Aakash Joshi (for Info only, not official)

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Aakash Joshi

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    ...The young, and the old who long for the idealism of youth, had it tough for a while there. History, we were told, was at an end; the great clash of civilisations was resolved by making sure all anyone really wanted was a Big Mac. But the desire to rebel isn’t so easily quenched. It finds its way in little ways, all superstructure and no base. So, we had generations listening to Bob Dylan while cramming for their CAT exams and Che was reduced to a snazzy logo on a t-shirt. Thankfully, all that began to change in 2014. ...

    Indian Express on Nov. 18, 2017, 12:44 a.m.

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    ...India, like China, seems keen to record and rate its citizens. Unlike the SCS though, Aadhaar crept up on us. There’s an important fact most of us tend to forget about Oceania. Winston Smith, the protagonist of George Orwell’s masterpiece is the exception among his people, not the rule; the only difference between utopia and dystopia is perspective. Now, while 1984 has past 1984 is upon us and like with so many other things in the Asian century, China is leading the way. Amid the headlines made by Xi Jinping’s ascendance to the Chinese constitution — the first living Communist Party leader to manage the feat since Mao Zedong — and the clamour around OBOR, another significant development has escaped attention. The Chinese government is developing a Social Credit System (SCS) to determine the “trustworthiness” of its citizens. By 2020, the SCS will be in place for 1.3 billion people. According to Wired, the policy states: “It will forge a public opinion environment where keeping trust is glorious. ...

    Indian Express on Oct. 28, 2017, 1:47 a.m.

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    ... The least problematic aspect of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath’s statement implying that Muslim residents offering namaz in public are comparable to police stations in the state becoming associated with the majority religion is that it is a simple logical fallacy. The “false equivalence” between ordinary citizens exercising their freedom of religion and the co-opting of police stations for janmashthami celebrations is, however, symptomatic of a deeper malaise. ...

    Indian Express on Aug. 19, 2017, 12:23 a.m.

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    ...Police clash with protesters in Noida’s Sector 78, on July 12. Around 100-150 people hurled stones at Mahagun Moderne society over the ‘disappearance’ of domestic help Zohra Bibi. On the morning of July 30, the residents of an upscale condominium in Gurgaon were woken up by domestic workers protesting for higher wages. “All of us stayed indoors. After the Noida incident, it’s better to be safe,” remarked one of them. The incident at Mahagun Moderne last month, however, is not sufficient to explain this fear. After all, no one was severely injured and given the provocation — the alleged kidnapping and assault of a young female domestic worker — the conflict in the Noida housing society was a relatively minor one. ...

    Indian Express on Aug. 7, 2017, 2:12 a.m.

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    ... In mainstream cinema, a film can be path-breaking in two ways. It can have a genuinely moving, provoking narrative, or a kind of humour and insight that is, if not unprecedented, certainly rare. Such a film has to be superbly written, directed and acted and the chord it strikes with its audience stays with them long after the film is over. The sound, camera and editing come together to bring out a story in novel ways. Its themes will stay relevant after its context seems dated and its plot points become archetypes for generations of filmmakers and aficionados. But there is another kind of greatness as well. When the craft of cinema is, for its time and place, elevated to an art. S.S. Rajumouli’s two-part epic comes close to films in this category. ...

    Indian Express on May 10, 2017, 12:15 a.m.

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    ... In mainstream cinema, a film can be path-breaking in two ways. It can have a genuinely moving, provoking narrative, or a kind of humour and insight that is, if not unprecedented, certainly rare. Such a film has to be superbly written, directed and acted and the chord it strikes with its audience stays with them long after the film is over. The sound, camera and editing come together to bring out a story in novel ways. Its themes will stay relevant after its context seems dated and its plot points become archetypes for generations of filmmakers and aficionados. But there is another kind of greatness as well. When the craft of cinema is, for its time and place, elevated to an art. S.S. Rajumouli’s two-part epic comes close to films in this category. ...

    Indian Express on May 10, 2017, 12:15 a.m.

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    ...This “moral” policing is not being conducted by right-wing social outfits, but rather, by the police acting on the instructions of the recently elected government. Representational Image. Days after “Yogi” Adityanath’s appointment as chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, the state’s police launched its anti-Romeo squads, ostensibly created to deal with crimes against women. Already, though, videos and stories of police personnel intimidating young people in public spaces have become commonplace. Meanwhile, despite repeated instances of intimidation, assault and murder — most recently in Alwar, Rajasthan — gau rakshaks, far from being vilified, are increasingly being given legal sanction by a number of state governments. ...

    Indian Express on April 13, 2017, 12:08 a.m.

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    ... “When you read a book as child,” said Kathleen Kelly (Meg Ryan) in You’ve Got Mail, “it becomes a part of your identity in a way that no other reading in your whole life does.” If you were truly fortunate, Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy helped form a part of you. Now, 22 years after Northern Lights, (the first book in the series) Philip Pullman is returning with another trilogy set in the same universe, the first part of which will be released later this year. Compared to the ubiquitousness of Harry Potter across mediums, Pullman fans (millions of them, going by sales) are something of a minor, if significant, cult. And as proud members of any cult, we will, after a careful screening, attempt to convert you to our cause. If you happened to grow up in the noughties, J.K. Rowling’s world of magic probably loomed large through your childhood. The success of the Harry Potter franchise is both understandable, and welcome. It recycles known archetypes (a fancy word for a bag of cliches) and combines them in the most appealing ways. ...

    Indian Express on Feb. 20, 2017, 12:37 a.m.