@75 As I Saw It

Subcontinental kinetics: Vignettes of a South Asian watcher's journalistic chronicle

The new influencing geopolitical factor, Ved observes, is the emergence of China as the regional, even global player, in the “Heart of Asia” in what can become the new avatar of the 19th century “Great Game”. The contexts have changed, but not the strategic interests of the players, old and new.

Tri-Services all-women world sailing expedition from India prepares to make history

This historic expedition, the first of its kind, marks a significant milestone in India’s maritime history.

Why are Indians running away from India?

Quite a few years ago I had given a lecture at my alma mater IIT Kanpur. I asked the students if I had the power to grant them a US green card how many would like to migrate.  In the auditorium of around 200 students most raised their hands. This pursuit of excellence can be helped by the constant exposure of students to lectures by achievers. Students at an impressionable age once inspired can do wonders in later life. 

An agenda for the nation: Streamline business cycle; unleash entrepreneurial enthusiasm

We must also insulate enterprises from pressure and extortion by local power elites, which adversely distorts factory pricing and ultimately adds a burden to the consumer price. This will also enable enterprises to maintain healthy returns within the fixed MRP system, especially for FMCG

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Kashmir: A shark-infested 'Heaven on Earth'!

Despite all my patriotic feelings, I do not recommend a visit to Kashmir. It is ill-organized and ill-prepared to receive the rush of tourists. It lacks elementary infrastructure, basic amenities, and essential facilities at present. Worse, the tourists are always at the mercy of the local mafia.

A quest in the evolution and purpose of life

This production of matter, life forms and galaxies will keep on happening till the space is “exhausted”, and then the cycle reverses which will finally lead to time and space coming into equilibrium. This is the eternal Brahmakala cycle where all life is destroyed at its end.

Barefoot in Ridi Vihare: Learnings from a unique a people-to-people experience in the ‘silver caves’ of Sri Lanka

As someone from Karachi, where heritage and culture find little importance and are often forgotten, where the metropolis pushes the seashore backward, the Sri Lankan experience felt surreal. The land of Ridi Vihare held impeccable beauty and gave us much to learn and take back.

A dream that connects millions: South Asia peace activists committed to regional dialogue and harmony

The ‘peacemongers’ vowed to not only continue talking to each other, but to continue talking until they achieve their dream, their Sapan, of a South Asia with soft borders, or at least, ease of visas.

Bollywood films building up majoritarian narratives with an eye on elections?

The common theme is a tilting of truth and in most cases glorification of Hindu nationalist icons. The clever undermining of truth and building up of ‘fiction as fact’ is the underlying theme of most of these films.

Bangladesh's future will depend in many ways on the foreign policy choices it makes

Attention must also be paid to the changing structural dynamics within South Asia where countries (including Bangladesh) are increasingly working with each other, moving away from a primarily India-driven engagement within the neighbourhood.

Unraveling "Gandi Baat": Popular Bollywood culture needs to embrace responsible storytelling, eschew misogyny

"Gandi Baat" serves as a microcosm of a larger issue within popular culture, normalizing the silencing of female voices and perpetuating harmful behaviors. 

What the Jamnagar 'pre-wedding' gala tells us about Indian society

The postcards from Jamnagar frame some other stories that have emerged as a theme in the 'New India'. These are stories of unrivalled pomp and power, of material riches beyond compare, of an elite space where forces work differently from the way they work elsewhere on the planet.

A Sri Lanka-Pakistan people-to-people journey: An island man’s mountain quest with a larger cause

Everywhere I went I was greeted with great warmth and hospitality. It is a symbol of the decades-long ‘Enduring Friendship’ between the peoples of Pakistan and Sri Lanka. 

Bangladesh, SAARC and a chequered history

My passion was to strengthen SAARC, and I strongly felt that Rao’s decision was not appropriate. 

Ghazal king Pankaj Udhas: A soft, reassuring emblem of diaspora yearning

For diaspora Indians around the world, Udhas became an emblem of their pining for their home back in India with his 1986 raging hit “Chitthi Aayi Hai” from the movie ‘Naam’, written by Anand Bakshi and composed by Laxmikant Pyarelal.

Nationalism a dominant frame in global media narratives; India no exception

The mainstream Indian media, a section of which has mostly been a subject of the nationalist government’s monopolistic control, has often served the ends of the dominant elite

Macbeth on the banks of the Sabarmati

Sharply directed by Massimiliano Troiani, Sarabhai’s ‘Macbeth’ is an allegorical musical interpretation of this Shakespearean classic about power at any cost.

Who is afraid of AI? It will always be a slave rather than a master

There is no feeling or empathy in AI.  It can churn huge numbers and will be able to analyze, “think” and react to external inputs but has no wisdom and feelings. Till that happens humans will always have an upper hand.

Ameen Sayani: The father of radio entertainment in the Indian subcontinent

Since his was the only hit parade of its kind for at least two and half decades, Sayani became a formidable name within the Hindi cinema industry.