Julie McCarthy

The five men accused in the rape case that has reverberated around the world were brought before a New Delhi magistrate for the first time today — but only after she sealed the proceedings.

In India today, the public prosecutor formally charged five men with murder and rape in the case of a 23-year-old student whose December assault and death has united the country in anger and sorrow.



In India, protestors are vowing to keep up their fight until there is justice for the young victim of a gang rape. The young woman died this weekend after injuries she suffered in the vicious attack. The incident has renewed demands for action against sexual violence. Delhi police say the accused will be formally charged with murder. From New Delhi, here's NPR's Julie McCarthy.

By Saturday evening, more than 1,000 candles glowed at a somber scene in a central Delhi park as India mourned the death of the young woman whose gang rape two weeks ago shocked the country.

What began 13 days ago with a handful of well-wishers holding a hospital vigil for the rape victim swelled into thousands as a young generation of Indians demanded an end to the culture of violence that produced more than 24,000 cases of rape last year alone.

India, the birthplace of Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism, marks the birth of Jesus with a national holiday.

Indians call Christmas bara din, or the Big Day.

Chef Bhakshish Dean, a Punjabi Christian, traces the roots of Christianity in India through food.

The gang rape of a young woman on a bus in Delhi has touched off outrage and soul-searching in the increasingly unsafe Indian capital.

Spontaneous protests have erupted, while anguished members of Parliament decried the attack.

The world mourned the death this week of Indian maestro Ravi Shankar, whose name became synonymous with the sitar. Tributes eulogized Shankar as the great connector of the East and West who'd hobnobbed with The Beatles and collaborated with violin virtuoso Yehudi Menuhin. Less has been said about the roots of the music he spent a lifetime perfecting and innovating.

(Reporting from New Delhi, NPR's Julie McCarthy sends along an update on a story that aired on Morning Edition Wednesday. Essentially, Indians were considering whether to allow big-box stores like Wal-Mart into the country.)

It looks like the case in India against two young female Facebook users has been dropped. But the debate over free speech in India is still heating up.

As we've reported, two young women were arrested last week for a Facebook comment that criticized the shutdown of the city of Mumbai for the cremation of a controversial political leader.

Shaheen Dhada is an unlikely looking protagonist in the battle under way in India to protect free speech from government restrictions in the new media age.

Slight and soft-spoken, Dhada perches on the edge of her bed in a purple-walled room that has been her own for the past 20 years. Outside, police officers are posted for her protection in the town of Palghar, 2 1/2 hours outside Mumbai.

Mohammad Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving gunman from the three-day attack on Mumbai in November 2008 that killed more than 160 people, has been hanged in India.

NPR's Julie McCarthy reports from New Delhi that the execution took place in secret inside a high-security jail in the Indian city of Pune, just days before the anniversary of the Mumbai siege:

All this week, we've been examining the world's last remaining pockets of polio, a disease for which there is no cure. India marked a milestone when the World Health Organization struck it from the list of polio-endemic countries in February after no new cases were reported for more than a year. From Delhi, NPR's Julie McCarthy reports on how, despite poverty and poor sanitation, the world's second-most populous country is eradicating the disease.

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NPR's business news starts with a passage to India.


Can tigers and tourists coexist? The debate is rumbling through India, where the Supreme Court has temporarily banned tourism in core areas of the country's 41 tiger reserves. The unexpected and controversial ruling is aimed at protecting the last of India's 1,700 tigers.

Up until the late 1960s, big game hunters trod the forests of Rajasthan's Ranthambore National Park, part of a sprawling tiger reserve southwest of Delhi. Under the court's recent ban, spotting one of India's big cats — a tiger or the more elusive leopard — inside the park is forbidden.



It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.


And I'm David Greene. Good morning.

The blackout that recently disrupted electricity across northern India is said to have affected more people than any previous power outage ever. It covered an area that's home to some 670 million people; that would be roughly 10 percent of the world's population. Still, large numbers of Indians living in the blackout zone barely noticed it happened. From New Delhi, NPR's Julie McCarthy explains.