Nishita Jha

Nishita Jha

New India Foundation Fellow and freelance journalist

The Toxic Masculinity of Salman Khan

50-year-old Salman, arguably the most popular of the three ageing Khans, has spent nearly 28 years playing slightly altered versions of the same person – an easily angered, brooding, sensitive man child tormented by the intensity of his likes and dislikes

The Wire / June 2016

Policing by the Women, For the Women, Of the Women.

By the time the boys saw the white gypsy, with the words Nirbhaya Patrol emblazoned on its side, it was already too late. “Slap him,” Sub Inspector Namita Sahu ordered the boy with spiky hair. The group of dishevelled teens blinked at her, catatonic with

The Wire / May 2015

Deepa Malik: Para athletes like me aren't used to attention

When Malik and I first met four years ago, she was training to participate in a different event from the shot put that won her a medal at Rio this year – the javelin throw. Since then, she has been biding her time, quietly practising how to become a champ / September 2016

Using Technology Against Sexual Assault

The videos were of low quality: grainy, shaky, shot by an excited hand trying to hold a cellphone steady. Forwarded and shared over and over again until they appeared on the evening news, the images answered a question that had been hanging in the air sin

Women in the World / NYT Live / April 2015

When Rohtak's Women Retaliate (Part 2)

In December, Pooja and Aarti Kumar became the first complainants of a sexual harassment case in the country to be subjected to a lie detector test. / March 2015

When Rohtak's Women Retaliate (Part 1)

"Why do we always ask have to ask our sons to protect daughters?” 82-year-old Sarita asked me. “Ladkiyan bhi toh gussewaali ho sakti hai. Our daughters can get angry too." / December 2014

Exit Wounds

The injuries show that two unarmed boys were shot at close range, by guns most frequently carried by inspectors and head constables of the Delhi Police. This undermines the narrative that Muslim men had shot Hindu boys. / November 2014

The Exodus from Trilokpuri

The women are leaving, and Sultana Begum says, they are always the first ones to leave. “Why didn’t you go then?” I asked her. She said, “Somebody needs to look after those who have nowhere to go.” / November 2014

The Riot in the Neighbourhood

"Caged and uneasy, hundreds of chickens sat huddled in Trilokpuri’s abandoned butcher shops on Sunday." / October 2014

The Site of a Spectacle

"As the day grew warmer, things were starting to look up. Katara received its first helipad (freshly built and paid for, on a farmer's languishing mint crop), and then witnessed the glorious sight of Dalit leader Mayawati alighting from her chopper." / June 2014

2014 Election Campaign - The LGBTQ Vote

Three political parties say they support LGBTQ rights, leaving the community with the obvious choice – to not vote for the one that opposes them. / March 2014

Closet Space

India’s archaic sex laws have the LGBT community more determined than ever to stake claim to their identity. But what about those who just aren’t ready to be out yet? (Part 1)

Elle / February 2014 / [Pdf , 51.2 KB]

Closet Space

India’s archaic sex laws have the LGBT community more determined than ever to stake claim to their identity. But what about those who just aren’t ready to be out yet? (Part 2)

Elle / February 2014 / [Pdf , 48.2 KB]

The Age of Innocence

Op-ed on the official age of consent in India, winner of the 2012-2013 Laadli-Population First Award

Tehelka / May 2012 / [Pdf , 182 KB]

To Serve and Protect

"Libra 77 is screaming down the highway at 85 kilometres per hour. The night is warm and sticky, and the wrath of god has just felled a temple priest in Sultanpuri." Dispatches from Delhi's PCR vans.

Tehelka / September 2013

The Panopticon

Does CCTV surveillance keep us safe?

Tehelka / November 2013

The Girl They Lost to the Front Page

"Unfortunately, the only member of the house who would have understood this English word, ‘encounter’, was lying dead in the photograph in the strange woman’s hand." The story of Ishrat Jahan's family, nine years after her death.

Tehelka / July 2013

The Skin They Wear

“Just like businessmen kill rivals, jilted lovers maim,” offers Dr Sunil Keswani, taking off his scrubs. Over the past 30 years, he has helped set up four skin banks in the country — two in Mumbai, one in Indore and another in Pune. "

Tehelka / November 2013

The Sins of the Son

Heart of gold, feet of clay: the story of 'Sanju Baba' and the Dutt family.

Tehelka / April 2013

Will the Real Homi Please Stand Up?

“I knew that if my back was against the wall, I could make enough to survive. That freed me.” - Being Homi Adajania

Tehelka / August 2012

Mrs Khan Can

An audience with Kareena Kapoor Khan

Tehelka / November 2012

The Mummification of Madhuri

Hanging out on the Jhalak Dikhla Jaa sets is a refresher course of the Madhuri Dixit charm. And a jolting reminder that television can make even a golden girl anodyne.

Tehelka / February 2012

To Brand a Thief

How does a criminal reinvent himself when pop culture won’t accept him as anything else? The travails of Bunty Superchor.

Tehelka / October 2010

The Honey Trap

He’s got the cars, the women and the money, but Honey Singh might just be an old-school misogynist peddling new beats.

Tehelka / October 2012

As She Lay Dying

"The gathering, which had begun with two elephants, an old couple and three mahouts, had now swelled to hundreds. Even at this moment devoid of all dignity, Bijli, with her sheer heft, had consumed the crowd’s imagination."

Tehelka / August 2013

The Mythbusters of Mohali

In the grip of stultifying superstition, Punjab needs these fearless five to conjure forth an age of reason.

Tehelka / April 2012

Sets, Lies and Homework

Four of television’s top stars are under 15 and make as much as Rs 40,000 a day. A glimpse into their surreal lives.

Tehelka / May 2011

Love to Bait You

Sulky, insecure, humourless. Bollywood stars fail to impress their ‘haters’.

Tehelka / January 2012

Rack and Reel

The reality television track is playing on loop. What do we gain from the pains of constant confession?

Tehelka / April 2012

Growing Up With Roadies

After eight years, Roadies is a totally different beast from the simple adventure show it once was. Is its current avatar ‘badass’ or just bad?

Tehelka / July 2011

Good Golly, Miss Dolly

From fighting over kitchen knives to hurling abuse, she kept us riveted to the reality show Bigg Boss. Unravelling the phenomenon that is Dolly Bindra

Tehelka / December 2010

Hear Him Roar

In the ‘mitti’ of the Chhatrasal Stadium, Virender Singh’s muscular body speaks a language of its own. He has the balletic grace of a predator on the hunt. It is difficult to imagine this man anywhere else, especially as a clerk in the corridors of the Ha

Tehelka / September 2013

This is Ability

Sharath Gayakwad - India's First Swimmer at the 2012 Paralympics

Tehelka / June 2012

Throwing for Gold

Shortly after a speeding truck hit his car, Amit Kumar Saroha remembers lying under the night sky. (Paralympics 2)

Tehelka / June 2012

Raising the Bar

Sharad Kumar's batchmates felt their girlfriends paid Sharad a little too much attention. (Paralympics 3)

Tehelka / June 2012

Head and Shoulders Above

Paralysed from the waist down, Deepa Malik went on to set records for biking and swimming. Now she wants to drive her point home with a javelin at the 2012 Paralympics. (Part 4)

Tehelka / July 2012

The Heavy Lifter

When I contracted polio at the age of two, my mother would tell me, ‘This is Allah’s way of testing our faith. We must not disappoint him.’” (Paralympics 5)

Tehelka / August 2012

Red Tape Trips Medal Hopes

When top officials of the Paralympics Committee vacationed in London, at the expense of Paralympians geared for the defining event of their lives.

Tehelka / September 2012

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