbir Singh lost his father and grandfather during the 1984 anti-Sikh riots when a rampaging mob doused them with petrol and burnt him.(Sanchit Khanna/ HT Photo)
Rajbir Singh lost his father and grandfather during the 1984 anti-Sikh riots when a rampaging mob doused them with petrol and burnt him.(Sanchit Khanna/ HT Photo)

1984 anti-Sikh riots: Tales from the time still haunt this family

Hindustan Times | By Niha Masih
UPDATED ON NOV 02, 2017 11:56 AM IST
Rajbir Singh was only 11 months old in 1984 but he knows minute details of how his father was burnt alive by anti-Sikh mobs.
Attar Kaur, lost her husband along with other relatives during 1984 Sikh riots in New Delhi, on October 29.(Sanchit Khanna/HT Photo)
Attar Kaur, lost her husband along with other relatives during 1984 Sikh riots in New Delhi, on October 29.(Sanchit Khanna/HT Photo)

1984 anti-Sikh riots: Time doesn’t heal the pain. Ask Attar Kaur

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By Niha Masih
UPDATED ON NOV 01, 2017 12:47 PM IST
Sixty-five-year-old widow, Attar Kaur, lost her husband and 11 members of her extended family in the riots. She said she has not been able to forget how Sikhs were slaughtered like animals. She lives with vivid memories and faded photos.
(Ravi Choudhary/HT PHOTO)
(Ravi Choudhary/HT PHOTO)

Lost in transition: Has linking Aadhaar to government welfare schemes made it difficult for beneficiaries to avail of aid?

Hindustan Times | By Niha Masih
UPDATED ON OCT 08, 2017 01:08 PM IST
Aadhaar is now compulsory for 87 government welfare schemes. HT reviews how this decision is working on the ground for two of the biggest schemes of this kind
The Income Tax notice on Harsh Mander’s Centre for Equity Studies has ben described as part of “complete scrutiny” of the returns for financial year 2016-17.(HT File Photo)
The Income Tax notice on Harsh Mander’s Centre for Equity Studies has ben described as part of “complete scrutiny” of the returns for financial year 2016-17.(HT File Photo)

Income tax department sends notice to Harsh Mander’s institute

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By Niha Masih
PUBLISHED ON SEP 22, 2017 08:24 PM IST
Activist Harsh Mander claims that within days of clashing with RSS ideologue Rakesh Sinha on a television debate, he has been slapped with an Income Tax notice.
Zahid Hussain (extreme left) at his temporary home at the Rohingya camp in Jammu.(Niha Masih/HT Photo)
Zahid Hussain (extreme left) at his temporary home at the Rohingya camp in Jammu.(Niha Masih/HT Photo)

A life in transit: 26-year-old Rohingya refugee recounts tale of loss and persecution

Hindustan Times | By Niha Masih
PUBLISHED ON SEP 09, 2017 08:38 PM IST
Zahid Hussain is only 26 years old. But he has spent the last four years looking for a safe refuge. If India decides to deport him, the young man will be on the move again
A view of the Rohingya camp in Jammu. There are about 5,700 Rohingya refugees living in Jammu.(Niha Masih/HT Photo)
A view of the Rohingya camp in Jammu. There are about 5,700 Rohingya refugees living in Jammu.(Niha Masih/HT Photo)

‘Look at us as humans, not as Muslims’: Rohingyas’ appeal in Jammu after deportation threat

Hindustan Times | By Niha Masih
UPDATED ON SEP 10, 2017 11:41 AM IST
The Centre has termed Rohingyas illegal immigrants and ordered their deportation, citing threat to national security as reason. The UN calls them refugees. There is no evidence so far of their involvement in terror or cross-border activities. Are the Rohingyas then being targeted for their religion?
Deaf Olympic Gold medalist wrestler Virender Singh poses for a portrait with his medals at his akhara near Sadar Bazar in New Delhi.(Ravi Choudhary/HT PHOTO)
Deaf Olympic Gold medalist wrestler Virender Singh poses for a portrait with his medals at his akhara near Sadar Bazar in New Delhi.(Ravi Choudhary/HT PHOTO)

In Pics: Differently abled wrestler Virender Singh fights for recognition

New Delhi | By Ravi Choudhary / Niha Masih
UPDATED ON AUG 16, 2017 08:57 PM IST
Deaf Olympic Gold medallist Virender Singh who can neither speak nor hear is an Arjuna Awardee winner, a champion with three international gold medals. Ignored by the sports authorities, today he can neither afford a home nor a car.
Olympic Gold medalist wrestler Virender Singh at his akhada at Sadar Bazar in New Delhi.(Ravi Choudhary/HT Photo)
Olympic Gold medalist wrestler Virender Singh at his akhada at Sadar Bazar in New Delhi.(Ravi Choudhary/HT Photo)

India at 70: Virender Singh brought India 3 golds but can’t afford a house

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By Niha Masih
UPDATED ON AUG 15, 2017 08:56 AM IST
The deaf and mute wrestler is an Arjuna awardee after years of toil and global recognition but still doesn’t earn enough to give himself a comfortable life.
Muheet Mehraj of Kashmir Box at his office in Shahpur Jat in New Delhi.(Saumya Khandelwal/HT Photo)
Muheet Mehraj of Kashmir Box at his office in Shahpur Jat in New Delhi.(Saumya Khandelwal/HT Photo)

India at 70: From tinderbox to Kashmir Box, one man’s tale of entrepreneurship

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By Niha Masih
UPDATED ON AUG 12, 2017 07:29 AM IST
Muheet Mehraj’s abiding memory of Independence Day is being home without internet. As part of security protocol, internet services are suspended in Kashmir every August 15. Now, he runs a successful e-commerce website, Kashmir Box.

HT Hate Tracker: A national database on crimes in the name of religion, caste, race

Hindustan Times | By Niha Masih
UPDATED ON JUL 28, 2017 02:11 PM IST
Hate Tracker will be a crowd-sourced database of hate crimes in India since September 2015.
(Illustration: Malay Karmakar)
(Illustration: Malay Karmakar)

‘You are all militants, won’t let you live here’: Kashmiri students face abuse outside valley

Hindustan Times | By Niha Masih
UPDATED ON JUL 28, 2017 11:46 AM IST
#LetsTalkAboutHate | Kashmiri students who travel in search of education often become targets of hate crimes.
(Illustration: Mallay Karmakar)
(Illustration: Mallay Karmakar)

‘They couldn’t tolerate a Dalit winning’: In Mirchpur, caste oppression divides

Hindustan Times | By Niha Masih
UPDATED ON JUL 25, 2017 07:42 PM IST
#LetsTalkAboutHate | In Part 2, we focus on violence against Dalits. Seven years after their homes were set ablaze, few families have dared to return to Mirchpur.
(Illustration:Mallay Karmakar)
(Illustration:Mallay Karmakar)

Hate in the hearts in Bisada: Ikhlaq’s murder over cow exposes fault line

Hindustan Times | By Niha Masih
UPDATED ON JUL 25, 2017 01:17 PM IST
In Part 1 of HT series Let’s Talk About Hate, we revisit a Bisada divided by Mohammad Ikhlaq’s brutal killing.
People gathered at Jantar Mantar on Tuesday to condemn the killing of seven Amarnath pilgrims.(Vipin Kumar/HT Photo)
People gathered at Jantar Mantar on Tuesday to condemn the killing of seven Amarnath pilgrims.(Vipin Kumar/HT Photo)

Voices rise against Amarnath killings, people in Delhi say Not in My Name

Hindustan Times | By Niha Masih and Ritam Halder, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON JUL 11, 2017 10:52 PM IST
Away from the politicking in the aftermath of the heinous terror attack on pilgrims, Zaheeruddin was among those who came out to mourn the dead. Five people from Gujarat and two from Maharashtra were killed when terrorists attacked a bus at Anantnag in Kashmir.
There were many first-time protesters at Jantar Mantar on Wednesday in support of 'Not in My Name' campaign against lynching of a Muslim teenager, Junaid, on June 22.(Ajay Aggarwal/HT Photo)
There were many first-time protesters at Jantar Mantar on Wednesday in support of 'Not in My Name' campaign against lynching of a Muslim teenager, Junaid, on June 22.(Ajay Aggarwal/HT Photo)

Not in my name: At Jantar Mantar, the loudest voices were of the ordinary citizens

Hindustan Times | By Niha Masih, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUL 16, 2017 07:22 AM IST
At Delhi’s Jantar Mantar, schoolchildren, professionals, and foreign tourists joined the #notinmyname protest against attacks on Muslims in India. The BJP government has come under criticism for not condemning the killings taking place in the guise of cow protection.
Former junior HRD minister Ram Shankar Katheria, a BJP MP from Agra, has been picked as the chairman of the National Scheduled Castes Commission.(Saumya Khandelwal/HT FilePhoto)
Former junior HRD minister Ram Shankar Katheria, a BJP MP from Agra, has been picked as the chairman of the National Scheduled Castes Commission.(Saumya Khandelwal/HT FilePhoto)

Katheria likely to be SC commission head, seven months after the post fell vacant

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By Niha Masih
UPDATED ON MAY 30, 2017 09:08 PM IST
The opposition blames the government for delay in filling the posts and making the commission dysfunctional at the time atrocities against Dalits in Saharanpur.
Locals point to the municipal elections in Saharanpur this year as one of the causes of the caste clashes.(PTI)
Locals point to the municipal elections in Saharanpur this year as one of the causes of the caste clashes.(PTI)

Saharanpur caste violence: Eye on local polls, BJP walks the tightrope between Dalits and Thakurs

Hindustan Times, Saharanpur | By Niha Masih
UPDATED ON JUN 13, 2017 09:45 AM IST
Chunks of Dalit votes buoyed the BJP during its recent Uttar Pradesh assembly election sweep. But now, the caste clashes have jeopardised the community’s support for the saffron party.
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