Shvetal Vyas

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The corruption of a republic

Eminent Indian psychoanalyst and social commentator Dr Ashis Nandy found himself in the middle of a controversy recently after he made a few remarks on corruption at a session entitled ‘The Republic of Ideas’ at the Jaipur literary festival, 24– 28 January 2013. Author and...

God, gods and superheroes

Superheroes emerge when heroes fail. One possible definition of the superhero is that he (and it used usually to be a ‘he’) is a being with extraordinary powers who fights evil and has a recognisable costume in which to do it. As the genre evolved...
Book review

Creating narratives of creation

In this old world, there is nothing new but ourselves. I was saddened to read of the death of Gore Vidal last week. It is difficult to know exactly what to say when one reads of the death of someone one is only just discovering...

The Arab Spring: too radical or not radical enough?

To most people, the idea that Mahatma Gandhi was more violent than Adolf Hitler would seem preposterous. When you’re speaking to Slavoj Žižek, however, such a suggestion is par for the course. Žižek has argued that Gandhi led a movement that challenged imperial hegemony and...

The disappearance of Muslim socials in Bollywood

The use of Urdu in film titles is something that has been lost in Indian cinema, along with the film genre called the ‘Muslim social’. The ‘Muslim social’ was a sub-genre of Bollywood drama about love, marriage, family, festivals, customs, rituals and so on, the...