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...Hoping to get some tips and tricks, I sat through his interview on an English language channel, and I can say with confidence, I came away enriched. Guha’s basic contention, which I am presuming is explicated further in his new book that he was promoting, was that India is more intolerant than at any time it has been since Emergency. Now I was tempted to say that the very fact that he is saying this on TV contradicts his assertion of suppression of free speech, since at one point, he even brings up Pakistan and North Korea, to imply we are only marginally better than them. ...ABP on Sept. 17, 2016, midnight
...The fall of the USSR, as a superpower, ended global war as we knew it. The overwhelming superiority that the United States commands, and continues to, in terms of conventional and nuclear capabilities make it impossible for nation-states to engage it directly in the field of battle. The age-old imperative for armed conflict, the conquering of rich lands and capturing natural resources, is no longer realisable in the world of the coalition of the willing, as Saddam Hussein found out in 1991. This, and the nature of the modern economy where wealth no longer comes from the ground, save for oil, makes industrial espionage and cyber-attacks directed at large corporations a more strategic pathway for grabbing the resources of others, than charging forward with armies of horses and swords. So, on the face of it, we should be seeing a period of physical peace, with conflict migrating largely to cyberspace, with nation-states and criminal gangs as actors. ...ABP on July 5, 2016, midnight
...Everyone knew Bihar had no law. Thank you Prakash Jha. Everyone knew that Bhais rule Mumbai. Every Sanjay Dutt film tells us that. But Punjab? Wasn’t it, for the rest of India, the land of plenty, of rustic simplicity, of sarson da khet through which lovers ran into each other’s arms, of “Singh is King”s, jolly bhangra-dancing and loud-laughing, of hearts bigger than the outdoors, of bravery, friendship and love? Not any more. ...ABP on June 21, 2016, midnight
...A film headlined by an actor with moderate box-office draw, moderate in comparison to the Khans and the Roshans and the Kumars of course, gets the kind of buzz that others can only dream of. A gaggle of Bollywood film-makers get to make belief that they are Russian dissident artists in the days of the gulag archipelago. Arnab Goswami gets a chance to shout over everyone else. Mukesh Khanna, of Bheesma and Shaktimaan and “playing father to Feroz Khan in Yalgaar” fame gets a chance to get up from the bed of arrows and inform us as to what’s wrong with the world. Pahlaj Nihalani, hitherto known only to a select few as the man who produced the wave of the Dhawan vulgarity of the 1990s, gets a shot at being relevant and declare his love for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, like a teenager shouting out Bieber’s name at a concert. Did I say everyone wins? Scratch that. ...ABP on June 15, 2016, midnight