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...As a Bollywood blockbuster and a cultural phenomenon, its enduring charisma needs explanation. Besides crisp dialogue, its deft portrayal of human emotions—from sublime loyalty to visceral revenge—has received critical acclaim. What has probably escaped the attention of critics is its portrayal of rational decision-making. One sequence, in particular, stands out. The context of this scene is as follows: petty criminals Jai (Amitabh Bachchan) and Veeru (Dharmendra) are engaged by the former cop Thakur Baldev Singh (Sanjeev Kumar) to clean up the bandit-infested ravines of Ramgarh. In this ‘mission’, Veeru is infatuated by vivacious village belle Basanti (Hema Malini) who reciprocates his feelings. The only problem in matchmaking is Basanti’s mausi (aunt), brilliantly played by veteran artist Leela Mishra, who dislikes Veeru due to his bad habits. Jai’s ill-fated and tragicomic interventions on behalf of his friend worsen the situation. To overcome mausi’s resistance, Veeru hatches a convoluted plan. ...Live Mint on Aug. 22, 2017, 12:15 a.m.
...One can claim that modern economics is but a series of footnotes to Arrow’s works. His first major breakthrough was the impossibility theorem (he proved it as part of his PhD work). This eponymous theorem has been described as one of the most profound results in social sciences. There are two ways of understanding it. One is, you open a social choice textbook and try to follow mathematical gymnastics. Not everyone’s cup of tea. The other way is to forget the technicalities and look at the broad picture. The technicalities will follow. Arrow’s impossibility theorem essentially answers the following question. Let us say there is a group of individuals: a club, board of directors, government committee, electorate of an entire country, whatever it may be. Differences among the group are reconciled by a voting procedure. Is there a way of arriving at group decisions that are as “rational” and “coherent” as a five-year-old child’s would be? Rather surprisingly, the answer is no, not even in principle. ...Live Mint on Feb. 27, 2017, 11:53 p.m.