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Musings on 96 (film)

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Why Kancha Ilaiah hates Hinduism?

Kancha Ilaiah’s tirade against the trading community in his latest offering “Samajika Smugglerlu Komatollu” (Vysyas are Social Smugglers) is a unique blend of misplaced Marxist lens with blinding Hinduphobic tint. Which precisely explains why his theories, each competing with the other in the race to logical abyss, are lapped up by the left-liberal world and Christian missionaries alike. Eyelids become heavy when he refers to himself as a successor to Buddha, Phule and Ambedkar in the recent spate of interviews to Telugu media. If only he had bothered to research a fraction of what Ambedkar did, we would have had a less pompous, but more measured ‘intellectual’. Speaking of ‘intellectual’ (that’s how he refers to himself!), it is instantly clear to any objective viewer that what passes on as a social scientist’s observations are actually nothing more than Hindu hatred in its purest form.  Since he repeatedly refers to his “Why I am not a Hindu” as some sort of modern bible, standing b…

My pilgrimage in Coastal Karnataka

What’s it about travelling that greatly transforms one’s perspective? Is it the first-hand realization of the transience of worldly affairs that we otherwise put at the center of our existence? Is it because, for a brief period, we tend to remove our self-centric lens and instead try to be more empathetic to our surroundings? There is something profoundly meaningful and satisfying about travelling.
While the above is true of traveller and pilgrim, the latter’s journey extends both ways: external and inner. For the philosophical, a pilgrimage is more than an act of travelling, transcending physical realms and touching the mind more than the body.
The Tour Begins
My one self-imposed condition, during this journey, was to be as Spartan as possible. Though my meagre savings at that point might have been a factor, I think the decision was prompted by the genuine desire to travel with the masses, to experience from close quarters how their everyday life is. 
When I was starting from Goa, the i…

Book Review: Half Lion - How PV Narasimha Rao Transformed India

At a time Bharatavarsha was largely fragmented with Greek invaders still lurking around, a brahmin scholar masterminded their expulsion and reinstated a powerful Indian empire using the military strength of Chandragupta Maurya. Mired in myths, the name Chanakya, invokes to this day, the image of a scheming strategist who used realpolitik as a necessary means to common good.
Two millenniums later, the modern nation-state of India found itself in more dire conditions. Four decades of socialist governance brought the nation to the cusp of economic collapse, separatist movements in Punjab, Kashmir, North-East and even Tamil Nadu threatened the democracy, India’s supporter in the world-stage (USSR) was at the brink of breakdown, and the nation just lost its charismatic leader in suicide bomb. Just when it appeared all hope was lost, destiny intervened and brought a scholar-politician on the verge of retirement back to the corridors of power – to the country’s top job.
Vinay Sitapati’s “Half…

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