A swarm of locusts and upheavals

The 2020 desert locust infestation isn’t just a plague. It’s a confluence of diplomatic, environmental and ecological complications

On 26 June 2020, billions of beady-eyed individuals paid Gurugram a visit.

Draped in vivid yellow, they had speckled wings that were short but strong and powered them to cover nearly 150 km a day. They liked heat but loved wind; in fact, it was the wind that’d brought them here. They flew low so as to not get blown away—each one, after all, weighed a measly two grams. But together, they were Thor’s hammer.

The billions had eaten as much as 10 elephants every day in the western states of Rajasthan, Gujarat and Haryana. Rajasthan was a clear favourite. …


Roshni P. Nair

Roshni is a features writer and former editor of The Morning Context's Chaos team. Her career spans The Ken, Reuters, the Hindustan Times and DNA. She is a recipient of the UNFPA Laadli award and was shortlisted for the RedInk Awards 2016 for her story on Mumbai’s leprosy colonies. Her far-flung ideas would sometimes drive our editor-in-chief Ashish up the wall, but he wouldn’t have had it any other way (even if he didn’t admit it).