The Ideas Blog
The Ideas Blog
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articles by The Ideas Blog

Entertainment

Love, sex and the dhoka of pushing the envelope in Bollywood

No sex please, we're Indian. That old saying has gone out of the window in Bollywood. Indian cinema is stripping down and getting to business. But does that mean it's all grown up now?

Blogs

The corruption gene: Are Indians culturally wired to be corrupt?

We often say corruption is a cancer on our society. What if this is literally true? Have the very same cultural traits that define us – and even enable us to rise and shine – produced a cancerous growth of venality and greed?

Blogs

Politicians can learn from how Team Anna used social media: Tharoor

One of India's most media savvy politicians Shashi Tharoor grades Team Anna's political movement for the Jan Lokpal Bill.

Blogs

Seven ways India can rescue Pakistan

Can India and Pakistan live together peacefully? But Mani Shankar Aiyar reminds us that the current European Union would have sounded as impossible hundred years ago.

Blogs

Aamir Khan: Breaking the Rules

Polite, engaged, charming, with a dash of un-fake humility, Khan seems the very antithesis of anyone’s idea of a rule-breaker.

Politics

Arvind Kejriwal: 'Anna is not India. India is not Anna'

A whooping, hollering audience cheered both sides, as Arvind Kejriwal and his fellow RTI activist Shekhar Singh went back-and-forth on the virtues and follies of the Hazare movement.

Blogs

What ails America: Tom Friedman's diagnosis of a superpower in crisis

What do you get when you put globalisation's biggest cheerleader, Thomas Friedman on the same stage as India's most articulate left-leaning intellectual, Pratap Bhanu Mehta? A surprising absence of disagreement.

Blogs

What writing can do that nothing else can: Naipaul

If there is a grand old man of letters at the Goa Thinkfest it's undoubtedly VS Naipaul. When he appeared on stage, chatting with Tarun Tejpal, he was in a kindly grandfather mode, happily playing a twinkling indulgent Yoda to Tejpal's Hans Solo.

Blogs

When Gadkari the person, overshadowed Gadkari the politician

It was a different Nitin Gadkari on view in Goa — funny, relaxed and charming, he revealed his softer side.

Blogs

Siddhartha Mukherjee on Steve Jobs: His death was a failure of imagination

A five star line up of authors, intellectuals, biz tycoons, actors, politicians and more have gathered at the Grand Hyatt in Goa as part of Thinkfest.

Ideas

Paris Hilton does Mumbai: Revenge of the brown sahibs, sorry, floozies

Cold-shouldered by the Bollywood elite, America's most famous skank discovered there's a new power equation between India and Hollywood celebrities. But in one unintended way, she also proved that we remain sad little wannabes, after all.

Ideas

From Rushdie Twitter-fights to Facebook breakups: Social media goes toxic

A young woman commits suicide after she is dumped in real life and then re-dumped on Facebook. Salman Rushdie and Taslima Nasrin have a catfight on Twitter. What's it about the social network that unleashes the inner jerk in us?

Bollywood

Bollywood's botox bubble of denial

Enough with middle aged stars playing college kids. Enough with heroes who think as long as they have a six pack they can pull off a romance with a heroine, a generation younger. Middle age is just a number. Embrace it.

Politics

The importance of being Mallika Sarabhai

Her detractors say Mallika Sarabhai should just shut up and dance instead of spewing accusations against Narendra Modi. But Mallika Sarabhai was never very good at shutting up. And attacking her personal life isn't going to make her go away either.

Blogs

India's most desirable menage-a-trois: Simi, KJo and the pink elephant

When Karan Johar showed up on Simi Garewal's Most Desirable, everyone wanted to know whether she'd pop the big question. She did. He answered. But the real fun comes in reading between their lines.

Ideas

For Team Anna: Five lessons from California about direct democracy

Recall and Reject sounds kick-ass. Direct democracy - who could argue with that? But people power doesn't always work the way we imagine it to. Team Anna should just ask the people of California.

Ideas

Love in the time of civil disobedience: Irom Sharmila's prem kahani

A Bollywood-sized romantic melodrama is unfolding in Imphal and it raises an interesting question: Does a human rights activist on a decade-long hunger strike have the right to fall madly, unwisely in love?

Bollywood

Sultan of sex: Remembering Jagmohan Mundhra

Jag Mundhra became famous in Hollywood for his lingerie-and-lust movies like Night Eyes and Sexual Malice. But then he decided to re-invent himself with a little help from the likes of Nandita Das and Aishwariya Rai.

Ideas

Why is Karunanidhi getting a pass in the Rajiv killers' case?

In a country where the hint of dissent can get Arundhati Roy threatened with sedition charges, how do major political parties get away with cozying up to men convicted in the assassination of a former PM?