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...Illustration by C R Sasikumar Well, General Rawat’s hat is always aslant. I suggest that no deeper explanation is required for the outrageous things that he has been saying in the matter of the bewildered weaver who found himself transformed into a human shield. Illustration by C R Sasikumar Sandeep Dikshit’s colourfully phrased remark about the army chief’s blustery machismo — “bring ’em on” — has got the political establishment all hot under the collar. But actually this pother is based on a simple misconstruction. It isn’t General Bipin Rawat that is at issue, it is his hat. It is a truth universally acknowledged that a man wearing a silly hat — well, you know the rest. ...Indian Express on June 14, 2017, midnight
...There is a buzz of creativity all around. The passivity of the past decades has disappeared, and various forms of activism are emerging. The time is now — or never. The comedy channels are thrumming with activity; people are looking out for the latest outrage and, incidentally, productivity is down because everyone is spending so much time looking at Trump videos. Not particularly witty himself, Trump is the cause of wit in others — and that, too, is something to be grateful for. One remembers Roland Barthes on Voltaire: “It was … a singular happiness to do battle in a world where force and stupidity were continually on the same side: A privileged situation for the mind.” But I suppose the most remarkable instance of this Trump-driven creativity is the way in which the pedestrian news conference has been reinvented. ...Indian Express on Feb. 20, 2017, 12:02 a.m.
...Illustration: C R Sasikumar Is there a way back from this brink, this cacophonous desert of radical contrariety in which we find ourselves? Frankly, I’m not hopeful. Illustration: C R Sasikumar “It was the best of times,” Dickens’s novel famously opens, “it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us… in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received…in the superlative degree of comparison only.” The similarity to our own noisy time — here, now — is too obvious to be missed. The clamorous farce that passes for TV “debate” is an eloquent illustration of our predicament, in which we are in the grip of matched opposites, good versus evil, monster versus saint, nationalism versus sedition, black versus white. ...Indian Express on Jan. 4, 2017, 12:15 a.m.
... What is the function of “surgical” in surgical strike? Because, as every true-blooded patriot knows, a surgical strike is, of course, good, but it is also fundamentally different from, say, a “cross-border raid”, let alone “infiltration”. Those are things that the baddies do. We, on the other hand, do surgical strikes. Part of the appeal of a “surgical strike” — the phrase derives, of course, from US military jargon, where it serves similar, but not identical purposes — is that it implies “precision”. After all, a surgeon is not a butcher slashing about with a cleaver — actually, even a butcher is not a butcher! ...Indian Express on Oct. 21, 2016, 12:05 a.m.