“COPD, wahi bimari jo bachon mein hoti hai [the illness which affects children],” is how a technical advisor to India’s union health ministry described chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in 2014. The statement represented how ill-prepared India is to tackle COPD, the second most common cause of death in the country after heart disease. Lack of awareness, diagnostic hurdles and air pollution are the main reasons why India is struggling to contain the COPD crisis, we find in our investigations.
Electoral bonds are “undemocratic as they have served to kill transparency in the name of donor anonymity”, S Y Quraishi, India’s former chief election commissioner, tells us in an interview. These bonds--95% of which have gone into the coffers of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)--have “legitimised crony capitalism”, he says. Quraishi adds that while the BJP idea of simultaneous elections for state assemblies and parliament is “attractive”, there are “constitutional and practical issues”.