Teraa Surroor, the rest of the box office

last week’s thread

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158 Responses to “Teraa Surroor, the rest of the box office”

  1. It is so quite here right now. Hardly anybody is posting.

    SRK release is about a month away. I’m sure things will be back to normal at that time.

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  2. Yup; for the months of March, April, June, July, for obvious reasons, we have decided to leave the ground vacant for S & M; sorry Z & M..

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    • charan raj Says:

      What about May?

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      • Nothing in May for SRK..so we can give some rest for the blog in May..June or July will be dedicated to him again..

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        • charan raj Says:

          Why nothing in May? There’s clash between Bachchan’s Te3n and Aiswariya Rai’s Sarabijit scheduled on 20th May.So, I don’t think there will be any rest in May or June.

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  3. Mad Max: Fury Road is a monumental achievement, a triumph of one man’s singular and staggering imagination. If ever there was a film that begged to be celebrated on the big-screen — heck, that begged viewing with 3D glasses — it is this one, a sensational ride that throws you, the viewer, into the deep-end and drags you along for a chained and scorched and unbelievable ride.

    For my money, Mad Max: Fury Road is the greatest action movie of all time. And not least because Miller lets his titular hero slink away into the crowd at the end. Kept alive at first merely because of utility — he is a ‘bloodbag’ marked a universal donor — Max has already moved on.

    As has Miller, the 70-year-old visionary poised to make at least two more movies in the same insane vein. Giving is in their blood.

    http://www.rediff.com/movies/report/mad-max-fury-road-the-greatest-action-movie-of-all-time/20160311.htm

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    • I was talking about this movie during lunch and two people absolutely hated it. They were aghast when I said I loved it 🙂

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  4. tonymontana Says:

    Mad max fury road might be a treat for those who’ve followed the prequels but I found the entire film annoying and jarring. Tried watching it again to see what i missed but didn’t continue.

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  5. Mad max fury road was high on special effects and that’s it. Beyond this, I didn’t find movie to be engaging, average at best.

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  6. And as I watch Trump’s and the Republicans’ debate, I am astounded by the dumb, meaningless sentences vomited by the Republicans’ and the Democrats’ [less so] that really are meant to erect the Viagara-less baser instincts of the common ‘people’ or the common ‘Joe’s ‘ and the common ‘Megans.’

    I am not interested and more so, honestly, fear living in a country that endorses a person like Trump: Not because he is evil: He is but a person usurping the xenophobic fears and illegitimate discussions of ‘foreigners’ snatching jobs from ‘brownies.’ What is disappointing to me and disheartening is the utter lack of reasoning in the American – read white – middle-class to research issues pertaining to root of globalization and the facts of ‘globalization?’ That in a country that is so blessed as to have public county libraries where you can get prints free-of-cost just by producing your Aadhar-inequivalent state-identification cards and use them to prop-up or bring down government; and that YOU, yes you, still find it fit to use in propagating stereo-typical, historically-stamped and regurgitated theories of ‘oppression’, ‘minority-bashing’ quite applicable IRRESPECITVE of whether it is Hitler’s dumb moustache or Modi’s grey beard , is quite disappointing to say the least.

    Q, Satyam, and whoever who is stuck to the left-of-cobwebs, please utilize your astounding brains that God or the Satan has gifted you with, and have the guts to go against the grain of the leftists that are stuck in their own traps.

    Coming out is not an insult: It is just an acknowledgement that your cerebellum folding are open— to flexible thoughts: And I feel belittled that I HAVE to talk to you about these things – you who are extremely qualified in law and journalism. I am but just an IT coolie in the US and am interested ONLY in keeping my family safe in India through my money — NOWHERE am I qualified in social-justice in the US in spite of the fact that I did complete my Masters in SOCIAL JUSTICE in this country..

    Really, do you not see the IRONY in the fact that Trump cancels a meeting in The University of Illinois at Chicago and says he doesn’t wantpeople [read ‘Americans’] to get hurt and then goes on to say in the very bad-breath that he is quite COMFORTABLE with American military murdering the wives and kids of ‘terrorists’ !!

    And then you folks and the dis-honest folks of Nehru-dynasty TV are quite BP-upped by the statement of an English-uncomfortable PM like Modi that says that we get troubled by even puppies run over by car-wheels [Puppies  Muslims and other minorities as per NY educated Barkha: We absolutely love Sigmund when we deem fit.]

    It’s upto you to decide and vent; You have seen the elections faring in the US – the most ‘DEVELOPED’ and ‘CIVILIZED’ country in the world and how Modi has conducted himself in the 2 years that he has been PM — never EVER bothered by ‘flies’ swatting on his arms and forever trying his best to see what he can achieve for the country, irrespective of religion—and trying his best to stress the development of INDIA as a country irrespective of religion and region.

    It’s upto you my good friends. DO YOU CARE TO TAKE ON REGURGITATED HISTORY or DO YOU CARE and HAVE THE GUTS TO WRITE A NEW ONE?

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    • I think you are believing whatever Trump is saying. As Carson said he is a dual person. Knowing he is a businessman, I believe most of his utterances are for crowd. Even if he means something; there is check and balances. Obama has not been able to do anything significant because of Congress. Only significant power he has is wage war on a country without Congress approval.

      Even Obama said something about jobs going to Bangalore. How is that different than what is trump is saying on holistic level.

      Modi may have moved to center but his right wing has been vocal and active and they need to be controlled or tamed. I also understand that media and related echo system are mostly left leaning but then Modi is not doing good job of managing them. The state of media in India is such that every molehill is becoming mountain.

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      • Aamir Khan also blamed media. I dont find fault with media whether they are from the left or from the right. They are doing their job and making people think and think. I read both views and come to my own conclusion as most others may also are doing so. I am not worried about Trump. I would like to see him as President and how he will handle issues. Trump’s sons of the soil theory finds so familiar to Indians.

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      • Munna:

        This is what everybody presumed: That Trump was doing everything for theatrics. But look where he is today. He is just a hair’s length away from being nominated. US is dancing on the edge of fascism [and I use the word VERY CAREFULLY — it is not a left-leaning bucket from which I pull out words as and when I need to fill in op-eds] and Trump has successfully managed to polarize the society. To me, whatever happened in Chicago is a water-shed moment.

        And again, I am comparing the ‘head-of-the-country’ situations. Trump, a presidential candidate, is the one who talks of Mexicans being rapists and talks of jobs being snatched by Mexicans, Indians, Chinese when his suits get stitched in Mexico.

        To me, what is shocking is the utter illiteracy of the American public in validating whatever statements Trump makes. ‘MAKING AMERICA GREAT AGAIN’ has to be one of the most abused phrases in modern times. Levying 45% tax on China? Any wise-crack thinking even out of his arse would laugh at that: If one doesn’t realize that this would result in Americans paying 9$ for a coffee mug that they are now getting for 1$ at Wal-mart, then God help them. Let’s see the ‘MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN’ slogans when you have a 1$ mug and a 9$ mug side-by-side and see who purchases what.

        Globalization, out-sourcing of manufacturing jobs and IT jobs has been going-on for 25-30 years. To now come and talk as if China and India have held knives to the American businessmen’s throats and taken away jobs is ridiculous.

        And yes, you are right that OBAMA too did the same shite in 2012. He resorted to the same theatrics — obviously restrained — in 2012. I was disappointed and MORE stunned than I am today actually.

        And look at what Sanjana says here. We are still struck in the same rut. Trump’s IDEA of nationalism resonates with the right-wing Indians? Really? So does the nationalism of ‘sanghis’ like us call out for driving Muslims out of India? Or murdering the wives and kids of ‘suspected’ terrorists?

        Just because a celebrity like Aamir Khan faced questions because of non-specific utterances, India becomes a fascist society? You have LS180 OR 280 or whatever come here everytime even a question is asked of Aamir Khan come here and talk of Rajat Sharma as a bully!! A BJP waala? Really? Have you EVER watched AAP KI ADALAT before? Of how he questions? What is the format? What kind of blind-worshiping is this? When is one going to take off one’s blinkers?

        If I were to live in a society that is so BLIND and DUMB, then I would worry: I am not now — because I see in India the level of awareness and the way people are questioning critically any moves of the current. And that gives one hope.

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        • When I talked about sons of the soil , I am not talking about BJP. I am talking something specific to Maharashtra, Karnataka and also some northern states. Where it is alleged that biharis and upites are like Mexicans snatching away jobs.

          About Aamir Khan, he started blaming the media and I feel he is trying not to take full responsibility for what he said in a mad moment.

          About Trump, I want to see how he will perform when he is saddled with responsibility. It is one thing to talk irresponsibly just to get eyeballs and it is another thing when he becomes President of the United States.

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          • I stopped watching Rajat’s show long back. And I did not watch even second season of SMJ. I get bored easily. Even KBC, I watched only the first one.

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        • omrocky786 Says:

          AnJo- you rock man !!!

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          • @An Jo. –Only my initials matter. The number is just some option that WordPress offered. It does not trivialise me.

            The only issue on which I have stuck my neck out for Aamir is the recent IE controversy. And will do so to my dying day, because I believe that the man has been wronged through a created controversy. His careless words have been twisted and used in the worst way possible, and for this both social and regular media are responsible.

            Rajat Sharma tried to shame Aamir, but failed. His questioning about Sunny Leone — it was Aamir who came out big hearted and dignified.

            @ Sanjana — I have watched every episode of Satyamev Jayate. It was not a quiz show or a reality show where some desperate -for – publicity types are locked up in a crazy home. I am SO glad Aamir did SJ. Every episode mattered.I and many others have suggested topics to the director Bhatkal. And I am glad that the team has been involved with Maharashtra’s water issue and is doing some practical work in this matter, since last summer, in a project that has come to fruitition this Feb. In Oct 2015 or thereabouts a couple of months before the IE interview in late November, Aamir had a meeting with Mumbai biggies ( like Ratan Tata, KM Birla, Sachin T, others) — all of who agreed to be on board the Paani project. Which is one of the reasons I see Aamir as genuine, despite his loose- lipped stupidity. I have seen Chennai’s water table improve dramatically , thanks to mandatory rain- water- harvesting regulations — and I will happily support anybody who does anything that can improve water supply to the common man. More power to them for doing real work that matters to the common man. Haters and sniggerers can continue with their negativity.

            I dislike Trump, support Bernie Sanders. I think of myself as a liberal democratic socialist like him. Our opinions matter. And I feel that Aamir is somewhat like us.

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    • A bit confused as to what your objection is about.. my sense is that if one is happy with much of the Hindutva outfit one shouldn’t mind Trump either! If one isn’t in it for the Hindutva stuff or all the cultural politics and one has only signed up for the ‘progress’ bit (of course ‘make India great again’ could have been the BJP platform as well! We were once great, then the Muslims and British ruined everything, now let’s be great again’) well even that isn’t in itself problematic because all fascist parties at every point of history have had such adherents. You can’t win otherwise! But again it’s always a bit amusing to see people get all worked up about the Republican party in its current manifestation and then without any irony switch over to the BJP in the Indian context. Luckily I am not so confused about these things and I am against fascist outfits, in every country, in every context, at every point in history. No exceptions!

      Unfortunately we are living through an authoritarian moment in history. If anything it’s on the rise and it most often takes the form of fascist authoritarianism. But if Communism were still viable in the old sense we would see more authoritarianism on that side of the divide as well. But from the US to India and then with Europe in between we precisely see a lot of fascist talk becoming appealing to people for all sorts of reasons. There is a simple structural reason here. Globalization and/or the transition to a newer sort of economy leaves many people in the dust. In the US context there are decimated industrial towns all over where clearly the jobs aren’t coming back and even when manufacturing makes a comeback it does so with vastly fewer jobs (technology takes care of the rest). And so you have people who see no hope either way and who are susceptible to this kind of discourse. Then there are also those who are more into ‘Trumpism’ for the cultural politics. You grow up in an all white town, you don’t like what immigration (non-white) has made of the country since. In either case the dream is a familiar one. Some sense of restoring some glorious or even imagined past.

      So Trump isn’t exactly a challenge for my way of thinking. I find this development hugely regrettable, think he’ll be mauled in the general but to even become the nominee of a major party is bad enough and once one is a nominee there is at least some chance one could win it all. Incidentally (and here one mustn’t be obtuse about these things) Bernie Sanders (whatever else one might think of him and I’m not much of a fan) is hardly in the Trump category in any sense. I’ve already made this point recently in a conversations with Chipguy but much of what Sanders is proposing is already the norm in parts of the western world. It seems radical only within the US context. In any case the problem with Trump isn’t impractical economics. If it were just that there would be no issue. It’s all the ugly stuff that cannot be ignored. Here I’m not as sanguine as Munna. It’s absolutely true that institutionally there are greater guarantees in the US than in India (as an aside I don’t agree with Munna’s Obama assessment.. think he’s been extraordinarily consequential in all sorts of ways.. more and more people are coming around to this view… admittedly he would have been moreso without such obstruction.. but even as things stand he certain stands for a certain reversal of Reaganism). But such a discourse also gets legitimized along the way and this has an effect on the entire politics. But yes it’s far more dangerous when such political figures get elected in India.

      One must be careful though. So far he’s getting about 35-50% of the Republican primary vote. That’s hardly all Americans. Much as in India (and even if I’m the greatest critic of the BJP) they won 31% of the vote in the last elections (38% with allies). So ‘all’ Indians were hardly with this option even in this wave election. But there’s also the other side here. Hitler too never won more than 32% of the vote! That’s another debate. Beyond this one cannot play both sides on Modi. On the one hand a strong leader who has everything in control and who will take India into a new golden age, on the other and when Trump-like statements come out with regularity from all and sundry then it’s ‘oh poor guy what can he do? he can’t even speak English’! In any case however such a discourse is facilitated it’s deeply problematic. Again I find this politics unacceptable whether it’s India or Turkey or the US or Hungary or what have you. If Trump were to get elected it would be a day of national shame as far as I’m concerned.

      Finally this kind of politics has nothing to do with being ‘civilized’ or not. Fascist politics by and large is successful because it finds enough people willing to drink the kool-aid! Trump is winning big so far because a lot of very educated types in his party are also willing to vote for him (even if this isn’t his base). People come into these things for different reasons. But these are unfortunate developments no matter where it happens. In India or the US. Of course I am not exactly the most surprised person when they do because I never think a system is completely immunized in this sense. Precisely because there are these dangers that one must always remain vigilant and not take things for granted. Munna is right. It’s not easy to see the institutions here being subverted very easily (in a very different sense the same is true in India.. of course that which cannot be subverted there is precisely the Nehruvian state! not that I would otherwise compare India and the US as I’ve stated earlier) but when politics gets ugly enough and when that ugliness finds enough of a support base it can often bend institutions in certain ways.

      I’ll get back to what I started out with. Not quite sure what the objection is. These have always been my views in these matters. Because it’s happening in the US I’m not more embarrassed to state them! But also there is a certain ‘inferiority’ embedded in the way you’ve framed the question. As if India can get a pass for doing certain things because it’s ‘backward’ while the US as the more ‘sophisticated’ place ought not to. I’ll end with my favorite movie analogy. When the ‘rikshawalas’ had some say in the matter they were fostering Salim-Javed’s cinema. When the multiplexes got going we got SRK and company! There is still a strong class angle to Trump’s support so far but in India it was precisely a great deal of the ‘sophisticated’ crowd that went in for a certain option last time around. The US might go the same way. I don’t think Trump is electable, the Republicans are certainly in a panic as they think he’ll be decimated. However strange things sometimes happen in politics. Either way my critique would remain the same.

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      • omrocky786 Says:

        Sir when Gulam Nazi can equate RSS with ISIS, then equating Modi with Trump is also fair game.
        Problem though is one by one the lies get exposed ( recent one being the Ayush circular and the RTI)

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        • But I think anyway that it’s fair game! I think they belong to the same school in terms of their politics! Now whether Trump is pretending to be this sort of guy and really isn’t is not something that interests me very much. Because the consequences are the same whether one believes it or not. Also if he were to be elected he could hardly walk away from the defining features of his campaign. Will say this though and it’s often been missed. Trump says a lot of ugly things but his positions are to the left of Cruz and even Rubio on most issues. Sometimes he even takes a Dem position as on Social Security the other day.

          By the way equating ISIS with RSS is absurd. One can be the strongest critic of the RSS but one doesn’t have to go down that path.

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          • omrocky786 Says:

            Re.-I think they belong to the same school in terms of their politics
            Naaa, I disagree. Modi has never said to build a wall ( although would be a good idea in West Bengal , LOL).
            aside (mashwara hai hidyat mat samajhna)- Troll.in key alawa bhee kuch padha karo ..lol

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      • omrocky786 Says:

        I do agree that Obama was somewhat successful in stabilizing /containing the fall in the economy.

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        • Unemployment was at 10.5% or so at its peak when he became president. It’s now at 4.9%, I assume it will fall at least another point or two before he’s out. The Dow was around 6600 at it’s lowest maybe a bit less, we know where it’s been in recent years, and even accounting for more turbulence in recent months. One could go on with the economic data. When Reagan declared ‘morning in america’ the unemployment number was much higher than this. But then there is all the other stuff from healthcare to dodd-frank to osama to the Iran deal to the Paris agreement to the TPP (that so many folks who like either Bernie or Trump hate.. for understandable reasons) numerous executive actions, the Obama coalition electorally, etc etc. All of this would take too long to get into. And he might yet get that third pick on the Court! But all of this in the face of unprecedented obstruction. But getting back to the economy some of it perhaps isn’t fixable by anyone. When things moved from an agricultural economy to an industrial one a huge number of people became casualties. What could have alleviated things though is a massive infrastructure program. It’s even necessary in this country.

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          • omrocky786 Says:

            The requirement of hiring only Union Labor for Govt. jobs makes everything very expensive though.

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      • AamirsFan Says:

        great comment. agree with everything except unlike you I am a fan of Bernie Sanders and think his policies are what this country needs at this point in history. Unless someone is a millionaire war profiteer on this blog…they should agree with Bernie’s domestic and foreign policies.

        Trump is a joker and of course he is just exploiting the uneducated and people who have low SES…

        ‘The Geography of Trumpism’

        http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/13/upshot/the-geography-of-trumpism.html?smid=tw-nytimes&smtyp=cur&_r=0

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      • Satyam:
        My objection is to the ‘hard-line’ [stunned? When an anointed ‘sanghi’ uses the word ‘hard-line’ when talking to so-called ‘liberals’?] that you take when it is expected more from folks like you who have the rational capability to think of dynamic circumstances but still prefer to stick to age-old rhetoric of left versus right.

        Hitler promised to run trains on time, Mussolini did this, Hitler came to power with 31% votes, and so did Modi. So lo and behold: You have history repeating itself and that just cannot be undone or unchallenged, as per you and the people espousing the far-left or the left or whatever the hell-direction one wants to point one’s ideology to.

        In the past 2 years since Modi has come to power, my question basically was, what SIMILARITIES do you draw to Trump’s hate-filled rhetoric and Modi’s ‘SABKA SAATH SABKA VIKAAS’?[ https://medium.com/the-liberals/the-muslim-businessmen-who-support-narendra-modi-1bafc83ee109#.nvyznsj3f%5D

        Do you REALLY see facsimiles to Trump’s ‘Islam hates us,’ ‘Mexicans are rapists,’ with Modi per-se? And it’s quite stunning that the liberals who could throw Freudian analysis at Modi’s face since he supposedly ‘equated’ puppies with Muslims and subsequently, Christians and other minorities, now suddenly dismiss Trump’s eloquence with ‘Oh but what did you even expect of Trump?’

        Oh yes, there are loonies; and these loonies didn’t just jump out of an UFO. They have been existing for many, many years before Modi came to the center-stage! Nobody – at least the ‘centrists’ like me if you have to put it that way – would give them a clean-chit. Those are such pitiful statements that one doesn’t even want to dignify them with explanations or oppositions. But no, just as your television-President of the Century, you would have Modi come out at EACH and EVERY utterance and explain himself. Did the thought ever cross the liberals’ minds that Modi might not even be interested in dignifying the response? What’s his job: To come out every-day after his breakfast and keep condemning loony-bins? Or to get on with the brutal work that the frustrated people of India have assigned him? You decide. Or maybe that’s his hidden agenda. To come across as Tide-detergent clean agent and have loonies do the job for his hidden-agenda of making the country a Hindu Pakistan. Unfortunately, for the ‘liberals’ no extermination camps or gas-chambers have yet to be found…
        My disappointment is with the binary talk that liberals indulge in: It is either yin or yang. There just cannot be a common ground! And my disappointment obviously is with the fact that you find equivalency – false of course – between Trump’s campaign and Modi’s: [Of course, in the sycophant ‘bully’ Rajat Sharma’s AAP KI ADALAT, Modi talked of the day he wants to see the holy Quran on one hand while the computer on the other – but hey, this is just a mask that he wears and lets the loonies talk of his actual agenda – a Hindu Rashtra!]
        It is obviously extremely humiliating that the liberals ‘think’ the folks that supported BJP should be elated that Trump is succeeding since he is supposedly but a moral and ideological equivalent of Modi’s BJP: Leaving that aside, my thoughts on Trump’s verbal diarrhea are perfectly summed up in Bill Maher’s discussion. Lie after lie; dumb, generic statements one after the other? [https://youtu.be/uQ454NXyxP4]

        You might dismiss the stunning turn-out and lack of critical thinking of his supporters to folks losing their jobs in a globalized world or having grown up in an all-white town like St Cloud in Minnesota [where I happened to work as an engineer for 3 years]. But is that really it? When I meant America being civilized or developed, I wasn’t implying inferiority of the Indian people as a national identity; but the FACT that one chooses to be ignorant inspite of the facilities available at one’s disposal. With county public libraries with free prints and internet available, if one DOESN’T want to read-up materials and basics, but one wants to come in rallies and scream and ‘agree’ that brownies are snatching jobs, it is an insult to the fact that one considers a country the ‘greatest’ in the world. It is not the 120 stories of a building that makes one great. Dubai has multitudes of that. It is the fact that a country can PROVIDE for at least a majority of folks the wherewithal to EXAMINE what currently is going on in the world and cross-check what one’s ‘representatives’ are talking of. Does one really have such type of ‘class-less’ facilities across India? I was stunned when I came to this country and was able to access NYT of the ‘50s on a micro-fiche in a university library. With this kind of wealth of information, you STILL want to go along with Trump’s or Obama’s ‘they are snatching our jobs’ and Brown-is-the-new-ISIS drama? What does that say of a country? At least the ‘sanghis’ and semi-sanghis in India were clear as to what they wanted: Deliver us the country and development you promised or get the hell out – and let’s be ruled by a dope-induced GOP candidate…

        I am willing and quite sure and horrifically selfish-enough and ‘liberal’ enough to dump Modi and his party if he fails to deliver the ‘development’ that he promised. Are you liberal enough to accept that Modi and his party might have worked – if proved of course—and meant SAB KA SAATH SAB KA VIKAAS?

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        • Once again notice the contradiction or inconsistency in your position:

          1)When an ugly, distasteful and/or fascist political discourse rears its head anywhere you’re able to recognize it right away. Hence Trump is an obvious example (and I agree!). The same political development says something about the nation (even if he’s not been elected yet! here too I agree.. when such a figure can become the nominee of a major party ‘everything’ has already happened).

          2)However when the very same elements crop up in India suddenly you adopt a position of ‘naivete’. Let’s wait and watch, let’s judge them on solely the economic performance (why this limiting condition? why don’t the same rules apply for Trump?). He [Modi] is so busy bringing the nation up he doesn’t have time to respond to everything (even if he responds to precisely everything on his twitter handle.. everything except this ugly stuff..), he has the loonies with him but they were always there (actually they didn’t quite seem this vocal when Vajpayee was PM let alone with any other PM.. it’s not about one loony statement or another but a series.. a pattern, a design.. it’s also installing such loonies in important positions at various institutions.. it’s also about having MPs and ministers saying such stuff..) and in any case he can’t control everyone (Modi is the strongest of strong PMs except when it comes to controlling the loonies.. this is of a piece with saying he can’t be blamed for not controlling riots.. one can’t have it both ways at once.. either he’s strong or he isn’t.. either he’s in bed with the loonies in which case the strongman thesis can be defended but then not his ‘character’.. or else he’s been hijacked by them in which case he’s not a strongman..).

          3)Again in one instance everything is always very ‘clear’. In the other it’s about using excuses that both you and I reject (rightly) when SRK fans come up with them to defend their favorite star (not attacking SRK fans here but they’ve always been the most committed in providing such excuses..). In other words a line of reasoning that is suspect when it comes to a movie star is somehow acceptable and plausible when it’s about a major politician. There is a way of getting ‘legalistic’ in these matters when one wants to defend one side or the other. One can defend anything (ask the Salman fans!). One can choose not to see. And one can then question someone else for a similar blindness (again notice how often SRK fans, to stick with my privileged example, do this).

          4)Should one simply rate a govt on its economic performance? Well it depends doesn’t it? Even as Hitler was going after Jews the country was doing rather well economically. If he hadn’t been crazy enough to provoke a war he would have been just fine on economic grounds! This might seem like an extreme example but it clarifies the ethical stakes. The idea that economic progress is a good in itself. For who? In a certain macro sense one could argue that all the trade deals of the last 20 years have been great for the US. Have they been great for the decimated industrial towns of the rustbelt? Such questions come up in every context. And you can’t blame those folks who’ve been left behind to cheerfully accept the argument of ‘historical inevitability’ or something. Hey it’s a globalized world, tough that you got the short end of it!

          I introduced this aside because one often makes the mistake of thinking that economic progress is universal. what it usually means is that people like you and me who can type away furiously on keyboards will be ‘advantaged’ by certain kinds of economic progress and then we subscribe to a different kind of ‘innocence’ by pretending it’s for ‘everyone’. And the moment someone comes up with a more populist argument or a more left-leaning one in the same sense we attack them for terrible economics and what not. So it’s ethical to insist on a certain kind of economic progress and if this doesn’t work out for everyone one shifts the terms of the debate and says ‘even if it’s not the most ethical it is the only kind that makes sense at an economic level’. It is always ‘inefficient’ to be more ethical!

          But now to the current Indian example. I think it’s fans of the current govt who are so far upset with the pace of progress. Not sure in what universe, and forgetting everything else, could one look at these two years and say that dramatic economic strides have been taken or that anything extraordinary has happened in any sphere of life. If anything the present budget (and which has provoked some consternation in many quarters) looks even closer to the UPA ones than the one before it. Most often even the greatest defenders of the govt cannot point to anything more concrete than ‘positive vibes’ and ‘good feelings’, both of which have still result in anything dramatic happening domestically or via foreign investment. Sure there are larger economic factors in play. But they were so when the precious UPA govt was around and to a much greater extent. If they were so bad how did they get re-elected? Is corruption so far much less of a problem? Sure! With two important caveats. No one thought the first UPA govt was that corrupt, certainly not a couple of years into the first govt. But secondly a lot of stuff that was eventually discovered had been going on for a while. We have something like Vyapam which has been ongoing for a while. The media gets interested in it for a while and then leaves it and so on. It looks to be the greatest scam of Indian history, certainly the one that impacts the greatest number of people, it also has the greatest number of deaths associated with it. Is the govt doing anything to bring this to light? Isn’t it a classic move by govts at the center to protect those in the party or those who run states and so on. Corruption isn’t only about personally stealing money is it?

          5)I don’t get into all of this for partisan reasons. Just responding to what you’ve said. My point here (and before) has always been a simple one. The problem isn’t about having political preferences. It’s about couching them in the seemingly neutral language of economic or administrative concerns or whatever. It’s about using facts selectively. It’s about being blind to certain things. Even if I am not an adherent of the BJP and even if I am on the other side I think a great deal that went on with the UPA was indefensible. They deserved to lose (even if I wish the alternative wasn’t the BJP). Political preference doesn’t mean one ought to defend any and everything. And this whole ‘give them a chance’ logic is also something I don’t buy. I am only willing to give those a chance who exhibit a minimal decency in a political sense. No Democrat in the present ever said anything comparable to what many Republicans have been saying for a number of years. Trump has been the logical conclusion of this discourse. And I’d rather not give this discourse a chance. The same holds for various other Right-wing discourses around the world. By the way I’d say the same for various communist outfits except that you don’t find many in the world today!

          So again I am not confused. Nor would you be as much with a different govt. Now it might be that you’re not bothered about all the ugly statements and what not but then you should also give Trump a chance. Maybe he’s just pretending to be this crazy right-winger. Maybe he’ll be normal once he’s elected. If it’s just about an economic balance-sheet everyone and anyone ought to be acceptable. And if you find some of the ‘economic’ statements unacceptable I wonder how you found it acceptable when it was said that people would get 15 lakhs back in their accounts. And similar such absurd claims.

          By the way I’m not even much of a Hillary supporter. I’d rather have her win than the alternative but I wish there were another Dem in the race I could more whole-heartedly support (Not much of a Bernie fan). I know Hillary will cement the Obama agenda. What’s the problem then? Well I haven’t liked the Clintons for their political ethics for a very long time. But I also think there are some policy problems connected to Hillary. So even where I am in broad agreement I wish I had a choice. Once more having a political preference ought not to be an excuse for blindness or even alibis.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Even I thought about the argument about development . If that is so, why cant we give Trump a chance to develop America?

            But I never could have put these thoughts the way you did with so much clarity and logic. You have written something so well and so well argued. I dont think anyone will have any problem in appreciating this fact.

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          • You are far too generous Sanjana.. my goal is always to have comments of such length that they tire out the opposition!

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          • Satyam, well said. I think I’m most surprised by all the folks who are surprised that working class whites who’ve been shafted by globalization and immigration would vote for someone who promises to reverse that. Granted Trump is a cynical exploiter, but do you expect them to vote for someone who gives lip service to their concerns or someone who tells them to lump it for the good of elites and corporations?
            Just surprised that it took so long for right wing populism to emerge, and now that it’s emerged, it’s going to be a strong force in future congressional primaries. Trump, win or lose, has changed GOP and national politics forever.

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          • Unfortunately this kind of right wing populism will increasingly become the norm. Again one understands the reasons but it always feeds into a very toxic politics. We already see how the forces of globalization (not separate from some of the political problems we see in the contemporary world but often its very consequence..) are already giving rise to this kind of right-wing feeling in so many parts of Europe. And of course even on the left the populism has an audience as we can see with Bernie’s campaign (a younger more charismatic Dem would have destroyed Hillary by now..). We are in this sense heading towards a rather dangerous future. The forces of immigration have altered the ‘West’ forever. But this changing world is not acceptable to many ‘natives’. You then combine this with economic security and you already have a potent mix. But add to this the cancer of Islamist terrorism and you have a very toxic brew for all kinds of cynical politics to be played out. And now of course there is this ‘impossible’ (and ongoing) refugee problem. One way or the other everything with have to be rethought, economically and politically. If this is not done I’m afraid the same lessons will have to be learnt the very hard way and one hopes it never comes to this. I’d finally say that climate change and the environment more generally is critical to everything here and already a factor in many of these crises than people think (in the Mideast for example).

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          • ” We are in this sense heading towards a rather dangerous future.”
            The way I see things, we are already polarized. The constant propaganda on both sides on social media has created bigger chasm.
            I have un-followed many friends on Facebook because they were simply forwarding propaganda.Some of them, I might agree but I don’t want people telling me this or that. I am happy seeing Maui, Santorini or Bahamas pictures than political posts 🙂

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          • ha, good for you!

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          • Yes, absolutely right. The AfD win in Germany is a harbinger of what’s to come across the West. I think what’s missed in some of these discussions about mass immigration, globalization and the inevitable demographic changes in the West is that these were stealth projects of corporations backed by ruling elites, and were never fully laid out to, or approved by the “natives”. Cue the populist backlash… and it’s not going to be pretty- for anyone.

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          • Satyam, now all you have to do is say couple good things about SRK and i’ll vote for you 🙂

            Joke aside, good set of comments.

            I remember back in 1981, when I used to get on city bus, I used to go straight back of the bus with some of my black friends. Not that blacks or Indians were not allowed to seat in front. I didn’t think much of it at that time being a little kid but when I grew up I realized that even in early 80s, peoples mind were still programmed to what they had witnessed in 60s.

            When Trump says make America great again, make no mistake, he means lets make America what it was in 60s.

            If any indian or any other minority group thinks trump likes them, think again. This man is pure raciest. Of course he does love money so he has no problem having Trump golf course/hotels in muslim countries of. If he think muslim hates USA, and he cares about USA, why doesnt’ he cut all business ties with mulsim countries and fire all muslim workers in any business he owns?

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          • yes true, he and others like him hearken back to a country which was ‘all white’ in most appreciable ways and where minorities were kept in their place. On the rest they’re all hypocrites. The CEO of Qatar Airways, a friend of Trump, said ‘he’s my friend, he doesn’t mean all this stuff’! Of course not meaning it hardly makes it better.

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          • Once again, your entire debate, the ‘inconsistencies’, the ’hypocrisy’ that you accuse me of, your entire bullet points rest on the ‘fact’ that people who voted BJP to power or who actively or passively support BJP have no rights to question Trump’s rhetoric at all. Once this false equivalency is created, really, there’s actually nothing to discuss because ALL of your & the followers’ subsequent rationale are just shifted to one side. It’s truly a one sided debate – which doesn’t mean it’s a legitimate one.

            There’s nothing new at all in what you say: You might say but that’s the ‘eternal’ truth and history or numerous refereed publications – the darling of the ‘liberals’— prove that.
            So you talk of the 15 lakh amount that Modi talked of when it comes to ‘specificity.’ Fine. The question is, is it REALLY comparable to the outlandish claims of Trump? The problem I have with Trump is, let alone the hate-speech and the sucker-punching shenanigans, he doesn’t even pass the elementary kids’ Math!! Medicare deficit!! Does the math even add up? He is failing even elementary level math! Forget the wall; forget 0% GDP; forget the 45% ‘tax’ on China: You have his followers that say CHINA should pay for the wall! How?? Why should China pay for the wall which will not be great in any which way?
            If Modi, during his campaign, had at least ONCE hinted that he had a covert or overt agenda of ‘Hindu Rashtra’ under the garb of economics – which of course, according to you , was/is TRUE to the last crystal since he ‘outsourced’ it to Pragya or Adithyanath or whoever with replaceable nouns – he would NOT have been elected – for the simple fact that Modi and his govt had a FAIR share of votes from centrists: BJP didn’t come to power JUST because right-wing lunatics orgasmic ally cast votes again and again to ‘temporarily’ keep out the Muslims..
            And again, the question comes backs to basics. Trump might change after being elected? Really? What? That he learns that 2+2 = 4 and not 5? So let’s give him a chance for that? He might learn Math after becoming the President! Or that he is okay with murdering wives and kids of terrorists! Right, you found Modi vomiting such stuff in and out of his campaign speeches but still, the saffron-tinged folks voted for such a govt..

            Modi and his government can be/should be QUESTIONED brutally and critically for all THEIR policies and I for one would LOVE to tear them to shreds: But are you actually doing that? You say you might give a chance to folks who show a ‘minimal’ level of decency – which of course excludes Modi in your book but then, consequently question and ponder as to why Trump shouldn’t get a chance?? Go figure this equation…

            So the television-president of the century – of whom there are time-sensitive you-tube links of here – is quite a ‘REALPOLITIK’ when it comes to the fact that he is quite OK endorsing drone-attacks on the SWAT and frontier provinces of Pakistan and creating martyrs and terrorists {which I think, Aamirsfan would approve or not approve of?} is ok: On the other-hand, he tries to do an ‘out-reach’ program toward the Islamic world! [Oh let’s not even talk of the billions he funds the criminal ISI of Pakistan]. But Modi meeting Sharif reeks of hypocrisy and a sugar factory. Chidambaram’s admission that there was an ‘editorial’ or ‘grammatical’ mistake in omitting Ishrat’s name, is but a latency. But puppies!! God, never in the history of dog-kind have puppies been so called-upon..

            I will leave it at this, quite stunned at the fact that I have discovered that ‘liberals’ can have a very ‘rigid’ meaning: I always thought liberals and rigidity were quite the antonyms..but guess not.

            So I am quite ready to accept the riposte: How can Amitabh and Obama and Modi be talked of in the same breath? Guess they cannot, coz that’s why Amitabh decided to endorse Modi’s communal Gujarat and that’s why Obama ‘forcibly’ accepted Modi onto the white house lawns just as he was ‘forcibly’ pinned to sell fighter-jets to Pak to fight ‘terrorism’…

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          • An Jo, I think you’re still confused about many of the things I’ve said though given all my comments on this larger subject for ages I am quite surprised this is the case. Let me try and clear up things a bit schematically:

            1)I am against all people who speak a certain political language. Whether it’s Modi or Erdogan or Erdoban or Trump or whoever. Whatever difference each permutation might offer I see certain family resemblances and I prefer not taking the chance. I am completely consistent on this. However it would be odd if I was totally against Modi but wished to give Erdogan a chance or if I disliked Trump but wanted to give Jean-Marie Le Pen a chance or whatever. Now you might insist that Modi doesn’t belong to this group but every scholar and serious journalist on the subject comes to exactly the conclusion I’ve arrived at. Modi is a right-wing leader. This is not debatable. It is simply a fact. Of course in some cases people mind the right-wing discourse and all the ugly politics that is attendant on it less than in other cases based on what ‘position’ they occupy in each of these contexts but that is not my perspective. I reject all of them equally (which does not mean I think they’re all equally good or bad… in the same sense some systems are better placed institutionally to offer inoculation against the ‘bad’ than others).

            2)Modi said a lot of other things also that were equally absurd. That’s a different debate. If we wanted to castigate politicians for making unrealistic promises we wouldn’t be able to spare anyone. Yes some are worst offenders than others and there’s no doubt that Trump is one of them. But this is an entirely different discussion. Because Trump could have been the most inclusive figure imaginable and still made crazy economic promises. The discussion around him though has rightly revolved around many of the ugly things he’s said. And the reason this is important for me is that I don’t (if I can help it) give fascist figures a chance based on ‘economic’ reasons. Why? Because such an economics irrespective of whatever it promises can never be for everyone. Why not? Because the very leaders promoting such aspirational economics are also attached to political outfits that equally promote the most toxic kind of exclusionary politics. And this whole game of ‘he’s not saying it, just everyone else’ (notice how ridiculous it sounds even in that basic formulation) is a rather stale one. I don’t believe anyone could be so naive to fall for it though one can certainly be willfully blind. Put differently and following your formula if Trump becomes president and stops saying all of this stuff but everyone else in his administration does we shouldn’t mind it. We would then either consider him complicit or too weak to stop it. Either way I prefer not having such a man leading the country. Since Modi’s election the most disgusting kinds of statements have been made and routinely by so many people it would challenge even one of my long comments to put up all of them. These are ministers, these are important MPS, these are not ordinary back-benchers. The same discourse is then propagated in a much more refined, polite guise elsewhere in the media and so forth. Which confirms what the goal really is. Trump’s exclusionary statements are more than matched by this kind of stuff. In the Indian context it’s way more dangerous. whether it’s Trump or Modi the discourse relies on a certain majoritarian dream (this is NOT what any healthy notion of democracy is about), often asserted militantly. To not see all of this is already to be either blind or worse. I won’t even get into the 2002 and stuff like that.

            Now is it the case that other parties also play these games a lot of times or have been responsible for certain horrors and so on? Sure. But if I had the power to do so I would never let those guys run again either. But there is a difference between parties who sometimes do these things for cynical reasons and others whose very discourse logically leads to such ends. This doesn’t mean I somehow excuse Delhi ’84. I don’t negotiate with such horrors of history. But there is one kind of party that explicitly desires a certain kind of India, aggressively argues for it as do all the parties most closely attached to it. The other doesn’t. One doesn’t have to excuse the failings or worse of this other party to see this obvious distinction.

            You just place the bar so incredibly low when it comes to Modi that nothing from 2002 to the statements of those in the party at present count. The fact that this wasn’t happening under Vajpayee also somehow doesn’t count. Well at the very least one should then call him a rather weak leader but one isn’t even willing to do this! After all this you’re accusing ‘liberals’ of being too rigid. And I’ve heard this classic rhetorical move many times before — ‘I can criticize my side a lot and actually do in other contexts…. etc etc’. But that never really happens. The only thing one sees is, and whatever one might think of Obama, this absurd, utterly ridiculous juxtaposing of him with Trump. Whether one intends to do this or not by constantly stringing them together in the same sentence, by constantly talking about their economic proposals in the same vein and so on, one certainly creates an effect. Of course, and though this is not the crux of the debate at all, people who blame Obama’s economics, have probably lived in cold storage the last 8 years. They’ve probably not seen where the numbers were then and where they are now. They’ve probably also not seen where various numbers are in Europe. Etc etc. One might disagree with him on many things but to make this sort of claim is just bad faith. The drone argument would also really take me far afield from the present discussion but I’ll just say this — perhaps you expected an American president to forget he was leading a superpower and forget all the ‘imperial’ entanglements of this nation but I really didn’t! I never thought he was running for leader of Switzerland. This doesn’t mean I love drones or don’t see what they do but in an ‘economy of violence’ there are no perfect solutions. You’re going to have armies in the Mideast or you’re going to have people going more the drone way. If you think that people will keep attacking the US or trying to do so and leaders will simply respond with kindness you’re not living in reality. This is not something I endorse. But I also know that no democracy will stand for it in which case you just need a leader who will consider the least destructive option or be the least reluctant to get into conflicts or even rain down air strikes or whatever. But again this entire objection on your part is also not a sincere one. You evidently find all of this less excusable than the stuff your party is associated with and has been associated with in the past.

            3)If you’re attacking hypocrisy Modi is right up there with previous Congress govts. The list is by now so long and so obvious that I’m not sure anyone even needs to get into it. From the Pakistan policy to the Kashmir political arrangement to ‘hey no effort made towards any uniform civil code’ what’s the difference? The economic stuff I’ve already mentioned earlier. What is this great, dramatic night and day difference you can spot over the last two years? If you just want to be happy that this party is in power that’s fine but those are partisan reasons and not more objective ones. By the way I don’t have much of a problem with his hypocrisy because I know everyone else is the same. But let’s not pretend that he’s different then.

            4)The whole ‘let’s wait and watch’ thing. Maybe Modi might do something economically worthwhile. But I’ve never denied this possibility. My point though is a different one. If Hitler succeeds brilliantly in reviving the German economy (as he did) I’d still not vote for him because of let’s say his ‘minority policy’! If Trump somehow gets great growth in the US but maintains his stance towards various minorities I’d feel the very same way. Some cross-section of the nation, even an electoral majority doing ‘better’ in this sense is not good enough for me as long as it is premised on such ideas of majoritarianism. And it’s not even about these statements and so on, it’s also about ground realities in places like Chattisgarh, where things happen that never get onto anyone’s radar. It’s a lot of stuff. Much as Erdogan keeps getting voted into power. So what? His is still a majoritarian notion that seeks to keep beating the Kurds into submission as much as previous govts. And his authoritarianism spills into other areas as well.

            5)And here there’s a final hypocrisy to be underlined as I have before. If the US is nonetheless not Turkey (or so one hopes!) and if Indian institutions are still able to resist a certain right-wing extremism to a great degree that hardly proves your point. Because these are the very institutions those right-wing forces are trying to destroy or at least dilute. So you try to destroy with one hand and then when you’re caught you say ‘oh India is too strong and too secular’ to be destroyed (‘by us’!). This is breath-taking double-speak.

            Incidentally I criticized Bachchan on his blog for taking part in that Gujarat campaign. I understand why he did it and how he’s been willing to do the same for other states and so on but I didn’t consider that a valid enough explanation and argued with him at length over this. Won’t get into all of that here but whether you agree with me or not you cannot accuse me of inconsistency. But to spot right-wingers everywhere in the West at the very moment that one refuses to see one in one’s own country is bizarre to say the least (though not entirely surprising.. I’ve seen it happen in many contexts).

            6)Did Modi campaign on anything but being a technocrat. of course not. But that’s not unusual. To win you always need enough people who aren’t cultural nationalists and all such figures know how to mix it up when they have to. The speak in nationalistic platitudes and elsewhere they focus on economic nationalism. This is the oldest formula around. And then of course it’s about the carving up of minorities. They’re never against ‘good minorities’ as they define them, they’re only against the ‘bad ones’! Trump offers a variation on exactly this. This too is an old story. Trump will not win if he keeps saying what he has been so far. In fact he’ll be decimated in the general. He will have to course correct quite dramatically and then hope people forget this stuff. But again no one wins without minimally appealing to other groups. On Modi though that’s my point. That if he had run on the Ram Mandir and the old BJP platform he would never have had this kind of victory. He’s really the 2.0 version of the party but ironically this makes him even closer to a certain authoritarian model, at least judged by historic standards.

            No one starts out trying to be hypocritical. We all have our political preferences. But at some point we think the side that we’re supporting will be better in some objective sense. When this doesn’t happen or when we discover other problems along the way it is up to us to face up to the truth. There are many evasions one can always practice in one’s heart and mind to avoid facing up to what is obvious. All I can say is that the flaws of Clintons are rather more evident to me than are those of Modi and the BJP to many adherents of the same. I can criticize Trump all day long but that doesn’t necessarily put the Clintons into better light for me. I am still acutely aware of what I see as some of the problems associated with them. Now I might be completely wrong about this but the point I’m trying to make is that just because I might still consider them the better option doesn’t mean I’m blind about them. And the same holds anywhere else. Even in the context of cinema I have tons of debates on Bachchan’s blog to prove this point. I wasn’t just saying it here. One cannot avoid things just because it’s someone one likes. At least I can never be the sort of fan who never sees Salman driving the car!

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  7. Scathing his attack on Mallya’s current ‘all in debt’ status, RGV, in a series of tweets asked the businessman to lend some of his ‘bikini beauties’ to the bankers to “square off all his debts.” “I think Vijay Mallya should dip into his personal bank and give one bikini beauty each to every bank he owes and square off all his debts,” read his tweet. “The banks might not agree to Vijay Mallya’s bikini proposal but the bankers might,” another tweet read. “If the money he borrowed is what created properties of his bikini clad girls, wouldn’t they be enough payback for the bankers? Just asking,” tweeted RGV, third in the thread. The filmmaker, not only slammed the ‘bikini beauties’ for Mallya’s situation, rather pointed triggers on B’Town celebs like Deepika Padukone, Nargis Faqri, Katrina Kaif and Esha Gupta, saying they can help in swaying the bankers.

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/entertainment/hindi/bollywood/news/Ram-Gopal-Varmas-aag-on-Vijay-Mallya-and-his-bikini-babes/articleshow/51369480.cms

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  8. ‘Be glad you’re here’, Trump supporter tells Indian-origin scribe

    A CBS news reporter of Indian-origin was detained at a Trump rally for “resisting arrest” as the Republican front-runner’s campaign degenerated into a free-for-all between his supporters and protestors.

    Sopan Deb, who has been embedded with the Trump campaign for several weeks, was thrown to the ground and handcuffed without notice or warning by the Illinois State Police amid chaotic scenes at a Trump rally in Chicago.

    Video footage showed Deb made no attempt to resist arrest and he identified himself as a media person as he filmed police and protestors during the skirmish. A policeman placed a boot on his neck to keep him in place, CBS said. He was later released.

    Deb had previously written about the overt racism and hostility in Trump’s campaign, including an incident where a Trump supporter accused him of working for ISIS.

    “A Trump supporter just asked me at Reno event if I was taking pictures for ISIS,” Deb tweeted from his verified account in January this year. “When I looked shocked, he said, ‘yeah, I’m talking to you.'”

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/Trumps-Chicago-rally-cancelled-after-near-violent-protests/articleshow/51374190.cms

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    • AamirsFan Says:

      Again Trump isn’t the sole cause of these kinds of incidents…it is the rhetoric of the entire Republican party for the past 30+ plus years and bombing almost every Muslim country that is the main cause.

      The southern belt along with rural areas has been scared to death of terrorism, communism and whatever else kind of ‘ism…and now its hilarious that all the leaders of that same Republican party are SHOCKED that this kind of behavior is happening within their party. This is exactly what these idiots get for pandering for so long to this population.

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  9. Oscar-winning composer A R Rahman today (March 11) unveiled the debut poster of his film “99 Songs”, with which he is making his foray in production and scriptwriting.
    The vibrant poster sees a couple hanging onto a piano which is suspended from the sky.

    “With your support and good wishes, I’m pleased to share my movie’s first poster!,” Rahman shared on his Facebook page.

    Aamir Khan, who worked with the composer in “Rangeela”, “Lagaan”, “Mangal Pandey: The Rising” and “Ghajini”, has heaped praise on A R Rahman.

    “Great poster AR! Wishing you all the very best for the start of the shoot. May the force be with you. Love, a,” he posted on Twitter.
    – See more at: http://indianexpress.com/article/entertainment/bollywood/a-r-rahman-99-songs-poster-aamir-khan-praises/#sthash.ONlOHzCp.dpuf

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  10. Trump is just a Trojan Horse sent by the Clintons to wreak the Republican party. But they do deserve the wreaking-ball! Unless the White uninformed Southern/hinterland voter becomes globally informed and contemporaneously integrated, the Republicans will never win another Presidency.

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  11. Political blabbering started again!

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  12. Aamir Khan clears the air about Dangal and puts to rest all the rumors that were making rounds.

    A few days back many rumors were making rounds that Aamir Khan’s ‘Dangal’ has been preponed and will be releasing on 15th August, 2016 instead of hitting the theaters in December.

    However, Aamir Khan has clearly denied all the rumors.

    Today at the press conference when we asked Aamir about it, he said, “Dangal is coming in Christmas for sure. I had just given an example that it is a patriotic film of the daughters of the country, so 15th August would be a good date. However, the film will not be ready till then.”

    http://www.india-forums.com/bollywood/hot-n-happening/62527-confirmed-aamir-khan-dangal-to-release-in-christmas.htm

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  13. Sridevi has started shooting for her new film called Mom, in Delhi. It is being directed by debutant Ravi Udywar, and features Sridevi as a stepmom in conflict with her 18-year old daughter.

    The daughter will be played by a newcomer.

    Akshaye Khanna will make a comeback with this film. The actor has not appeared in any film since the political satire Gali Gali Chor Hai bombed in 2012.

    “Sridevi’s husband Boney Kapoor, who produces Mom, personally requested Akshaye to make a comeback. He has a terrific role in Mom,” says a source.

    The film also stars Nawazuddin Siddique.

    The shoot started on March 6.

    http://www.rediff.com/movies/report/akshaye-khanna-to-make-a-comeback/20160314.htm

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  14. Journalists present at the meet broke into the ‘happy birthday’ song for him, with a visibly touched Khan thanking them. However, just a few months ago, conversation was tense between the two sides when the intolerance debate grew. Khan’s statement that wife Kiran Rao had wondered at leaving the country for a better future for their son had sparked a major controversy, with certain groups threatening to create trouble when Khan’s next movie Dangal releases.

    Fellow actor Shah Rukh Khan faced similar ire for his comments on the issue, with collections for his movie Dilwale taking a hit.

    “(The) important (thing) is to remain positive and not get affected by the negativity,” Aamir said, adding, “People who questioned me were already biased against me, I don’t react to that; no matter what you do people will raise questions.”

    Talking about his definition of patriotism, the PK star went on, “You have to have love (and) sensitivity towards society, family and work to help others.”

    In the same breath, he explained why politics is not his cup of tea. “Just because actors are popular doesn’t mean politics is the natural outcome, (one) must have passion for it to get into it.”

    Khan began his career in 1985 and remains to be one the top-grossing actors in Bollywood. Thanking his fans for their association and his success, he said, “I value and have great respect for the 27-year-old relation I share with my viewers.”

    Khan went on to divulge details about his next movie Dangal, saying the film would come out in December. The actor said he spent three weeks in the US getting in shape and exercising for six hours to fit the role of a wrestler.

    http://www.hindustantimes.com/bollywood/my-biggest-wish-is-to-buy-my-mother-her-ancestral-home-aamir-khan/story-0KiT8CEUbPFJBhs42ExBlI.html

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  15. Bollywood superstar and perfectionist Aamir Khan turn 51 today (March 14). While the entire industry will gather to wish him a happy birthday, brother Faisal Khan too has some special plans.

    In pics: Aamir Khan Turns 51, Celebrates By Cutting Cake With media

    In an exclusive conversation with IndianExpress.com, Faisal Khan said: “Like every year, we will have a family get together where we will cut a cake and have dinner together. I also plan to give him a surprise gift.”

    When it comes to making birthday resolutions Faisal reveals that Aamir always makes one but fails to stick by it. See Photos – Happy 51st birthday Aamir Khan: A look at Raja Hindustani, PK’s career

    “Every year he decides to quit smoking but then when a film is about to release he invariably ends up giving into it. So, on every single birthday he decides to not touch cigarettes at all but ends up doing so. This time I would want him to make firm resolution to quit smoking,” added Faisal.

    Also read: Aamir Khan turns 51 Today, wishes to buy ancestral house in Varanasi

    Faisal Khan, who is just a year younger to Aamir, has fond memories of their childhood birthday parties. “Our home used to be decorated with ribbons and balloons. We both were crazy about balloons. Our entire house, furniture and fans used to be decorated with it. All our friends from our society used to gather and we used cut cake and give take away gifts as well.”

    While the celebrations changed as they grew, Faisal remembers the time when he surprised Aamir while he was shooting for Mangal Pandey. “Aamir was away shooting in Panchgani for Mangal Pandey and I landed unannounced on sets to surprise him on his birthday. I gifted him a kite. Aamir loves flying kites and we used to do so as kids. We ended up flying a lot that day. I usually like gifting him something that will help us relive our childhood.” See Pics -Happy birthday Aamir Khan: Top roles of Mr Perfectionist

    While Aamir Khan may be a superstar today for Faisal he will always remain the same old brother who is loving, caring and extremely protective.”Success has not changed him much as a person.”

    And for the foodie Aamir Khan, the delicacy that he likes to gorge on his birthday is seekh kabab. “He loves special seekh kababs prepared by our mother. Our naani used to make it and our mother mastered it from her. Aamir loves eating it.”

    On his part, Faisal who is himself a good cook, once whipped up channe ka halwa for his dear brother on his birthday. This time he has plans to prepare another special delicacy. We are sure Aamir would love the new dish as well.
    – See more at: http://indianexpress.com/article/entertainment/bollywood/aamir-khan-turns-51-brother-faisal-khan-reveals-a-few-childhood-secrets/#sthash.HYhrG0ir.dpuf

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  16. AamirsFan Says:

    Sikh Americans Fight for Civil Rights In Donald Trump’s America

    “Today there’s an effort across the right, not just with Trump, to use Islamophobia as a political tool to play on the prejudices of voters,” Singh adds. “Because of our appearance, Sikhs are inevitably shoehorned into that, but in my opinion responding to it can’t just be about addressing mistaken identity. It has to be about standing with Muslims who also suffer these hate crimes that are completely inexcusable.”

    “Singh says that an increasingly toxic political environment in the country is trickling down to affect minority communities that became more visible after the Sept. 11 attacks. “At that time everything was at least coded, but now its all out in the open,” he says. “The rhetoric has changed to the point that entire religious communities are now being openly denigrated, and religious identity itself has been racialized in a way that threatens Muslims, Sikhs and others.”

    https://theintercept.com/2016/03/14/sikh-americans-fight-for-civil-rights-in-donald-trumps-america/

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    • So sad and inhuman!

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      • on the surface of it yes, shameful and horrifying act. But who knows what was going on in that household. She might be abused (sexually or otherwise). She is living with her own family at this age. They may have told her that she brought shame or someone from home did this to her (?). Don’t quickly judge…we don’t know the whole story….

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  17. The dissonance explains in part the description of politics as “the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich, by promising to protect each from the other.”

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/us-elections-2016/Florida-and-Ohio-may-decide-whether-it-is-Trump-or-rump/articleshow/51398136.cms

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  18. LAHORE: Shahid Afridi was on Monday dragged to court for “committing treason” and “hurting sentiments” of Pakistanis, a day after his statement that the national cricket team was “loved more in India” than in Pakistan.

    A senior lawyer served a legal notice on the 36-year-old Pakistan cricket captain for his statement in India yesterday ahead of the World T20 tournament.

    “I have served a legal notice on Shahid Afridi and ‘de facto’ chairman of Pakistan Cricket Board Najam Sethi for their love for India over Pakistan. I have also written to PCB chairman Shahryar Khan to launch an inquiry into the statement of Afridi in India,” said advocate Azhar Saddique said while sharing the contents of the legal notice with PTI.

    “Afridi has let down the whole Pakistani nation for expressing more love for India than Pakistan. In fact he has committed treason. Now who will ensure that Pakistani team will play against India in Kolkata in T20 match to win,” said

    http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/sports/icc-world-t20-2016/top-stories/Shahid-Afridi-served-legal-notice-over-his-getting-more-love-in-India-comment/articleshow/51395861.cms

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  19. Baaghi official trailer:-

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    • Baaghi Trailer/Love Games/Santa Banta Pvt. Limited trailer are schedule to release in April and received 5mn+ views in couple of days, but this blog decided to ignore this and busy worshiping ugly face Fan.
      Huh khanatic place.

      Like

  20. Aamir Khan’s media interaction on his 51st birthday:-

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  21. A very open and candid chat with Aamir Khan on the topic of LGBT. Amazing sincerity and very open on such a taboo issue.

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  22. On 30th Jan,i was in movie marathon ended up watching Airlift second time and other 2 dozen movies most of them were short movies nominated for Oscars.

    Airlift – 8/10
    This is undoubtedly best film of Akshay’s career with his best performance in it. I had to close my eyes during many scenes of ‘Brothers’ and even occassionaly during Gabbar is back, but it was then when he was not on screen, he has been an astute performer for quite a long time now, but whole film succeeds to glue me to screen. Thats how seamless is flow of the film.
    Indian flag waving on jordan airport is high point of the film, and sums up whole emotional turbulence of 2 hours in a single moment. When End credits rolls with real characters who contributed to this historic event, one feels ecstatic with joy & pride and you realize the film succeeds in its intention.

    Oscar Nominated Foreign Film
    Mustang – 8.5/10
    This talks about a group of sisters, their struggle with teenage emotions and aspirations suppressed in social boundaries set in a village in Turkey, this is most enjoyable among all nominees and was my favorite to win oscars. Nonetheless, just like each sister has its destiny, same goes for a movie. Not all deserving ones win final accolade.

    Oscar Nominated Foreign Film
    Theeb – 8.5/10
    Beautiful cinematography, real characters, scorching heat, child’s emotion set perfect mood for a roller-coaster ride and it doesnt disappoint your high expectation from a Oscar nominee. Set in a arabic desert, Some portions reminds you of Danny Boyle’s 127 hours but it is much more than that. See it to believe it.

    Oscar Nominated Short Documentary
    Body Team 12 – 7.5/10
    Based on Ebola Rescue operations of specialist team in Liberia, this one focuses purely on emotion and life-danger of its team members. They talk about how it is difficult to convince families to take away body to cremate in fire, as Non-hindu faith bury dead-bodies and want to visit them later as memorial.

    A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness (Oscar Nominated Short Documentary & Winner) – 7.5/10
    This 40 minute, longest among all nominees, is pakistani documentary based on Honour killing and survival of a girl, i wish Some indian can dare to bring more cruel side of society. By Sharmeen Obaid Junai, who won oscar in 2012 as well for short documentary, this film walks through reconciliation of girl and family though for some of family members it never happens.
    I wish success to the pair and probably this will change their life by avoiding any such incident in future. I am saying this because audience is left skeptical of Girl’s father and uncle’s intentions in future.
    It keeps you glue till the end and girl is pretty that makes it totally watchable. Congrats on winning oscars though it was my second favorite.

    Beyond the Lines (Oscar Nominated Short Documentary) – 7.5/10
    After 20 years of war, Chau, a teenager living in a care center, is disabled by the effects of this chemical. With a rare disability in his arms and legs, Chau is repeatedly told that his dream of becoming a professional artist is impossible. He struggles though to achieve something finally and moves to some big city. It has shades of ‘Black’ by SLB.

    Last Day of Freedom (Oscar Nominated Short Documentary) – ?Dont watch it , just read the story if you find online. It has some poor sketches style of story telling but story is interesting. But why to nominate it in documentary when you dont have a real single hot of incident.

    Spectres of the Shoah (Oscar nominated Short Documentary) – 6.5/10
    How many movies we are going to have on Afganistan war and atrocities on Jews during world war 2. this is another addition but a special one, as the narrator tells his story of making movie on German culprits living a normal life after war is over. It is his story of collecting evidence and attempt to capture evidence on atrocities on jews.

    Short Animation Oscar Nominees-
    Sanjay’s Super Team – 8/10
    This is a visual team, with Pixar’s team behind it. I had read Sanjay’s interview on rediff last week, where he talked about why he made this film and how his Creative chief supervisor in Pixar encouraged to bring this story.
    Here is the link – http://www.rediff.com/movies/report/pixars-desi-star-who-may-win-an-oscar-next-year/20151020.htm
    Overall captivating and fun with superlative animation hooked me instantly and is very relatable for anyone.

    Bear Story – 7/10
    The way animation started, it reminded me of 2013 winner Hublot.
    And what the hell, this is winner 😦 It gave deja vu while watching, as i had liked other nominees than Hublot in 2013.

    We Can’t Live Without Cosmos – 8.5/10
    I don’t see this wining but my favorite in the category. Director dedicated this to Russian Astronaut in Russian space agency,

    World of Tomorrow – 8/10
    I was almost sure, this one would win based on the thoughts that it had science fiction content presented in very unique and entertaining way.

    Last one came with a warning for Nudity and violence.
    Prologue – 6.5/10
    It is a nominee from Britain. Less said better, why was it nominated?

    Then, there were 3 more movies which lost in early race to nominations, two of them were forgettable but enjoyable.
    Third one was
    ‘if i was God’ – 8/10
    Funniest. It has Some brilliant creativity especially the scene where protagonist run with his girlfriend on the globe and shows the world what he will do if he was God. Nonparallel not-a-standout animation but it works in its favor.

    Oscar Nominated Live Action-
    I was expecting most from Animated category which was enjoyable as usual. But, Live Action turned out to be my favorite category, with all films on par and very different from each other.

    Ave Maria (Shorts – Live Action) – 7/10
    This is only comedy among all, quite average too. A Israeli women and her daughter rushing to relocate to some another city are helped by a driver. when their car breaksdown, they bump into a church.

    Day One (Shorts – Live Action) – 8/10
    Loved it, nothing refreshing about it other than story, we have seen many movies set in war in afganistan. I loved the story but the lead actress didnt do full justice to role.

    Stutterer (Shorts – Live Action) – 7.5/10
    I could connect to it very well, i am not a stutterer but i had fear of meeting new people. Pretty refreshing and somewhat boring, but is different from any other nominees you see over the years. Otherwise, most of the nominees walk the known path to grab attention just like Another Pseudo intellect failed Oscar aspirant pretentious Aamir Psuedo Khan. ha

    Everything Will Be Okay? (Shorts – Live Action) – 7.5/10
    It reminded me of 2014’s my favorite ‘Just Before Losing Everything’, that was a thriller and unforgettable experience with strong emotional content. This is Equally emotionally moving, it tells about a divorced father’s loneliness and how he tries to fulfill this vacuum in his life by attempting to run away with his daughter.

    Shok (Shorts – Live Action) – 8.5/10
    Best story among all. This one goes in flash back right from scene one and comes back for last one shot. I used to think only India and Pakistan have disputes, but having watched so many movies and especially after this one, i think every other country has territory issues and i feel blessed to be indian.
    It is about Two albanian kids and their friendship is tested when serbian soldiers get aggressive on various occasion. Finally, one of them ends up giving his life.

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  23. Looking Beyond Left & Right

    Here’s the funny thing about India in particular. We have conveniently classified the BJP as a right-wing party and the Congress as a left-wing party—but they’re both practically the same party. In terms of economics, both are left-wing, and oppose economic freedom. It might surprise you to hear me say this about the BJP, but forget their campaign rhetoric and consider their actual policies: Modi I is basically UPA III. Modi has the same top-down way of looking at the economy as any Congress leader before him, and he’s trigger-happy when it comes to imposing new taxes and cesses.

    Equally, on social issues, the Congress was as right-wing as the BJP allegedly is. They have a stellar record when it comes to banning books, and it was a Congress government that effectively banned The Satanic Verses. Censorship flourished under their watch, as did attempts at social engineering, which weren’t restricted to the Emergency: odious policies on sterilisation still exist, decades after the emergency was called off. Even in terms of attacking other communities, the Congress set the standards: more people died in the 1984 riots than in the 2002 riots. My friend, the political commentator Nitin Pai, once coined a term that describes this jostling between the parties perfectly: ‘Competitive Intolerance’. This is quite the kind of competition that makes the poor ol’ free-marketer in me cringe!

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    • From the same excellent piece:

      To sum it up, India’s political parties tend to be left-wing on economics and right-wing on social issues. In other words, they oppose freedom in every sphere. I would be no more disheartened by this than India’s freedom fighters were in the first half on the last century, when they gazed up at the monolithic British empire. They gritted their teeth, and hurled themselves into the battle for our political freedom. Likewise, we must keep fighting till we win these other freedoms, and emerge as a free country at last. Not a left country, or a right country, but a free country.

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    • As a general rule I’m never with sympathetic to such ‘they’re all the same’ pieces. Because I think one obscures more than one clarifies this way. And real political stakes are abstracted in the bargain. The Emergency has become a tired example in any case. Not to underestimate any of the excesses associated with it or the very event itself but this was a surely an anomaly in Indian history. The author of the Emergency herself was forced to go to the polls once again. Was it a terrible example? Of course. And one must never forget it. On the other hand to keep equating the congress with the excesses of the Emergency is a bit much. There was a lot that happened before and after. Now I would say though that many of the contemporary ills of Indian political culture are traceable to many of the things Indira Gandhi did, with or without the Emergency. But then I would keep Nehru completely apart from all this. This whole idea of packing 65 years of Indian history or bundling it up this way to then use as a polemical point is something I find unacceptable.

      Similarly the Congress absolutely has blood on its hands but again there’s a very difference between indulging in these things for cynical reasons and espousing an ideology that logically leads to such events (or always promises to). This doesn’t make ’84 anymore acceptable than ’02 but the names we use to justify such violence are often different.

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      • The author is arguing that both the Congress and the BJP are socially conservative. The degree of social conservatism might vary but it’s present in both the political outfits. It’s not just the Emergency, there’s also banning The Satanic Verses, the political chicanery used to woo the Muslims at large that makes them the opposite end of the same coin as the BJP.

        One could debate that the Congress is a less of a sinner (I personally have no sympathy for the outfit) but let’s not give them a free pass vis-à-vis the BJP. It’s true that the BJP overtly indulges in religious fundamentalism but the Congress does so covertly! I’m hardly a BJP sympathiser myself and I don’t hold Modi in any sort of esteem, but the Congress is the reason why India is such a backward country today — both economically and socially…in fact the rise of the BJP can be attributed to Congress’ doublespeak. Not trying to justify any overreaction here but stating the obvious!

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  24. The Fatal Conceit of the Indian Politician

    One reason that India is still a poor country is the ‘fatal conceit’ of our founding fathers. Jawaharlal Nehru, and his minions and successors, believed that economies were best planned from the top down. An economy is a complex thing, the poor and ignorant masses of India surely could not be trusted to perform this task by themselves, and needed to be directed by wise and benevolent planners. Those who have studied economics or paid attention to history know that this was foolish and wrong.

    And…

    People are not chess pieces, of course, and Nehru and his successors ravaged the economy with their well-intentioned interventions. I won’t recite the litany, but here’s the thing: 68 years after we became independent, 24 after the Soviet Union collapsed, we are still enslaved by a failed philosophy. And we’re still suffering because of the fatal conceit of flawed individuals.

    It amuses me sometimes that Modi is considered a right-wing politician. He actually embodies the worst of both left and right. Like his party, and the ecosystem of religious nutjobs that sustains it, he is right-wing on social issues; and left on economic ones. Basically, he is against individual freedom in every domain possible, and thus the exact opposite of me. If you put Modi and me in a test tube, the resultant explosion could blow the earth off its orbit, or at least result in a good rap album. But that is a digression, and it is possible that you have your mouth open because I called him an economic leftist. Well, if a man is to be known by his actions and not his public image, what else can we call him?

    I know many economic liberals, bald because of six decades of tearing their hair out, who thought Modi would be a free-market messiah. My ass. Tell me this: exactly what reforms has he carried out that increase our economic freedom? When Modi took over, India was ranked 140 out of 189 countries in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Index: it has since slipped to 142. He has not reformed the labour laws that, for decades, have prevented us from being a manufacturing superpower. The license and inspector raj remains what it was under his predecessors. A litany of what he has not changed would be the same as a litany of what was wrong with our country before he took over.

    I have friends in high places who tell me that the system doesn’t allow him to act. But the truth is that Modi suffers from the same fatal conceit that Nehru displayed. He believes the economy needs a top-down manager. He would rather reform a public sector unit than sell it off. When he talks of ‘minimum government and maximum governance,’ as that catchy slogan went, he is speaking of making government more efficient and not at eliminating it entirely from areas where it has no business existing.

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    • Shekhar Gupta made the interesting point recently that Modi has been misread by many, that he isn’t really the economic liberalizer everyone thinks he or that he might also have promised to be. Rather he is basically a person who thinks he can make existing arrangements operate better or that he can be a better manager of everything that already is. There is perhaps some truth to this but in any case this is where I argue with many to point out to me what’s happened since he’s become PM that’s been dramatically different on this score.

      Now having said that these pieces also tend to be rather glib. There’s a certain ideological fundamentalism about ‘free markets’ forever embedded in them when in fact if anything we’re living in an age where those old dogmas have been questioned more than ever before. It’s always a person of a certain class, already part of an upwardly mobile India or who can very easily become part of such a class, who’s pushing this narrative constantly. A mad dash towards the free market and everything will be ok. I think particularly in a country with social, economic, cultural complexity of India you have to go a bit more slowly. And you have to be sensitive to a great many things. If the things such authors espouse were actually taken up these would eventually lead to a great deal more political unrest in India, not less. The second slippage in these pieces is that people assume the stability of an Indian state or take it for granted while at the very same time dismissing the very forces (let’s call them ‘Nehruvianism’ or use this shorthand) that made this possible. Put differently the Indian Republic as we know it is a result of all those policies. Which doesn’t mean we cannot debate them but we cannot simply assume everything would stay the same irrespective of whatever economic or social or political policies were in place.

      We’ve had for at least twenty years now a New India very impatient with Old India. There were sometimes good reasons for this. On the other hand there has been a certain dim-wittedness to many of the prescriptions offered in the other direction and specially today it’s rather too late to keep arguing for the very same things when precisely the same free market fundamentalism has come under question in so many parts of the world (including even the West) and where someone like Piketty has become so influential by arguing in the other direction.

      Ultimately there can be a debate about all of this but it cannot come about with this kind of obfuscation and completely cavalier treatment of serious histories. As a final point and since I love my Hitler examples it could be argued that many of Hitler’s economic policies were left-wing too. You broaden the discussion enough and you can include all kinds of discourses. But what I will say though (and this too is a point always worth repeating) that many victories of the left are in certain sense complete. One could for example say that in the US no matter what party wins the contours of the economy are always set by left-leaning constructs or that the welfare state is more or less left undisturbed and so on. That’s true but that’s because that historical argument has been won by the left and no one can really take it apart. But because people on the Right have to deal with this history doesn’t mean they’re left-wingers. Getting back to Modi finally it’s fair to say he might have moved a lot more in the direction the author would have liked him to without the Raja Sabha obstruction of the Congress.

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      • If the things such authors espouse were actually taken up these would eventually lead to a great deal more political unrest in India, not less.

        Actually, no… it would result in the opposite. Unrest is almost always caused by harsh economic realities. Once people have jobs,once they have social and economic aspirations they are much less likely to rock their own boat and partake in some revolution. This is true for the privileged class as well as the chaiwallah who serves them. More so for the latter.

        people assume the stability of an Indian state or take it for granted while at the very same time dismissing the very forces (let’s call them ‘Nehruvianism’ or use this shorthand) that made this possible. Put differently the Indian Republic as we know it is a result of all those policies. Which doesn’t mean we cannot debate them but we cannot simply assume everything would stay the same irrespective of whatever economic or social or political policies were in place.

        Whether it stayed together because of Nehru or not, the Indian state did remain poor because of him. About this one can be certain. The paltry Hindu rate of growth, the terrible attitude towards money at the time of independence, fostered no doubt by the politicians of that age (who, as usual, came from aristocratic families!) was indeed responsible for India’s plight…till the economy was opened up to the world. Not because suddenly the Congress believed somehow that it had committed a mistake in the past but because the nation’s hand was forced! And the results, even with a constrained economic policy, are there for everyone to see.

        Getting back to Modi finally it’s fair to say he might have moved a lot more in the direction the author would have liked him to without the Raja Sabha obstruction of the Congress.

        Not at all…what Modi is practicing is called crony capitalism. In other words, he’s giving back or at least trying to give back favours to businesses who supported him. It’s not the same thing and it certainly does not create a level playing field. Ask Mr. Adani and he’ll privately agree…

        And finally, the left hasn’t won anything. The notion of a welfare state is the reason why the UK has sunk so low after WWII. The ideology might have gained ground but it has caused far too much damage to nation-states in general. Not that I believe that capitalism, in its present form, is the cure-all that propels the world forward, but the safety net approach offered by socialism is known to hurt the spirit of free ‘enterprise.’ Capitalism is the reason why you and I can exchange opinions remotely on a web hosting service that’s as cheap as chips today. And capitalism is how the under-privileged yet enterprising folk can move forward.

        Capitalism in its purest form is Darwin’s theory applied to the present world — survival of the most adaptable and enterprising!

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        • There are some very elementary fallacies in your position:

          1)you cannot show me a state with anything like India’s scale and it’s dizzyingly complicated social fabric doing better than India in a political sense among all the decolonized nations of the world. There are none. It is hard to find any that has done better economically than India without going through some very terrible political convulsions. I could quote some Latin American examples in this sense. The two things are not unrelated. The idea that one can have India’s political miracle but then also an economic powerhouse at the same time is in my view a fantasy. There isn’t such an example and I don’t believe that’s a coincidence. Take contemporary China. They’ve performed like an economic superpower for so many years and during each one of those years they average a 100,000 protests every year. Yes you read that number right. If you tabulate all kinds of protests that’s how many they have. Again it’s not a coincidence. Capitalism of the Darwinist kind (which by the way is a misreading of both any canonical definition of capitalism and Darwin himself.. I won’t get into the latter debate here but Adam Smith, the godfather for all capitalists, isn’t remotely about such unfettered capitalism) simply does not ‘obtain’ anywhere and when it approaches anything like this model it creates enormous immiseration everywhere. Once those sites of immiseration were in Manchester, now they’re in Bangladesh. But beyond this there are worse stories of exploitation and dispossession attached to it which stories the free market fundamentalists choose to ignore and with a religious zeal believe that there will be a promised kingdom one day where no one will be immigrated when in fact there is no evidence for any such society in history. Again I am referring to immiseration that is created ‘because’ of this model and not despite it.

          2)One might argue about the West. Even those on the Right do not argue that the victories of the left are not permanent ones everywhere in the West. It’s also odd to argue that this welfare state is the problem when the world’s top economies operated with these conditions for so long and even now with all the problems in the West there are still enough Scandinavian examples that are even bigger welfare states and which still enjoy some of the best economic metrics anywhere in the world. Piketty, who has created such an extraordinary stir over the last few years, makes the connected even deeper. He says the West has been historically more prosperous with a greater social safety net and less so when this net was weakened. By the way he’s even talked about India in this context and has said that poverty will simply not be lessened here without expanding the social safety net. There’s however another important point to be made here. The Marxist paradigm holds even with many of the European economies. They stop being as vital the more decolonization hits them. It wasn’t Adam Smith that made those economies great on their own. It was the colonial experience that creates the ‘first world’. Not one exception to this rule. Even the US economy simply cannot be imagined in a foundational sense without slave labor (directly or indirectly). However these economies sustained themselves over time they were foundationally complicit in this sort of program in almost all cases. Again Piketty probably wouldn’t disagree.

          We’ve just told ourselves fairy tales about free markets for the longest time that rival some of the best religious fundamentalisms. The structure is the very same. I am not making this point lightly. The modern Western world simply cannot be understood without those histories of colonialism and in a lesser sense the same cannot be understood without the safety net. Once again Piketty would argue that all these economies even with all their challenges would be in vastly worse shape without the welfare state. This doesn’t mean you don’t have to rethink how to operate the welfare state, this also doesn’t mean I’m somehow arguing against free markets. I am just arguing against these glib versions that have no historical evidence to back them up.

          Yes Capitalism is the reason you and I can do these things. But for us to do these things there are people who have to work like slaves in the factories of Foxcon or worse still have to submit to brutal wars in Africa that are engendered to gain easy access to things like coltan and where we are then fed another fairy tale that these are ancient civil wars. That we do not see this ‘debit’ side of things is precisely for ideological reasons. And this debit side isn’t an accident. It is a structural necessity for this sort of capitalism.

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  25. Tera Suroor Is Very Low On Monday
    Tuesday 15 March 2016 11.30 IST
    Box Office India Trade Network

    Tera Suroor had very low collections on Monday and will just survive one week at the box office. The first weekend business of Tera Suroor is as follows

    Friday – 1,25,00,000
    Saturday – 1,25,00,000
    Sunday – 1,50,00,000
    Monday – 80,00,000

    Total – 4,80,00,000

    The film has low costs and even 15 crore nett business would have pulled it through but for that Monday had to be similar or higher than Friday but the film dropped. The film is a FLOP and will fold up the week at around 6.50 crore nett and second week will hardly add any business..

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    • ROCK STEADY COLLECTIONS FOR TERAA SURROOR IN 4 DAYS 🙂

      Excellent word of mouth has resulted into superb collections of Rs 7.84 crore in four days for Teraa Surroor and Himesh dedicated this success to God and Bhushan Kumar.

      Himesh’s 100th film with T series is Teraa Surroor. “I am more than happy with the film being a success and can’t thank Bhushan Kumar enough for giving me another hit, I dedicate this success to God and Bhushan Ji, we have done 100 films and more than 550 super hit songs together which is a landmark.”

      An excited Himesh further adds “As a tribute to all music lovers I will be doing a huge live show soon where I can perform all these songs through a medley and dedicate these songs to Bhushan ji”.

      Like

  26. omrocky786 Says:

    Sh. Javed Akhtar’s farewell speech in Rajya Sabha | Mar 15, 2016

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  27. On Nehru, by the same author (who incidentally is a two-time Bastiat Prize winner in journalism)

    Profit = Philanthropy

    Never talk to me about profit,’ Jawaharlal Nehru once said to an industrialist friend of his. ‘It is a dirty word.’

    Nehru’s sentiments were understandable in those times, and his sentiments were noble. India had just rid itself of the British, who had come to India ostensibly to do business and had left it impoverished. Nehru, who had played a notable role in the freedom struggle, had spent his formative years in England learning from the Fabian Socialists, as well as from Howard Laski, the Marxist professor at LSE who had a greater influence on modern India than Mahatma Gandhi, through students such as Nehru and VK Krishna Menon. The Soviet Union seemed to be a model to admire, America itself vastly expanded the role of the state after the Great Depression, and the top-down command-and-control economy must have seemed incredibly attractive to Nehru. The center had to hold. The profit motive was evil. Those exploitative capitalists had to be kept in check.

    It is not fair to judge Nehru in hindsight, and he was right about other things that mattered. But he was wrong about this. Profit is the secret behind all prosperity. And it is a distrust of the profit motive that has kept this country poor.

    The fundamental fallacy that Nehru committed was of looking at the economy as a zero-sum game. By that thinking, if someone is winning, someone else must be losing. If the industrialist makes a profit, someone else is getting exploited. But this is not the way the world works. All trade is a positive-sum game; and indeed, it is not possible for one person alone to make a profit in a transaction.

    I am fond of illustrating this by citing what the writer John Stossel calls the Double Thank-You Moment. When you buy a cup of coffee at a Cafe Coffee Day, you say ‘thank you’ when you are handed your cup of coffee. And the cashier says ‘thank you’ when you hand over your money. This double ‘thank-you’ illustrates that both of you benefited from the transaction. Both of you profited.

    This is, simply put, the root cause of prosperity. Every single voluntary transaction that takes place makes both parties better off, and increases the sum total of value in the world. Equally, every impediment that anyone places on the ability of consenting adults to trade freely with each other reduces the notional value in the world, and is an impediment to growth. It stands to reason, then, that trade should lead to prosperity, and that economic freedom should be correlated with a nation’s wealth. Does the data bear this out? You bet it does.

    First up, I urge you to consider this chart. (Here’s the source.) It shows the wealth of the world as a flat line for centuries, until 1800. And then, boom, the world economy takes off in a spurt that economists call the Hockey Stick of Human Prosperity. It correlates perfectly with the explosion of markets across the world, of double-thank-you moments.

    But it doesn’t take off uniformly across countries. Free markets are a necessary condition for prosperity, so let me now draw your attention to another chart. This one, from the Index of Economic Freedom 2015 brought out by the Heritage Foundations, shows a clear correlation between economic freedom and the wealth of nations. The freer you are, the wealthier you tend to be. (Also, the freer you are, the faster you grow.)

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    • Also this:

      Forget the data, you say. Capitalists are exploitative. What about the low wages paid by Walmart? What about sweat shops run by large multinationals in third world countries like Bangladesh, where workers toil jn inhumane conditions? Isn’t that the profit motive at work?

      Yes, it is. And I deeply admire Walmart and every company that runs a sweatshop in a poor country. That is because the people who work in Walmart and in those sweatshops do so because it is the best option open to them. They are not fools. They are choosing to work where they do because they deem all other alternatives to be worse, and those evil capitalist behemoths should actually be thanked for actually providing them an option that is better than the best option otherwise available to them. We condescend to those workers when we say they are being exploited. (Indeed, it is possible that we are exploiting them by using them to feed our sanctimony.)

      Like

    • I wouldn’t rely on the Heritage foundation. They have a strong ideological commitment to a certain narrative. They are currently headed by Jim DeMint, about as hard right as you get.

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  28. Was watching Kung Fu Panda II the other day and was surprised to see an open celebration of socialism (and in equal measure, derision of capitalism) embedded in the film. It’s a nice film otherwise but it just goes to show how much we — as people — suffer to feel good in eradicating the notion of inequality, even if it’s on celluloid.

    The filmmakers and writers are hypocritical, of course, because while the film castigates the evil capitalist who is enterprising enough to create cannon-ball machines, good enough to subjugate the masses, he does so precisely for that reason. And the socialist ninjas in comparison are called to destroy the invention and save the world (in this case, China).

    The filmmakers are hypocritical because the film itself is a capitalist venture, made purely to create a profit but the hidden theme tries to (covertly) run down capitalism. I will have my cake and also eat it, thank you! It just goes to show how as a species we are conditioned to hate enterprise…to somehow create (and feed) the canard that capitalists = evil people.

    We don’t have to go that far either. Look at Deewar for instance. The good son, who also happens to be the moral anchor of the film (along with the mother) are the good socialists who love to embrace poverty at any cost, and the good-turned-bad son receives his comeuppance once he sheds socialism and becomes a capitalist.

    Make no mistake, the makers actually believed in this hokum idealism whilst simultaneously profiting from the ticket sales that this upside-down philosophy generated.

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    • Good to read you Saket. You, Tony, Sanjana, Satyam, Myselfaamir, Munna — some of the people , along with any I may have missed — I seem to connect with.

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      • Thanks, LS

        The feeling’s mutual…I don’t always post here but I do read comments from time to time. Also, had it not been for the amazing bunch of people here, I wouldn’t be coming back again and again.

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      • but not omrocky, di, ann jo, bliss etc. We tend to like only those who agree with us 😉

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    • Did you not see Elysium? There are many-many movies along those lines. Even batman etc

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  29. Saket, after a long time. Good to see you when cricket series is about to begin.

    Like

    • Thanks, Sanjana…actually came here to discuss the T20 World Cup (!) but ended up firing darts at a familiar ‘foe’ 😉

      Just to be clear, I say foe but I actually mean friend!

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  30. You Said Fan Is Sure To Take An Initial So Does It Have The Potential To Hit 200 Crore Business?
    Wednesday 16 March 2016 11.30 IST
    Box Office India Trade Network

    Q. You said Fan is sure to take an initial so does it have the potential to hit 200 crore business?
    Ans. Its impossible to predict final business as the film can go anywhere. If content good it can go to 200 crore nett but if bad it can remain very low. On a fair film it should do close to 130-140 crore nett taking into account the likely opening.
    L. Younis

    Q. Can Kapoor & Sons take a good star as cast does appeal to the youth?
    Ans. The plus is the Kar Gayi Chal which is a hit song and probably the only hit song of the year but on the other side is dull theatrical which will be a bigger factor so opening will be tough.
    Vikram Shah

    Q. Which film has more footfalls Queen, Kahaani, Mary Kom or Neerja ?
    Ans. Kahaani followed by Mary Kom followed by Neerja followed by Queen.
    Kalpana S.

    Q. There was a Punjabi film clash this week and in an industry where there are so few release what is the point in clashing?
    Ans. Its not important. Normally its a clash with a Hindi film and this week there was no major Hindi film so for the Punjabi films it was no different as they clashed with each other. Basically it will be a very bad release dates where a Punjabi film finds no competition .
    M. Brar

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  31. Tera Suroor Tuesday Business
    Wednesday 16 March 2016 11.30 IST
    Box Office India Trade Network

    Tera Suroor continued with poor collections on Tuesday. The daily first five day business of Tera Suroor is as follows

    Friday – 1,25,00,000
    Saturday – 1,25,00,000
    Sunday – 1,50,00,000
    Monday – 80,00,000
    Tuesday – 70,00,000

    Total – 5,50,00,000

    The way the film is going it will collect around 60% of the lifetime of Aap Kaa Suroor which was released way back in 2007.

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  32. Ah Piketty, the doyen of the Political Lefties, of course has to show up in this argument and I presume with alarming frequency in the forthcoming ones as well. But here’s the deal about Piketty and the welfare-state theory (hard-coded data by the way):

    Piketty claims that his tax system would not impact economic growth or entrepreneurial innovation. However a comparison between France and the U.S. renders this assertion laughable. For reference, France, already has a wealth tax, as well as a much higher marginal income tax rate than the U.S. (75% vs. about 43%).
    Of the 100 most valuable corporations in the world, 44 are based in the U.S., and 5 are based in France. This means that the U.S., which has less than 5 times the population of France and less than 6 times the GDP, has created almost 9 times as many “Top 100” companies.

    And…

    These comparisons are just the warm-up. The real shock comes when you look at when each country’s “Top 100” companies were started.

    The last time that France created a “Top 100” company was 100 years ago: Total Petroleum, in 1924. And, Total was founded at the initiative of the French government. The most recent private French venture in today’s global “Top 100” is L’Oreal, which was founded in 1909.

    In contrast, one U.S. “Top 100” company (Facebook) was founded only 10 years ago. Another, Google, which was started in 1998 by two guys in a dorm room at Stanford University, has a market cap approaching that of all 5 of France’s “Top 100” companies added together.

    In the 90 years since Total was founded, the U.S. created 17 of its 44 “Top 100” companies, including 1 in the 2000s, 2 in the 1990s, 4 in the 1980s, and 4 in the 1970s.

    This as well…

    Before moving on to an extended discussion of another one of Professor Piketty’s major errors, let’s do a “Piketty Idiocy Lightning Round:”

    • In Piketty’s world, it would be a bad thing if someone were to develop a drug that cured Alzheimer’s. This is because that person would certainly become a multi-billionaire, and that would increase inequality.
    • The only thing worse than the scenario described above would be if, because his/her newfound riches hadn’t been confiscated by Piketty’s income and wealth taxes (as they certainly should be), he/she used the capital to develop a cure for cancer. Even more inequality!
    • Under Piketty’s tax system, it would have been impossible for Elon Musk to leverage his success with PayPal to fund Tesla Motors.
    • In Piketty’s model, it would be a disaster if 15 million unemployed Americans went out tomorrow and got jobs paying $8.00/hour. This because is creating new jobs that pay less than the average wage of the “Bottom 50%” will increase labor income inequality.
    • In contrast, it would be good if all of America’s minimum wage workers quit their jobs and went on welfare, because then labor income inequality would be reduced.
    • On page 309 of Capital, Piketty notes approvingly that the minimum wage in France has been higher than that of the U.S. since 1985. However, Piketty doesn’t mention that, since 1985, French unemployment has averaged about 9%, vs. about 6% for the U.S.
    • Seizing all of the venture capital firms in America and giving the funds to Amtrak would be good, because it would not only reduce wealth inequality, but also allow the federal government to build much needed (in the opinion of progressive intellectuals, at least) high-speed rail infrastructure.
    • To Piketty, a rising ratio of wealth to national income is bad, and a falling ratio is good. Accordingly, Piketty’s bad periods have names like “la Belle Epoch” (the beautiful era), the “Roaring Twenties,” and “the Soaring Sixties.” In contrast, his good times have names like “World War I,” “World War II,” and “the Great Depression.”

    And this is the punch line:

    Piketty doesn’t understand why a system based upon voluntary transactions pays supermangers so much, so he assumes that there cannot be a valid reason. It then follows that government force can and should be applied to reduce the supermanager compensation that Piketty deems excessive, and that doing this will impose no costs on the economy.

    In believing in their own omniscience, progressive intellectuals fall into the trap described so brilliantly by George Gilder in his book, Knowledge and Power. They seek to intervene in systems that they do not, and inherently cannot, understand.

    In the final analysis, progressivism is simply the time-release form of communism. This is fine with progressives like Piketty, because they truly believe that the only thing wrong with soviet communism was that it was run by Stalin, rather than by them. Give them another chance (starting with an 80% marginal income tax rate and a global wealth tax), and this time they will get it right.

    The full article here

    I recommend reading it thoroughly if not as an eye-opener but at least as a counter-point to Piketty’s thesis.

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    • Gerard Depardieu renounced his French citizenship in response to their looney socialist policies. Here’s what he had to say:

      Mr. Depardieu, who has been accused by France’s Socialist government of abandoning the country to avoid paying taxes, will be giving up his French citizenship and taking up residence over the border in Belgium, he wrote. Mr. Depardieu insisted that his move was not solely for tax reasons, but also because he felt the government believed that “success, creation, talent — difference, in fact — must be punished.”

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      • again this is so random.. a guy is willing to take Russian citizenship to avoid paying taxes in a country where he became a legend. A guy known in recent years more for unfortunate and obnoxious episodes like urinating publicly in a plane when he couldn’t get access to the bathroom! A guy who even if I love as a star-actor has frankly revealed himself to be a rather detestable person in more ways than one for a number of years now.. a guy who’s willing to get the citizenship of one of the most corrupt oligarchies on the planet.. is he really going to be one’s character witness for what is or isn’t wrong with French economics? C’mon..! And on that note one should here some of his views on the US:

        http://www.theguardian.com/film/2015/oct/09/gerard-depardieu-denounces-usa-slavery-native-americans-atomic-bomb

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        • Forget Depardieu, this is what the state of France has reduced to:

          Hollande says France in state of economic emergency

          “Our country has been faced with structural unemployment for two to three decades and this requires that creating jobs becomes our one and only fight.”

          France was facing an “uncertain economic climate and persistent unemployment” and there was an “economic and social emergency”, he said.

          Perhaps Mr. Piketty should try to solve this problem…

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    • you continue to quote extremely right -wing sources.. doesn’t really buttress your argument. Piketty has created huge buzz not just on the left but pretty much everywhere and the reason here is that even people who are prone to disagree with him find his data monumental. It has simply been the most influential economics book in a very long time. One can’t really respond to this kind of work by quoting from the heritage foundation and Forbes! Nor can one indulge in the usual name-calling (socialists etc). These are very tired, very stale labels. By the way the representation of Piketty in this piece is a caricature and no serious economist on the Right would really subscribe to it. Serious discussions ought not to be reduced to exchanging references and quotations that really belong to the most partisan camps imaginable. This game can be played endlessly. I could keep quoting all kinds of left of center economists and economic historians to suggest the very opposite.

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      • It has simply been the most influential economics book in a very long time.

        It is the most popular book in recent times, I agree. But there are factors that work in its favour: the stagflation that’s followed the 2007 global crisis, which makes its central idea about inequality all the more appealing and of course, the political Left has just lapped it up.

        It’s not just this piece, which actually is quite comprehensive even if it’s derogatory in tone, but multiple others (a 26 year old PhD student found holes in Piketty’s central assumption about capital) that question Piketty’s thesis. Here are a few links, all very informative:

        Why I am not persuaded by Thomas Piketty’s argument
        (The author is the chair of Economics at George Mason University)

        Why Inequality Matters

        (This is by Bill Gates who is much kinder to Piketty and even mentions that he had a conversation with the latter over skype…and he too finds problems with Piketty’s assumptions as well as solutions!)

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        • but what do these pieces prove? I could quote a hundred arguing the obvious. Does the book speak to its moment? Sure. But all such iconic works do that. No book would be that popular in its age if it didn’t address its most immediate concerns! The other thing I’d say here is that whether you like his views or not you ought to take him a bit more seriously. If all it took to destroy his argument were a Forbes piece here, a dissent by Bill Gates there, the book wouldn’t have become so much of a sensation anyway. And Piketty incidentally is also a public intellectual. Do a search on youtube. You’ll see tons of interventions he’s made everywhere debating everyone from Harvard economists to Raghuram Rajan to whoever. All these debates are available on youtube. One might not like his views but he’s not an idiot! Do you really think that he has this magnum opus effort but not even the wherewithal to understand the economic status of his own country?! And once again it’s not about the Left, his data (he has a whole website devoted to data that he couldn’t include in his book) is considered to be formidable. Even many on the Right have been impressed by his efforts. If you want to argue that many don’t agree with him well who is the economist with whom everyone agrees? There is none. It’s not as if you get someone on the opposite side who everyone agrees with! There are trends to everything in life. Things become more popular, then less, and so on. The truly important stuff always remains relevant. Hence Keynes made a comeback in recent years.

          Finally I am against this whole name-calling enterprise. One has not argued against someone or something just because one has called it ‘left’ or ‘right’ or whatever. These labels are self-evident only to those who are fully invested in the dogmas behind them. You could name me any economist you liked, I could dismiss him or her with a similar label, and I could bring up such articles to dismiss them. But this is the sort of stuff every partisan on every issue does these days. Those who think Modi is a saint and those who consider him an absolute villain all that this sort of arsenal of evidence at their disposal. They all have their links, their quotes and what have you. One must engage with the ideas and when one does so one shouldn’t resort to these easy labels.

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          • Piketty could be really popular…that does not make him or his theory right. One of his key assumptions about Capital always increasing in value over time has been questioned by many sources. There are many asset classes where investment doesn’t show significant growth. Plus, what one economist has pointed out is that Piketty has not taken into account any risk. That makes the outcome of his theory suspect.

            And France has had economic issues for a few decades now. The current emergency is hardly surprising…

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          • https://newrepublic.com/article/117429/capital-twenty-first-century-thomas-piketty-reviewed

            “Piketty could be really popular…that does not make him or his theory right”

            Phrased this way nothing is really right or wrong. No one is right about everything anyway. The question is rather whether there is a body of thought with the richness to provoke all sorts of conversations. Piketty has assuredly passed that test. Do people disagree with him on all sorts of things? On all sides? of course. But there is no economist with whom everyone agrees, there is no economist whose reputation doesn’t rise and fall over time. The same for other intellectual fields. I’ve just pointed out one serious review but there are others and even more detailed ones. I’ve already mentioned many of the debates that are available on youtube. The point I’m trying to make is that one might not find a thesis to one’s taste but don’t you think it’s a bit glib to simply dismiss someone like Piketty out of hand. Or at least many of the serious economists around the world who have engaged with him and who’ve found his work worthwhile even when they’ve disagreed must be rather foolish to take him seriously! There is a difference between disagreeing on aspects of a thesis or even the entire thesis and nonetheless finding value in a work for all kinds of reasons and being dismissive altogether. All I argue for is greater sophistication (and indeed humility) in dealing with people and ideas.

            here’s Krugman on France from a couple of years ago:

            http://www.nytimes.com/2014/08/29/opinion/paul-krugman-the-fall-of-france.html

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          • I’m not suggesting for a second that I possess more knowledge compared to Piketty…that his work is insignificant, because it’s not. I’m well aware of the buzz his book has created and there have been many discussions that started to take place because of his thesis.

            But I do know for a fact that socialism is a failed concept. If not a complete failure, it’s bad for the long term. It makes people lazy. It removes incentives for people to be industrious and creative. The entire history of Europe since WW II is a testament to this fact. The lone examples of Sweden and Norway can be bandied around but what exactly is the population of these states? The entire population of Sweden is slightly more than the population of London and Norway’s is lesser by a substantial amount!

            Surely these countries can’t be held up as rousing examples of the triumph of welfare states! Let’s look at the UK and France, not to mention Italy, Greece, Portugal and Spain as well before jumping the gun. With growing population the model is unsustainable because you require more taxes, which in turn ruins the economy.

            Yesterday I mentioned Depardieu, today I will mention Lewis Hamilton. He’s probably one of the wealthiest sports star in the world and he’s given up his residency in the UK to live in Monaco. Businesses in Europe have their headquarters in Luxembourg or Ireland to enjoy tax cuts and operate through out the EU. Nobody wants to pay extra taxes. You increase taxes and businesses walk out or find other ways to avoid direct taxation. It’s just common sense.

            I’m not saying there are no other methods to fund social welfare (which needs to be reviewed periodically) but increasing taxes and asking people to pay up for the less fortunate, which in turn takes away the incentive for them to work, is wrong. The old Chinese proverb rings true to my ears:

            Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.

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          • I don’t think Piketty has promoted ‘socialism’ anywhere in his book. I could be wrong! but even otherwise it’s quite pointless to use ‘socialism’ as the kind of catch-all term that covers everything from communism to Scandinavia! On the rest I’d be repeating myself if I said things I already have in those contexts.

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  33. The idea that one can have India’s political miracle but then also an economic powerhouse at the same time is in my view a fantasy.

    To paraphrase George Gilder, You seek to intervene in systems that you do not and inherently cannot, understand. This is the primary fallacy of economic leftists who somehow find immense peace and tranquillity amidst poverty and squalor. Take India’s example: it’s not a coincidence that India is much better off since the markets opened up than it had been under the clutches of Nehruvian socialism. And guess what, there was a political emergency during the socialist years – a major political revolution, which unfortunately was misplaced because it tried to supplant the Congress’ version of socialism with JP’s socialism. Socialism 2.0 created monsters like Lalu Prasad Yadav, so let’s leave it there.

    Since the markets opened up there hasn’t been a single political protest the size of JP’s movement. It simply can’t happen because people have a relatively comfortable life to lead. There’s a humongous cost attached in throwing it all away and joining a political movement. Even Anna Hazare’s protest petered out after a while, and that was for a different reason anyway. There were positive outcomes to that protest, but that’s fit for another debate.

    What’s the solution according to socialists? Tax the rich more and give it back to the society through government machinery. Guess what, this is exactly the model that’s in place or was in place and look at how that has helped us. It has created more and more corruption: schemes that exist on paper with funds siphoned away by bureaucrats/politicians, leading to you know what, increasing inequality.This has been the single most dominant reason for the increase in inequality in India. Not the rapid rise of capitalism, which at least made more options available to the general population.

    Realize this: Governments, by nature, are highly inefficient. The more power they possess, the worse it will be for Joe public. And by creating a welfare state we only enhance the powers of the Government machinery. The Government does not create, it only consumes and hence can’t be trusted for generating equality. The only thing that can come out of such a scheme is universal suffering, not to mention severe frustration (unrest!) for folks who think they could do more if they were not stopped by the state. The best then tend to migrate to lands of greater opportunity and unsurprisingly this has happened in India as well.

    As an example of the Indian state’s socialist schemes that looks good on paper, let’s take the case of reservation. A noble cause by itself, no one’s going to dispute that, but how has the scheme fared over the years? Has it really uplifted the plight of the socially backward? Are they much better off now than they were just before independence? How do they fare against the upper castes who have since moved on to find jobs in the Private sector? Why is it that the private sector is not interested in hiring beneficiaries of reservation? The answer is simple: by enforcing the scheme, the Government took away whatever incentive there was for the lower castes to work hard and improve their lives. If you belong to the backward caste (not suggesting all are like that, but most who avail facilities would slot into this group) you just have to turn up in Engineering or Medical entrance exams and you are all set. The beneficiaries can easily hope to get a Government job and lead a life of corruption and settle old scores with society. When they are done, their children can then take over the burden by being beneficiaries of the same social largesse. And so on. It doesn’t stop there because the politicians who’ve run out of ammo on reservation would now like the Private sector to employ reservation! Of course, it should still make sense to a political leftist, shouldn’t it?

    The question to ask yourselves about socialism would be this: Why is it that socialism was the preferred solution post-Independence and how did it impact the society at large? India’s history, post-liberalisation seems to suggest it was wrong to opt for the sub-optimal Government-centric model. No question about it.
    It’s an alien concept to the Indian population in this age and time but people need to realize that they don’t need a big Government. They need a small and efficient one that gets out of their way and lets them find their own solutions.

    And lest I be misconstrued, I’m not totally against social safety nets. But they can only work in very advanced democracies where a) the population is sparse, so it’s less of a burden and b) where the general population is empowered enough to restrict its misuse.

    Regarding exploitation by capitalists, well, if the Left continues to view trade as a zero-sum game, there is nothing that can convince them otherwise. Let’s take a hypothetical example: perhaps the socialists can take all the poor and downtrodden to Mars (would require capitalist inventions to reach Mars in the first place!) and continue with socialist policies and compare their outcomes with those on Earth. I can bet that most people who’d be on Mars would love to come back to Earth but ironically, they’d be left with no choice because there wouldn’t be tools left to come back! That’s socialism for you…

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    • The problem with all such framings is that one always relies on the middle classes. There is perfect circularity. The very people who are the beneficiaries of a certain kind of capitalism and therefore have every reason to root for it are also those who are constantly referenced when it comes to stuff like protests and so on. This is the multiplex view of the world where politics happening in the heartlands of India or with lower castes or what have you simply does not matter. It is dismissed as either irrelevant or archaic. There is plenty of protest happening all over India all the time. It’s a question of what protests one wishes to see. But the other thing to be said here is that precisely because of greater democracy in Indian over the decades and more empowering of all kinds of minorities that a lot of what would be even greater protest is siphoned off through political channels. And again we have to get away from words like ‘socialism’ and so on. These are just phrases that serve certain ideological ends and to use them incessantly is a sure sign that one is relying on the pure labels to do the job of argument. It’s like making ‘liberal’ a dirty word in the US (though this trend has been changing in the Obama age).

      I’d make this other larger point somewhat briefly here. It is always a grave mistake to think there is always an economic solution to every political problem. In fact this too is part of a certain fundamentalist dogma in these matters. There are political realities that transcend economic ones. Economics was once called ‘political economy’ for a reason. When you have something as deep as the caste structure you precisely need political decisions to change this, because whether it is economically profitable or not those lines cannot be crossed on purely those grounds. Even in contemporary India and with all the changes we’ve seen for three decades caste divides are still extraordinary ones. The very same holds in the US when it comes to African-Americans. I could keep multiplying these examples. The free market does not make old prejudices vanish, in fact people often use economic logic to justify these structures of bias.

      Beyond this it is precisely the free market that dictates that people work in slave-like conditions in very many parts of the world. This is not political bondage in the old sense. You simply cannot have ‘profitability’ without this. It is not some accident that these conditions hold. These are not exceptions. These are the prerequisites for this kind of economic system to work. The very corporations that one extols, even the very companies that one lionizes and that represent the technological revolutions of the last two decades behave in exactly the same way. From Apple to Amazon to Nokia to what not. Presumably they know how to make profits?! There are moves afoot in many international fora now including the UN to treat slavery much more seriously as a category, i.e. the kind that is linked to these sorts of economic arrangements.

      I think I would be going in circles if I added more to the discussion. Said pretty much everything I needed to. I’ll just state once more that I’m not opposed to the free market. But I find it impossible to celebrate anything in the world in some unthinking way. To point out the excesses of an economic system or that of a democracy is not to argue for the opposite. It is to find a better way.

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      • This is the multiplex view of the world where politics happening in the heartlands of India or with lower castes or what have you simply does not matter.

        Who said it does not matter? But more importantly, with the Nehruvian model in place for decades, why don’t you ask yourself as to why things haven’t changed for the better? In the heartlands or for the lower castes?

        But the other thing to be said here is that precisely because of greater democracy in Indian over the decades and more empowering of all kinds of minorities that a lot of what would be even greater protest is siphoned off through political channels.

        You mean to say that democracy and empowerment of minorities has changed for the worse since India’s economic liberalisation?

        It is always a grave mistake to think there is always an economic solution to every political problem. In fact this too is part of a certain fundamentalist dogma in these matters. There are political realities that transcend economic ones.

        The political issues that you allude to (caste issues etc) have been present for centuries and ostensibly there’s no easy fix for that. The economic issues, those could be fixed much quicker and there’s good reason to believe that this will also result in a change in the environment clouding the politics of any particular region. There’s always a cascading effect surrounding economic activity. That’s why my view is to drive politics through economics and not the other way round!

        Beyond this it is precisely the free market that dictates that people work in slave-like conditions in very many parts of the world. This is not political bondage in the old sense. You simply cannot have ‘profitability’ without this.

        I think this has been answered above. People work in slave-like conditions because there are no better alternatives. Piketty’s idea of taxing the rich by over 80% will take away even these slave-like opportunities from these very people. You increase taxes and there’s an immediate adverse effect on the economy which then ultimately cascades back to the workers who are now forced to look for even lesser options!

        To point out the excesses of an economic system or that of a democracy is not to argue for the opposite. It is to find a better way.

        Absolutely agree!

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        • “Who said it does not matter? But more importantly, with the Nehruvian model in place for decades, why don’t you ask yourself as to why things haven’t changed for the better? In the heartlands or for the lower castes?”
          It should have run for a decade or two after independence. But things should have been handed off to private players at that point instead of garibi hatao and nationalization of banks. Pre-liberalization there was no pie to fight for. We now have pie of some radius and people have unequal share. Govt. job should be to make pie larger and push people to have reasonable share.

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        • Piety’s point for starters would be that the US had its greatest growth when its taxation rates were at the highest levels, following WWII and the welfare state was ascendant. The opposite has also been true. This is a simple point of data. I’ve already mentioned the Scandinavian example. Why aren’t some of those countries like France when they have even bigger welfare states, even heavier taxation rates and so on? And by the way let’s not beat up on France in some easy American way when it has been one of the world’s top economies for quite long. As for structural unemployment which is now not only afflicting France here’s what I would say (and I am hardly original here). I think that at this stage of ‘late capitalism’ structural unemployment will become increasingly the norm everywhere in the West. It already is. An economy which will not be able to employ a portion of its workforce irrespective of anything else. Technological revolutions have contributed to this trend and they’re quite likely to aggravate it.

          The point about people working in slave-like conditions because there isn’t anything better isn’t what I am arguing against. That is of course true. It is more about creating certain kinds of poverty and then certain kinds of employment to force people into. Precisely someone who is otherwise starving to death doesn’t exactly have the choice to choose what kind of work he or she is going to submit to. And if you create a system that structurally enables this to happen you are fostering the problem at both ends.

          Once more you keep stating what are fairly standard positions of the free market dogma and surprisingly so at a time when these have increasingly come under question in most advanced economies and not only on the left. The point I would repeat here is that there is simply no story of competition in the way it is presented in this standard version. It is precisely a fairy tale. Why? Because there is no important Western economy that is not attached to a history of exploitation one way or the other. That is not connected to important wars one way or the other. Do you really think the US maintains its position in the world because of nice people practicing free competition all over the world? have you wondered why there are so many wars involving the US (it’s an encyclopedic list since WWII) or to the same degree why are there are so many direct or indirect interventions in countries? Have you ever looked at China’s model and what it’s doing in places like Africa (of course at home as well)? Irrespective of the political system capitalism has always been tied up with imperialism. It’s a matter of simple history. Once such a structure is set in place you can do all sorts of things. But you don’t maintain it by just conforming to the textbook version. I could keep multiplying these examples. These aren’t countries who one day looked at all the available options and said ‘let’s go for the free market’. These are countries that decided to follow this path but then also asked themselves this question: how must the world be ordered for this arrangement to be most profitable? It’s a free market? When states created by the British and the French in the Mideast and then guaranteed by the US in turn sit on the world’s richest resource? How long would this arrangement last without great power intervention? As we speak wars are orchestrated in places like the Congo and brutal warlords supported by the very same countries and/or their corporations to guarantee easy supply to coltan or what have you. That coltan goes into all our phones and such devices, which phones are then manufactured in slave labor factories in the ‘third world’. This is ‘free competition’? So it’s not as if this happened in the past. It’s still happening. There was a piece some months ago on brutal work conditions right here in the US in Amazon warehouses. They figured out this was the way to keep things most profitable. So people are not being ’emancipated’, they are being forced into certain kinds of immiseration. Or better still, and to repeat my point from earlier as bluntly as possible, for me to sit on this laptop right now and keep typing away people have to get their hands cut off in some remote regions of Africa that no-one has ever heard of but that are every bit part of this globalization arrangement as the major cities of the West.

          This doesn’t mean that the world was paradise before all of this started happening. But the point precisely is not to indulge in abstractions like ‘poverty’ and what not but to define it more precisely. A farmer works on a rice field somewhere in India, one day a dam is built, he’s dispossessed, he’s forced to leave, he’s transplanted elsewhere where he has not roots and he’s asked to grow wheat or something he has no experience with. End of story. Now one could say he was poor anyway. Yes but it’s a classic ‘multiplex’ (I’m using this shorthand again) view of the world to think that all kinds of poverty are the same. For that dam to be built and for many people to be advantaged by it scores of farmers (and so on) have to be constantly dispossessed and consigned to greater states of poverty and rootlessness. when countries are less democratic (China is the classic example) more of this happens. Authoritarian capitalism is if anything a rather respectable model these days. Because democracy provides too many speed-breakers. The logic of this version of capitalism is much better served by authoritarian govts that aren’t quite answerable in the same way if at all. This is the Chinese story the world has been celebrating.

          A world if which we tell people ‘you’re poor anyway so don’t mind working like a semi-slave in conditions I’ve designed’ is not one that’s acceptable to me. And it shouldn’t be to anyone. In the same sense one shouldn’t hide behind fairy tales so as to not see this. Let me put it this way. I’ll accept this whole free market myth if you show me wealth creation in such a system on a national level without these histories of colonialism and worse. There is no such example. None. Now of course other countries follow the model when they have the chance, this is because in such a global arrangement it’s hard to stand apart from it. Specially when the world’s greatest institutions (World Bank?!) are also controlled by the same global players and are often used as sticks to beat unwilling nations into submission. In every which way possible there is no ‘free market’ the way it’s peddled except for those folks who belong to certain classes of society and who can be the beneficiaries of such a system. People like you and me. And at the end of the day we tell ourselves such fairy tales and sleep with easy consciences.

          I’m not addressing the Nehru but here because frankly I’m widening the lens much more than that.

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  34. We have to find a middlepath. Uncontrolled capitalism becomes inhuman. They will price cancer drugs at such a high price that no poor or middleclass person can afford it. And with the profits, they will invent other drugs which will also be priced high citing that they need it for research. My argument is the research will never benefit the common man. I will rather prefer the rich also suffer and die than enjoy longevity and health just because they are rich.

    About reservations. Because of reservations some of the downtrodden got some voice and say. As for corruption, forward classes also indulge in corruption. Sometimes society and people have to pay a price for bringing some justice.

    Lalu’s son Tejaswi will perform better than his father. He is privileged now unlike his father was once upon a time.

    If one creates something, it is because of the environment he or she lives in. That environment is created by the government and government needs taxes to maintain it. Can government run on air? Less government will lead to anarchy which will then spoil the environment for the businessman.

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    • We have to find a middlepath. Uncontrolled capitalism becomes inhuman. They will price cancer drugs at such a high price that no poor or middleclass person can afford it. And with the profits, they will invent other drugs which will also be priced high citing that they need it for research.

      Not really…the idea behind a free market is to have competition. Unless the government intervenes or businesses collude together, the price of the drug will be fixed based on the number of solutions available and its demand. The more the competition, the lesser will be the price and needless to say, the more it will be affordable to the public.

      About reservations. Because of reservations some of the downtrodden got some voice and say. As for corruption, forward classes also indulge in corruption. Sometimes society and people have to pay a price for bringing some justice.

      In Economics you have to ask what the cost behind a particular action is. I would argue that because of reservation a) we have created a dumb workforce in government jobs and b) we have created a free-loading culture in at least some parts of the society. I’m sure there are positives that come out of the reservation policy as well but when you weigh them together, are the costs higher?

      If one creates something, it is because of the environment he or she lives in. That environment is created by the government and government needs taxes to maintain it. Can government run on air? Less government will lead to anarchy which will then spoil the environment for the businessman.

      I would argue that apart from essential services like Defence, Medicare, Law & Order and to an extent, Education (the state of public education is beyond wretched in India despite funds allocated on paper), the Government should not have too many powers in their hands. And surprise surprise, once the size of the Government is pruned it does not require too much income in the form of taxes to run. This means more pay in the hands of the people and more consumption. A higher GDP and so forth.

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  35. I think a point was also made about Obama’s policies to resurrect the US economy. But at what cost? In 2008, when Obama first became President, the country’s Debt to GDP ratio was 64%.

    Today it stands at 105%! What that means is that the Government is spending much more than the entire GDP, of which only around 30% comes back to it in the form of taxes!

    Any guesses as to what’s going to happen next? The taxes would have to increase. And not just increase but increase massively to even attempt to bring down the debt.

    My guess is, this is why this whole narrative about Sweden and the Nordic countries being affluent despite having heavy taxation is being played out. Not because there’s an urgent need to shift to a more people-friendly policy but because the Government coffers are simply running empty!

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    • a counter view from an economist who probably isn’t up your alley even if he is a Nobel winner:

      http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/21/opinion/paul-krugman-debt-is-good-for-the-economy.html?_r=0

      http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/21/opinion/Paul-Krugman-An-Imaginary-Budget-and-Debt-Crisis.html

      he’s had many columns over the years. These are just two of them. Incidentally he’s been more right than most others in the 90s and beyond.

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      • Krugman is a Nobel laureate but the work that netted him the Nobel was in a different field (International Trade). He’s by no means an expert on Government deficits.

        Not doubting his capabilities as an economist (obviously) but this is essentially an op-ed piece. There’s hardly any light thrown on the key assumptions that he’s making…also no real analysis as well.

        Does he stand by his opinion if there were to be a global crisis tomorrow, if the Eurozone collapses? What happens then?

        How much would be the tax burden on individuals and businesses once the interest rates pick up, assuming spending cuts are note made?

        Anyhow, if someone says to me, it’s ok to accumulate more debt even if the Debt-to-GDP ratio is 105% because you can always print money, without talking about the consequences of that action, I’d be a little suspicious!

        How long can a country print money? If not a direct default, it’s an indirect default anyway!

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          • I’ve read this one too. Again he makes the same point that economies that have a good reputation can keep on printing money and borrowing till there’s no tomorrow.

            If solvency issues appear, just print money. What are the consequences of printing money, he doesn’t really shed light on that. Doesn’t it sound suspicious/creepy as well?

            These are temporary measures anyway. At some point something’s gotta give. The pace of growth in the last 8 years has not surpassed Government spending. What makes him think it will do so in the future?

            What key indicators are there to show that the global economy is poised to work without the aid of Government spending today or in the near future?

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          • here is a more dense piece:

            http://www.lrb.co.uk/v36/n13/benjamin-kunkel/paupers-and-richlings

            Kunkel is hardly Piketty’s greatest fan but he very much belongs to that side of the equation and is if anything even more critical of free market orthodoxies. In this regard here’s a different piece of his:

            http://www.lrb.co.uk/v33/n03/benjamin-kunkel/how-much-is-too-much

            My point once again is that when people write pieces of this length it reveals the seriousness with which they consider the subject. You can’t just dismiss such thought in a couple of trite phrases or more. Piketty isn’t a fool. Nor are those experts in his field who are engaging in all sorts of serious debates with him. And I’m still not saying that everyone should follow Piketty or anyone else for that matter. I’m arguing about something else altogether. One can’t be simplistic about this stuff much less dogmatic. Presumably Piketty and his interlocutors know what they’re talking about. The disagreements have to come also at that level of sophistication.

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          • So far Governments have gotten away by printing money, but what’s to say this will also be true in the future? How can he be so certain?

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        • It’s rather bizarre to state that Krugman isn’t an expert on deficits. If you mean that isn’t his area of specialty well no economist specializes in everything. Following your argument no economist would be able to say anything on much else beyond his immediate area. That’s a rather strange claim to make. It’s a bit like saying a physicist who deals with superstring theory shouldn’t have anything to say about Newtonian paradigms or that a cardiologist when talking about infectious disease is completely out of his league. Not being a specialist in those other fields doesn’t mean one is a layman in everything else! There is still an overall general training. And specially in a field like economics lots of economists have different strength areas even if they formally specialize in one area or the other. A historian who produces a dissertation on the Great Depression isn’t exactly illiterate on other aspects of US history.

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          • You mentioned his Nobel prize and hence I pointed out that he didn’t get a Nobel prize talking about Government debt.

            I’m not saying he’s a fool or he doesn’t know jack about other areas of economics. But there are at least 36 sub-disciplines to be found in Economics! I wouldn’t expect him to be an expert on each one of those.

            Moreover, I’m questioning his assumptions. At least in the links you’ve provided, he hasn’t really laid out his reasoning very well.

            You shouldn’t just believe whatever you read either. It’s not enough to trust experts because these are such complex processes at work that there’s a bigger chance of getting things wrong than right. But at least one should be able to look at the key assumptions made, the line of reasoning followed to get a feel for the arguments made.

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          • Yes of course there are different disciplines in any field but I would think rather poorly of the economist who had no informed opinion on questions of debt. This isn’t some highly specialized area of the field that most trained economists would not know something about unless they actually did it. To provide an analogy a cardiologist wouldn’t know anything about brain surgery techniques but I would expect him or her to know a bit about basic back problems or common infections. There are still people trained in those disciples or who specialize in them but these things are also a greater part of any medical specialist’s general knowledge than again brain surgery techniques.

            On your last paragraph though this is a point I’ve often made in different contexts in the past. It’s not about slavishly following one expert or the other. But one also cannot simply have an ‘opinion’ about certain things. I am ideologically more sympathetic to certain kinds of economic theories than others. But I cannot dismiss others based on those preferences. Because I don’t have the expertise to make that judgment. I am in essence very suspicion of ‘opinion’ that does not recognize its limits. We don’t have to become experts on everything we comment on. That is absolutely not what I’m arguing for. But a certainly humility is always necessary.

            On the links that’s not Piketty arguing for himself. That’s others reviewing his book. As for his own arguments you should probably start with his book or if you don’t have that kind of time currently you should check out some of his academic debates on youtube.

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          • It’s not about slavishly following one expert or the other. But one also cannot simply have an ‘opinion’ about certain things. I am ideologically more sympathetic to certain kinds of economic theories than others. But I cannot dismiss others based on those preferences. Because I don’t have the expertise to make that judgment. I am in essence very suspicion of ‘opinion’ that does not recognize its limits.

            Perhaps I’m stating my opinions too strongly but I’ve no intention to prove or disprove anyone wrong because I wish to feel right. That’s not my intention. Believe me, I’m quite humble about things. That said, I’ve developed an informal interest in Economics and have been reading about Economics for quite a few years now — specifically, Macroeconomics. I’m also quite interested in Behavioural Economics but that’s a different matter.

            Economics isn’t exactly a pseudo science; there is a structure and logic that needs to be followed. Neither is it arcane enough to be not understood by the common man. What makes it challenging and difficult to predict is the sheer scale and volume of processes that it tries to cover. That’s why a whole lot of number crunching goes on; statistical models are built and theories are published, praised, rejected and supplanted. I find it quite fascinating as a subject.

            Having said that, my opinion on the welfare state concept isn’t just backed on gut feel but based on empirical evidence. Welfare states rely on the Government to do their job; this means an expansion in Government; Governments are highly inefficient by nature (how many government ministers have real life work experience? And they are the people who make policies that affect everybody else!). There are multiple examples where social welfare has resulted in a reduction of growth (multiple countries in Europe) or in the case of India, growth that can only be termed as poor. I don’t need a paper or a thesis to tell me what I’ve witnessed with my own eyes. Hence I’m so certain about some things.

            With regards to Paul Krugman, I’m nobody compared to him. But that doesn’t mean I can’t question his arguments or his reasoning. I could be completely wrong but I’d rather be wrong while asking questions that try to get to the bottom of Krugman’s reasoning than bow before his intellect (or his reputation).

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          • your opinion on the welfare state is perfectly fair. But it also follows a very standard argument on the Right in these matters. I’m not being dismissive. I’m just saying you seem to be unaware of the larger framing here. People who believe in the opposite things also believe they have the empirical evidence to back up their claims. So on and so forth. The very fact that there are competing schools of thought on this proves that the empirical couldn’t be that obvious or certainly not susceptible only to one interpretation, otherwise how would it be possible to have people in the other camp and winning Nobels while doing so?!

            What one witnesses with one’s eyes is never some neutral objective reality that’s ‘out there’. It’s already conditioned by one’s ideological biases.

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          • Socialists or let’s say leftists have noble intentions. That doesn’t make the actions that follow out of those noble intentions any less odious in the long term. There are serious consequences to ideas that sound good on paper but in reality are a recipe for disaster.

            I keep on harking back to this example, but it’s relevant to what I’m trying to say so here it goes again. Take reservation in India. Once it was introduced there has been no political will to take it back. This despite the fact that it’s being misused badly all over India. What’s the difference between a poor Dalit and a poor upper caste boy/girl? Why does the former get preferential treatment over the latter?

            Why is reservation not confined to one generation of beneficiaries? Why is it allowed to be passed on to future generations? These days there’s a racket going on where upper caste people are getting their names and castes changed on paper (easily done in India where any document can be forged) to avail the benefits of reservation.

            This is of course just the tip of the iceberg. That this process creates incompetent Government officials is a given. It encourages, scratch that, rewards free-loading behaviour. But hey, this form of social justice is now the norm. There are riots and protests by different communities to be included in the reservation list. It’s a complete shambles but not even one political party has the guts to apply logic to this nonsensical (in its present form) policy!

            It’s been 68 years since Independence and the policy that was supposed to last for 10 years will now last forever! That’s the price that nations have to pay for someone’s noble intentions! It also underlines the fact just why the Government can’t be trusted to bring forth any kind of real social justice.

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          • first off ‘socialists’ and ‘leftists’ are not interchangeable terms. But leaving this aside I’m glad you brought up reservation once more. I do agree that these things should in principle expire beyond a point. But here there’s an elementary misunderstanding about the whole process. When a class of people has been oppressed for millennia you can’t exactly balance things out by giving them a generation or two of reservation. The problem isn’t just an economic one. If that were the only thing one could agree completely that anyone who’s economically challenged in the same way ought to be in the same group. But creating economic opportunity for lower castes or privileging them in this way is a means to make them somewhat more upwardly mobile where otherwise those age old structures continue to offer enormous resistance. Things are way better than they once were but they’re still not where they need to be. There are schools in many parts of the country where lower caste kids have to sit separately from the rest of the class, where they have to clean the bathrooms for everyone and so on. The law doesn’t allow this but local politics and existing societal structures do. There are issues of sexual violence regularly visited on lower castes with impunity. I could go on. Again things are dramatically better because they have more political power at this point than ever before but it’s still a very far cry from any level playing field in any sense. The economic opportunity then is simply a means to somehow alleviate this very one cycle of oppression. Quite frankly most people have no idea, zilch, about the way lives are lived when people belong to certain castes.

            Let’s take the US example where too affirmative action is a controversial issue. Here there are whites as poor as African-Americans who have long felt resentful that blacks are privileged. The problem is once again a certain history but beyond this and even through an age where it was possible to elect a black president there are still massive ways in which institutions are rigged against blacks. Obama himself faced the kind of racial attacks (direct and indirect ones) that ought to shock people this late in the day. And this is the US we’re talking about. In India things are a 100 fold worse when it comes to those castes. Whites who are poor or upper castes who are poor do not face institutional resistance or oppression in the same way. But blacks or lower castes do. Anyone who doesn’t see this is more detached from this reality than he or she realizes. This is why the whole idea that the RSS and others like them espouse (cynically I might add) that quotas should only be based on pure economic conditions is faulty. Because there isn’t a level playing field. If you don’t force those quotes people will find ways to keep denying those lower castes or tribals or whoever opportunity. In the inner cities of America you often have all kinds of metrics that compare with those of many unfortunate parts of Africa. The numbers are shocking and yet the state is more or less blind to all of this. Because it’s seen as a black problem. The law can never rise above politics. There must be the political will to implement the law. These evolutions are often slow, gradual. Now I fully understand the resentment of whites or poor upper castes on this issue. But they just don’t know how those others live. If they really did they would probably not be so upset. I could say a lots more about all this but this response is already long. But it’s not about noble intentions, it’s about real results. precisely because it was a Nehruvian state that certain kinds of politics emancipation eventually became possible. In the US, this great free market society, consider how they were treating blacks till even relatively recently. You couldn’t sit on the same place in the bus even in the 60s! If the free market could solve all of these things why didn’t it take care of this? This was no Nehruvian state! Why did it requite great political agitation and struggle to bring about changes? The free market isn’t always the best friend of emancipation precisely because the free market is flexible enough to adapt itself to all kinds of political realities. In effect it can be efficient or profitable in a variety of situations. The US state guarantees certain things in a political and economic sense even if it took a while for the nation-state to get there. The Indian state guarantees other things. In each case it’s about making choices that one can debate. But the dogmas of the free market are ok for those who have the luxury never to be at the short end of the stick in truly existential ways. Again there is no free market system, none at all that anyone can look upto without this kind of political subtext. I’d in principle agree that reservations ought not to be forever but I’d be willing to wait forever if attitudes didn’t change enough. You (as in upper castes) don’t like this stuff, well shed your biases first and we can talk!

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          • What one witnesses with one’s eyes is never some neutral objective reality that’s ‘out there’. It’s already conditioned by one’s ideological biases.

            But I grew up in India. I was born a socialist. I was taught by the system that wealth is bad; capitalists are evil people and the biggest parameter of success in life was to become an IAS officer! My conditioning should have made me an economic leftist. A corrupt leftist who’d climb the Government ladder and suck more blood and life out of the already decadent system.

            So what really changed me so much? Thanks to reservation, I had to compete for 1000 odd seats in Engineering among some 40,000 aspirants. I went for higher education in the US; travelled and worked in multiple countries in Europe; saw what happened to India post-liberalisation (I was quite lucky; had I been born 10 years earlier, I’d have been doomed) and then it really hit me.

            I have first hand experience of life in India, US and Europe. I doubt very much my ideology or conditioning makes me see things differently. I’m a social liberal. I truly believe in individual freedom. I don’t believe in religion or place any emphasis on national identity. I try to adhere to logic and scientific reasoning as much as possible. And I also distrust economic leftists. Or I should say, theorists. People who have little experience of the real world should not be allowed to make policies that affect everyone else. That’s not just personal experience, but also practical wisdom.

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          • Whites who are poor or upper castes who are poor do not face institutional resistance or oppression in the same way.

            This whole line of reasoning is wrong. Suffering is just that, suffering. To distinguish between kinds of suffering and then relate to one kind over another is absurd. If one is born in India in abject poverty, he/she is done for. The past should not dictate who gets preferential treatment in such a case even if societal attitudes are discriminatory. To try to correct for past imbalances by ruining successive generations (there’s a huge argument to be made that reservation is not benefitting the lower castes in any ‘real’ way) through policies that take a life of their own, not because of genuine concern for the backward classes, but based purely on political expediency, is nonsensical.

            The political will should look for other more efficient ways. But it can’t, and it won’t, because Governments, in general, suck. The Indian politicians, on top of that, make anything a farce for the whole world’s entertainment.

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  36. Nehruvian model could have worked if there is no corruption .
    Capitalism could have worked if there is no greed.

    Now we have evils of both more and the benefits less.

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    • In many ways the excesses of a system or an ideology reveal its essence far more than the ‘normal’ features of the same. In the sense that these excesses are structurally necessary. If you have a certain kind of Nehruvian model you will probably end up with a limited number of corporate figures who will have a vested interest in keeping things the way they are. If you have on the other hand the free market you will have other kinds of excesses that are equally intrinsic. Now one can prefer one or the other (or something else) provided one doesn’t come up with fairy tale versions where the excesses are always defined as accidental deviations. Except that the system never exists without its deviations. You do not find the free market without all the exploitative, imperial, etc practices that sustain it. One is more likely to find unicorns before one comes across such a pure beast (and ideal market without those excesses). In the very same sense and to return to a debate that began some of this certain excesses are intrinsic to the BJP the way they aren’t to the Congress, even if the latter might have acted in similar ways sometimes. And from the other direction certain other excesses are equally intrinsic to the Congress. It’s then a question of what set of options one prefers.

      and of course there’s always a problem in making ahistorical arguments. One is always necessarily judging the past but one must do so in ways that remain faithful to if you will the ‘present’ of the past. Otherwise one starts looking at everything in a vacuum and one understands nothing. Which is why the truest analysis also recreates the world in which one choice or the other comes about. One can certainly agree or disagree with anything but not by being ahistorical about it. For instance slavery was a terrible institution but one can hardly say that every slave owner was a terrible person. If we were living in those times and belonged to that class we would have owned slaves too. In that sort of world slavery was normal. So even as one decries the practice (rightly) one cannot simply be dismissive about every person or everything connected to it. And in the very same sense one must wonder which of the choices we are so celebratory about in the present will be judged by future generations to be ‘shocking’ to one degree or another.

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      • Very good points. No system can be perfect. We have to find ways to make the system work. The only way is through a democratic setup.

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      • Slavery that was prevalent in the Southern States and the supposed slavery of workers in private organisations. One used to be compulsory and the other is voluntary. As Saket pointed out, it is better to work at below average salaries than live off welfare. I found many people rejecting good offers with less pay than their previous ones so that their resumes will always have better look in the hope of getting same salary or more. They prefer to sit at home for months than accept a job with low salary.

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  37. The Bachchans play themselves in Ki & Ka

    R. Balki’s cinema can never be considered complete until Amitabh Bachchan makes an appearance in the film. Big B has played the lead in all the films that Balki has directed so far. And now, when there was no scope for Big B to play the lead in Balki’s new film Ki & Ka, Balki has scripted a specially-written cameo for Big B where he appears as himself.

    Says a source, “It’s a scene featuring Amitji and Jayaji playing themselves. It’s brief, but, memorable scene. This time, Balki wanted both the Bachchans in his film. Jayaji had appeared in the credit titles of Balki’s Paa, but, she has never been an actual part of any of his films.”

    Incidentally, this is not the first time that Big B has played himself for Balki. In English Vinglish, which Balki produced for his wife Gauri Shinde, Bachchan had played himself, Sridevi’s co-passenger in a flight to the US.

    http://www.bollywoodhungama.com/news/17938124/The-Bachchans-play-themselves-in-Ki-%26-Ka

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  38. The Hrithik Roshan and Kangana Ranaut legal battle is getting uglier by the day. With each passing day, we are getting new insights into their complicated love gone bad relationship.

    According to reports, the duo started getting close when Hrithik’s relationship with Kites co-star Barbara Mori was going through a rough patch where as Kangana too was not in a good shape. The duo seemed to bond during this time and it soon started getting serious.

    Hrithik stared convincing Kangana to take up Krrish 3 at a point when she was going through a tough time in her career. During this time, the duo started seeing each other and Kangana was not allowed to talk about their relationship in public since Hrithik mentioned that he would never divorce his wife Sussanne. Unable to accept a secretive relationship, the actress ended things and soon took off on a vacation.

    http://www.koimoi.com/bollywood-news/kangana-hrithik-mess-what-went-wrong/

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  39. There is this piece in Kangana’s legal notice which does seem to make a lot of sense:

    “Your client (Hrithik) is living in his own illusionary narcissist world which starts and ends at self-aggrandising.”

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  40. NDA’s Aadhaar Bill stronger than UPA’s on privacy: Nandan Nilekani

    Written by P Vaidyanathan Iyer | New Delhi

    NANDAN NILEKANI, the first Chairman of the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI), and considered one of the chief architects of Aadhaar, says the NDA government’s Aadhaar Bill has enough safeguards and this is probably the most stringent law on privacy till date in India.
    “In fact, this (the Bill on privacy) is stronger than the original Bill. The Bill has very robust privacy protection beyond what any other legislation has ever provided in India. It is as good as it gets,” Nilekani told The Indian Express.

    The Aadhaar (Targeted Delivery of Financial and Other Subsidies, Benefits and Services) Bill, 2016 clearly specifies that the biometric information captured will be used only for Aadhaar enrolment and authentication. It will not be used for any other purpose nor shared with anyone. Such information will not be published or displayed publicly. Further, the authority cannot reveal the biometric information to any institution requesting authentication for a specific purpose.

    The only exception to privacy protection that the Aadhaar Bill, 2016 provides is for reasons of national security. An individual’s information may be revealed in the interest of national security if a joint secretary in the Central government issues such a direction. Here, too, the decision will be valid for six months, and has to be reviewed by an Oversight Committee comprising the Cabinet Secretary and the secretaries of Legal Affairs and Information Technology.

    While this has sparked a debate on privacy being compromised in the name of the vaguely defined national security, the UPA government’s National Identification Authority of India Bill of 2010 too provided for such an exception in the interest of national security. The only difference is that the joint secretary had to take the approval of the Minister-in-charge. In the Aadhaar Bill, 2016, it is the highest level bureaucrat (Cabinet Secretary-led oversight committee) and not a political committee.

    According to Nilekani, “World over every database is open for national security. In any country, national security concerns provides for authorities to access any system. The question is whether anyone will misuse it. The Aadhaar Bill has enough safeguards, and its privacy constraints are stronger than the previous Bill. It is a big leap forward in the quality of legislation India has seen.”

    Arghya Sengupta, Research Director, Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy, who assisted the NDA government in drafting the Aadhaar Bill, said personal privacy and personal data protection are two distinct issues. “My personal privacy is different from data protection. Of course, we need a separate privacy law. That is a big gap in the system. But as far as privacy of personal data and its protection is concerned, the Aadhaar Bill is a beta version of the privacy law will look like,” he said.
    Explaining the rationale behind a bureaucrat-led oversight committee instead of a political committee (the earlier Bill provided for clearance by a minister-in-charge) to review a direction by a joint secretary, Sengupta said, “National security is not a prerogative of Parliament, but of the government.” While the possibility of misuse will always exist, the ultimate guard is the courts, he added.

    http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/ndas-aadhaar-bill-stronger-than-upas-on-privacy-nandan-nilekani/

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  41. Rare 🙂

    Dinkar reciting poems and in audience is H R Bachchan

    Liked by 1 person

  42. Steve Waugh at India Today Conclave in conversation with Rajdeep Sardesai:-

    http://conclave.intoday.in/video/42/110.html

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  43. The Hrithik-Kangana row is becoming uglier with every passing time. The duos have indulged in an ugly spat lately which has gone to be legal now.

    In his latest statement, Hrithik Roshan mentioned that the mail id roshan@email.com does not belong to him and that he had complained about it in 2014.

    “I have absolutely no connection with this ID,” said Roshan.

    He even said that he stayed silent for two years but now it is time to break silence to protect his family and his image.

    He even went on to talk about mental health and said it is a grave and crucial issue which merits to serious discussion.

    Read the full text here:

    Hrithik Roshan

    Anything private that becomes public gives rise to speculation and unnecessary controversies simply because the general public are not privy to the whole truth.Out of respect for everyone involved, I followed the legal path to resolve the matter in question so as to keep it private. It was a breach of ethics to reveal the contents of a private legal notice. Dignified silence is dignified up to a point, but there comes a time when the silence needs to be broken to protect one’s name, family and image.The crux of the matter is that the mail id hroshan@email.com does NOT belong to me. I had filed a complaint in this regard with Mumbai Cyber Crime cell on 12 December, 2014 when I learnt of this impersonator communicating with said person. I have absolutely NO CONNECTION with this ID. The entire issue stems from a case of identity theft which has carried over to me. My complaint was reactivated on March 5, 2016 and the crime unit has made headway in tracking this person down. Once that is done, the matter can be laid to rest.And finally, I believe that mental health is a grave and crucial issue which merits serious discussion. I would never address it flippantly nor use it as a personal attack. Any allegation to the contrary is a misrepresentation of facts. I was requested to keep silent and I did so for 2 years.

    http://www.dnaindia.com/entertainment/report-full-text-silence-needs-to-be-broken-to-protect-one-s-family-and-image-hrithik-s-statement-on-kangana-2190591

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  44. Nothing but to gain public sympathy: Kangana Ranaut’s response to Hrithik Roshan’s statement will shock you!

    His own actions speak a lot and I need not say more on behalf of my client Ms. kangana Ranaut. Most importantly I would like to point out that at least Mr. Hrithik Roshan should have bothered to ensure that he has a good reason to send a Legal Notice to my client.

    The Hrithik Roshan-Kangana Ranaut legal battle is getting uglier by the minute. After Kangana’s friends revealed some nasty details about Kangana’s torrid affair with Hrithik, the Krrish 3 actor who was maintaining a strong silence on the issue has finally sent out an official statement, slamming Kangana’s intentions.

    It’s barely been hours to Hrithik’s statement and Kangana’s team has already sent out their statement as well. And it’s shocking. Yet another strongly-worded statement of sorts, here Kangana lambasts Hrithik left right and centre.

    Mr. Hrithik’s statements made to the media are nothing but efforts to gain public sympathy. He cannot wash his hands off the matter now after having criminally threatened my client and having intimidated her, without any provocation. He also cannot deny the fact that my client never named him anywhere and it was he himself who claimed to be “Silly Ex” in his notice. Besides his own acts of stating in the media that he would rather ‘date a Pope’ gave enough fodder to the media to start speculating. How can he blame my client for all his own acts of commissions and omissions.

    Further, he should have refrained from making absolutely false statements in his notice. He specifically claimed that he does not know my client socially at all. If that were the truth, then how was he attending my client’s private birthday party with his entire family and my client was attending his party besides his sister’s and his father’s birthday party as well. There is enough proof on public platform, which sufficiently proves that Mr. Hrithik Roshan’s is lying.

    Pursuant to my counter-notice there are now new claims that my client was not co-operating with the police to help with investigation of Mr. Hrithik’s complaint. These claims are as false as his other claims. The fact is that my client was never dealing with any imposter and given the background of the matter, it is very lame on Mr. Hrithik’s part to even suggest that. Besides my client was never ever asked for any co-operation in the said matter by any person for obvious reasons. The fact that Mr. Hrithik waited for seven month to lodge a complaint says it all. Now pursuant to receipt of my notice the complaint is once again being looked into by Mr. Hrithik Roshan, only as a face saving strategy.

    It is also worthy to note that Mr. Hrithik Roshan specifically claims to have received 50 unsolicited emails per day from my client for about 601 days (as calculated from 24th May 2014 upto 16th February 2016). Accordingly he should have received more than 30,000 (thirty thousand) emails from my client as against his own alleged claim of receiving only 1,439 emails from my client during the said period. This shows that there is non application of mind even while making allegations. At least make efforts to do the calculations. Besides if Mr. Hrithik Roshan was really receiving unsolicited emails from my client then why did he not prudently block my client and went on receiving my client’s emails for such a long time. The answer is obvious.

    His own actions speak a lot and I need not say more on behalf of my client Ms. Kangana Ranaut. Most importantly I would like to point out that at least Mr. Hrithik Roshan should have bothered to ensure that he has a good reason to send a Legal Notice to my client. However as expected the notice is absolutely baseless, unsubstantiated, unwarranted and uncalled for. There is not even a case of defamation made out against my client and he is issuing a Notice for defamation without application of mind.

    He needs to immediately realise that my client Ms. Kangana Ranaut does not need Mr. Hrithik Roshan’s name to garner publicity or attention, as she is a renowned public figure herself.

    I sincerely hope that the matter ends here and better sense prevails.

    Now, all we need to see is how Hrithik responds to these allegations and how the case turns then.

    http://www.dnaindia.com/entertainment/report-nothing-but-to-gain-public-sympathy-kangana-ranaut-s-response-to-hrithik-roshan-s-statement-will-shock-you-2190749

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  45. Tera Suroor Does Poor Business
    Friday 18 March 2016 11.30 IST
    Box Office India Trade Network

    Tera Suroor has recorded very poor business in week one with around 6.75 crore nett. The film opened poorly but even with such a poor start it still had a chance if collections went up on Saturday by 75% plus as the costs are low. But it was not to be as collections remained flat and then the film saw out the week with a normal trend for a film with low collections,

    The film has fared a little better in Gujarat and UP but being better at such low levels with such low levels hardly makes a difference. The collections in places like Mumbai city, Delhi city and East Punjab were awful.

    The film is out of most theaters after its first week run and will hardly have any box office collection in week two.

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