History · Politics · Recommended movies, books etc.

Saving yourself from govt propaganda and fake news in India

The recent book I am a Troll: Inside the secret world of the BJP’s Digital Army was instrumental in exposing a trend in India which had been going on for the past few years – that of the BJP (and its co-ideologists like the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh – RSS) employing thousands of young men and women… Continue reading Saving yourself from govt propaganda and fake news in India

Culture & Life · Medicine & Doctors · Recommended movies, books etc.

WIth patients in India getting increasingly impatient with doctors, Paul Kalanithi’s memoir invites us to pause and think

This was published on May 15, 2017 in theWire.in. Here is the link, and below is an extract. The much-loved and much-reviewed When Breath Becomes Air is a unique autobiographical work by US neurosurgeon Paul Kalanithi, a terminally ill doctor-turned-patient who died at age 36… It is useful reading for both the general public and… Continue reading WIth patients in India getting increasingly impatient with doctors, Paul Kalanithi’s memoir invites us to pause and think

History · Politics · Recommended movies, books etc.

William Dalrymple explains how corporations today, with their powers, resemble the East India Company

This piece was published on the platform ‘The Logical Indian’ on May 4 2017. Here is the link. Below is an excerpt: In his most crucial insight for our times, Dalrymple argues that many of modern India’s rich industrialists have amassed wealth in ways similar to Robert Clive’s, the EIC’s ruthless official who had won… Continue reading William Dalrymple explains how corporations today, with their powers, resemble the East India Company

Culture & Life · Politics · Recommended movies, books etc.

New Science on Why People Believe Fake News

This was published by theWire on March 5, 2017. Here is the link. Below is an extract. “To sum up, Mercier and Sperber claim that our faculty of reasoning is perfect for making, and accepting or rejecting, argumentive claims. They say this is its primary evolutionary function. But our reasoning faculty is imperfect – though not… Continue reading New Science on Why People Believe Fake News

History · Politics · Recommended movies, books etc.

Conversing With Gandhi in Digital India

This was published on Gandhi’s death anniversary this year, Jan 30 2017. Here is the link. Below is an extract: In a documentary on the making of the movie, Attenborough expressed phenomenal admiration for one of young Gandhi’s most profound insights: “It has always been a mystery to me how men can feel themselves honored… Continue reading Conversing With Gandhi in Digital India

History · Recommended movies, books etc. · Religion

How the Grand Old Bhandarkar Urged Indian Historians to Rein in Their ‘Glorious Past’ Fantasies

This was published in theWire.in on 14 January 2017. Here is the link. Below is an extract: In the 1918 speech, Bhandarkar expressed exasperation over “persons who find in the Rgveda allusions to X-rays, railways and what not.” While he urges us not to consider the great epics and the Puranas etc. as strict historical… Continue reading How the Grand Old Bhandarkar Urged Indian Historians to Rein in Their ‘Glorious Past’ Fantasies

Medicine & Doctors · Politics · Public health · Recommended movies, books etc.

‘The Private Insurance Trap’ – Amartya Sen and Jean Dreze

Amartya Sen and Jean Dreze are vehement advocates for universal health coverage. In their fine 2012 book An Uncertain Glory: India and its Contradictions, they devote an entire chapter to ‘India’s Health Care Crisis’. One of the important topics they discuss is the proliferation of govt-sponsored insurance schemes (relying on private insurance companies) over the past… Continue reading ‘The Private Insurance Trap’ – Amartya Sen and Jean Dreze