Sonia Sarkar

Sonia Sarkar

Sonia Sarkar is a journalist based in India for the past 17 years. She writes on human lives, conflict, religion, politics, health and gender rights from South and Southeast Asia. Her work has appeared in a range of international publications including Al Jazeera, British Medical Journal, Ozy.com and Nikkei Asian Review. She loves to travel and considers the world as her "beat."

Show more

Latest from Sonia Sarkar

Were Bollywood actresses targeted by Indian police and media in drugs probe?

Rhea Chakraborty has been dubbed a ‘murderer’ for her alleged involvement in boyfriend’s Sushant Singh Rajput’s suicide, while other Bollywood actresses are being investigated for drug ties.

12 Oct 2020 - 10:41PM

Rhea Chakraborty has been dubbed a ‘murderer’ for her alleged involvement in boyfriend’s Sushant Singh Rajput’s suicide, while other Bollywood actresses are being investigated for drug ties.

Were Bollywood actresses targeted by Indian police and media in drugs probe?
India’s Dalits rally for justice online after brutal gang rape, decrying caste-based violence

India’s sexual violence crime rate makes it one of the world’s most dangerous places for women and lower-caste females are doubly disadvantaged.

3 Oct 2020 - 9:12PM

India’s sexual violence crime rate makes it one of the world’s most dangerous places for women and lower-caste females are doubly disadvantaged.

India’s Dalits rally for justice online after brutal gang rape, decrying caste-based violence
US election: In Texas, Sufi music and Netflix celebrities part of move to get South Asians to vote

Kamala Harris’ bid for vice-president has energised South Asian-American voters, and at least four from the community are running for county, state and federal office in the Lone Star State this year.

16 Sep 2020 - 1:41PM

Kamala Harris’ bid for vice-president has energised South Asian-American voters, and at least four from the community are running for county, state and federal office in the Lone Star State this year.

US election: In Texas, Sufi music and Netflix celebrities part of move to get South Asians to vote
Indian expats tell of struggle to return to Australia, Hong Kong and Kuwait amid Covid-19

With 17.5 million Indians living abroad, thousands who returned to India for leisure or business ahead of the Modi government’s lockdown have ended up struggling to return to Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and Kuwait.

24 Aug 2020 - 3:48PM

With 17.5 million Indians living abroad, thousands who returned to India for leisure or business ahead of the Modi government’s lockdown have ended up struggling to return to Australia, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and Kuwait.

Indian expats tell of struggle to return to Australia, Hong Kong and Kuwait amid Covid-19
India’s Independence Day highlights rift between ‘Howdy Modi’ supporters and critics in US

A flag will be raised in Times Square on Indian Independence Day, but not all of India’s diaspora in the US supports Narendra Modi’s BJP government.

15 Aug 2020 - 3:57AM

A flag will be raised in Times Square on Indian Independence Day, but not all of India’s diaspora in the US supports Narendra Modi’s BJP government.

India’s Independence Day highlights rift between ‘Howdy Modi’ supporters and critics in US
India’s Amit Shah has Covid-19 – and little sympathy from social media

Netizens have asked why the home affairs minister went to a private hospital for treatment instead of trying home remedies recommended by BJP politicians – including drinking cow urine and chanting hymns.

3 Aug 2020 - 10:07PM

Netizens have asked why the home affairs minister went to a private hospital for treatment instead of trying home remedies recommended by BJP politicians – including drinking cow urine and chanting hymns.

India’s Amit Shah has Covid-19 – and little sympathy from social media
New Netflix hit ‘Indian Matchmaking’ isn’t a hit with Indian matchmakers

Some say the show promotes false perceptions and focuses too much on orthodox views, though for others it holds a mirror up to the ugly side of arranged marriage.

7 Aug 2020 - 1:26PM

Some say the show promotes false perceptions and focuses too much on orthodox views, though for others it holds a mirror up to the ugly side of arranged marriage.

New Netflix hit ‘Indian Matchmaking’ isn’t a hit with Indian matchmakers
#JusticeforWaziran: killing of Pakistani woman after ‘watta satta’ marriage deal goes awry sparks anger

Waziran Chhachhar was allegedly killed in a ‘watta satta’ bride bartering agreement gone wrong, sparking outrage on social media.

16 Jul 2020 - 10:04PM

Waziran Chhachhar was allegedly killed in a ‘watta satta’ bride bartering agreement gone wrong, sparking outrage on social media.

#JusticeforWaziran: killing of Pakistani woman after ‘watta satta’ marriage deal goes awry sparks anger
Nepal’s start-up scene is thriving, but China and India have yet to notice

Some 350 start-ups have sprung up since 2015, the year a deadly earthquake and a blockade imposed by India nearly ruined Nepal’s economy.

5 Jul 2020 - 8:58PM

Some 350 start-ups have sprung up since 2015, the year a deadly earthquake and a blockade imposed by India nearly ruined Nepal’s economy.

Nepal’s start-up scene is thriving, but China and India have yet to notice
Food bombs, poison, steel-jaw traps: India’s farmer-wildlife war

The death of a pregnant elephant that bit a pineapple stuffed with firecrackers has shone a spotlight on the violent methods some farmers in India use to protect their crops.

14 Jun 2020 - 9:51PM

The death of a pregnant elephant that bit a pineapple stuffed with firecrackers has shone a spotlight on the violent methods some farmers in India use to protect their crops.

Food bombs, poison, steel-jaw traps: India’s farmer-wildlife war
Coronavirus survivors: aged 93, this Indian man did everything with his wife. Including getting Covid-19

‘I was not scared to die but I was scared to leave my wife alone,’ says Thomas Abraham, thought to be the oldest coronavirus survivor in India.

21 May 2020 - 11:30AM

‘I was not scared to die but I was scared to leave my wife alone,’ says Thomas Abraham, thought to be the oldest coronavirus survivor in India.

Coronavirus survivors: aged 93, this Indian man did everything with his wife. Including getting Covid-19
Arab netizens fire back as Indians step up anti-Muslim rhetoric on Covid-19

Discriminatory comments against Muslims, fuelled by the narrative that they are spreading Covid-19, have sparked anger. Some 8.9 million Indians work in Gulf countries and even a member of the UAE royal family has warned expats to watch their words.

22 Apr 2020 - 10:39PM

Discriminatory comments against Muslims, fuelled by the narrative that they are spreading Covid-19, have sparked anger. Some 8.9 million Indians work in Gulf countries and even a member of the UAE royal family has warned expats to watch their words.

Arab netizens fire back as Indians step up anti-Muslim rhetoric on Covid-19
In India, Tablighi Jamaat says it is being targeted for coronavirus spread

Muslim missionary group’s New Delhi chief has been charged with culpable homicide for a religious event that fuelled a surge in cases.

18 Apr 2020 - 10:17PM

Muslim missionary group’s New Delhi chief has been charged with culpable homicide for a religious event that fuelled a surge in cases.

In India, Tablighi Jamaat says it is being targeted for coronavirus spread
Coronavirus outbreak at Muslim group Tablighi Jamaat in Delhi spurs Islamophobia in India

Online anger at a Muslim missionary group linked to a coronavirus outbreak in New Delhi has reinforced anti-Muslim rhetoric in India.

7 Apr 2020 - 11:52PM

Online anger at a Muslim missionary group linked to a coronavirus outbreak in New Delhi has reinforced anti-Muslim rhetoric in India.

Coronavirus outbreak at Muslim group Tablighi Jamaat in Delhi spurs Islamophobia in India
In India, doctors evicted over infection fears amid expected flood of coronavirus cases

As cases of Covid-19 infection tick rapidly higher in the world’s second-most populous country, those on the front line of the fight against the virus are being turfed out onto the street by fearful landlords.

7 Apr 2020 - 11:53PM

As cases of Covid-19 infection tick rapidly higher in the world’s second-most populous country, those on the front line of the fight against the virus are being turfed out onto the street by fearful landlords.

In India, doctors evicted over infection fears amid expected flood of coronavirus cases
Coronavirus quarantine in India: no tests, stained toilets and broken beds force some to flee

People taken into quarantine centres in India have complained of poor facilities and fears getting the Covid-19 illness, leading some to escape.

7 Apr 2020 - 11:54PM

People taken into quarantine centres in India have complained of poor facilities and fears getting the Covid-19 illness, leading some to escape.

Coronavirus quarantine in India: no tests, stained toilets and broken beds force some to flee
‘Kingdoms of women’: how modernity threatens Asia’s female-centric societies

Communities centred around women have existed for centuries in China, India and Indonesia, but an influx of tourists, technology and new ideas is rapidly changing their way of life.

8 Mar 2020 - 4:22PM

Communities centred around women have existed for centuries in China, India and Indonesia, but an influx of tourists, technology and new ideas is rapidly changing their way of life.

‘Kingdoms of women’: how modernity threatens Asia’s female-centric societies
Marginalised under Modi: how India’s minorities are starting to stand together

Attacks on minority Muslims, Christians, Sikhs and Buddhists have increased since Narendra Modi’s BJP government came to power.

23 Feb 2020 - 12:49PM

Attacks on minority Muslims, Christians, Sikhs and Buddhists have increased since Narendra Modi’s BJP government came to power.

Marginalised under Modi: how India’s minorities are starting to stand together
Women’s rights in Saudi Arabia: real change or cosmetic reforms?

True gender equality in the kingdom remains a long way off, with concerns including the male guardianship system and treatment of female rights activists.

31 Jan 2020 - 1:34PM

True gender equality in the kingdom remains a long way off, with concerns including the male guardianship system and treatment of female rights activists.

Women’s rights in Saudi Arabia: real change or cosmetic reforms?
Hindu American divide deepens as protests rage over India’s citizenship law

Indian Hindus living in the US cannot agree on Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Some see him as a dangerous, divisive force, whose ‘bigoted’ policies are tearing the country apart. Others call such criticism a betrayal and laud him as the protector of all Hindus.

24 Dec 2019 - 7:50PM

Indian Hindus living in the US cannot agree on Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Some see him as a dangerous, divisive force, whose ‘bigoted’ policies are tearing the country apart. Others call such criticism a betrayal and laud him as the protector of all Hindus.

Hindu American divide deepens as protests rage over India’s citizenship law
How Indian kids conquered the English dictionary and became world champions of spelling bees

The 1983 Scripps National Spelling Bee had six Indian competitors. This year, they made up nearly a third of all entrants and seven out of eight winners were South Asian.

10 Jun 2019 - 9:31PM

The 1983 Scripps National Spelling Bee had six Indian competitors. This year, they made up nearly a third of all entrants and seven out of eight winners were South Asian.

How Indian kids conquered the English dictionary and became world champions of spelling bees
Can Bollywood strongman Sunny Deol win Modi’s BJP votes along the Pakistan border?

Sunny Deol is known for portraying soldiers, spies and police officers, but now the 62-year-old is playing BJP politician in the sensitive northern Indian seat of Gurdaspur.

15 May 2019 - 10:37AM

Sunny Deol is known for portraying soldiers, spies and police officers, but now the 62-year-old is playing BJP politician in the sensitive northern Indian seat of Gurdaspur.

Can Bollywood strongman Sunny Deol win Modi’s BJP votes along the Pakistan border?