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Akanksha Singh

Mumbai, India
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About Akanksha
I am a journalist, content writer, and editor based in Mumbai, India. 

I write about travel, culture, and social justice. My essays and journalism have appeared in BBC Culture, Bon Appétit, CNN, Explore Parts Unknown, HuffPost, The Independent, South China Morning Post, The Sydney Morning Herald, and more.
English Hindi
Feature Stories Content Writing Research
Politics Current Affairs Arts & Books

Stat of the day

04 Apr 2024  |  restofworld.org
Facebook's user base in the Asia-Pacific region has more than doubled since 2016, reaching 1.2 billion and accounting for over 40% of its monthly active users, despite contributing less than a quarter of its total revenue in 2020. Internet Explorer's global browser market share has dwindled to less than 0.5%, with Microsoft announcing its discontinuation, although an 'IE mode' will be available in Microsoft Edge until at least 2029. In Russia, fake Sputnik V vaccine certificates are being sold on Telegram for $25 as the country faces challenges in vaccinating its population. Douyin, the Chinese version of TikTok, has sold $3 billion worth of goods in the first half of 2022, with Chinese sellers using livestreaming as a key sales strategy and attending boot camps to better target Western consumers.

05 Apr 2023  |  CNN
Akanksha Singh, a journalist based in Mumbai, discusses the widespread protests in India against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), which fast-tracks citizenship for non-Muslim migrants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. She argues that the act is unconstitutional in India's secular democracy and is a threat to all Indian citizens, as it redefines Indian identity and suppresses dissent. Singh highlights the act's alignment with the Hindu nationalist agenda of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and connects it to other anti-Muslim measures. Despite government efforts to quell protests with curfews and internet shutdowns, Indians continue to demonstrate against the CAA, demanding government accountability and upholding the unity of the Indian people.

The new face of India’s dynastic elites: with brains, beauty and big hearts, the princesses of Mayurbhanj are not your regular royals

09 Jan 2020  |  scmp.com
Princesses Mrinalika and Akshita of Mayurbhanj, India, are redefining the role of modern royalty by engaging in philanthropy, promoting local art and culture, and running a sustainable boutique palace hotel. They have international educational backgrounds, with stints at the United World College of South East Asia and universities in the US as Davis scholars. Their entrepreneurial ventures in New York have equipped them with skills that they now apply to their directorial roles at the Belgadia Palace hotel, which emphasizes sustainable luxury. They are also national-level sportswomen and are involved in supporting local communities through the Mayurbhanj Foundation and their mother's NGO, Ek Prayaas.

#MeToo in India has moved beyond Bollywood to a broader conversation about the roots of sexual harassment

05 Nov 2019  |  scmp.com
The #MeToo movement in India has sparked complex discussions about sexual harassment, transcending Bollywood to address broader societal issues. Men's rights groups like Purush Aayog have raised concerns about false accusations, while women, especially those underprivileged or from lower castes, face challenges in seeking justice. The movement's compatibility with India's sociocultural reality is questioned, but it has initiated important conversations about patriarchy. Initiatives like the Bharatiya Janata Party's 'Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao' campaign are highlighted, and there's a sense that women in corporate India feel more empowered to report sexual misconduct. The ongoing discourse signals progress, according to writer Akanksha Singh.

05 Apr 2023  |  www.mumbrella.asia
The article is a tribute to Yasmin Ahmad, a renowned figure in the advertising industry, particularly known for her work as the executive creative director of Leo Burnett Malaysia. The author, Akanksha Singh, reflects on Ahmad's legacy, emphasizing her storytelling skills which were evident in her ads, especially those for Petronas, one of which won a Gold Lion at Cannes. The article discusses the importance of storytelling in advertising and the impact of Ahmad's work on the industry. It also touches on Ahmad's diverse background and the author's personal connection to her. The piece concludes with a quote attributed to Ahmad, highlighting the essence of creativity and observation.

03 Nov 2018  |  The Independent
The article discusses the rise of the Me Too movement in India, highlighting the shift in the country's social climate as women begin to speak out against sexual harassment and assault. It mentions the case of actor Tanushree Dutta, who accused co-star Nana Patekar of harassment, and the subsequent allegations against other prominent figures such as actor Alok Nath, politician MJ Akbar, and a former CEO of Taj Hotels. The article notes the increase in reported rape cases and other crimes against women in India, as well as the low representation of women in parliament. It also points out the significant impact of high-profile women sharing their experiences, which is leading to a cultural change and holding powerful men accountable for their actions. The article suggests that this is a positive step towards gender equality and a society that supports and believes women.

22 Oct 2018  |  Bon Appétit
The author recounts a personal experience of moving to Brisbane, Australia, from Montreal, Canada, and facing depression and financial strain. The narrative describes how the author's habit of ordering expensive delivery pizza contributed to both their emotional and financial downturn. Seeking therapy, they realized the need to cut back on expenses, leading to a moment of self-care through cooking. The act of making a simple penne in marinara sauce became a therapeutic experience, marking the beginning of their recovery. The story progresses as the author gains confidence, ventures out to shop for groceries, and finds joy in the prospect of cooking, symbolizing a significant step towards healing and personal growth.

02 Apr 2018  |  Roads & Kingdoms
The author recounts their experience in Gangtok, India, where they engage in a game of mahjong while enjoying the local hospitality and scenery. They describe the challenge of learning mahjong, the organic food offerings such as Temi tea, momos, and ferns, and the fiery dallé chili. The author also mentions the local brew, Dansberg Beer, as a comforting companion to their game losses, with the majestic view of the Himalayas and Kanchenjunga as a backdrop. The article paints a picture of cultural immersion, local cuisine, and the leisurely pace of life in Sikkim.

26 Mar 2018  |  Explore Parts Unknown
The author recounts their experience in Bhutan, where they visited the Tiger's Nest and enjoyed local cuisine, including momos and ema datshi. At a hotel bar in Thimphu, they tried a local beer called Red Panda, which had a surprising tartness. The bartender, Danny, suggested they try the peach wine Zumzin, which is made from peaches grown in the highlands of northern Bhutan. Despite initial skepticism, the author found the wine to be peachy and fruity, though sweeter than preferred. The article captures the author's interactions and the local beverages of Bhutan.

18 Nov 2018  |  The Sydney Morning Herald
The article discusses the reaction to American actor Armie Hammer's criticism of people posting selfies with Stan Lee after the comic book creator's death. Hammer suggested that the act of posting a selfie as a form of grieving indicated a need for a cultural change, which sparked controversy on social media. The author reflects on Hammer's point, acknowledging that social media has indeed altered the way we mourn, with online tributes becoming commonplace. The article also notes that many Facebook accounts now belong to people who have passed away.

14 Nov 2018  |  HuffPost
The article discusses the impact of the Me Too movement in India, catalyzed by allegations made by actress Tanushree Dutta against actor Nana Patekar in 2008. Dutta's recent reiteration of her claims has led to a surge in Me Too stories from India, with significant attention on social media and Google Trends. The movement has exposed sexual harassment by powerful men in various industries and led to economic consequences, such as the dissolution of Phantom Films. The article also touches on the cultural implications of the movement for Bollywood, which has traditionally perpetuated gender stereotypes. It highlights the challenges that remain, particularly for lower-class and lower-caste women, and the potential global influence of the changes happening in India's film industry.

21 Dec 2018  |  The Daily Dot
The author reflects on their journey of cultural self-discovery through cooking Indian cuisine while studying abroad. Initially rejecting their Indian heritage during their school years in the UAE, the author struggled with their identity and faced a culture shock upon moving to Montreal for university. The craving for home-cooked Indian food led them to YouTube, where they learned to cook traditional dishes from creators like Manjula, Harpal Singh, and Sanjeev Kapoor. This culinary exploration became a bridge to reconnect with their mother and Indian culture. The author's experience with Indian cuisine helped them to embrace their heritage and find acceptance among their peers back in India, realizing that their identity was more than just the food they ate.

12 Dec 2018  |  Atlas Obscura
The article describes the operations of the Nutan Mumbai Tiffin Box Suppliers Trust, a cooperative in Mumbai, India, that delivers home-cooked meals to 200,000 office workers and students daily. Dabbawalas, or 'lunchbox people', like Nilesh Shankar Bachche, collect and deliver these meals using a complex coding system to ensure near-perfect accuracy. The system, which started in 1890, utilizes Mumbai's extensive railway network to navigate the city's dense traffic. Despite the rise of modern delivery apps, the dabba system remains popular due to its reliability and the quality of home-cooked food. The article also touches on the history of Mumbai and the diverse cuisines of its communities. It concludes with a personal note on Bachche's satisfaction with his job, highlighting the cultural significance and the efficiency of the dabba delivery system.

19 Apr 2019  |  Strangers Guide
The article provides an in-depth look at the jewelry industry in Delhi, India, focusing on the working conditions of craftsmen in the Chandni Chowk area. The author, through a personal narrative, describes the cramped and unsafe conditions where workers eat, sleep, and craft intricate jewelry. Despite the health and safety violations, these conditions are normalized due to the high demand for gold jewelry, which is deeply rooted in Indian culture and considered a stable investment. The article contrasts the romanticized image of jewelry craftsmanship with the harsh realities of the trade, touching upon issues of worker exploitation and the broader socio-economic context, including the agrarian crisis affecting Indian farmers. The author reflects on the value of traditional craftsmanship and the ethical considerations of such labor-intensive work in a country grappling with poverty and modernization.

08 Jan 2019  |  The Independent
The article discusses a significant event in Kerala, India, where over 5.5 million women formed a 620km 'women's wall' to promote gender equality and protest against the traditional ban on women entering the Sabarimala temple. The Supreme Court of India overturned this ban in September 2018, but the decision has faced severe backlash from conservative groups and politicians, including the BJP. The article highlights the tension between religious practices and gender equality, noting historical precedents for women's entry into the temple and the constitutional right to freedom of religion in India. It also touches on the political implications of the issue ahead of India's 2019 general election, with the BJP opposing the Supreme Court's ruling and the state experiencing violent protests and vandalism.

17 Mar 2019  |  The Independent
The article discusses the Christchurch mosque shootings in New Zealand, criticizing the way society differentiates between Islamic extremism and other forms of extremism. It argues that there is a common thread of ignorance and poor education behind such acts of violence. The piece also examines the role of western education in perpetuating white supremacy and Islamophobia, citing the lack of comprehensive teaching on colonialism and the histories of indigenous peoples. The article further explores the impact of political and public figures' rhetoric on public discourse, highlighting the influence of such language on xenophobia and white supremacist ideologies. It calls for accountability of those with influential platforms in spreading hate or intolerance.

28 Mar 2023  |  South China Morning Post
The article critiques the 'chowkidar' campaign by India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ahead of the general elections. It discusses how the campaign, which encourages citizens to consider themselves as watchmen of the country, has gained popularity on social media. However, the author raises concerns about the campaign's implications in an environment where Indian identity is increasingly associated with Hindu nationalism. The article highlights the rise in hate crimes and vigilantism, particularly against Muslims and Dalits, since the BJP came to power in 2014. It also touches on the negative impact of cow vigilantism on the beef export trade and job losses. The author urges voters to demand more from their elected officials, emphasizing India's secular and democratic values.

The Hidden Costs of Germophobia

01 Oct 2018  |  thebillfold.com
Akanksha Singh discusses the personal and financial burdens of living with mysophobia, a condition colloquially known as germophobia. Singh describes the extensive cleaning routines and the need to maintain a sterile environment, which includes frequent laundering, sanitizing objects, and avoiding situations perceived as unclean. The condition leads to significant expenses on cleaning supplies, laundry, and therapy. Despite recognizing the irrationality of some fears and the desire to change, Singh accepts the current necessity of these costs as part of their life.

An Open Letter to Hiring Managers

14 Mar 2018  |  headstuff.org
The author expresses frustration with hiring managers who do not respond to job applications, criticizing the lack of common courtesy in the hiring process. The author suggests that failing to acknowledge applicants reflects poorly on the hiring manager and the company, and could deter potential employees. The piece is written in a humorous and sarcastic tone, with the author proposing a generic rejection email template for hiring managers to use.

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