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On A Personal Note with Anees Bazmee, film writer, director and producer

Starting out as a child artist, in a career spanning more than three and half decades Anees Bazmee has written/directed more than 60 films in Hindi, Tamil and Marathi in a variety of genres. After writing films like ‘Hum Farishtey Nahin’, ‘Swarg’, and ‘Aankhen’, he directed commercially successful films like ‘Welcome’, ‘Ready’, &ls

On A Personal note with musician Apache Indian

Renowned British singer, songwriter and reggae DJ, Apache Indian (originally known as Steven Kapoor) shot to fame with his style of music which came to be known as bhangramuffin (also called bhangragga) – a mix of bhangra, reggaemuffin and traditional dance hall in the early 1990s. His style changed the way music was going to be created later. His cult track ‘Boom-Shaka-Lak’ i

On a Personal Note / Rajpal Yadav, Actor

Rajpal Yadav is acclaimed for playing multidimensional roles. An alumnus of the National School of Drama, he also attended the Bharatendu Academy of Dramatic Arts in Lucknow. He has worked in theatre, television, Bollywood and regional cinema besides working in a Hollywood production. In 2016 he launched his political outfit called Sarv Sambhav Party. If not an actor what

On a Personal note with actor Neeraj Kabi

Neeraj Kabi, a critically acclaimed self-taught actor, theatre director, and acting teacher, has worked in Odiya, Hindi and international cinema, theatre, television and web series. In 2014 he was honoured with the best actor award at the 4th Sakhalin International Film Festival for his role in the film ‘Ship of Theseus’ – his most memorable role for many viewers. His othe

On a personal note: DIVINE

An underground rapper who grew up on Mumbai streets, Divine spins his music around his environment and poverty. His breakout single, ‘Meri Gully Mein’, along with fellow rapper Naezy caught Bollywood’s attention. The Hindi film ‘Gully Boy’ is inspired by their lives and grossed `237 crore globally. It is the second highest earning film of 2019 and the highest e

The role model for an IAS officer

Anil Swarup, an IAS officer of Uttar Pradesh cadre who retired in 2018, is a model bureaucrat who retained his optimism right till the end of service and exemplified dedication and commitment. His excitement at the opportunities that a job in the IAS provided is evident on every page of his new book published this year.    Anil is not afraid to speak the truth an

The greatest challenge for any government

Shouting vengeance at all and sundry while wriggling out of holes of our own making seems to be our very special national characteristic. Some recent instances are illustrative of this attribute. A number of business tycoons with thousands of crores of unresolved debts have fled abroad with the government desperately trying to bring them back by expensive and protracted litigation in foreign co

On a personal note: Rasika Dugal

A BSc in Mathematics and an alumnus of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Rasika Dugal has acted in Hindi and Malayalam films, web series and television serials besides hosting shows. She is the recipient of the Best Actor Award at Rajasthan International Film Festival for her role in the film Hamid. She is best known for her role in the movies Kshay, Qissa and Manto.  &nbs

Making sense of India’s elections

With highly appropriate lyrics at the start of every chapter, combined with deep insights from rigorous analysis of data – Citizen Raj is an absolute delight to read.    In Citizen Raj, Surjit Bhalla, well known economist and commentator, looks at Indian elections from 1952 till 2019 and he does what he mentions to be his hobby which also happens to be his

The state of the Left

As we come to the close of this election season, what cannot escape even the indiscriminate eye is the decline of the organized left parties in India. Between 2004, when the Left Front had 59 MPs in the Lok Sabha, to 2014, when it had 11 MPs, the decline has been rapid and palpable. Both its national space and regional presence are shrinking.   

“The key issue in this election is: Save Democracy, Save the Constitution”

Former Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, an engineer by training, is a rare politician: down-to-earth and with a clean image. In the midst of the hectic electioneering, Chavan spoke with Geetanjali Minhas on trends in these polls. Edited excerpts from the interview:    What are the key election issues in these Lok Sabha elections?

The real winner will be the FPTP system

The ongoing parliamentary elections are in the concluding phase/ stage. Eventually, the results will be out on May 23. A huge number of candidates are, as usual, in the fray. There are claims and counter-claims, declarations and bolder declarations, promises and astronomical promises, narratives and counter-narratives galore. Some will win - to be specific 543 - and all others will lose. Conseq

“Sometimes we wonder if we are living in a democracy at all”

Sharad Pawar is the grand old man of Indian politics. He is among the last stalwarts from a generation that is fading out. He has served as chief minister of Maharashtra four times and held crucial portfolios of defence and agriculture at the centre. In this election, he is busier than most, hopping across Maharashtra and addressing a series of rallies every day. Amid his hectic schedule, he sp

Want to win elections?

In book publishing, one of the trends for the past couple of decades has been to pick out pearls of wisdom from well known sources – philosophers, sages, novelists, economists – and package them as easy reads. Thus, we have ‘How Proust Can Change Your Life’ as well as ‘How Adam Smith Can Change Your Life’. In a series called ‘Ancient Wisdom for Modern

Why supreme court should hold a fresh inquiry

Voices say now that three honourable judges have spoken against the charges levelled against the CJI; therefore, quietus be given to the whole affair and let the matter rest there. They say the report need not be disclosed to public in view of the judgement in the case of Indira Jaising vs Supreme Court of India & Anr. (2003), which said disclosure to public would do more harm than good to

The charge of the forward brigade

The family group on WhatsApp went into a buzzing frenzy. Thumbs-ups, happy emojis, congratulatory messages. All in response to a message that made it seem as if the BBC was reporting on a survey conducted by...hold your breath...the CIA and the ISI, predicting a victory for the BJP in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Only a few wondered why the spy agencies of the US and Pakistan would conduct a s

“Nationalism means performing your duty with due diligence”

Dr Harsh Vardhan, a union minister, is the genial face of the BJP old guard in Delhi. He is contesting again from the Chandni Chowk constituency, in the heart of the capital. He talked with Rahul Trivedi about the party’s prospects in the elections. Edited excerpts:   The election discourse has largely focused on nationalism and security, but de

On a personal note: Zeeshan Ayyub

Zeeshan Ayyub worked in theatre before he made his Bollywood debut in 2011 with the critically acclaimed No One Killed Jessica. He has since gone on to do a number of versatile roles such as “Chintu” Kumar Singh in Tanu Weds Manu, the loyal Sadiq in Raees, the traitor brother of Kangana Ranaut in Manikarnika and “Guddu” Singh in Zero. Born in Delhi, Zeeshan completed his

When will the sun set on these laws?

The nature and impact of legislations promulgated by the national government is an interesting topic for study as it is possible to evaluate the quality of governance and the care and concern of elected representative towards the people of India. In the 16th Lok Sabha (2014-19), 133 bills were passed, with a substantial number of them relating to the financial sector. They include the GST bill,

Getting detailed with river water

Long-time residents of Varanasi say that among their fondest memories is of sitting on the ghats and watching dolphins frolick in the Ganga. These days though, no one sees them. “Some 25-30 years ago, dolphins were a common sight here at Assi ghat,” says Ram Kishan Nishad, a boatman. “Now, they have moved towards Chunar (upstream from Varanasi).” And Kavita Sha



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