The educated Indian in me condemns the Shiv Sena act as fascist, intolerant, coercive and violative of pluralism
The Shiv Sena is mincing no words when it says it is proud of the sainiks who blackened the face of Sudheendra Kulkarni for organising Khurshid Mahmood Kasuri’s book launch in Mumbai. Aditya Thackeray called Kulkarni a “Naxal sympathiser” and Kasuri a “foreign minister having links with anti-India separatists from the valley”. So the nationalist Indian in me questions why the likes of Ghulam Ali and Kasuri should be given platforms in India while the mayhem at the border continues and a slew of terror attacks have killed countless innocent victims. On the other hand, the educated Indian in me condemns the incident as fascist, intolerant, coercive and violative of pluralism. If anything, the Sena’s actions will, in fact, help Kasuri’s book sales sky-rocket — the book in which he reportedly states that the Indian subcontinent’s history would have been different had Mahatma Gandhi and Mohammed Ali Jinnah succeeded in their collective efforts to avert Partition. If that is true, one has to agree.
1) I’m not sure if season five of “Homeland” is being shown in Pakistan, but in India, the fifth season of the spectacular political drama has taken off to a flying start. Two episodes down, 10 more to go, and it’s killing it as it always does. The previous season, in which a part of Cape Town was passed off as Islamabad, featured two Asian actors playing Pakistani officials, whose actions depicted Pakistan as a scheming nation. Giving Pakistan-bashing a break, in the current season the makers have turned their attention to the Islamic State, Vladimir Putin, Charlie Hebdo and Edward Snowden.
2) Rihanna says she wants to take a break from exposing her body parts and “wear clothes”. Better late than never, but I hope we aren’t left searching for her talent then!
3) Daniel Craig recently claimed that he would rather slash his wrists than make a fifth James Bond film. What he probably meant was that he’s exhausted after a gruelling six-month shoot, having rinsed every conceivable Bond trick there is in the book. He says he is keen to move on but adds in the same breath that if he did another Bond movie, it would be for the money. This, after he was paid a whopping £39 million.
4) While a lot of American kids are in desperate need of parenting, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt adopted a child from war-torn Syria after Jolie met three young brothers there who had been orphaned in the conflict. Just when you’d have expected Jolie to pick up all the boys, she settled on one. While I see the compassion (and enough years of paparazzi down the road), I can’t ignore the insensitivity that comes with separating a boy from his brothers.
5) I haven’t stopped smirking ever since I saw the video of what is seemingly a mehndi track from the recent release, Jawani Phir Nahi Aani. Everything about the track bears testimony to the fact that Bollywood is deeply embedded in the veins of Pakistan. The brief given to the choreographer to ape a colourful Karan Johar-esque celebratory family song has given birth to one evidently sponsored by a fairness cream — so much so that the leading lady is dressed in baby pink to coincide with the colour of the tube in which the cream is sold. While the actors seem a tad uncomfortable gyrating to robotic moves, I can see why the track is easily the home-grown wedding song of the year… till a new big daddy Bolly number hits the airwaves and steals its thunder.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 15th, 2015.
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