M.S. Swaminathan lives on in farmers’ hearts

Dr. M.S. Swaminathan, 1925-2023, was India's foremost agricultural scientist. His contribution extended to agri research, policy and planning where he proposed that we measure growth in agriculture in terms of growth of farmers’ income and not merely increased output

October 3, 2023 | P. Sainath
In Puruliya: songs of love and freedom
and • Puruliya, West Bengal

In Puruliya: songs of love and freedom

Folk songs acquired a new meaning during the freedom struggle as the drum-beating messengers and singers also spread the message of rebellion against British rule

August 17, 2023 | P. Sainath

'Must I choose between Gandhi and Ambedkar?'

On August 15, 2023, PARI brings you the story of Shobharam Gehervar who was shot by the British and wounded during the Independence struggle. The 98-year-old is the last Dalit freedom fighter from Rajasthan, a self-declared Gandhian, a staunch admirer of Dr. Ambedkar and part of the revolutionary underground. An excerpt from P. Sainath's, 'The Last Heroes, Footsoldiers of India's Freedom' published by Penguin in 2022

August 15, 2023 | P. Sainath

Beware of contractors bearing gifts
, and • Gumla, Jharkhand

Beware of contractors bearing gifts

Teresa Lakra of Tetra village in Jharkhand’s Gumla district, learns the hard way what happens when the sarpanch of a small gram panchayat acts against the wishes of the powerful

July 10, 2023 | P. Sainath

Vidarbha: No rains, but ‘snow’ and water parks

The gist of this story published in 2005 was carried in Class 11 textbooks for years. In its latest round of rubbing out reality, the NCERT deleted the piece in the 'rationalised' text for 2023-2024. Oddly, the Fun & Food village survives in reality

April 11, 2023 | P. Sainath

The well that Thelu Mahato built
• Puruliya, West Bengal

The well that Thelu Mahato built

One of the last fighters from that fast vanishing generation of those who fought for India’s freedom passed away on April 6, 2023 at his home in Puruliya district, West Bengal

April 10, 2023 | P. Sainath

Unity in heterogeneity, delight in diversity

A team of PARI translators celebrates International Translation Day by diving into the diverse world that we inhabit through and beyond our languages

September 30, 2022 | P. Sainath

When Bhabani Mahato fed the revolution

Bhabani Mahato strongly disavows any role in the freedom struggle. But on learning her story at her home in West Bengal's Puruliya district, we conclude otherwise and marvel at her sacrifice for the struggle

April 18, 2022 | P. Sainath

A moment in history dies with Captain Bhau

'We fought for two things, Independence and Freedom – we achieved Independence'

February 17, 2022 | P. Sainath

Patriotic paradox: desi versus foreign liquor

An official announcement that the ‘intake’ of Indian Made Foreign Liquor went up 23 per cent in Madhya Pradesh in the last decade sparks memories of an intriguing drive through Surguja district in 1994

January 3, 2022 | P. Sainath

Open letter to the Chief Justice of India

The CJI rightly observes that investigative journalism is vanishing in India. But doesn’t the judiciary need to confront the reality that press freedom is at its lowest ebb in independent India’s history?

December 23, 2021 | P. Sainath

Farmers win on many fronts, media fails on all

The repeal of the three farm laws came about not because the PM failed to ‘persuade’ some farmers, but because many farmers stood resolute, even as a craven media devalued their struggle and strength

November 20, 2021 | P. Sainath

Chased by development in Chikapar

Little Chikapar in Koraput, Odisha, was probably the only village in the world to have taken on the Army, Air Force and Navy – and lost

November 18, 2021 | P. Sainath

Nahakul Pando’s official loan ceiling

The 1990s saw a lot of ‘schemes’ aimed at poverty alleviation and carried out mindlessly. Like this one in Chhattisgarh’s Surguja district that cost Nahakul Pando his roof

November 3, 2021 | P. Sainath

High risk on the high seas, with low rewards

Out on a two-night trip with fishermen off the coast of Ramnad district in Tamil Nadu, who toil, as they put it, 'to make someone else a millionaire'

October 26, 2021 | P. Sainath

When push came to shove on Kishanji’s cart

Small pushcart vendors everywhere, like this one in Moradabad, get shoved around by bigger vehicles

October 4, 2021 | P. Sainath

Every Indian language is your language

Today, September 30, is International Translation Day. The People’s Archive of Rural India publishes in 13 languages – that is, in more than any other journalism website

September 30, 2021 | P. Sainath

Hausabai Patil: her heroism passes into history

The 95-year-old firebrand freedom fighter was with the revolutionary underground in Satara that attacked British establishments in 1943-46. She remained a champion of justice for the poor until the end

September 24, 2021 | P. Sainath

Haat to haat in Malkangiri
• Malkangiri, Odisha

Haat to haat in Malkangiri

Adivasis in Odisha’s Malkangiri district depend on the haat or rural market to sell what they produce. A few times, though, they might not reach there

August 19, 2021 | P. Sainath

Bhagat Singh Jhuggian’s fight for our freedoms

One of India’s last living freedom fighters, Bhagat Singh Jhuggian of Punjab’s Hoshiarpur district, didn’t stop at battling the British Raj. To this day, he still fights for farmers and workers – at age 93

August 15, 2021 | P. Sainath

‘But I have an ishtereo, sir’

Many countryside lorry drivers, like the one steering this vehicle in Koraput, act as freelance cabbies when the malik is not looking

August 5, 2021 | P. Sainath

UP panchayats: teacher death toll hits 1,621

Why was the UP government okay with holding the panchayat polls in April, which have now unleashed a catastrophe that keeps growing? PARI brings you an update

May 18, 2021 | P. Sainath

It's been A Hard Day's Night
• Gondia, Maharashtra

It's been A Hard Day's Night

Hundreds of women in eastern Maharashtra's Gondia district travel from small towns to nearby villages to earn a daily wage. This is a much less studied form of migration – urban to rural

May 1, 2021 | P. Sainath

We mourn his passing, but celebrate his life – Ganpati Bal Yadav (1920-2021)

The 101-year-old was one of India’s last living freedom fighters. He was a courier for the 1943 revolutionary underground in the Toofan Sena in Sangli district. He also daily rode a cycle till his last months

April 20, 2021 | P. Sainath

Forbes, India and Pandora’s Pandemic Box

In a year GDP contracted 7.7 per cent, and as we brace for another round of ‘reverse’ migrations, and as the farmers wait unheeded at the gates of Delhi, Indian billionaires reached record levels of wealth

April 16, 2021 | P. Sainath

Rich farmers, global plots, local stupidity

With attempts to disperse the protesting farmers at Delhi’s gates failing, theories abound of international conspiracies that justify local repression. Will these acquire extra-terrestrial dimensions next?

February 6, 2021 | P. Sainath

And you thought it’s only about farmers?

The new farm laws disable the right to legal recourse of all citizens, not just farmers – to an extent unseen since the 1975-77 Emergency. The farmers at Delhi’s gates are fighting for the rights of us all

December 10, 2020 | P. Sainath

‘We didn’t bleed him enough’

A major problem in this Covid crisis is not about how soon we can return to normal. For hundreds of millions of poor Indians, the ‘normal’ was the problem. And the new normal is often the old normal on steroids

August 10, 2020 | P. Sainath

Sankariah: nine decades a revolutionary

N. Sankariah is one of India’s last living freedom fighters. Speaking to PARI in Chennai, he tells us the astonishing story of his struggles against the British Raj – in public, in prison and underground

July 15, 2020 | P. Sainath

The migrant and the moral economy of the elite

The lockdown has revealed the brutality of India's chronic disregard for the rights of migrant labourers – millions who don't need our passing concern, but full justice, says this article, first published in India Today

June 8, 2020 | P. Sainath

What we should do about Covid-19

The government’s ‘package’ responding to the crisis is a blend of callousness and cluelessness

March 27, 2020 | P. Sainath

The great Indian straw trick
• Krishna, Andhra Pradesh

The great Indian straw trick

In journeys along rural Indian roads, you sometimes run into the delightfully bizarre

March 19, 2020 | P. Sainath

P. Sainath is Founder Editor, People's Archive of Rural India. He has been a rural reporter for decades and is the author of 'Everybody Loves a Good Drought' and 'The Last Heroes: Foot Soldiers of Indian Freedom'.

Other stories by P. Sainath