Gautam Bhatia


Interpretation and misinterpretation

Recently, senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj ranted on television that the name Radha had been used out of religious context in the new Karan Johar film Student of the Year, and that she and her party would take legal action against the director.

Democracy and the right to protest

In 1971, at a student rally in the US, I was part of an anti-war demonstration against the US’ involvement in Vietnam.

Is our architecture destroying urbanity?

If 20 years ago, television journalists stood before India Gate to visibly connect their story to India, today they must stand before a shopping mall. Perhaps even a glass mall in old Bikaner. Coated in desert dust, heated to an unbearable summer stillness, and visibly uncomfortable in its historic location, the picture will tell you very graphically, the current sorry tale of Indian architecture.

A tale of two cities

Across gravelled pathways, behind high walls, protected by dogs and electronic guards are allusions to luxury so eccentric and exaggerated, it is hard to believe that the same high walls are also shared by some of the city’s poorest.

Duplicate India

Several years ago on a visit to rural Gujarat, I was surprised to hear a labourer at a construction site humming an 1863 American civil war song.
Having only just returned from the US, I was familiar with the popular When Johnny comes marching home again, Hurrah!, but couldn’t understand the connection between the two.

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I want to begin with a little story that was told to me by a leading executive at Aptech. He was exercising in a gym with a lot of younger people.

Shekhar Kapur’s Bandit Queen didn’t make the cut. Neither did Shaji Karun’s Piravi, which bagged 31 international awards.