Express 5: Some gear up to fight odds, others to realise dreams

ExpressAs you begin first day of 2014, here are 5 Express specials that will cover you for the rest of the day.

The first day of the new year, your first take of the best Indian Express stories.

1. GOOD SIGN: Seven years after the suicide spiral in Vidarbha's six cotton-growing districts, the number of deaths fell to about half that number in 2013. The Vidarbha Jan Andolan Samiti, which maintains its own suicide-count, has recorded 824 suicides for 2013 from all 11 districts of the region, including the five that grow paddy. The 2013 number has to be seen in relation to that of 2006 that witnessed a record 1,449 suicides.

Good news: Vidarbha suicides fall 50% by Vivek Deshpande

2. LEFT IN THE LURCH: The district administration of Muzaffarnagar informed 300 families living out in the open for the last four months that they had 24 hours to pack up and leave. In adjoining Shamli, where riot refugees have been huddling in 12 relief camps, district authorities told community leaders that they had until January 4 to empty out the camps completely.

Pritha Chatterjee reports how Wet and exhausted, uprooted victims wait for a place to go

3. OVERCOMING CYNICISM: India's progressive moment is now beginning to find its feet, with a clamour for a governance architecture that is more horizontal, transparent, decentralised, based on public reason and allows for new political formations to emerge. This process will continue.

A new democratic experimentalism is in the air, writes Pratab Bhanu Mehta

4. GEARING UP FOR 2014: Firmly entrenched in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, the Bharatiya Janata Party is looking at another set of three states - UP, Maharashtra and Karnataka - that it believes holds the key to realising its Lok Sabha hopes for 2014.

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