The Ae Dil Hai Mushkil drama is very similar to what happened in late 2014 to Sony’s The Interview, a film in which two American journalists are assigned to kill the North Korean soft-toy dictator, Kim Jong-un. In both the cases, representatives of the government were wise enough to be embarrassed. They promised protection
The film star will never be eliminated, but the time has come for the industry to accept that one way to survive is to invest in cinema that is not inconvenienced by superstars
The voter is ready to overlook the deviations in a politician as the politician appears to be very street-smart, hence useful in the short term.
There are analyses that explain why the man ended up carrying his wife’s corpse for 12 km, but not on how the family could have been in a better place
There is another danger when suicides become centerpieces of social rebellion. An unspoken understanding comes to be in the society that if people are not killing themselves maybe their suffering is not that great. The overt or covert or sophisticated celebration of suicide diminishes other forms of protest.
Being considered as a venue for the games is no longer prestigious. Several nations consider it a wasteful expenditure
Far worse that the middle class indifference to Dalit issues is the middle class compassion for Dalits which has the qualities of a moral formula
Kashmir’s nationalism was herded by local and Pakistani elites, but it really does not matter now because after a point indoctrination becomes ‘the way things are’
Scientists are finally attempting to take back the reigns of morality from fraudulent and delusional activists whose craft is in manufacturing fear
In The Gene: An Intimate History, which is an immensely enjoyable and persuasive biography of the human gene for lay people, Siddhartha Mukherjee takes on some of the uncomfortable questions
The war against drug requires the full force of commercial cinema, which is what Udta Punjab provides, and it does so entirely because it did not set out to reform, it set out to entertain
The future of all major Indian cities involve public transportation that would bring together, as passenger trains once did, the many layers of society
While the human cost of such political perks remains huge, leaders and representatives continue to live luxurious lives without consequences. We need to tackle underlying causes by reducing impunity for political kickbacks, extravagance and open corruption
Religions were invented to suit the interests of the elites. Many of the new moralising religions are in the spectrum of activism
The elite are disgusted by election freebies for the poor. But they are greater beneficiaries of subsidies for the poor than the poor themselves.
Tipping can be a reformist political movement; it may also contribute to the goodwill between the republic of the middle class and that of the poor
Where millions are trapped in the holes of the elite, digging a tunnel to relinquish the dominant culture of the hole has proved profitable for many
If an active cricket ground exists, it would be watered on most days of a year, or it would die. So why this fuss before the tournament?
That the Delhi chief minister and Aam Aadmi Party leader is an anarchist and keeps his supporters in an illusory magnetic field is a successful myth.
Urban Indian nationalism has evolved into something more complex and broader than the Sangh’s narrow provincial view.
For several months BJP politicians described anti-sangh feelings as ‘anti-national’. But the events in JNU led to the trivialisation of a stigma
In the masquerade of an underdog Kanhaiya Kumar lampooned the Sangh, and even as he did that he framed nationalism as subordinate to welfare
To deny ourselves the languages that help us understand great moments in science is like denying ourselves the ability to understand great works of art
Barring impoverished tribal women, every group in the pyramid of Indian life is an oppressor or a potential oppressor. But they are also victims.
Did clinical depression kill Rohith Vemula or did a cultural cartel? There are reasons why ‘both’ does not make for a robust answer
If India is a paradise for those who take offence, it means it is a paradise for the artists who wish to offend.
The affluent Indian, too, has matured as a tourist. Maybe the Incredible India campaign should turn its attention from wealthy foreigners to wealthy Indians.
If India’s poor understood what they are being denied by India’s Internet activists, they would hit the streets and bring the nation to a halt.
Science does not understand happiness well enough to define it. It is abstract and its meaning changes between the sexes and age groups.
Success brings with it some unfair privileges and one has to submit to minor hypocrisies. Isn’t it time we accept hypocrisy as a fundamental right?
Spectre looks silly because it tries to escape the fact that the greatest terror of our times is terror in the name of Islam.
The modern youth are more nationalistic than ever. They are giving India their laments. They are, finally, behaving like homeowners and not tenants
In contrast to western Europe, it’s the rich who are confused about their idea of home in India. The nobodies have no such doubt.
It would be lame to call it a movement yet, but the writers have created a template that gives space to a variety of disenchanted Indians
Companies and humans are now vastly unequal and the new billionaires know this is fertile ground for a revolution.
Fiction glows in a luxury that is not permitted in journalism — it can get into a mind and open its doors to genius.
A lazy, neurotic suspicion of the large corporation is behind the obtuse alarm over Facebook’s Free Basics, writes Manu Joseph
Love pampers, it kisses your nape, cleans your ears with earbuds; but marriage informs you of all your flaws.
The Indian prenup would probably limit itself to alimony and child custody. Even so it would diminish the feral nature of a new marriage.
There is something wild, in a medieval way, and poignant about two sane people choosing to be stuck with each other for a whole lifetime or as long as possible.
The people in the ‘modern city’ are crunched in one place but live in different times, and its rumoured modernity includes its imagined pace writes Manu Joseph
Cultural homelessness does impoverish us in some ways, but it also sets us up to make deep journeys into the many unknowns
People enjoy ludicrous men as they appear to have liberated themselves from the silence imposed by the despots writes Manu Joseph
Not ribbing you at all my lords of the Supreme Court, just translating your silent wonderment into words, “It’s easier for us to hang a man than ban some taxis”.
It is impossible to separate Artificial Intelligence from the hope and fear of a machine achieving singularity or sentience.
Nobody knows for sure who murdered Aarushi Talwar. Except the CBI, which doesn’t have the evidence to prove its case.
A family is a cartel, it has always been so. Its objective is to overcome the State and provide an unfair advantage to its young.
For capitalism to survive it must be allowed to fail. The inefficiency of compassion should be allowed to intervene. Varoufakis wants a diminished form of capitalism to survive in Europe.
The Magna Carta is a reminder of the difference between freedom and liberty. Animals are free, but in a system of humans, total freedom is anarchy.
Most popular foods in India deserve the same warnings as alcohol and tobacco, but they are promoted as life itself
The film appears to be aware that Hollywood dystopia is today in direct competition with a West Asian reality that is available on YouTube, writes Manu Joseph.
There is now a better understanding of how the Chinese achieved one of the most mysterious triumphs in disaster foretelling
During the shoot of a Pepsi commercial, I was interviewing Shahrukh Khan in his vanity van when Priyanka Chopra walked in. “Shahrukh,” she said, “I wanted to ask you about this whole pesticide thing.” Khan, who had the reputation of being one of the two superstars who was informed, who could read, even newspapers, assured her that Pepsi was fit to drink.
The modern Indian writer fears notoriety. CP Surendran, the author of Hadal, doesn't. This is a delinquent novel by a delinquent, which is rare in Indian English fiction.
We the people of Gurgaon heard great laughter fill its haze. The sounds were coming from all directions, and from men, women and camels. It was probably desert delirium that made us hear these sounds, but our enquiries revealed there was indeed an occurrence that could cause such behaviour: A cabinet minister had stated, “Gurgaon will become a smart city in the next one year.”
The alleged comedians of All India Bakchod have tried to explain ‘net neutrality’, and it is charming that they have done so without expressing a desire to fornicate with someone’s mother, or whatever it is that they say in the name of humour
To eliminate dengue, some scientists suggest, release a lot of mosquitoes in the air. They would be the males of the genetically modified Aedes aegypti, the species that causes the disease. The feral females that mate with the modified males would produce offspring that will die before they can fly. In time the species will be exterminated.
It is nations that do not have pride and need a theatre to pretend that are most likely to host the games. India is a good candidate.
That ‘sleeping with someone’ should mean sex, which is in reality an alert aerobic activity, is an underserving tribute to the night. It was probably invented by late-risers, who have always exerted significant cultural influence.
Give me your days, at least those moments you would squander. This could have been the longing of the young neurosurgeon who ran out of time. This is probably the final good-natured plea of almost all who are on the brink of life. All deaths are untimely, including the deaths of the old if we listen carefully to what they say.
The paradox of AAP is that even though it is a political party in a democracy, as an organisation it is best run without the weight of consensus
Aditya Thackeray, in proposing to revive Mumbai’s nightlife, is catering to a vast number of young people who don’t have access to entertainment, writes Manu Joseph.
Who we are is the first generation of Indians whose parents heeded the nation’s call for family planning, the generation with a mob of uncles and aunts but just one sibling. We were born in hospitals, in cities, extracted by male doctors.
For long, activists thought it was cheap to enter politics, or that it was futile to contest because of what it required. The AAP leader has shown how to do it.
Obama will search for parallels between India and the US. He will find the phenomenon of the ‘inheritance of privilege’ is one of them, writes Manu Joseph.
The massacre in Paris is consecrated every time good people use the word ‘but’ and refer to limits on the freedom of expression, writes Manu Joseph.
In situations where the artists and the merchants are clearly defined, they have contempt for each other. Both sides claim superiority, even moral superiority. But what matters is the conflict, the friction, which often leads to something useful.
Hindu extremism is benign — unlike Islamic extremism — because it does not have a reason to be more potent than it already is, writes Manu Joseph.
The Indian quest for national pride is meaningless. Sometimes comical as was evident from its hosting of the C’wealth Games. But, usually destructive, writes Manu Joseph.
Unlike other good men of the republic, Arvind Kejriwal has the gift of cunning. He cannot be underestimated, not in Delhi. He may not return to his old glory soon, he may not fly anymore, but he surely can run, writes Manu Joseph.
Across most of the world, religion is becoming more powerful than ever. But people want more and are thus being drawn to all sorts of cults, writes Manu Joseph.
It is inevitable that in the future high-quality journalism will not remain free. Great journalism then will become niche and expensive, and very rarely found on Newsfeed, writes Manu Joseph.
Throughout his career, despite his powers as a preeminent public figure, Tendulkar did not create discreet channels into the media to disseminate news that was favourable to him or that would diminish others, writes Manu Joseph.
Vishal Bhardwaj's Haider shows a Kashmir where India is an illegal occupier. It shows soldiers torturing terror suspects. It is unprecedented for a mainstream film to show this. That the State cleared Haider for public viewing is extraordinary, writes Manu Joseph.
In the way of legally substantial evidence, the police have nothing more than what Koli has admitted. His confession is disturbing, not only for its content, but also the fact that every crime is identical, the disposals of the victim’s remains, too, are identical.
A battle that is underway in the United States is between a self-serving retailer that wants to sell books very cheap and a self-serving publisher that wants the freedom to decide the price of its own books, writes Manu Joseph.
Astory in The New Yorker magazine by Michael Specter on the acts and claims of Vandana Shiva, the curse of genetically modified organisms, begins as a tribute, proceeds to imply that she is a quack, and finally arrives at what is in the core of some highly influential activists.
An outlaw, a green assassin, a tattooed wrestler, a raccoon and a tree set out to steal a decorated orb but end up forming an improbable fellowship of superheroes in the exquisite film, Guardians of the Galaxy, which is set in alien worlds.
A violent conflict presents those who are far away, who have no stake in the war, with the facile opportunity to exhibit their righteous indignation on behalf of the underdog, or to display their cold reasoning by choosing the side of the dominant force. Manu Joseph writes.
They are not saying she is a man. Also, there is the fact that she is not a man. But the Sports Authority of India, after conducting medical tests on the eighteen-year-old sprinter, has announced that she is “not fit for participation in a female event”.
People with great instincts begin their lives wading through the cesspool of opinions and as they begin to succeed against all odds, they find it hard to respect the collective wisdom of the world, writes Manu Joseph.