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Opinions & Blogs / The Week

count-the-gurkhas-in-for-agnipath

The fiery protests against Agnipath have died down. Prospective Agniveers are no longer torching rail locos and buses, but filling up recruitment forms and doing push-ups for physical prowess tests. Once recruited, each one will try to outdo three of his buddies so that, after the fourth year, he will be among the one-fourth who will serve for a decade and half more, and retire with a lifelong pension and perks. All the very best! What would the three losers do? They would go home with a purse

7 Aug 2022 4:03 pm
anuja-chauhan-on-nudes-and-their-meaning

Why exactly has Ranveer Singh shed all his clothes, slicked himself with oil, and lain himself down into that curiously defenceless, needy, side-sprawl upon a Turkish rug for Paper magazine? It cant be for media attentionbecause he gets enough of that already. It cant be for money (though maybe that pricey sea-facing quadraplex in Bandra took the shirt of his back). It isnt for PETA or any other good cause, which is usually the reason most male celebrities give to justify their risque photo-shoo

31 Jul 2022 3:26 pm
legacy-of-the-president-from-irwin-to-murmu

On Monday the 25th, India will get its 15th president. Counting from Lord Irwin who nauseated Winston Churchill by receiving a half-naked fakir on its steps, she will be the 21st occupant of the magnificent mansion on Raisina Hill. Droupadi Murmu's climb up those majestic steps will be another of the giant strides that India has been making towards an inclusive polity. Since its formation, the republic has been presided over by freedom fighters, politicians, educationists, three Muslims, two Dal

24 Jul 2022 2:54 pm
sachidananda-murthy-on-why-naidu-was-not-at-the-national-emblem-inauguration

The inauguration of the 6.5m-tall bronze national emblem atop the new Parliament house by the prime minister was a big event in the project to redefine the mega buildings of the capital area. There have been questions on whether the installation, in which the lions have their mouths open, is a replica of the emblem or a variation. But, Rajya Sabha members were surprised that only the Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla was by Narendra Modis side, apart from Urban Affairs Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, who

17 Jul 2022 9:56 pm
shobhaa-de-on-the-doctor-with-a-difference

Mumbais legendary physician, often described as the best diagnostician in India, has a divine presence. I can vouch for it. When Dr Farokh Erach Udwadia appears before his congregation (anxious patients in the spacious waiting area of the Breach Candy Hospital), a perceptible hush descends, with people scrambling to their feet and bowing low to greet him. Despite the reverence and love he experiences each time he steps out, Udwadia never plays God, even if he is treated like one. At 90 plus, his

17 Jul 2022 9:16 pm
anuja-chauhan-on-branding-cues-political-parties-can-take-from-cola-gutkha-ads

I remember meeting Pakistani music artist Ali Zafar about ten years ago, and being utterly scandalised when he breezily confided that, best way is to endorse Pepsi for one year, then Coca Cola for the next year. Keep everybody happy, including yourself. Being a trench fighter in the cola wars of the 1990s and early 2000s, I was naive enough to expect brand loyalty from brand endorsers. In those decades, Pepsi was synonymous with Shah Rukh Khan, ThumsUp with Salman, and Coke with Aamir. When I we

17 Jul 2022 8:48 pm
shashi-tharoor-on-why-india-will-never-have-its-own-boJo-moment

Amid all the drama and sensation of Boris Johnsons resignation as prime minister of Great Britain, and the catalogue of misjudgments and follies that precipitated it, one aspect no one seems to have raised is staring us in the facethe absolute unlikelihood of anything like this ever happening in our country. Think of it: just two and half years after leading his Conservative Party to a resounding victory in the general elections, and less than two months after surviving a vote of confidence held

17 Jul 2022 4:03 pm
what-better-food-than-grandmothers-millets

2018 was officially India's year of millets. I bet most people didn't know about it. They didn't miss much. That year, our millet production fell to 10.24 million tonnes from 11.64 million in 2017. Bad luck; it happens in farming. The next year our production shot up to 12.49 million tonnes. Even that was not enough for feeding Indians, let alone for export. So Narendra Modi asked the UN to declare 2023 as the global year of millets, and labelled them nutri-cereals. With 72 countries giving thu

10 Jul 2022 3:06 pm
shobhaa-de-on-sheryl-deepika-and-choices

What do Sheryl Sandberg (52) and Deepika Padukone (36) have in common? More than what outsiders may imagine, given that they occupy entirely different galaxies. Sandberg (networth of $160 million) announced she would be stepping down from her power position at Meta Platforms after 14 years to write the next chapter of her life. It was seen by a section of feminists as selling out, given the spectacular success of her bestseller Lean in: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead, which urged women to pus

3 Jul 2022 1:37 pm
nupur-sharma-salman-rushdie-and-religious-sentiments

When back in the mid-1980s, Rajiv Gandhi decided to ban the import of Salman Rushdies Satanic Verses on grounds of blasphemy (the author had, for instance, given the names of the Prophets four wives to four prostitutes in his novel), Left-liberal intellectuals rose as a man to condemn the move as unwarranted interference with freedom of expression. The right reactionaries were delighted with this addition to their ranks although their grounds for protest were entirely different; they damned the

26 Jun 2022 7:46 pm
anuja-chauhan-on-the-hate-zoya-akhtars-the-archies-is-getting

Slightly bemused with the amount of hate Zoya Akhtars teaser for the Netflix films, The Archies, has been getting. I found it, to use my daughters phrase, nice only. As in, so many meticulously styled, impossibly beautiful young things, bathed in vintage-y Instagram filterseach one placed into the aesthetic frames as carefully as a pastry chef places marzipan roses onto a three layered wedding cakeand going forth (presumably) to do the things kids did in the 1960sattend school, obsess over crush

22 May 2022 3:17 pm
sachidananda-murthy-on-modis-u-turn-on-the-sedition-law

Narendra Modis adherents in the BJP marvel at how he comes up with surprises. While he is an excellent mind reader, it is difficult to read Modis mind. He pulled a surprise on his law minister and top officials when he asked them to reconsider provisions of sedition law. Union Minister Kiren Rijiju, Attorney General K.K. Venugopal and Solicitor General Tushar Mehta had to make a swift U-turn in their defence of the sedition law, reversing the governments earlier stand that prosecution of Indian

15 May 2022 4:02 pm
politicians-picking-their-voters-mani-shankar-aiyar-on-gerrymandering-in-j-and-k

In 1812, the governor of Massachusetts, Elbridge Gerry, created a new congressional district (assembly segment) called South Essex. This was depicted by a cartoonist as a monster dragon akin to the mythological salamander. Thus arose the expression gerrymandering, combining the governors surname with the monsters, to denote the manipulation of constituency boundaries to create an undue advantage for one party over others. Gerrymandering perhaps best expresses the consequences of the final repor

15 May 2022 4:02 pm
should-khalistani-graffiti-on-himachal-legislature-worry-us-asks-r-prasannan

A mysterious hand, with no body attached, appears at the feast of King Belshazzar in an Old Testament story in the Book of Daniel. It writes three or four code words on the walls of the banquet hall. Wise man Daniel interprets the words as a prophesy about the downfall of the Babylonian empire. It is logical to believe that Belshazzar ran an ancient Bletchely Park, and that Daniel was its head. Bletchley Park in London, if you don't know, was the world's most secretive hub of code-breakers who

15 May 2022 4:02 pm
shobhaa-de-on-aryama-sundaram-the-rockstar-legal-eagle

Mention Aryama Sundarams name and the instant response is: Aaaah! That brilliant Supreme Court lawyer with a prominent tilak. In fact, the tilak is a birthmark and not a caste or political party identity. Combine that distinguishing mark with Sundarams out-of-the-box thinking, and you get a unique individual. His personality is on full display each time he appears on televised panel discussions on tricky legal/constitutional issues. Viewers listen intently to Sundarams forceful line of argument

24 Apr 2022 1:48 pm
merging-delhi-corporations

On April 5, the Rajya Sabha passed the Delhi Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Bill, 2022, aimed at unifying the three municipal corporations of Delhi. It was a change that Delhi was longing for years. The three corporationsnorth, south and east Delhi municipal corporationswill function as a single body. The unification has been well received by most stakeholders and people. It will make the civic body more powerful, thus enabling effective discharge of civic services and taking up of ambitious

11 Apr 2022 2:44 pm