Category Archives: India

“Padmavat” trailer is out; Nothing short of a magnum opus

Much awaited and talked about film “Padmavat” finally released its first trailer. The trailer is nothing short of magnum opus and promises commendable performances from the cast. Ranveer Singh looks fiercy as a Alauddin Khilji, the ruler of Delhi Sultanate hailing from Turkish and Afgan soil. Shahid Kapoor looks promising as a last Rajput ruler of Guhila Dynasty named Ratan Singh. Most talked about lady from the movie Deepika Padukone is looking beautiful and a strong lady playing a lead character. Aditi Rao Hydari will also be seen in this movie as a wife of Alauddin Khilji


Amidst all the controversy regarding the historical inaccuracies as claimed by members of Rajput communities, CBFC cleared the film on December 30 after suggesting few changes to the story-line and lyrics/dialogues. A suggestion was also provided to modify to title of the film to “Padmavat”.

Even after CBFC clearance, the movie might still not hit theaters in few of the states –

  • Gujrat – Chief Minister Rupani announced that the ban on the movie will continue due to the same fact that people feel that history has been distorted in the movie.
  • Rajasthan – Vasundara Raje, chief minister has said, “Rani Padmavati’s sacrifice is a matter of honor and pride for the state and we won’t allow defamation of her honor.
  • Madhya Pradesh – MP Chief Minister S. Singh continue to be firm on the decision not to release the film at any cost

Zainab: A 8-year old girl raped and murdered. Humanity dies once again

Zainab Ansari, a eight-year old was raped and murdered brutally on Tuesday in a Kasur city of Pakistan after she went missing from her classes on 4th of January. Her body was found at a pile of rubbish just a mile away from her home. After investigation, police have released CCTV images displaying a man leading her away from her home. The outrage across the world against the failure of system to protect the children is immense and rightly so. Shockingly, Zainab is the twelfth girl who have been abducted, raped and murdered during past year in Kasur district and reportedly five of them points to the same person.

In another case of shameful and horrific acts, a 16-year-old girl was paraded half-naked through the village by armed men in north-west Pakistan. Local residents say, she was targeted because of her brother’s relationship with a woman from assailants’ family.

In March 2012, Oksana Makar a 18-year-old girl was gang-raped in Mykolaiv, Ukraine. The agony she went through was horrifying as her assailants strangled her after the rape and took her to a deserted construction site. She was set on fire alive there. She was discovered next morning after burning for hours in night and finally she lost her life.

Few months later to above incident, a girl from Delhi was gang-raped and brutally beaten by six men in a moving bus. The incident shook the entire world due to the horrific injuries that the girl went through in the hands of those culprits. Shortly after few days being hospitalized, girl lost her life by succumbing to her injuries caused by the atrocities.

Situation is worst for women and girls

It has become high time now for us to realize that we’ve failed as a society and system to protect children and women from such atrocities of rape. Cycle of regrets, investigation, candle march, inquiry, etc follows after every such case but still the harsh reality is the cases are still happening.

As per the United Nations, around 120 million girls worldwide which is slightly more than 1 in 10 have experienced forced intercourse or other forced sexual acts at some point in their lives. In most of the cases, the abuser is husband, partner or boyfriend. Most striking figure is that less than 10 percent of them seek help from a formal institution such as police.

Stop Victim-Shaming Culture and Practice Strict Implementation of Laws

Even after 144 countries in the world have laws against the sexual violence, we observe that the perpetrators walk away from the punishment easily or the punishment given to the perpetrators does not justify the after-effects of the act on the victim. Legal punishment should be tough enough to set a strict example for the society that such heinous crimes will result in extreme punishment. Political or money influence in the rape cases should be exposed by the media which is supposed to be the fourth pillar of the democracy. Media should play its role for justice rather than re-victimization of the victim.

Along with the rules and regulations mentioned in the law books, justice system should also consider the situation of the victim whose life has changed forever by the incident. Investigation of the rape cases should consider the psychological damage which has already been done to the victim. They should not be forced into medical tests such as two-finger test which are not only demeaning but also have already been banned by the Supreme Court of India.

In addition to the law and order, we as a society also have to break the shackles of shame for the victims of sexual violence. We need to stop the “Shame Culture” of rape victims which is one of the most prominent factor for girls and women not coming forward to report the sexual violence. It is because of this culture, a victim feels guilty of what has happened to her and which makes her rehabilitation in society a tough challenge for herself. Moreover, a sexually confident or independent girl or woman is often treated as a “slut”, specifically in Asian culture which is exactly opposite when it comes to applying the same concept to men. It all has to start with the family in order to make a change in society as a whole. With that being said, below quote rightly describes what is wrong with our society and what needs to change

“Don’t Tell Your Daughter Not to Go Out. Tell Your Son to Behave”

Not everything of value comes at a price: Rahul Dravid

On the 11th Sir Donald Bradman oration, Rahul Dravid was chosen to give speech and as always he showed his excellence with his extra ordinary, thoughtful and studious speech with a pinch of humor. Reflecting on the brilliance of the Donald Bradman, he talked about Cricket – then and now with careful observations from history and understanding the current cricket scenario. He also analysed what changes we should expect in a game of cricket and how we should be prepared for the changes

He started off by drawing a parallel between India and Australia. Not only in terms of Cricket but also how the Australian success against the English team was treated as a success for Indians during pre-independence era. Often, “War”, “Battle”, “fight” are the words being used to describe Cricket nowadays which was a reality at that time because Australia and India were on the same side fighting the English empire during Burma war and World War II. Cricket was a common denominator between India and Australia.

Rahul took pride in saying that he shared one thing with Sir Don Bradman – The No. 3. He laughed off on how different their batting styles are where Bradman could make a ton before lunch but he himself would bat entire day for the same. However, he believed that dignity, integrity, pride, compassion and competitiveness are the values with which Bradman played are still relevant and every cricketer should embody these traits. He emphasized on how Bradman’s praise for the master blaster Sachin Tendulkar meant a lot for every Indian who hardly saw a glimpse of Bradman’s cricketing talent but felt joy in his success.

He also touched upon a common notion in media about Indian cricket as a representative of “Money and Power”. He made it clear that this clichéd image is not true as cricket in India has developed from players coming from all classes, regions, with different mother-tongues and also it involves sacrifices of people surrounding these players. To be able to hold together such a team is Indian captain’s job and all the cricketers who have given a chance to do that have done it with all sincerity. Speaking of holding and working together as a team, he recalled an example of two cricketers from his Under-19 days when two Indian batsmen not knowing a word of each other’s language, made a 100 runs partnership, only because their common language was Cricket.

He mentioned that Indian cricket reflects the country itself. With all the media involvement in Cricket, he firmly said that Cricket is full of stories that are not being talked about (in public). Reciting examples of how talent has its roots deep inside India, he told the story of Indian players like Virender Sehwag who used to travel 84 km for match practice, Umesh Yadav who gave away his police training and a road to Munaf Patel’s home had to be re-constructed for press reporters.

Rahul Dravid known for his humility did not forget fans’ contribution to the game of Cricket. He believed that audience amplifies the atmosphere of a cricket match while remembering Kolkata 2001 test. He asked us to find a clue in how smaller towns are getting huge crowd which has given India her World Cup winning captain. He suggested his fellow cricketers that everything has started from fans, so it’s important that we should respect them first. A wave or smile back towards fans is what they ask for. He remembered 2011 Indian world cup win and how fans were thanking instead of congratulating them for bringing home the glory.

As Cricket has developed into 3 formats, Rahul remains strong on the view that Test cricket deserves to be protected. He mentions it wonderfully that, “Not everyone who fell in love with Test Cricket because they wanted to be a businessman. Not everything of value comes at a price.”

The great wall finished his meticulous speech with a message which is a lesson for everyone in whatever field they might be –

“Winning matters! But how we play is as important (as winning)”

Bradman Oration by Rahul Dravid from Rahul Dravid on Vimeo.

A. R. Rahman turns 51; Underrated work of the maestro that you must listen

A. R. Rahman turns 51 today. The journey that started with Roja has been a gift to the millions of listeners worldwide. In his 25 years of his journey, Rahman has always experimented and composed music well ahead of his time.

We look back at A.R. Rahman’s most underrated work of all time.

Marhaba Ya Mustafa

A. R. Rahman composed this song for a 2008 multilingual film Al Risalah. It is referred to as a Na’at which means a poetry in praise of Islamic prophet Muhammad. Rahman composed and sung this beautiful Na’at himself. After listening to this you are sure to get into a spiritual feeling.

Naina Neer

In 2005, Deepa Mehta approached A. R. Rahman for her movie named Water. This movie was set in 1930s and showed lives of widows (Daasi) during that period. Rahman had his genius written over all the songs that he composed for this movie. Already lyrically rich Naina Neer song is beautifully composed with a Sitar, synth flute and on the top of that sweet voice of Sadhana Sargam adds a magic.

Piya Ho

Rahman almost brought the tempo down to minimum for this song. Piya ho is rendered by Sadhana Sargam with a backdrop of slow and soft rhythm. When you feel you have transported to a different world with Sadhna’s voice, Sukhwinder Singh makes an entry at the end of the song which makes you crave for more.

Shaam Rang

A. R. Rahman has always managed to get the best out of even the new voices. Richa Sharma, even before she became famous with the Maahi Ve and Jag Soona Laage, she recorded this song alongside Naqeeb Alam and Surjo Bhattacharya. Rahman brought the festive colors of Holi in his music relying predominantly on Indian classical instruments

Ye Jo Zindagi Hai

Deepa Mehta might be the only director for whom Rahman has given his best yet underrated songs. 1947 Earth had some brilliant compositions by the maestro. This song has that mystic feeling thanks to the melodious voice of Sujata Trivedi, soft beats and brilliant chorus.


There seems to be some kind of spiritual connection A. R. Rahman has with god which makes him compose such magical songs. This Aarti of Goddess is hardly over 3 minute piece but leaves a lasting impression on the mind even after it finishes.

Ay Hairathe

As always Rahman saves his best for Mani Ratnam. This song starts with a Rahman’s voice and then Tabla, Strings take over the song with a beautiful poetry of Gulzar. Hariharan and Alka yagnik renders this song beautifully.

Bombay Theme

In 1995, in his third film with Mani Ratnam, Rahman gave the world this piece of art which touches your soul so deep that would surely bring tears in your eyes. Backdrop of Strings with rhythms of constant bells ring, magical flute and orchestra giving it a magnificent feel. Just close your eyes and listen to this pure magic.


It’s just so hard to describe this song. It has Rahman’s own version of psychedelic feel to it. Lyrics have been blended with a Malayalam word “Aaromale” (beloved). No matter how your mood is, this songs is just perfect for any mood.

Jaage Hai

Chithra starts of this song in her melodious voice and Rahman keeps the instrumentation to the minimal. Chithra is then joined by Rahman himself before reaching crescendo when the whole orchestration reaches to higher level. Pure genius at work.

Liquid Dance

Liquid Dance is a testament of Rahman’s genius of creating and experimenting with blending eastern and western musical sensibilities. Who would have thought a hip-hop rhythm can be blended so perfectly with Classical Sargam. Listen this with your headphones on!

Mausam and Escape

Rahman, once again blends east and west in Mausam and Escape. Sitar, flute, Guitar, piano, violin programmed together in a musical piece which is 4-minute long but leaves an ever lasting impact.


Harshdeep Kaur, does a brilliant job in this background piece of Rahman for 127 hours movie. Humming piece of Harshdeep with a brilliant orchestration by Rahman which gets even more psychedelic in the end is so soothing for the ears.

Dil Gira Dafatan

Rahman ropes in Ash King who sang this as his first song in the Bollywood. Continuous strumming of guitar and keyboard violin gives the feeling of ultimate joy to the listener.

Shauk Hai

Most underrated song of Guru which wasn’t even listed in CD. Song builds up in a slow strumming of guitar and piano backdrop with a beautiful poetry rendered by Sowmya Raoh so beautifully. Just sit back and soak this song in.

Dil Se Background Score

Dil Se is undoubtedly one of Rahman’s top scores of all time. All songs of Dil se were top notch. But even on top of that, Dil Se’s background score was certainly one of the best. Sukhwinder Singh reciting Allama Iqbal’s poetry with ethereal arrangements by Rahman is not only a treat to listen but also it transcends you to surreal world.

Warriors In Peace

Rahman in his maiden Chinese film composed for film score and featured Jolin Tsai, a popular Taiwanese singer. Though the song is made in Mandarin language, it has Rahman’s stamp all over it. Rahman experimented with Armenian Duduk, Japanese Taiko Drums, Chinese Erhu (Fiddle) and Dizi (Flute) for this song and the result is nothing short of brilliance.

There are many more underrated works of A. R. Rahman which can be added to this list. Please let us know in comments if you know any work of Rahman which is underrated.


Aadhaar data being sold for just ₹500; Probe begins

As the deadline for linking Aadhaar with financial services and other services is nearly approaching, a new report in “The Tribune” suggests a serious data leak of a billion users’ Aadhaar data. A service is being offered by an anonymous agent over a WhatsApp group, which is providing an unrestricted access to Aadhaar data of over a billion Indian citizens, The Tribune reported.

A group running this racket reportedly created a Gateway and allowed The Tribune team to access the Aadhaar data of any citizen which includes Name, Address, Postal Code, Photo, Phone Number and an email. All of this for mere a ₹500 which were transferred to an agent through Paytm. Moreover, printing of Aadhaar card was facilitated for the Tribune correspondent posing as a buyer by providing ₹300 more.

UIDAI reaction

Sanjay Jindal who is an Additional Director-General at UIDAI Regional Centre in Chandigarh affirmed that no one except Director General and himself should have access to the portal. UIDAI responding to the report claimed that there had been no data breach and reaffirmed that the data is safe and secure. However, UIDAI accepted that the search facility was provided to the designated personnel and state government officials as a part of grievance redressal facility which is being misused to gain illegal access to Aadhaar data. UIDAI specified that the biometric data is still secure and the grievance redressal system gives away limited details of Aadhaar.

UIDAI clarified that Aadhaar number is not a secret number and can be shared with authorized agencies whenever a Aadhaar holder wishes to avail certain services.

Privacy of billion users at risk

While BJP calling the breach a fake news and UIDAI continue to be denying the claims of unauthorized access, a FIR was filed by UIDAI in this data leak case. It raises questions over the security of one of the largest personal data of Indian citizens. Reports suggested that the groups were created on Social Media to provide Aadhaar Services for a nominal ₹500 which were believed to be using Village-level-enterprise operators under Common Service Center scheme. UIDAI claimed that it maintains the traceability logs and will be able to track down the misuse. An Investigation has already begun to look into this which is certainly a major national data breach.