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Religion

Religion serves as the social bedrock of many communities around the globe, while also acting as a source of division and conflict. Pulitzer Center stories tagged with “Religion” feature reporting on faith, its effects on people’s lives, and the role it plays in civil society. Use the Pulitzer Center Lesson Builder to find and create lesson plans on religion.

 

Level of Violence in Kashmir Dips

SRINAGAR, India — Bullet pocks are still visible along Lal Chowk, the commercial heart of Kashmir's main city, reminders of the gunbattles, bombings and suicide attacks that used to be an almost daily occurrence.

Pakistan and India both claim Kashmir, which is divided and has been the cause of two of three wars between the countries since partition in 1947.

Today, though, there is only the din of traffic, disturbed by a crowd of bus drivers protesting the back wages they claim the state owes them.

India's Debt-Ridden Farmers Committing Suicide

Nashik, India -- On a recent afternoon, Seetabai Atthre heard a faint cry from the edge of a vineyard that her family has cultivated for more than 40 years. Through the furrows, she found her husband, Vishal, smoldering on the ground next to an empty can of kerosene. He had lit himself on fire and died three days later in a local hospital.

Suicides Plague Indian Farmers Struggling to Adapt to Changing Economics

NASHIK, India -- On a recent afternoon, Seetabai Atthre heard a faint cry from the edge of a vineyard her family has cultivated for more than 40 years on the arid plains of northern Maharashtra state. Searching through the furrows, she found her husband, Vishal, smoldering on the ground next to an empty can of kerosene. He died in a local hospital three days later from severe burns.

The Atthre farm had not turned a profit in more than two years, and 65-year-old Vishal could no longer secure loans from local banks to pay off the interest on the $5,600 he already owed.

Niyamgiri: An Uncertain Future

The Dongria Kond are an indigenous tribe native to the virgin forest of India's southwestern Orissa state. For centuries they have lived high in the Niyamgiri hills, relying on its bounty of fruits and vegetables, and the wild game they hunt with bow and arrow. The Indian government once slated the range to become a protected reserve. The Dongria, for their part, hold it to be a sacred God.

Mine, Refinery Imperil Hallowed Hills in India

The Naxalites

Deep in the virgin jungle of southern Chhattisgarh, Naxalite guerillas live, train and recruit beyond the reach of government forces.

Police and Militia

To improve security in remote parts of the Bastar region, the goverment has sponsored civilian militia as part of Salwa Judum. Known as Special Police Officers, they are free to roam villages armed yet largely unchecked by the state.

The Villagers

The Bastar region is home to a number of indigenous tribes, many of which continue to live in nature as they have for centuries. Since the start of Salwa Judum thousands have been forcibly relocated to government-run camps.

India: Guerillas in the Mountains

To smooth over a nerve-wracking encounter with their village militia, the Naxalite cadres went on a hospitality offensive. An additional four hours' trek into the dense mountain jungle ended at one of their many camps situated on a high plateau where we were welcomed as their "honored guests". Ploughed fields and a vegetable garden were tended by a tribal family living on site, who welcomed our group with a mashed corn drink served in hollow gourds. Their faces bore none of the resignation common to the displaced I had met in the roadside camps.

India: Point of No Return

If our reception by the village militia the previous night was less than warm, the next morning was chilling. Already, Chandan, Arvind and I had been told that while we'd come by choice, there was no guarantee they would arrange a meeting with the guerillas. And either way, leaving was not up to us. So we really fell on the side of prisoners rather than guests, though no one wanted to acknowledge this openly.

India's Killer Buses

New Delhi -- In a dusty alley on the outskirts of this capital city, a group of 30 women stare at the ground in plaintive silence and form a circle around Omwati Kishore, who waits for her husband to return with the cremated remains of their youngest son.