Vivekananda Nemana

Vivekananda Nemana

PhD student at Princeton University. Previously a journalist in the Andhra heartland. Two-time winner of the Mumbai Press Club's RedInk Award. Former Merage Fellow. Writing a book on tribal youth and globalization in India. More at

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Hard News

Inside Andhra Pradesh’s underground world of cockfighting

In the deepest recesses of Andhra Pradesh lives an illegal syndicate, a secret society that trains hundreds of merciless, blade-wielding killers and sets them loose in bouts of mortal combat. On the famed cockfights of Sankranti.

GQ / May 2016 / Longform

Tollywood Dreams

A rural dancer’s journey to South India movie stardom, in true Andhra ishtyle. With fantastic photographs from Abhishek Bali.

GQ / April 2016 / Longform

On malaria, the government’s rhetoric must meet reality

This month, the Health Ministry will unveil an ambitious new plan to eliminate malaria from the country by 2030. A malaria-free India does sound like a dream, had the country's record on malaria been any reason for optimism. Ankita Rao and I opine why.

The Hindu / February 2016 / Features

Revealed: The malaria crisis India doesn’t want to acknowledge

Last year, the Indian government reported 500 deaths from malaria. The real number is closer to 50,000. Our epic, two-year investigation into the data manipulation, supply shortages, and enduring dysfunction behind India's hidden malaria disaster.

Al Jazeera America / January 2016 / Investigative

Indian PM faces disillusioned supporters on US visit

The same fluid appeal that drew vast crowds in support of Narendra Modi, India's most popular politician, is shaping up to be his biggest challenge in office: towering expectations that are often fundamentally at odds with each other.

Al Jazeera America / September 2015 / Features

Is India's Deadly Heat Wave Global Warming?

In one of the hottest cities in India, residents blame overcrowding, rapid urbanization, and pollution for record-breaking temperatures.

Foreign Policy / June 2015 / Features

Is Capital Fever Making Vijayawada Ill?

For decades Vijayawada has set its sights elsewhere. But the new capital here will be a different escape: an ultramodern, ultraexpensive Shangri-La. Is this model of development a fever dream? Winner of the 2016 RedInk Award for Politics.

Yahoo Originals / March 2015 / Longform

In India, Latrines Are Truly Lifesavers

India has a staggering sanitation problem, with over half the population defecating in the open. A headstrong tribal leader proves that change can happen -- but it'll take more than just building more toilets. Our report for the NYT Fixes column.

The New York Times / November 2014 / Features

Wall Posts

Lede piece in The Caravan on the brave, brilliant child reporters of Odisha.

The Caravan / November 2014 / Features

Do Patrons have Moustaches? Do Folk Musicians Have Names?

Beneath the full moon at the Rajasthan International Folk Festival in Jodhpur, anything can happen. We follow two stereotypes - a music lover from Bandra, a Rajasthani folk singer - and are left surprised.

Yahoo Originals / October 2014 / Longform

Boys Will Be Boys

'In India's largest state, a misogynistic family-run political dynasty wants to pretend a rape epidemic doesn't exist.' Our profile of Akhilesh Yadav, and how the Samajwadi Party enables rape culture in Uttar Pradesh.

Foreign Policy / August 2014 / Longform

How Haleem Got All Hot and Heavy in Hyderabad

Once a rare Iftar treat that you’d find only in the Old City, now it’s everywhere, sometimes in startling new avatars. A story of ghee, machismo and big money.

Yahoo! Originals / July 2014 / Longform

The Ballot and the Barrel

An obscure Indian law requires gun owners to surrender their weapons during election season. But India's gun lobby says it only encourages a spike in violence.

Foreign Policy / May 2014 / Features

Congress Party Faces Uncertain Prospects in State It Helped Create

Ever since Telangana become officially recognized as a state, politics in this heart-shaped region of India have been as muddled and dramatic as a soap opera, with failed alliances and accusations of broken promises and backstabbing between lawmakers.

India Ink - The New York Times / April 2014 / Features

Is India on the cusp of a gender revolution?

How grassroots movements and other acts of defiance are making small but significant impacts for women participating in India's deeply patriarchal political system

Al Jazeera / April 2014 / Features

The Great Escape

A #longread on how 984,000 people in 18,000 villages across Odisha were evacuated to safety as Cyclone Phailin lashed the coast. A story of courage and resilience and loss. Winner of the 2014 RedInk award for best human rights and environmental reporting.

Yahoo! Originals / November 2013 / Longform

A Fishing Community Recounts Evacuation Experience During Phailin

Villagers in Srikakulam remembered the raging winds and the foaming sea, and asking themselves whether Gangamma Thalli would really hurt them. The government was desperate to get them out but to a fisherman, evacuation is not an easy choice.

India Ink - The New York Times / October 2013 / Features

Hello, Hyderabad (or the saddest story I ever heard)

On my flight from Sharjah, I sat next to a woman who worked as a maid for an Emirati family. They stole her belongings and sent her back to India without warning, without even letting her say goodbye to her husband. My essay on what it felt to share a sea

Cityscapes / January 2013 / Longform

Obama's Win Closely Watched in India

I eat bacon and eggs and celebrate with other American expats at the U.S. Consulate's election-watching party in Hyderabad

India Ink - The New York Times / November 2012 / Features

India Pledges Millions for Global Biodiversity

During the Biodiversity conference, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh promises a groundbreaking, if modest, effort towards conserving the world's ecosystems and biodiversity.

India Ink - The New York Times / October 2012 / Features

For Retired Maoists, Regret and Isolation

Some surrendered Maoists in Andhra Pradesh reminisce about their days in the People's War, their mistakes, and the harassment they continue to suffer at the hands of the state.

India Ink - The New York Times / July 2012 / Features

Krugman & Company

The man himself wrote the column...I wrote the little histories in blue.

The New York Times Syndicate / August 2011 / Features / [Pdf , 240 KB]

The Price of Cocoa, Delivered to Your Phone

An initiative in Ghana is helping farmers get a fair deal by texting them the market prices of agricultural commodities.

Development Research Institute / November 2011 / Features

How the South Was Lost

The American South's legacy of slavery and racism not only violated the basic dignity and rights of black people -- it also kept the whole region poor.

Aid Watchers / April 2011 / Features

The Heretics

Will a group of iconoclast researchers ever change the way we think about the economy? My 10,000-word journalism thesis at NYU. Runner up for the 2011 SAJA Journalism Award.

Shoe Leather / June 2010 / Longform

Predict the Next War

New software allows practically anyone to try forecasting the future.

NYU Livewire / December 2009 / Longform

The Homeless Vote

Advocacy groups have registered thousands of homeless people to vote for the first time.

NYU Pavement Pieces / November 2008 / Features

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