Aasheesh Sharma

Aasheesh Sharma

Aasheesh Sharma works with the opinion team at Hindustan Times. Over the last 20 years, he has worked with a wire service, newspapers, magazines and television. His story on the longest train journey in India was included in an anthology on train writings in 2014.

Articles by Aasheesh Sharma
Most markets in the country are not accessible for the disabled. The National Democratic Alliance government was proactive in amending the Person With Disabilities Act, 2016, to broaden its scope along with the Accessible India campaign with the objective of encouraging disabled-friendly buildings and human resource policies(Tribhuwan Sharma/ Hindustan Times)
Most markets in the country are not accessible for the disabled. The National Democratic Alliance government was proactive in amending the Person With Disabilities Act, 2016, to broaden its scope along with the Accessible India campaign with the objective of encouraging disabled-friendly buildings and human resource policies(Tribhuwan Sharma/ Hindustan Times)

Our cities cannot be smart, until they are accessible for everybody

UPDATED ON OCT 23, 2018 01:21 PM IST
Contractors hired to remove the barriers in the urban built environment must not be paid till civil society representatives sign off on the projects
Hearing impaired students at the Seth Anandilal Poddar Deaf And Dumb School in Jaipur watch a telecast of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's talk with students over exam-related stress(Himanshu Vyas)
Hearing impaired students at the Seth Anandilal Poddar Deaf And Dumb School in Jaipur watch a telecast of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's talk with students over exam-related stress(Himanshu Vyas)

Breach the wall of silence: Give State recognition to Indian Sign Language

UPDATED ON SEP 25, 2018 05:47 PM IST
The country’s population of deaf and speech disabled remains invisible at institutions of higher learning since most of them even fail to even complete school
Shared parenting systems exist in a number of countries around the world including the US, the UK, Australia, South Africa and the Netherlands(Shutterstock)
Shared parenting systems exist in a number of countries around the world including the US, the UK, Australia, South Africa and the Netherlands(Shutterstock)

It’s time India gave serious thought to joint parenting

Hindustan Times | By Aasheesh Sharma
UPDATED ON SEP 12, 2018 12:28 PM IST
The Supreme Court has sought the Centre’s response on a petition seeking a “joint parenting plan” to reduce the trauma faced by children of divorced couples. Given the impact that alienation from either parent can have on the child, choosing between the father and the mother without taking a considered view of the possibilities of joint parenting might work against the child’s interests.
Indian shooter Shardul Vihan celebrates after winning silver medal in Men's Double Trap event during the 18th Asian Games Jakarta Palembang 2018, in Indonesia , Aug 23(PTI)
Indian shooter Shardul Vihan celebrates after winning silver medal in Men's Double Trap event during the 18th Asian Games Jakarta Palembang 2018, in Indonesia , Aug 23(PTI)

2018 Asiad: Why India’s teenage shooting stars are unlikely to blame the system

Hindustan Times | By Aasheesh Sharma
UPDATED ON AUG 28, 2018 07:12 PM IST
Some credit for their success must go to India’s robust junior shooting programme which was put in motion after the 2012 London Olympics
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan meets Mesut Ozil, London, May 13. The meeting sparked an enormous controversy.(REUTERS)
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan meets Mesut Ozil, London, May 13. The meeting sparked an enormous controversy.(REUTERS)

Ozil’s retirement rakes up racism debate, which should have no room in sport

Hindustan Times | By Aasheesh Sharma
UPDATED ON JUL 23, 2018 07:47 PM IST
World Cup winner Mesut Ozil’s statements shine a light on the role identity and race play in modern-day sport and the ugly side to the concept of diversity
Hima Das of India, celebrates her victory in women's 400 metres race at the 2018 IAAF World U20 Championships in Tampere, Finland, Thursday, July 12(AP)
Hima Das of India, celebrates her victory in women's 400 metres race at the 2018 IAAF World U20 Championships in Tampere, Finland, Thursday, July 12(AP)

Speaking flawless English should not be a priority for India’s world champion Hima Das

UPDATED ON JUL 16, 2018 02:01 PM IST
Does anybody have the gumption to question African middle-distance running champions about their accent or diction? Are French footballers, considered the best on the planet for excelling in their core competency, forced to speak in English?
Narendra Luther was principal secretary, Andhra Pradesh, while NT Rama Rao was the chief minister.(HT Photo)
Narendra Luther was principal secretary, Andhra Pradesh, while NT Rama Rao was the chief minister.(HT Photo)

Review: A Bonsai Tree by Narendra Luther

Hindustan Times | By Aasheesh Sharma
UPDATED ON JUN 22, 2018 06:42 PM IST
One of the first officers of the IAS, Narendra Luther’s autobiography is particularly interesting for its anecdotes featuring, Nehru, PV Narasimha Rao, and NT Rama Rao, among others
Wrestler Sakshi Malik celebrates after winning the bronze in women's wrestling at the 2016 Rio Olympics.(PTI)
Wrestler Sakshi Malik celebrates after winning the bronze in women's wrestling at the 2016 Rio Olympics.(PTI)

Asking Haryana’s athletes for one-third of their endorsement earnings is the cruellest cut

UPDATED ON JUN 12, 2018 03:34 PM IST
Sakshi Malik, Yogeshwar Dutt, Vijender Singh and Sardara Singh would have been affected by the directive that has now been put on hold by the Haryana CM
Members of the All India Students Federation at a demonstration in protest against the leaked question papers of the Bihar staff selection commission exam.(Sonu Kishan)
Members of the All India Students Federation at a demonstration in protest against the leaked question papers of the Bihar staff selection commission exam.(Sonu Kishan)

CBSE retests: Our evaluation system has failed India’s exam warriors

UPDATED ON MAR 29, 2018 05:58 PM IST
Beyond blaming the board, should we be examining whether the evaluation system is overburdened? Are smarter and more effective ways of assessment such as the proposed National Testing Agency the way forward?
Disabled students at a job fair in Chandigarh. The World Bank estimates that 15% of the world’s population is affected by one disability or another. According to the 2011 Census, the number of disabled in India stands at 2.68 crore, or 2.21 per cent of the population.(Karun Sharma/Hindustan Times)
Disabled students at a job fair in Chandigarh. The World Bank estimates that 15% of the world’s population is affected by one disability or another. According to the 2011 Census, the number of disabled in India stands at 2.68 crore, or 2.21 per cent of the population.(Karun Sharma/Hindustan Times)

For the differently abled, India is still inaccessible

UPDATED ON MAR 06, 2018 06:12 PM IST
14 months after the passing of the Right of Persons with Disabilities Bill, most states are yet to frame the draft rights
Sanjay Manjrekar batting for India during his innings of 104 runs in the inaugural test match between Zimbabwe and India at the Harare Sports Club, 21st October 1992. The Zimbabwe wicketkeeper is Andy Flower. The match ended in a draw.(David Munden/Popperfoto/Getty Images)
Sanjay Manjrekar batting for India during his innings of 104 runs in the inaugural test match between Zimbabwe and India at the Harare Sports Club, 21st October 1992. The Zimbabwe wicketkeeper is Andy Flower. The match ended in a draw.(David Munden/Popperfoto/Getty Images)

Review: Imperfect by Sanjay Manjrekar

Hindustan Times | By Aasheesh Sharma
UPDATED ON FEB 16, 2018 07:13 PM IST
One of the most technically proficient batters of his generation, Sanjay Manjrekar’s account of his career humanises the cutthroat world of international cricket
Where bots based on artificial intelligence (AI) are catching up fast – through a network of high-fangled sensors, social media feeds and advanced cameras – is tracking down breaking news and helping a journalist interpret and propagate in the most efficient and optimum way possible.(Getty Images/iStockphoto)
Where bots based on artificial intelligence (AI) are catching up fast – through a network of high-fangled sensors, social media feeds and advanced cameras – is tracking down breaking news and helping a journalist interpret and propagate in the most efficient and optimum way possible.(Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Are bots ready to take over newsrooms? Not for some time to come

UPDATED ON DEC 31, 2017 08:02 PM IST
One sphere where machines cannot hope to catch up with humans for at least a few years – and thank god for that – is in thought pieces and opinion articles. They haven’t caught up with journalists when it comes to gleaning facts on the ground and getting the texture and context of the story.
The Dar-ul Uloom at Deoband, Uttar Pradesh, has expelled Salman Khurshid for worshipping a Hindu deity(PTI)
The Dar-ul Uloom at Deoband, Uttar Pradesh, has expelled Salman Khurshid for worshipping a Hindu deity(PTI)

Fatwa against Khurshid gives a bad name to the community

Hindustan Times | By Aasheesh Sharma
UPDATED ON OCT 31, 2017 06:46 PM IST
Sermons or edicts that run down India’s pluralistic culture, undermine women’s freedom, or promote anachronistic notions should not get the pulpit of religious seminaries
In the run-up to the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup, the government reportedly spent Rs 100 crore giving a makeover to Kolkata’s Salt Lake Stadium itself.(HT)
In the run-up to the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup, the government reportedly spent Rs 100 crore giving a makeover to Kolkata’s Salt Lake Stadium itself.(HT)

FIFA U-17 World Cup: Don’t expect it to usher in a football renaissance in India

Hindustan Times | By Aasheesh Sharma
UPDATED ON OCT 04, 2017 12:57 PM IST
Participating in their first-ever football World Cup in any age group India have a chance to prove their credentials as a footballing nation and also as FIFA U-17 World Cup hosts. But this won’t transform Amarjit Singh Kiyam’s team into world-beaters overnight.
As the top-most functionary of the Andhra Pradesh government, by repeatedly pronouncing the need to have more children,(HT)
As the top-most functionary of the Andhra Pradesh government, by repeatedly pronouncing the need to have more children,(HT)

Why is Chandrababu Naidu asking people to have more children?

UPDATED ON SEP 11, 2017 12:31 PM IST
It’s astonishing that the Andhra Pradesh chief minister cannot comprehend that more people will not automatically translate to fewer robots.
Bjorn Borg and Boris Becker during their vacation in Ibiza.(Twitter)
Bjorn Borg and Boris Becker during their vacation in Ibiza.(Twitter)

Boris Becker meets Bjorn Borg: From boom to broke

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | By Aasheesh Sharma
UPDATED ON AUG 02, 2017 06:06 PM IST
Bjorn Borg and Boris Becker were responsible for a lot of great matches during the playing days and after retirement, they are still creating a lot of drama off the pitch.
Two days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled his memorial in Rameswaram on his second death anniversary, an ungainly controversy appears to be have erupted over the placement of an engraved Bhagvad Gita next to a wooden statue of former president APJ Abdul Kalam.(PTI)
Two days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled his memorial in Rameswaram on his second death anniversary, an ungainly controversy appears to be have erupted over the placement of an engraved Bhagvad Gita next to a wooden statue of former president APJ Abdul Kalam.(PTI)

Let’s not tarnish the legacy of Kalam, the People’s President

Hindustan Times | By Aasheesh Sharma
UPDATED ON JUL 31, 2017 02:34 PM IST
The ungainly row over the placement of the Bhagavad Gita at APJ Abdul Kalam’s memorial in Rameswaram is unnecessary and does great disservice to his syncretic legacy
Indian women's cricket team captain Mithali Raj poses for Hindustan Times in New Delhi, after her return from the 2017 Women’s Cricket World Cup.(Ravi Choudhary/HT PHOTO)
Indian women's cricket team captain Mithali Raj poses for Hindustan Times in New Delhi, after her return from the 2017 Women’s Cricket World Cup.(Ravi Choudhary/HT PHOTO)
The lobby of Goa’s off-shore casinos is one of the biggest cash-cows for a government that is largely dependent on tourism for its revenue(Sanjeev Verma/HT)
The lobby of Goa’s off-shore casinos is one of the biggest cash-cows for a government that is largely dependent on tourism for its revenue(Sanjeev Verma/HT)

Will allies force Parrikar’s hand on Goa’s cash-rich off-shore casinos?

Hindustan Times | By Aasheesh Sharma
PUBLISHED ON JUL 26, 2017 05:49 PM IST
Apart from the allegation that the casinos encourage the habit of gambling among the people of the state and thereby undermine public morality, there are serious environmental repercussions that are often pushed to the background.
Kannada, English and Hindi signage at Bengaluru’s Mahatma Gandhi Road station.(Arijit Sen/Hindustan Times)
Kannada, English and Hindi signage at Bengaluru’s Mahatma Gandhi Road station.(Arijit Sen/Hindustan Times)

Bengaluru Metro row: Why coercive implementation of Hindi can’t work in India

Hindustan Times | By Aasheesh Sharma
UPDATED ON JUL 25, 2017 05:01 PM IST
Our policy makers should utilise their time better on constructive tasks rather than expend their energies propagating the virtues of Hindi hegemony or language chauvinism
Irfan Pathan was trolled on social media for posting her wife’s photograph where the trolls complained she was exposing her hands and wearing nail polish(Facebook)
Irfan Pathan was trolled on social media for posting her wife’s photograph where the trolls complained she was exposing her hands and wearing nail polish(Facebook)

Wives and girlfriends of cricketers can’t be soft targets for online trolls

Hindustan Times | By Aasheesh Sharma
UPDATED ON JUL 21, 2017 12:24 PM IST
Cricketers hardly ever bother to hit back at them on social media. And apart from exceptions such as Virat Kohli and Mayanti Langer, the victims do not jump in and engage with abusive trolls
Indian cricket captain Mithali Raj during the ICC Women's World Cup fixture at the County Ground, Derby, England. Eighteen years after she began playing the ‘gentleman’s game’ India cricket captain Mithali Raj still has to keep fielding sexist queries from callous journalists with a straight bat(AP)
Indian cricket captain Mithali Raj during the ICC Women's World Cup fixture at the County Ground, Derby, England. Eighteen years after she began playing the ‘gentleman’s game’ India cricket captain Mithali Raj still has to keep fielding sexist queries from callous journalists with a straight bat(AP)

Virat Kohli fails to recognise Mithali Raj: Gender bias at play

UPDATED ON JUL 13, 2017 03:40 PM IST
Coming from the Indian men’s skipper to the women’s captain, the blunder speaks volumes about the kind of apathy and discrimination lady cricketers face in the country. Is it time to coin another phrase for the gentleman’s game?
VVS Laxman and MS Dhoni at Eden Gardens, Kolkata, during the test match against the West Indies on 15th November 2011.(Subhankar Chakraborty/HT Photo)
VVS Laxman and MS Dhoni at Eden Gardens, Kolkata, during the test match against the West Indies on 15th November 2011.(Subhankar Chakraborty/HT Photo)

Review: Numbers Do Lie by Impact Index and Aakash Chopra

Hindustan Times | By Aasheesh Sharma
UPDATED ON JUN 09, 2017 09:20 PM IST
A new book that validates a few longstanding beliefs of cricket aficionados gives credit where it’s due and is an ode to the unsung hero
In the age of social media outrage and manufactured dissent turning into slanging matches on television, do you remember any socialite changing their profile picture to Ravinder Kumar’s or candle-light vigils seeking justice for a nameless 31-year-old son of a retired Delhi Police constable?(HT)
In the age of social media outrage and manufactured dissent turning into slanging matches on television, do you remember any socialite changing their profile picture to Ravinder Kumar’s or candle-light vigils seeking justice for a nameless 31-year-old son of a retired Delhi Police constable?(HT)

Where is the outrage over the killing of the e-rickshaw driver who opposed public urination?

Hindustan Times | By Aasheesh Sharma
UPDATED ON JUN 02, 2017 11:13 PM IST
The beautiful people who took out candle-light vigils for a model shot dead for refusing to serve a drink have gone missing. Hashtag #JusticeforRavinder, anybody?
A mass-marriage ceremony was hosted by Gopal Bhargava, state minister of panchayati raj and rural development, in his hometown of Garhakota on Saturday. Bhargava made sure the messages were inscribed loud and clear on the traditional laundry bats used to thrash the grime out of dirty clothes: ‘A gift to be used for bashing drunkards’ and ‘The police won’t intervene!”(HT Photo)
A mass-marriage ceremony was hosted by Gopal Bhargava, state minister of panchayati raj and rural development, in his hometown of Garhakota on Saturday. Bhargava made sure the messages were inscribed loud and clear on the traditional laundry bats used to thrash the grime out of dirty clothes: ‘A gift to be used for bashing drunkards’ and ‘The police won’t intervene!”(HT Photo)

Arming women with bats to beat up alcoholics is a bizarre idea

UPDATED ON MAY 03, 2017 12:55 PM IST
If Madhya Pradesh minister Gopal Bhargava really wants to empower his women constituents, he would be well advised to arm them with education and employment opportunities
Singer Sonu Nigam , best known for such chartbusters as Sandese aate hain and Har ghadi badal rahi hai roop zindagi, decided to express his displeasure over the azaan. “God bless everyone. I’m not a Muslim and I have to be woken up by the azaan in the morning. When will this forced religiousness end in India,” he tweeted to his 5.92 million followers.(Hindustan Times)
Singer Sonu Nigam , best known for such chartbusters as Sandese aate hain and Har ghadi badal rahi hai roop zindagi, decided to express his displeasure over the azaan. “God bless everyone. I’m not a Muslim and I have to be woken up by the azaan in the morning. When will this forced religiousness end in India,” he tweeted to his 5.92 million followers.(Hindustan Times)

Trigger-happy Twitter celebs like Sonu Nigam should be more circumspect

UPDATED ON APR 18, 2017 12:25 PM IST
Whether it is the compulsions of staying relevant or the nature of the social media beast that is fuelling these sensationalist tweets, celebrities need to be mindful of what they put out in the public realm
Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju. Religious affiliations have little to do with the size of the family and favourable social indices equally contribute to slower population growth(PTI)
Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju. Religious affiliations have little to do with the size of the family and favourable social indices equally contribute to slower population growth(PTI)

Rijiju’s Hindu conversion tweet is a mischievous attempt to twist facts

Hindustan Times | By Aasheesh Sharma
PUBLISHED ON FEB 14, 2017 06:41 PM IST
Not just is the controversial minister’s statement the latest in the litany of alarmist proclamations made by saffron organisations such as the Vishva Hindu Parishad, it couldn’t have been further from reality, if Census projections are anything to go by
A journalist throws his shoe at India's Home Minister P Chidambaram during a news conference in New Delhi in this combo picture made from two video frame grabs from ANI TV taken and released in 2009. In 2017, the journalist is fighting the assembly polls in Punjab on an Aam Aadmi Party ticket and taking on chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, who was the victim of a shoe-throwing incident on Wednesday.(REUTERS)
A journalist throws his shoe at India's Home Minister P Chidambaram during a news conference in New Delhi in this combo picture made from two video frame grabs from ANI TV taken and released in 2009. In 2017, the journalist is fighting the assembly polls in Punjab on an Aam Aadmi Party ticket and taking on chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, who was the victim of a shoe-throwing incident on Wednesday.(REUTERS)

Chidambaram to Badal: A not-so-Lambi history of shoe-throwing

UPDATED ON JAN 13, 2017 04:42 PM IST
A look back in anger at the assorted activists – some rich some not-so-well-heeled — who vented their anger at the establishment and politicians by hurling shoes at politicians of all hues and nationalities
Mohammad Kaif became the latest cricketer to be given morality lessons by trolls on Twitter after he posted a picture of himself doing a yoga pose.(PTI)
Mohammad Kaif became the latest cricketer to be given morality lessons by trolls on Twitter after he posted a picture of himself doing a yoga pose.(PTI)

Why are toxic trolls losing their shirt over Kaif doing the Surya Namaskar?

UPDATED ON JAN 02, 2017 10:24 PM IST
Don’t have the champion cricketer running for cover for doing the Surya Namaskar
Manabi Bandopadhyay, the first transgender principal of any educational institute in India, has resigned((Courtesy Manabi Bandopadhyay's Facebook page))
Manabi Bandopadhyay, the first transgender principal of any educational institute in India, has resigned((Courtesy Manabi Bandopadhyay's Facebook page))

Principal’s resignation reinforces prejudices against trans-people

UPDATED ON JAN 02, 2017 01:30 PM IST
Manabi Bandopadhyay, first transgender principal of any educational institute in India, has resigned. But the news shouldn’t dampen the spirits of the transgender community of the country
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