Amit Nangia

Amit Nangia

The author is a learning and development professional with a background in finance and human resources that informs his commentaries on geopolitical and socioeconomic trends. He tweets as @amitnangia06 (twitter.com/amitnangia06)

Was Sonu Nigam merely stating what many in India already feel?

In a country of over a billion people, personal space in public places is hard to come by. The streets are packed with hawkers, walkers, vehicles and animals of all stripes. A cacophony of sights, sounds and smells compete for your attention. Nobody gives a second thought to jostling or getting jostled, and the concept of the three-foot circle of inviolable personal space, so sacred in the West, is a virtual non-starter in ‘anything goes’ India. There are high levels of tolerance in this country and somehow everything gets accommodated. People adapt and adjust to the constantly shifting landscape and the new additions in their ...

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For the US, friends and enemies aren’t important, only interests are

Growing up, we form friendships, alliances and enmities in playgrounds and classrooms. There are clear rules that govern our interactions and attitudes towards those we call friends and those we regard as enemies or our friends’ enemies. It’s mostly cut and dry and there’s very little room for ambiguity. As we grow up, we begin to see shades of grey and the thick dividing lines that existed in our minds begin to blur. However, somewhere that conditioned perception of a clear demarcation between good versus bad and friend versus enemy persists in our psyche. International relations are complex. There are layers and subtexts that ...

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The world must not allow the situation in Yemen to fester anymore

The Middle East has had a tumultuous history and the region’s politics have been anything but composed and calm. There are many fault lines that run through the geographic, social and ethnic divisions, and as a result, conflict and turmoil have never been too far from taking centre stage. The latest conflict to erupt in these volatile climes has been the civil war in Yemen which has been raging for the last two years. Yemen is one of the poorest and most backward countries in the Arabian Peninsula, yet it is also very strategically located. This makes it a fertile ground for various interests to ...

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Is China only supporting Pakistan to get back at India?

India and Pakistan have had a tumultuous mutual history. Violent separation followed by continued disputes and clashes have created a climate of suspicion and conflict. This is a tragedy of epic proportions given the shared history and heritage of the inhabitants of this land, stretching over thousands of years.  While the circumstances of their separation were unfortunate and sowed the seeds of this distrust, a lot has happened over the years to keep those embers burning. There is considerable anger in India over Pakistan’s support for separatism and terrorism in India. Indians also feel that Pakistan has not done enough to curb or punish anti-India activities. The sight ...

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The presence of a Pakistani actor was the least of Ae Dil Hai Mushkil’s problems

Ae Dil Hai Mushkil (ADHM); where do I start? First of all, there is disappointment. Not so much with the movie, because I expected very little from it, but with the four star ratings given by NDTV and The Times of India (TOI). Secondly, disappointment regarding the fact that, in this day and age, such immature and ham handed execution of a film is not just being accepted, but is getting lapped up eagerly in this country. The movie itself is pretentious, artificial and inauthentic. It’s trying too hard to be edgy and sophisticated, but is actually just a pathetic rehash of key elements from recent ...

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When women talk, men are heard – but hopefully not for long

India’s daughters have long been discriminated against. They are taught to be subservient, docile, and self-sacrificing and the whole social structure is designed to keep them suppressed. The parents of girls take it for granted that they have to pay for dowry and carry the burden of a lavish wedding where the groom’s family can make unreasonable demands and expect them to be fulfilled. No questions asked. It is also considered normal that the girl will give up everything to go live with and serve her husband’s family. With such thoughts so deeply embedded in the social psyche, it is no ...

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If you want a job in British banking, you must get rid of your brown shoes

Britain’s love for tradition is well known. From retaining the monarchy, even if just as a very expensive figurehead, to maintaining an all-white dress code during Wimbledon, Britain manages to hold on to some of its cherished traditions in an otherwise fast changing world. Test cricket still enjoys primacy in England, even as the rest of the world has embraced T20. Evening tea, the Royal Ascot horse race, the Queen’s Guard, and the iconic black taxis in London are part of a long list of lovable traditions that endure. While these are traditions that are usually seen in a positive light, ...

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France had every right to ban the burkini – Their country, their rules

Women and their clothing have long been a matter of contention in society. Men have always regarded the female body as a symbol of social honour and have sought to control the way women dress and the way they carry themselves. In the modern era, it is only in the last half century or so that women have really been able to get some measure of control over their own choices, and that too only in some parts of the world. In most societies, the patriarchal order still dominates. It has been a long and hard fought struggle for women to break free from the patriarchal stranglehold ...

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2016 elections: A pivotal moment in US history

The US presidential election is amongst the most anticipated and commented upon political events in the world, and rightfully so. After all, the US president is widely regarded as the most powerful man, or maybe for the first time this year, woman in the world.  Every four years, the country gears up for a long drawn electoral battle that goes through various stages to culminate in a grand contest between the Democratic and Republican candidates, with the occasional maverick independent thrown in. There have been some remarkable personalities who have stood for, and won, the US presidential election. There have also been some memorable rivalries, ...

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Why has non-violent India become so violent?

India carries somewhat of a reputation globally as the home of spirituality and a champion of non-violence. The combined legacies of Emperor Ashoka, Gautam Buddha, Mahatma Gandhi, and many other renowned gurus and sages have left an imprint on the way India seeks to carry itself on the world stage and also to an extent how the rest of the world perceives it. Many seekers of wisdom and inner peace make their way to India, hoping to find a path to spirituality and enlightenment. Some succeed in finding what they were looking for, while others return with disappointment, disillusionment, and ...

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