Social Commentary Indians Justifying the Christchurch Killings, How Far is Too Far?
The Christchurch terrorist was influenced by far-right ideologies, and his manifesto called for removal of “invaders”, including Indian immigrants. It’s a bit mind-boggling then that brown folks like us – no different for the terrorist – should align with his white supremacist ideology and justify the killings.Add to list
Social Commentary How Smartphone Cameras Changed the Way We “Perform” Violence, From Christchurch to BJP’s #JootaFight
We once lived in a time when we feared what the ISIS would upload each time a beheading took place. Now, we have the Christchurch attacks where a man livestreams a massacre. The video as evidence, but not shame, has become a part of the cycle of violence, and we’ve quietly accepted it as a part of 21st-century existence.Add to list
Social Commentary CST Bridge Collapse: How Many More Disasters Before Mumbai Stops Saying, “Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro”?
The CST bridge collapse in 2019. The Andheri bridge mishap in 2018. The Elphinstone stampede in 2016. The breakdown of Mumbai’s infrastructure means that no one, rich or poor, will be spared. And yet, there are no protests, no angry outbursts from a citizenry too preoccupied with living for the day.Add to list
Social Commentary Why Are We Scoffing at the Akash Ambani Video? Aren’t All Our Weddings About Manufactured Happiness?
Why exactly are we sneering at the video of Akash Ambani clapping when he sees his bride Shloka? Aren’t we all desperate to create “perfect moments” at our own weddings? Haven’t we all rehearsed to put up a performance in happiness?Add to list
Social Commentary Tohfa Tohfa Tohfa: Why the “Perfect Gift” Doesn’t Exist For the Married Indian Couple
In my experience, there exists no “perfect gift” for the domesticated couple. You see, what constitutes the perfect gift for them depends on a number of mood-altering variables like the present the neighbour bought his wife, the amount of hair on their head, and which partner forgot to do the laundry that week.Add to list
Social Commentary Discounts on Burgers for Air Strike: How to Commodify India-Pakistan Tensions
A burger company that offered discounts after the 2016 surgical strikes did the same after the Balakot air strike. Other businesses followed suit, with gifts and cakes being thrown around. What does commoditising sentiments of pride and nationalistic spirit say about us?Add to list
Social Commentary What Separates the Stories of Abhinandan Varthaman and Kargil’s K Nachiketa?
Twenty years ago, IAF pilot K Nachiketa was shot down and taken prisoner by Pakistani forces, just like Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman was yesterday. The two episodes are separated not just by two decades, but by a sea change in the attention they have received and the reactions of the public.Add to list
Social Commentary Why the Toxic “Call Out” Culture on Social Media Needs to Go
The “call out” culture on social media has no real friends, and no real beliefs either. Most of us choose the causes we support and tailor what we say depending on how popular our opinions are among our followers. And what’s lacking in this snitch tradition is the ability to forgive, or even simply empathise with human failings.Add to list
Social Commentary Pulwama Attacks: Why Do We Need Our Celebrities to Condemn Every Disaster?
The fact that in the wake of the Pulwama attack, the media chooses to amplify the voices shouting the loudest and most reactionary statements, like Kangana Ranaut, is regrettable. But at least we know that there is another, more tolerant way, as we saw with Sania Mirza.Add to list
Social Commentary Gully Boy and the Bollywoodisation of “Azaadi”
The original “Azaadi” song has been damaged beyond repair. Dub Sharma’s own upload has been taken off YouTube and replaced by the sanitised Gully Boy one, where Kanhaiya Kumar’s earnest appeals for freedom have been replaced by an unnamed protester asking azaadi from “bhedbhaav” and “pakshwaad”.Add to list