Skye Arundhati Thomas

Skye Arundhati Thomas is co-editor of the White Review. She lives in Goa.

From The Blog
16 February 2024

The Bollywood actor Kangana Ranaut visited the Israeli embassy in Delhi at the end of October for a photo op. ‘Like we deserve a Bharat dedicated to Hindus, Jews also deserve one nation,’ she said. ‘As a Hindu nation we stand with Israel’s cause.’ The Israeli ambassador nodded, smiling, and the two held up a model of a fighter jet. The visit was part of the publicity run for the movie Tejas, in which Ranaut plays a daredevil pilot who volunteers for a mission to rescue a kidnapped Indian spy from ‘a Pakistani tribal area, the epicentre of terror’ (‘when in doubt,’ she tells herself, ‘think about the nation’).

From The Blog
10 July 2023

‘Please drop your snatched weapons here,’ says the sign on a public drop box in Imphal, the capital of Manipur. It’s illustrated with full-size images of assault rifles. In early May, sectarian violence escalated in the north-eastern Indian state. Groups of civilians seized more than four thousand weapons from police and paramilitary warehouses.

From The Blog
10 November 2022

There are more than three thousand glacial lakes in Pakistan. The Himalaya, Karakoram and Hindu Kush mountains that stretch from Afghanistan to China are host to 55,000 glaciers. It’s the largest freshwater reserve in the world outside the poles. It feeds the ten mightiest rivers in Asia, on whose banks more than two billion people work and live; they also power 250 hydroelectric plants. Thirty-three of Pakistan’s glacial lakes are at risk of releasing millions of cubic metres of water; sixteen flooded during this year’s heatwave, the overflow entering the Indus River basin. The worst, however, was yet to come.

From The Blog
29 July 2022

In May 2022 temperatures in Northern India hit 49°C. The Indian Meteorological Department declared it a ‘heat wave’ and in a heat wave, public infrastructure begins to fail: pavements buckle, railway tracks warp, and electrical grids are strained by increased use of air conditioning. Fires start in dry fields. Industrial plants require more water for their cooling systems, straining already reduced supplies. Crops are ravaged. A heat wave is also a national health emergency. At a wet-bulb temperature of 35°C – that is, the equivalent of 35°C and 100 per cent humidity – the human body can no longer cool itself by sweating. You overheat and die within hours. Throughout May, regions across India saw consistent wet-bulb temperatures between 25 and 33°C.

From The Blog
30 May 2022

Just before midnight on 22 December 1949, sixteen months after the Indian nation-state was formed, three Hindu fundamentalists sneaked into the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh. The men – an ascetic and his disciples – smuggled in a statue of the god Ram and placed it under the central dome of the mosque. They were members of the Hindu Mahasabha, the group that had assassinated Mahatma Gandhi the year before. The next morning, their allies stormed the mosque. They said the god had manifested himself at the site they believed to be his birthplace in a ‘divine exercise’.

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