Divya J Shekhar

Divya J Shekhar

Journalist, The Economic Times. Write news stories and features with a focus on heritage, sustainability, arts, environmental policy, and trends surrounding Bengaluru's technology and startup community.

All Articles
History And Heritage
People + Cities

Teching Timebomb

Technology is a boon, no doubt. But where can we, in our digital lives, draw the line between convenience and addiction? Here's how collective social effort might help find the sweet spot.

The Economic Times / October 2018 / Trendspotting

Is Adaptive Reuse an Option for Public Heritage Sites?

If Samsung can turn a dilapidated heritage site into its biggest experience center in the world, what's stopping the government from considering adaptive reuse for other languishing heritage sites, ask experts

The Economic Times / September 2018 / History And Heritage

Stalemate over Use of Big Data in Governance

The plans of the Karnataka Knowledge Commission to develop a pilotproject proposal for deploying big data in governance seem to have hit roadblocks.

The Economic Times / August 2018 / People + Cities

It's No Walk in the Park

After being a neighbour of Bengaluru's unplanned growth for decades, the Bannerghatta National Park today faces a direct threat from infrastructure projects that will reduce the park’s buffer / eco-sensitive zone.

The Economic Times / July 2018 / Environment

Data Drought Can Waste Water

Outdated & insufficient data on water sources is a huge hurdle for related infrastructure and policy-planning. Water being a State subject, here's how the Karnataka government can collect and utilise data for preservation & innovation in the water ecosyst

The Economic Times / June 2018 / Environment

The Politics of Uncomfortable History

Bengaluru has witnessed various attempts at imposing the dominant narrative by way of cultural appropriation and selective erasure of history. Here's how legislation and education can preserve the IT city's colourful, diverse and layered past.

The Economic Times / August 2018 / History And Heritage

Unpaid, Unseen, Unheard

Civic workers are invisible until they go on a strike. The 15,000-odd pourakarmikas who keep Bengaluru's streets clean go without salaries for months, suffer from lack of job security and harassment, hoping that their voices will eventually reach the powe

The Economic Times / July 2018 / People + Cities

Tree Census: Coming, Coming, Gone?

Both Bengaluru's city corporation and the Karnataka Forest Department have no clarity on the proposed tree census for Bengaluru. Meanwhile, it is business as usual for infrastructure projects involving heavy loss of tree cover.

The Economic Times / July 2018 / Environment / [Png , 718 KB]

Talking Typography

India’s growing typographic community not only caters to global majors trying to make a mark in the vernacular market but also digitises regional and endangered languages

The Economic Times Magazine / May 2018 / Trendspotting

Well Done

As Bengaluru stares into a future of serious water scarcity, residents are showing interest in groundwater recharge and open wells. For Manuvaddars, the traditional well-diggers, this could revive demand for their principal source of livelihood

The Economic Times / April 2018 / People + Cities

Let's Talk About Water

Bengaluru has lost 79% of its water bodies in the last four decades, while built-up area increased from 8% to 77%. The IT city, faced with a doomsday prediction that it might head the Cape Town way, needs to take immediate collective action to save water

The Economic Times / March 2018 / Environment


Away from the global #MeToo spotlight are unorganised sector workers, who continue to suffer from lack of monetary and social security, caste biases and lack of redressal mechanisms. Time to support them too.

The Economic Times / March 2018 / People + Cities

Send Their Roots Rain

Bengaluru's policy-makers need to internalise the notion that a city must be built for its living creatures, including trees, and not for cars, flyovers or skywalks.

The Economic Times / February 2018 / Environment

Jan Ki Baat

How niche radio initiatives are discussing sexual harassment, theatre, queer identities

The Economic Times / February 2018 / People + Cities

Writing Is On The Wall

Underpaid staff. Outdated books. Crumbling infrastructure. Dwindling patrons. That’s the story of Bengaluru’s public libraries in a nutshell. Not much of the ₹120-crore allocation reflects in the onground functioning of the 200 libraries in the IT city, e

The Economic Times / January 2018 / People + Cities

The Inheritance of Loss

IT city Bengaluru is busy ignoring, defacing or destroying architectural links to its past. In the absence of protection laws and accountability, many century-old buildings have been razed because the officialdom does not think them important.

The Economic Times / November 2017 / History And Heritage

Tipu, The Original Tech Innovator

Even as 18th Century ruler Tipu Sultan's legacy weathers a political storm in Karnataka, the article explores how his tech innovations introduced changes that shaped the economy well within the modern age

The Economic Times / November 2017 / History And Heritage

The Kanhaiya Kumar interview

Former JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar talks about charting his political journey, an 'anti-BJP' wave in Gujarat and why the government's aggressive pro-corporate policies are undemocratic. But BJP insists that he has gained zero traction

ET Magazine / November 2017 / People + Cities

The Writing's On The Stone

Inscriptions - forgotten fragments of heritage - are in dire need of attention, even as academicians, historians and a few concerned citizens race against time to save what is remaining.

The Economic Times / September 2017 / History And Heritage

The Political Poet

Poet Gulzar on why India is yet to get independence from cultural colonisation and why the artist in him cannot be separated from politics.

The Economic Times Magazine / August 2017 / People + Cities

Layers of Lalbagh

This botanical reserve gave Bengaluru its 'Garden City' tag. And the forgotten histories strewn across its 240 acres date back by three billion years.

The Economic Times / August 2017 / History And Heritage / [Jpg , 773 KB]

Future Off-Track?

How ground realities along Karnataka's suburban rail lines indicate that the government's Rs. 10,000 crore plan to integrate it into mainstream mobility is easier said than done.

The Economic Times / July 2017 / People + Cities

Head Held High

A profile of celebrated artist G. Ravinder Reddy as he gears up for a rare exhibition of life-sized sculptures after a decade.

The Economic Times / July 2017 / People + Cities

Going Downhill

How multi-crore tourism plans for Karnataka's most popular mountain getaway does not factor in local livelihoods, heritage and lack of basic necessities such as water

The Economic Times / July 2017 / People + Cities / [Jpg , 559 KB]

Back To The Future

Conservationists race against time to document, restore and maintain the last-remaining links to our past. So, how we leverage need-of-the-hour technologies to do that?

The Economic Times / April 2017 / People + Cities / [Jpg , 924 KB]

Remembering The Roerichs

Officials responsible for preserving the heritage of Tataguni Estate, left heirless by legendary actress Devika Rani and her Russian artist-husband Svetoslav Roerich, are dragging their feet. Meanwhile, a priceless legacy withers away.

The Economic Times / June 2017 / History And Heritage / [Pdf , 277 KB]

Saving Grace

There are leaders and then there are heroes. During decades of tussle with unplanned, explosive development, Bengaluru came across many old, unsung warriors whose contributions make the city what it is today

The Economic Times / July 2016 / People + Cities / [Jpg , 936 KB]

Let's Talk About Trees

As Bengaluru struggles with the prospect of losing thousands of trees to infrastructure projects, there is a need for change in policy and approach towards trees

The Economic Times / February 2017 / Environment / [Jpg , 938 KB]

Silicon Alley's Digital Drive

How the Silicon Alley of India's Silicon Vallley, a cash-dominated market with an estimated daily turnover of Rs. 7 crore, has seen an 80% slump in business thanks to demonetisation. The traditional market is now exploring digital payments.

The Economic Times / November 2016 / People + Cities / [Jpg , 946 KB]

Whose Bandh Is It Anyway?

Are bandhs myopic, undemocratic and arm-twisting protests, or a valid means for the marginalised to make their voices heard?

The Economic Times / September 2016 / People + Cities / [Jpg , 868 KB]

Past Present, Future Tense

Heritage buildings housing public educational institutions are crumbling. What's more, the government that owns them has no plans to rescue them.

The Economic Times / November 2016 / History And Heritage / [Jpg , 801 KB]

Name and Shame

Bengaluru, quite often, has erased traces of history by renaming its roads and landmarks. Local activists say one needs to break free from names associated with the British era, but is that the right thing to do?

The Economic Times / December 2015 / History And Heritage / [Jpg , 0 Bytes]

Politics of a Literature Festival

How language, ideology and class come in the way of liberal literary expressions

The Economic Times / December 2016 / Trendspotting / [Jpg , 623 KB]

Feminism-Fuelled Female Humour

With feminism to fuel their humour, women stand-up comedians take a dig at issues that aren't publicly aired

The Economic Times / November 2016 / Trendspotting

People Power For City Mapping

Citizens activism mapping initiatives help local communities take the ownership of data and collectively question the system

The Economic Times / May 2017 / Trendspotting

Spice Route Redux

Behind the authentic flavour of international cuisines at premium restaurants is a global supplier network that procures the choicest ingredients

The Economic Times / March 2016 / Trendspotting / [Jpg , 908 KB]

Disability No Bar in Puppy Love

What does it take to go the extra mile and adopt a pet with disabilities?

The Economic Times / February 2017 / Trendspotting

The 5-Lakh Marriage Question

Meet the new entrants in the wedding industry: proposal consultants

The Economic Times / March 2016 / Trendspotting

Seniors Bite The Travel Bug

How independent children, greater spending capacities, travel communities providing like-minded company and social media are fuelling travel ambitions of senior citizens

The Economic Times / August 2016 / Trendspotting

Much Ado About Shakespeare

Re-imagining the Bard through puppetry, shadow-plays, open-air nautankis, Kathakali and law courses

The Economic Times / January 2016 / Trendspotting / [Jpg , 0 Bytes]

Pubs - The New Theatre Hubs?

After hosting music and stand-up comedy acts, pubs and bars now focus on theatre performances

The Economic Times / July 2015 / Trendspotting / [Jpg , 232 KB]

Caddies' Day In The Sun

The game that CXOs play finds more takers, with caddies emerging as the silent heroes of golfing scene. And the lucky ones are turning successful professional players

The Economic Times / September 2016 / Trendspotting / [Jpg , 708 KB]

Mumbai Muffins, Kashmir Walnuts...

How competitive internet food startups are getting food to your doorstep...from their place of origin

The Economic Times / March 2015 / Trendspotting

Sale of Bengaluru

How the Mughals sold Bengaluru for Rs. 3 lakhs, 330 years ago

The Economic Times / July 2017 / History And Heritage

The Walled City

How a walled fort grew into modern Bengaluru

The Economic Times / January 2017 / History And Heritage / [Jpg , 0 Bytes]

Battle For Bengaluru

Re-visiting the 1791 Anglo-Mysore war that led to the fall of Tipu Sultan

The Economic Times / March 2017 / History And Heritage / [Jpg , 290 KB]

A Mysore Dewan's Controversy Continues

The story of AR Banerji, whose decision to sign the Cauvery Pact 93 years ago continues to create tensions in two States

The Economic Times / February 2017 / History And Heritage / [Jpg , 280 KB]

What's In A Name?

Silicon City's many interesting, lesser-known monikers

The Economic Times / December 2016 / History And Heritage / [Jpg , 286 KB]

Sounds of Life

A choir group of senior citizens teaches you why terminal illness, disability through strokes or Parkinson's disease and being wheelchair-bound does not come in the way of positive spirit.

The Economic Times / December 2015 / People + Cities

Sheldon Pollock Will Stay

Rohan Murty, founder of India's first classical library, talks about why hate propaganda against literature won't weaken him

The Economic Times / March 2016 / People + Cities

The Politics of Climate Change

Author Amitav Ghosh's return to non-fiction asks serious questions about the social undermining of a looming economic crisis

The Economic Times / July 2016 / People + Cities

Bengaluru's Gramophone Man

His life is rich with narratives ranging from music trade during the World War to finding customers in Nobel Laureats

The Economic Times / August 2016 / People + Cities

A Recluse No More

Artist Rukmini Varma, great-great-granddaughter of Raja Ravi Varma, picks up the brush after closing her doors on the world for 30 years

The Economic Times / December 2016 / People + Cities

Weaving Magic for Cancer Patients

How Marishetty Kumar left an illustrious career in the film industry to weave wigs for cancer patients worldwide

The Economic Times / April 2016 / People + Cities

The Uncommon Man

Girish Karnad reflects on his life's work, as friends and colleagues talk about his legacy.

Society / July 2014 / People + Cities

All the Stage is her World

Arundhati Nag on weathering storms, making theatre mainstream and how dreams come at a cost.

Society / September 2013 / People + Cities / [Pdf , 361 KB]

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