India Research Resources

There are some fine online news and analysis resources that may prove very useful for you as you research your stories and India in general. Please do check them out – and use their web based search facilities to look for articles and stories that may help give you ideas and insights:

  • Tehelka Probably one of the best independent investigative journalism magazines/websites anywhere in South Asia if not the rest of the world. Staffed by some amazing writers and investigative journalists, Tehelka is famous for taking on the powerful and the wealthy with little or no concern for its consequences.
  • Countercurrents This is an Indian alternative news and analysis site that invites writers from around the globe to discuss issues of national and international important. You will in particular find their sections on ‘Communalism’, ‘Dalit’, and ‘Human Rights’ particularly interesting.
  • Outlook India An English weekly news magazine worth reading – fairly populist, it does however cover the width and breath of issues Indian.
  • Frontline India Another excellent Indian news magazine, but with a more analytical, rigorous approach to its subjects.

Browse them at your convenience. Research your stories on them as well. I think you will find a lot of articles and discussions related to the subjects you will be exploring in Ajmer.


John Steinbeck’s 10 Minute Lesson In Photography

At the start of my photography workshops, I offer the students 2 options.

The first is a sheet of paper in an envelope that they are invited to take home at that very moment, with a full refund of their workshop fee, and trust that what I have written on the enclosed sheet of paper is the only photography lesson they will ever need.

The second of course is that they remain the entire lenght of the 7 days workshop, their fees in my pocket, and walk out of here with the foundations of knowledge and inspirations that can help them continue their path towards becoming real photographers.

No one has ever taken the envelop! Details »

New Possibilities For Overcoming Boredom

These are pivotal times for photographers and documentarians. Many of the conventions of the craft are being questioned by a new generation of artists and story tellers. With the internet liberating many photographers from the conventional ‘gatekeepers’ – editors, gallery curators, publishers and other voices of ‘authority’, a new generation is going out and producing deeply engaging and complex bodies of work. Details »

The Allure of Ajmer: On Saints And Empire Building

As soon as that holy man of virtue departed from Delhi to other worlds, the country, in general, and the city in particular, fell into a turmoil and were subjected to ruin and destruction

The man in question is Delhi’s most famous Sufi saint Nizam al-Din Auliya of the famous Nizamuddin Auliya shrine located in the old city of Delhi. The ruin and destruction refered to here by the Bahmani poet Isami is the collapse of the Tughluq empire. Details »

The Workshop Schedule

Sara and I went over this a few times, but we finally arrived at a proposed schedule for our workshop.

Please note in particular the dates for submissions and review of story ideas:

Preparation Work & Deadlines

  • Story l/ideas must be sent to Sara and Asim by June 15th
  • Story review/comments from Sara and Asim by June 30th
  • Story revisions due to Sara and Asim by July 10th
  • Stories approved by July 15th Details »

World Press Photo And The Numbness of Repetition: Stephen Mayes Speaks

Stephen Mayes, World Press Photo Secretary for six years, gave a widely noted keynote address at this year’s event in Amsterdam. In what can only be described as a strange coincidence, he echoed sentiments I had written about back in the summer of 2008 that photojournalism today has become repetitive and conventional.  Details »

The Dust From Blood Filled Eyes: On Bangladesh and Acknowledgment of Crimes

Chapter 9 of Totten, Parsons & Charny’s book Century of Genocide is dedicated to Bangladesh.

But my earliest realization of the horrors that had been inflicted on the people of Bangladesh (then East Pakistan) in 1971 came through two poems by Faiz Ahmed Faiz. Details »

A Kinda/Sorta Conversation With Magnum’s Peter Marlow

No I have actually never had a conversation with the great Peter Marlow. I have never even met him. But he wrote a blog post back in 2007 to which I responded with some comments.

I am posting these comments here now because I realize that these comments, made back in July 2007, contain within them the seeds for what eventually has become my ‘The Idea of India’ project I am currently working on. It surprises me to see the continuity of thought that I was able to sustain – something I can’t claim I have ever achieved before – and that eventually, nearly 12 months later was expressed as this new project. Details »

Creating Tempests In Tea Cups Or What Else Can A Photo Editor Do!

Taliban tactician holding a rifle that is not his - photo by Zackary Canepari - published and retracted by The New York Times

Taliban tactician holding a rifle that is not his – photo by Zackary Canepari – published and retracted by The New York Times

The picture above has led to the end of a talented photographer’s career at the New York Times. It should have led to the end of the careers of the editors instead. but alas. Details »

Blood Is Not Thicker Than Water: On The Death Of My Friend Raza Khan

A Raza Khan photograph - Peshawar 2008 while on assignment for Stern Magazine. As he dropped me off on this corner and drove off to run a quick errand, he shouted back 'Asim, now don't wander where I can't find you. ok? I will be back and then we can do other things!'. I did not wander.

Raza was my rock.  He was my eyes and ears on the dangerous Pakistani frontier with Afghanistan. He was the only person in Pakistan I trusted with my life and I repeatedly placed it in his hands. He never ever let me down. Details »