Unveiling Banaras’ Untold Stories: Radhika Iyengar’s ‘Fire on the Ganges’

Radhika Iyengar, an accomplished author and award-winning journalist, presents ‘Fire on the Ganges: Life Among the Dead in Banaras,’ a thought-provoking exploration of Varanasi, India, and its profound connection to death and the hereafter. Released by HarperCollins, this pioneering book is the first of its kind, offering an intimate glimpse into the lives of the Doms in Banaras.

‘Fire on the Ganges’ meticulously uncovers the historical tapestry of Banaras while focusing its narrative lens on a handful of resilient individuals from the Dom community. Through their compelling stories of resilience, ambition, loss, and love, the book paints a poignant yet inspiring portrait of a community determined to transcend the boundaries imposed by age-old traditions.

Radhika Iyengar, equipped with a Master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York, is a decorated journalist in her own right. Her accolades include the prestigious Red Ink award for Excellence in Indian Journalism (2018), the Charles Wallace India Trust fellowship at the University of Kent, UK (2020), the Bianca Pancoat Patton Fellowship (2019), and the Sanskriti-Prabha Dutt Fellowship (2016–17).