Danish Siddiqui / Reuters

My Kolkata Nightmare: Is There No Escape For Women Trapped In The 'Syndicate Raj'?

For two years, my mother and I have been living in hell. We've been subject to harassment, abuse and intimidation in our own home by a clearly criminal gang that calls itself a "syndicate". Its primary motive is real estate. As my mother holds a good portion of the land title through inheritance, the idea is to subject us to such terror that we flee. Syndicate gangs, like the mafia, have become an open, dirty "secret", a factor of life in West Bengal.
Hindustan Times via Getty Images

The Sand Mafia And The Tragedy Of The Commons

Illegal sand mining is prevalent nationwide, and with a spurt in housing and infrastructure projects it has become a greater scourge than ever, thriving beyond the ambit of formal economy and law and order. Sand is everywhere and so is the sand mafia. This all-pervasive illegal activity is the dark underbelly of our infrastructure corporates and building industry, posing a severe threat to the environment and claiming hundreds of lives.