Postcard: New Delhi

The Jantar Mantar observatory, in the bustling heart of New Delhi, was built in the 1720s to monitor the celestial movements that India's royal rulers believed governed their fate. Today, the distinctive red structure is still an observatory of sorts — a vantage point for watching the workings of Indian democracy, a process every bit as complex, and as inscrutable, as the progress of heavenly bodies.

For the past decade, the busy thoroughfare overlooking Jantar Mantar has served as New Delhi's officially designated protest zone. All other public spaces and government buildings...

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