Acharya Shri Bhikshu, the founder and first spiritual head of Śvētāmbara Terapanth

Jain Ascetics in a Material World

The Jain Śvētāmbara Terāpanth sect began as an ascetic discipline, but it has increasingly emphasized physical health over renunciation of the body.
A tricolor India flag flies on top of a vehicle on the backdrop of the Jama Masjid mosque on August 15, 2022 in New Delhi, India.

The Unique History of the Meo Tribes of Mewat

The Meos are singled out as cow slaughterers by vigilantes, but their heritage combines Hindu cultural practices—including raising cattle—with the Islamic faith.
Delhi Durbar of 1903

The Delhi Durbars

Elaborate demonstrations of British royal ceremony fused with Indian tradition, these assemblies were meant to assert political dominance over Indian subjects.
Prince of Wales, Edward VII with Sir Jung Bahadoor shooting a tiger during a hunting expedition in India,1876

Resisting British Hunters in India

In nineteenth-century India, many locals stood up against British hunting—sometimes at the cost of their own lives—as a means of cultural conservation.
Didarganj Yakshi

The Didarganj Figurine: A Yakshi or a Ganika?

Could we be wrong about the identity of this celebrated stone sculpture from ancient India?
Akkai Padmashali, a prominent transgender activist holds a placard during a protest against violence in the northeastern Indian state of Manipur, on July 21, 2023 in Bengaluru, India.

Identity and Violence in Manipur, India

A history of political and economic mismanagement, paired with armed militancy based in ethnic identity, helps explain the protracted violence in the region.
Ismat Chughtai

Ismat Chughtai’s Quilt and Queer Desire

Long before India decriminalized homosexuality—in September 2018—the short story "Lihaaf" sparked outrage and a lawsuit for its depiction of same-sex, intergenerational intimacy.
Sikh women worshippers c. 1950

Women, Partition, and Violence

The 1947 partition of India and creation of Pakistan came with a hefty price—especially for the subcontinent’s women.
A 19th century Kalighat painting from Calcutta, India

How Bengal’s Nineteenth-Century Art Defined Women

Women’s roles as icons ranged from being seductive and erotic to mythical and religious as they imparted social, political, and ethical values.
The noble Ikhlas Khan with a petition, c. 1650

The Habshi Dynasty of India

Amongst the hundreds of minorities within the Subcontinent, Black Indians of African origin stand out.