Fair and ‘Dove’ly and the Asli ‘MARD’: More Harm than Good?

A post by Mrinalini Shinde on misguided feminism in recent popular culture…

The Intervening Female

In an earlier campaign by Dove, they released a Photoshop plug-in which would make edited photos revert to the original natural images, in cases where skin colouring, and slimming effects were used. I thought the earlier campaign was an interesting idea; exposing the reality of the images of cloned physical beauty of the CGI that occupies media; an idea executed in a unique, quirky manner. The message was clear, Dove was trying to distinguish itself from other brands in the cosmetics industry , as having a conscience for  appreciating real,and believable beauty. However, soon enough, if their campaign is anything to go by, Dove too at the end of the day, is another vendor in the billion dollar ‘beauty’ industry. If you’ve been on Youtube recently, you must have come across the Dove ‘Real Beauty Sketches‘ advertisement. Many of my female friends were sharing the video enthusiastically; the theme…

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On Patriots & Partisans

Patriots & Partisans, Ramachandra Guha’s latest offering is THE book I have been waiting for a long time. Essentially a collection of essays, the Patriots & Partisans does something few other books have attempted in the recent past, it offers a full blown, virulent defense of Indian liberalism (not liberals mind you). The book is divided into two parts, the first part dealing with a wide range of issues, from right wing hate mail to a fervent defense of Nehru to a fascinating essay on the beauty of compromise; the second part deals with issues of language and culture with the most interesting essays being on the death of the intellectual bilingual and the EPW respectively.  Continue reading

Day 4: The 5 Euro Gelato

Shashank Reddy

Italians are a beautiful people. The women are stunning and I haven’t seen a single guy below the age of 40 who isn’t fit and lean. And all this inspite of the heavenly amounts of sweets, crepes, gelatos and cheese they consume. Mr.D and I hitched a free ride on one of the conference shuttles, which dropped us right next to the Castel Dell’Ovo which is located on a rocky islet just of the coast. There is a thing I have noticed about castles in Europe. They are small. Very small. I get no sense of grandeur. Especially when compared to the vast forts and palaces that are found in every third district in India. The view of the city of the Naples from there however, defined by the gentle rolling hills and the sudden drop into the sea, is stunning. Continue reading

Because We Exist

Because We Exist

Shashank Reddy

As the midnight hour marking modern India’s 65th Independence Day strikes, it is easy to forsee what the general reaction of the country will be. Some will say that what we have is not true independence, some will say that India is the greatest country in the world and the vast majority will loudly proclaim that inspite of all the problems India has, they love their India. Continue reading

Rethinking Indian History Part 1: Who Are We?

-Kushagra Aniket, Cornell University, USA.

One of the primary objectives of politics is to answer the question of identity. “Who are we?” is a question that has confounded the minds of many, particularly since the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War. The genesis of religious extremism in contemporary history also lies in the failure to resolve the crisis of identity, to answer the paramount question of our times. Continue reading