Category Archives: News

Shah Rukh Khan on Lata Mangeshkar’s Funeral

Lata Mangeshkar, Bharat Ratna recipient, recently passed away. She left a huge void that is impossible to fill. Many people came to her funeral to offer prayers including SRK. Today, am writing this post to exclusively talk about the trolling and bigotry that is on display. It is claimed by few that SRK spat on Lata Mangeshkar’s mortal remains.

How do I feel as an SRK fan?

Pained and disgusted. I don’t know why some people have so much hate for the person. The extreme love and extreme hate that SRK generates, sometimes baffles me. I know most of this hate stems from political reasons, but this political hate is sweeping minds of lot of people. For a true fan, SRK is the idea of love. He is the right guy who does the right thing, and hence deserves love in return. This is how we all have been brought up. That’s why we all connected to SRK. He was us.

What troubles me?

People are trolling a person who is paying homage to a departed soul. We weren’t always like that. We were positive people, by and large. We used to love more than hate or at least we used to value love more. Now, I think, we have become the opposite. We value hate more. We are so colored in our choices and judgements, that we have stopped thinking critically and with love. We simply get swayed with the ideology of hate and we don’t have the faculty to counter or reason it with love.

I can understand people not liking SRK’s acting, movies, or him as an individual but this hate knows no boundaries. Earlier we used to criticize but now we hate. Being respectful is cowardice now. Spewing venom is being expressive and being outspoken. Being good cannot be interpreted other than a weakness. We never give anyone benefit of doubt now. And what troubles me is that this hate is not only manufactured or agenda-driven, but also organic. This speaks volumes of how we are a hate loving society.

If I am walking down a road and I accidentally collide with someone, I say sorry, regardless of whose fault is it, because I know that everyone is walking down some path hurriedly. However, what I see now is that people don’t say sorry, they rather pick up a fight or abuse. I don’t know when we forgot giving people the benefit of doubt. It starts with at least not hating anyone if you don’t love them. It starts with prioritizing love or hate.

Who are these trolls?

SRK seems to be more comfortable with an ideology that is in departure to that of the ruling dispensation. Though he is not an outspoken political person but deep down no one is apolitical. And this is the reason why hate is being spread against him. And it is not about having an opinion that is different than SRK’s. Everyone can have an opinion and can agree or disagree, but the level of discourse or rather hate against anyone reflects how polarized we have become. Can we not step back, clean the slate, and think through?

What happened now?

As a society, we are made to believe that we need to cling on to some ideology to save us from some impending doom. We are made to believe that one ideology is correct and that the other one is wrong. And we create strong opinions based on that. This polarization is simply dividing us all. What I think is that we need to value people more than ideologies, so that we start loving each other more. And when we love each other, we accept our differences. And things start falling in place on their own. That’s what we need to do.

Brain drain- Satya Nadella & Sundar Pichai

Recently, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadela and Google chief Sundar Pichai were awarded Padma Bhushan, which is India’s third highest civilian award. While I can’t stop complementing what they have achieved in their professional lives, I wonder if they really need the award.

Both these bright minds achieved everything that they achieved in US. US gave them the opportunity that they deserved and an environment where they could showcase their talent and rise up the ranks. What India did was to give them birth and education. Giving award to them seems akin to the situation when your relatives suddenly become your best buddies and act unimaginably good to you once you become successful. It’s like clinging on to a success that was never yours and claiming to be a part or driver of it. India doesn’t own them by giving them an award.

Of course, I am talking about the loss that we have incurred by not having these two individuals in India, working for Indian companies headquarterd in India. And I know that India is not America. India didn’t have the environment when these two went off to US, and it still doesn’t have that. So, it is understandable that we not only make peace with the fact that an Indian origin individual succeeds outside, we also celebrate it.

What troubles me?

What troubles me is not the problem of brain drain. It is too big a problem for us to solve and I know we have been making some gradual progress. I don’t want to lament about whether the progress has been up to the mark. What troubles me is the lack of understanding of few basic principles. In my conversation with my colleagues, I often hear that America is full of dumb people and that it needs Indians to work on technical skills, which is what explains the elevation of Indians to top posts in global IT companies. According to them, just being born in a country gives you some magic trait that sets you apart from others, and that every country which recognizes the talent and creates a platform where that talent can flourish is simply taking advantage of that talent. Have you ever heard a more chauvinistic and outrageous comment than that?

They fail to understand that providing a platform and opportunity to everyone without any bias is something that we can learn from US and its companies. Indians have benefitted from this culture of global acceptance. I wonder if a foreign individual could ever become a CEO of a multinational Indian company, without Indians being up in arms about it. Yes, face it. It takes courage to give equal opportunity to everyone without preference.

For those, who can’t stop harping about how Indians have contributed to global IT success, let me tell you bluntly that what we at best do is provide ancillary services. Every major innovation is driven from outside India. Google, Facebook, or any other global conglomerate that you can think of is not Indian. In a nutshell, we are consumers and not creators. So, what we should ideally do is thank a global work culture that provides opportunity to every individual to work with transparency and hope that he/she can achieve success.

Role of India

India with its huge workforce can contribute significantly to IT industry. We can also be one of the key drivers of technological innovation because of our immense consumer base. It is fair to say that technological innovations would revolve around solving our problems. India can take a big share of the pie and for that to happen, we need product development firms in India and not just the service driven models that we currently provide. We need to learn from the innovations happening across the globe and try to build similar innovations within our country for local purposes. And most importantly, we must respect a global work culture and embrace it, as we have all benefited from it.


Taslima Nasreen recently tweeted about surrogacy and her tweets created quite a furor. She used words like “readymade babies” and questioned whether the mother has the same feeling towards a child born through surrogacy as she has for a biological child. She questioned the concept of surrogacy and attributed it to poverty.

The good and the bad

Surrogacy on the face of it looks highly immoral. However, people who are not able to have offspring on their own can use this method to become parents. Taslima questioned the need of having one’s own children instead of adopting to selfish narcissistic ego. Well, I slightly beg to differ. If someone is not able to have children on medical grounds, and uses surrogacy, I would not call the person narcissist. I would not call that person anything. One good question can be, “What if someone wants to use surrogacy even if he/she is perfectly healthy?”. The answer to that would be “do not allow that”. And how do we not allow something. By creating a legal framework around it.

Surrogacy in India: What the law says?

Surrogacy in India is highly regulated. Commercial surrogacy which means that the surrogate mother receives compensation, is banned. This ensures that the rich do not resort to surrogacy other than on medical grounds. This also ensures that surrogacy is not a commercial business and is an act of altruism. The law also mandates that the surrogate mother must be a close relative of the would-be parents and the law seeks a “certificate of essentiality” from the would-be parents. Essentially, the law ensures that surrogacy is not misused, and that we do not legitimize the business of renting embryos. I think the heart of the law is in right place.

Were Taslima Nasreen’s comment uncalled for?

Yes, they were. I understand Taslima was lamenting about the social divide. She was concerned about the commercialization of surrogacy. Though the law tries hard that it is only altruistic surrogacy, that is allowed to flourish, and has checks and balances in place, we know that there are ways to get around the law and, in a world, which is so divided between rich and poor, doing that is not really difficult. So, can surrogacy be misused. Yes, it can be. Does it get misused? Yes, it does.

What we need to do?

Surrogacy is a boon for couples who cannot have children. And it is perfectly okay if they want to have their own traits in their children. We shouldn’t call this need a narcissistic urge. We just need to ensure that the law is not bypassed, and that surrogacy is implemented as per the law. The heart of the law seems to be in the right place, and the upholders of it must ensure that it is rightly implemented. And everyone who follows the law is a reasonably good citizen.  

Vamika deserves privacy

Recently Virat Kohli and Anushka Sharma’s daughter Vamika was photographed during the third one day international between India and South Africa. Soon, afterwards, the toddler’s pictures started trending on social media. Anushka Sharma issued a statement that she was caught off guard and failed to realize that the cameras were pointing on her. While many people requested privacy for the couple and asked for the photos to be not shared on social media, others were less slightly less forgiving. They felt that Anushka shouldn’t have brought Vamika to the stadium amidst the glare of so many cameras.

This debate raises an important question of privacy. It is not about who is wrong or who is right as there will always be things in the grey area. The point is can we not as a society develop an aligned understanding of what is socially acceptable. It is understood that Anushka should have been more careful (because she wanted privacy for her child), but can we not accord her the luxury of being free from the constant fear that her child’s privacy will be invaded and let her enjoy a normal life. What is wrong if she chooses to walk out in front of the cameras and ask not to be clicked. Is it too much of an ask from the media? Why can’t the media develop a conscience? May be Anushka wasn’t logical but why do we always need the reinforcement of logic to do things that somebody has requested. Are we using logic or lack thereof to further our own agenda?

My problem is with the need of logic with people. People always want logic. They talk logic. They value logic. They think an argument or need, or a request is wrong if it is not logical. I think, this need of logic is wrong. What we need is not logic but compassion and empathy. We need to understand that at times people let their guard down, and that we shouldn’t look at it as an opportunity. It is not an opportunity to capitalize, it is a moment where you can show compassion to the individual. It is the time you can prioritize empathy and love over logic.