Andrew North

Andrew North South Asia correspondent

Come here for my latest thoughts and reflections on India and the rest of South Asia

Siachen dispute: India and Pakistan’s glacial fight

12 April 2014
Indian soldiers are seen at the Forward Logistics Base.
Indian troops on the Siachen - the world's first "oropolitical" conflict

On 13 April 1984, Indian troops snatched control of the Siachen glacier in northern Kashmir, narrowly beating Pakistan. Thirty years later, the two sides remain locked in a stand-off, but the Indian army mountaineer who inspired the operation says his country must hang on whatever the cost.

Virtually hidden from public view, the world's highest conflict is moving into its fourth decade.

The struggle between India and Pakistan over the Siachen glacier has even spawned a new term: "oropolitics", or mountaineering with a political goal.

The word is derived from the Greek for mountain, and Indian army colonel Narendra Kumar can justly claim to be the modern father of oropolitics because his pioneering explorations paved the way for India to take the glacier in early 1984.

But what started as a battle with crampons and climbing rope has turned into high-altitude trench warfare, with the two rival armies frozen - often literally - in pretty much the same positions as 30 years ago.

Shocking waste

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On the campaign with Rahul Gandhi

31 March 2014

"We've come to see the helicopter," said two friends matter-of-factly as they waited for Rahul Gandhi to arrive at a political rally in Ghaziabad, near Delhi, this weekend.

The atmosphere was a little flat, with the warm-up speakers struggling to provoke much return volume from a crowd that contained more than a few dozing heads.

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'Modi mania' at Delhi rally

27 March 2014
Modi supporters at Delhi rally, 26 March 2014

The man who may be India's next prime minister didn't live up to his reputation for punctuality, showing up more than an hour late for his first major rally in Delhi.

But the crowd wasn't bothered at all. "Modi mania" had already taken hold, expertly managed by his party workers in a now practised routine.

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Rishang Keishing: India's oldest MP calls it a day

10 March 2014

Rishang Keishing still remembers the first time he travelled to work as a newly elected MP in India's first parliament, in 1952.

He made the journey by bicycle, but as he crossed Delhi's busy Connaught Place, he was pulled over by the police.

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Hunting for India's deadliest man-eating tiger

26 February 2014

"Dasgupta can do what he likes. I'm not going into the bush on foot."

On the trail of India's deadliest man-eating tiger for years, nerves are on edge - and reputations too.

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Arvind Kejriwal: The politician with a hole in his sweater

25 February 2014

There it was: clean, white and defiant.

A circle of Arvind Kejriwal's shirt was poking from a hole in the middle of his rumpled sweater. And below, his bare feet were clad in well-worn sandals with a relaxed coating of dust.

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Delhi 1984: India's Congress party still struggling to escape the past

18 February 2014
Image of inside Trilokpuri gurdwara taken by the BBC's Andrew North
Santok Singh's gurdwara in Trilokpuri remains empty during his evening prayer session

Santok Singh's melancholy tones hang in the air as he reads from the Granth, the Sikh holy book.

But his gurdwara or temple is empty, even though his evening prayer session in the Delhi suburb of Trilokpuri is well underway.

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About Andrew

Andrew is the BBC's South Asia correspondent based in Delhi and covering India and its neighbours.

He has previously reported from Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon and the United States.

His BBC career started as a producer at the World Service, when only a select few had email and the word blog had yet to be invented.

Andrew's life in journalism began on his student newspaper while doing a geography degree at the University of London.

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