Excerpts from Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Power - Rajiv Malhotra
Automation will create a dichotomy between new haves and have-nots. Massive unemployment will occur simultaneously with shortages of professionals in the latest technologies. Those who are technically qualified, possess the latest knowledge, and can work competitively in the new economy will be rewarded with high-paying jobs. These will be the new elites. Unfortunately, most workers will be left behind to face unemployment or eke out a meager living.
In the imminent future, society will have to acknowledge the existence of what I call the unemployable class. Additionally, the greater longevity that results from medical advances will further increase costs for the nonproductive elderly. Income disparity will become glaringly large and foment increased stratification between social classes. The middle class might virtually disappear, leaving a small upper class of elites and an exceptionally large lower class. Labor shortages will exist at the upper end, with a surplus of obsolete workers at the lower end.
Artificial Intelligence will exacerbate economic divisions by worsening the disparity that already exists. In the Global Wealth Report 2019, Credit Suisse Wealth Institute indicates that the top 1% of the world’s richest people own 45% of the world’s wealth; it provides the breakdown for major countries. According to one report the world’s 2,000 billionaires have more wealth than the bottom 4.6 billion people combined, and the richest 1% have more than the combined wealth of 6.9 billion people.
….. Most economists like to pacify the public with the claim that new jobs created by AI will compensate for the loss of old jobs, but this assertion does not address the problem for several reasons. As stated earlier, AI’s new jobs will not be located where old jobs are eliminated, but wherever the AI industry’s innovations and implementations are located. The Oxford Economics report indicates that job losses and gains will be unevenly distributed between countries, between regions of the same country, and even between different communities in the same region. The consumers who benefit from cheaper goods due to automation will be scattered around the world, whereas the communities that lose manufacturing jobs will be locally concentrated. In fact, Oxford Economics states: “increased industrial automation will tend to exacerbate the regional inequalities that already exist within advanced economies”
….. The coronavirus pandemic will make the unemployment situation even worse for the most vulnerable people, exacerbating the problems caused by AI. One estimate is that this latest crisis could plunge another half a billion people into poverty and will adversely impact women more than men. The well-recognized gender pay gap even in developed countries like the US is likely to worsen due to the pandemic.
….. Despite these trends, a sizeable segment of millennials, especially those employed in the tech industry, subscribe to the optimistic view that AI will usher in an age of abundance and freedom for all. This attitude is an oversimplification resulting from a collective unwillingness to acknowledge reality and inability to reason with sophistication when confronted with uncomfortable truths.
New Delhi, Jan 6 (IANS) Even as many in the Congress still seem to be in denial about Prime Minister Narendra Modis popularity and the fact that he has earned his victories, former President late Pranab Mukherjee in his memoir clearly says that Modi earned and achieved his success.
Recently, excerpts from 'The Presidential Years', the fourth and concluding volume of Mukherjee's memoirs, have started doing the rounds. There are many interesting excerpts that show the cordial relationship of the former head of the state with Prime Minister Modi. Mukherjee and Modi come from completely different ideological backgrounds, but it is clear that Mukherjee had immense respect for Modi and his passion for the country.
Mukherjee is a politician who gave Narendra Modi his due respect for the victory in the 2014 general elections. Even as many in the Congress still seem to be in denial about Modi's popularity and the fact that he has earned his victories, Mukherjee clearly says that Modi earned and achieved his success.
"Modi, on the other hand, became PM through popular choice after leading the BJP to a historic victory in 2014. He is a politician to the core and had been named the BJP's prime ministerial candidate as the party went into campaign mode. He was then Gujarat's CM and had built an image that seemed to click with the masses. He has earned and achieved the prime ministership," Mukherjee writes.
The former President reiterates that he appreciated the counsel and advice which was offered to him by PM Modi in his quest to uphold the Constitution, clearly shining a light upon Modi's own commitment to upholding the Constitution. He also singles our Modi's passion and energy for driving transformational changes across the country.
"As I had said on oath, I strived to preserve, protect and defend our Constitution, not just in word but also in spirit. In this task, I greatly benefited from the advice and cooperation extended to me by Prime Minister Modi at every step. With passion and energy, he is driving transformational changes in the country. I will carry with me fond memories of our association and his warm and courteous behaviour," Mukherjee says in the book.
One of the first meetings between Modi and Mukherjee mentions how closely the Prime Minister followed the statements and articles by Mukherjee and maintained that he too was following the sentiments and wishes of the Indian President without caring for their political affiliations. The same passage also reflects how there was no hurry with Modi to assume a position of power and that he wanted to discharge his existing duties in an appropriate manner.
"I congratulated Modi, who requested for some time to speak with me. Using a newspaper clipping that had reported on my earlier speech hoping for a politically stable mandate, he asserted that he had achieved the objective of a clear majority that I had envisaged. Thereafter, he requested for a week's time before the swearing-in ceremony. I was surprised at his request. He insisted that he needed time to address the issue of his successor in his home state, Gujarat," as per the book.
In the beginning parts of the book itself, the former President notes Modi's pragmatism and enthusiasm to build relations within the South East Asian region and also his zeal for continuous on-the-job learning. It is clear that Modi on several occasions took the advice of the erstwhile President and initiated a process to factor in his insights into policy decisions as well.
"Modi then sought my advice on his intent to invite all the heads of state/government of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries for the swearing-in ceremony. I complimented him on the idea and advised him to discuss the same with the head of the Intelligence Bureau, owing to the enormous security risks facing leaders of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. I have had very cordial relations with PM Modi during my tenure. However, I did not hesitate to give my advice on matters of policy during our meetings. There were several occasions when he echoed concerns that I had voiced. I also believe that he has managed to grasp the nuances of foreign policy quickly," Mukherjee says in the book.
Mukherjee also noted the successful efforts for inclusive growth. It is clear that political differences did not come in the way of rightful appreciation of the inclusive growth measures taken by the Modi government. He also mentions that there was optimism in the air. He writes about how he appreciated the steps taken for inclusive growth as part of his speech at the beginning of the Budget Session in 2015.
"My speech in Parliament at the start of the Budget Session in 2015 reflected the promises the Modi government had made to the people and the steps it had taken in the direction of inclusive growth. The government had taken charge barely a year ago and there was optimism and trust in the air.
"Underlining the new slogan of the regime, I said that ‘the fundamental tenet of my government is sabka saath, sabka vikas (support from all, development for all).' The session was especially important because it was then that the Modi government presented its first full-year Union Budget," he says in the book.
Mukherjee, as a career politician, also recognised the mandate that is wielded through India's electorate. He understood the high level of hard work and dedication that Modi brought to his electioneering. In his book, he noted that a popular mandate is never something that can be achieved just by chance -- it is something that has to be earned. He writes that he was initially skeptical about Piyush Goyal's optimism that the BJP would win over 265 seats in the 2014 elections. However, he took this optimism seriously when he saw Narendra Modi's gruelling electioneering schedule.
"However, I took him seriously when he gave me Modi's detailed electioneering schedule, which was not only gruelling but also painstaking. It covered the entire length and breadth of the country," Mukherjee says.
Further, in 2019, Mukherjee appears surprised that Modi formed a government with his pre-poll allies despite winning a comfortable majority and coming back with bigger numbers. In a way, this also shows appreciation for the way Modi keeps his commitments.
Through the various mentions of strengthened bilateral and multinational relations, Mukherjee noted that these visits actually helped to achieve a better global image for India. He also notes that even when PM Modi did not have much experience when it came to international relations, he found his own out-of-the-box niche.
"It was evident that one could expect the unexpected from Modi, because he had come with no ideological foreign policy baggage. He was to continue with these surprises. PM Modi has desired to improve the strained relations of the past. India also wants to see that the Indian Ocean Region does not become a playground for big powers," as per the book excerpts.
The book details what Modi told Mukherjee about why he should be present at the joint session of the Parliament at midnight, especially to address the occasion. This is a glimpse of Modi's personal touch, something which made Mukherjee agree.
"Coming back to my residence, I had a telephonic conversation with him, during which he insisted that as an individual, I had done my best for three-and-a-half years to get the bill passed, and as President of the Republic, the deal would be approved with my signature of assent. It would be a historic coincidence if I addressed the joint session of Parliament assembled at midnight at the Central Hall on 30 June. I agreed," Mukherjee says in the book.
New Delhi, Dec 2 (IANS) The irony couldn't be more apt. The Sino-American rapprochement saw the once bitter enemies establishing diplomatic relations in 1979. A decade later came the Sino-Soviet rapprochement - again between two seemingly intractable ideologies - and the settlement of the Russia-China territorial dispute in 2004, to the extent that Russian turbofan engines now power the Chinese JF-17 jet that could soon become the mainstay of the Pakistani Air Force. Today, even the Arabs and the Israelis are talking about peace in a multipolar world that is taking shape with the re-emergence of Russia post the collapse of the Soviet Union.
"In the India-China case, both neighbours were attempting to move ahead without actually solving their problems, a formula that was exposed in 2020" with the PLA incursions in Eastern Ladakh, historian and strategist Zorawar Daulet Singh writes in "Powershift - India-China Relations In a Multipolar World" (Macmillan), suggesting that the two countries "explore new avenues that they could not delve into during the Cold War phase, where the frontier question dominated everything else".
"What has led to the tailspin in India-China relations in recent years? We will not find the clues in some valley or a narrow stretch of road in the upper Himalayas. Rather, the main reason has been a systematic buildup of negative images of how each side viewed the other's foreign policies along with a collapse in geopolitical trust," writes Daulet Singh, who holds a doctorate in international relations from King's College, London, and an MA from the School of Advanced Studies, Johns Hopkins University.
His previous books include "Power and Diplomacy: India's Foreign Policies During the Cold War", "India-China Relations: The Border Issue and Beyond" and "Chasing The Dragon: Will India Catch up with China?"
For India, the book says, China's attempts to raise its economic and political profile in the subcontinent was seen as an encroachment on, and an affront to, Indian authority in the neighbourhood. For China, India's pursuit of deeper military engagement with the former's main strategic rivals - the US and Japan - was viewed as a serious challenge to its future security.
"Convinced that only an assertive policy would work, since 2015 both New Delhi and Beijing began exploiting leverages and pressure points to keep the other side off balance. India tilted closer to the US, China towards Pakistan and on a scale not witnessed even during the Cold War years," Daulet Singh writes.
And, with India's boycott of the BRI (Belt and Road Initiative), China found itself confronting not only the major holdout against its flagship international initiative "but also its most suspicious and non-cooperative neighbour in Asia", the book says.
"Beijing also noticed that New Delhi was beginning to openly involve external powers to collaborate with it in an anti-China strategy in South Asia and the Indian Ocean. Worse still must have been the spectacle of India brandishing its Tibet card. Such unbridled competition has raised the costs for both India and China," the author maintains.
The "short, if feeble episodes" to reach a new equilibrium through the informal summits in Wuhan (2018) and Chennai (2019) have obviously not been enough to reach a new modus vivendi, the book says, adding: "The crisis in eastern Ladakh for most of 2020 has shown just how intense threat perceptions and suspicions are on both sides of the Himalayas," even as it argues for a "new equilibrium to mitigate the recurring cycles of intense competition in recent years".
Thus, India's China policy is a profoundly consequential process that entails opportunities as well as risks with implications across a gamut of issues: to India's global status and effectiveness in international institutions, geopolitical security, and economic transformation, the book says.
India's China policy should aim to "responsibly compete" with its largest neighbour "albeit asymmetrically but effectively. This should not preclude creatively leveraging China's economic power to transform the region, a pragmatic strategy that smaller South Asian states have been pursuing to their advantage".
"Policymakers should also recognise the wider ramifications of China's rise in world politics and remain acutely sensitive to when and to what extent India's other strategic partners respond to and support India's interests and concerns.
"The creativity lies in leveraging geopolitical opportunities where they exist without succumbing to a 'ganging up' game that leaves India vulnerable to pressure from China, while India's friends, who have their own stakes with China, look on. It is a fine balancing act, and historically Indian strategists have got it more right than wrong," Daulet Singh maintains.
India's China policy, he writes, should be guided by three grand strategic goals: an inclusive security architecture in Asia that facilitates a non-violent transition to multipolarity without radically disrupting economic interdependence; an open and reformed international order to better reflect the developmental interests of India and the Global South; and, geopolitical stability and sustainable economic development in the subcontinent.
"China policy, therefore, must be part of a bigger foreign policy and world order vision for India, not the other way around," the author states.
Noting that the Asia of 2030, will look very different from the Asia of today, the book says that for the first time in several centuries, "we are facing the prospect of an Asia that can actually flourish on its own economically and not simply by playing a role as an assembly hub and export powerhouse to the West".
Greater Eurasia has the energy resources and strategic commodities of Russia including its strong scientific base of human capital, as well as the commercial technologies of Japan, China and Korea and it is this "big picture trend" that India needs to pay attention to, the book says.
"While the West will remain important, there is no viable way for India to avoid being part of this dynamic Asia and Greater Eurasia. Eventually, that boils down to having some sort of a stable India-China relationship. It has, thus, fallen upon the present generation of policymakers to steer India towards this complex multipolar world order. Major strategic choices have to be made and one hopes that India's leaders have the long term view," Daulet Singh writes.
Recalling a recent remark of Norwegian historian Odd Arne Westad that "the more the US and China beat each other up, the more room for manoeuvre other powers will have", the author states that this mantra could equally be applied to India and China.
"Unrestrained competition only benefits other powers. As the 2020 Ladakh crisis bookends a tumultuous decade of India-China relations, both Delhi and Beijing would do well to heed the call of our time. History is obliging both countries to step up and play constructive roles to shape the emerging world order even as it is impelling both sides to learn to co-exist in a common neighbourhood," Daulet Singh concludes.
"Powershift" is truly a seminal work that all stakeholders need to sit up and take a serious note of for the clarity of vision it provides.
New Delhi/Washington, Dec 3 (IANS) The timing couldnt be more perfect. "Joe Biden: American Dreamer" (Bloomsbury) is a concise, brilliant and incisive examination of the US President-elect and his lifelong quest for the White House by National Book Award winner and New Yorker staff writer Evan Osnos. Former Vice President Biden has been called both the luckiest man and the unluckiest -- fortunate to have sustained a 50-year political career that reached the White House, but also marked by deep personal losses that he has suffered.
Yet, even as Biden's life has been shaped by drama, it has also been powered by a willingness, rare at the top ranks of politics, to confront his shortcomings, errors and reversals of fortune. His trials have forged in him a deep empathy for others in hardship -- an essential quality as he addresses a nation at its most dire hour in decades.
Blending up-close journalism and broader context, Osnos illuminates Biden's life and captures the characters and meaning of an extraordinary presidential election. He draws on lengthy interviews with Biden and on revealing conversations with more than a hundred others, including former President Barack Obama, Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar, Pete Buttigieg, and a range of progressive activists, advisers, opponents, and Biden's family members.
In this nuanced portrait, Biden emerges as flawed, yet resolute, and tempered by the flame of tragedy -- a man who just may be uncannily suited for his moment in history. Osnos has been a staff writer at the New Yorker since 2008. His most recent book, "Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China", won the National Book Award, among other honours. Previously, he had reported from China, Iraq and elsewhere for the Chicago Tribune, where he shared a Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting. He lives with his wife and children in Washington DC.
The west gave the world exciting adventures with the secret seven and the famous five. Now, with the fabulous four, comes a new, exciting adventure full of eastern story-telling magic. Four children with unique abilities from different, parts of the world come together to fight powerful, dark forces.
Zoozoo, an evil wizard, kidnaps Princess Samara’s parents, the king and queen of Nonamia. The princess journeys to the far corners of the world to meet and befriend three young people to help her plan and carry out the rescue of her parents. In Wetlands she meets Raja, who can balance a candle on his head while swimming in swirling waters; in Hotlands she meets Nandu, the Fire Boy, who can casually walk through a blazing wind; while in Snowlands she meets Prince, the Snow Boy, who sips ice-cold beverages in freezing temperatures wearing only a T-shirt. With the help of Khabar, a magical bird, and Barado, the fastest horse in the world, the Four under-take the fearsome task of challenging Zoozoo and his army, headed by General Zombo, together with Churail, the evil witch. If they are to defeat Zoo-zoo, they will need to resort to magic and wizardry of their own.
In this story of a battle between good and evil played out in a fantastic world, there are echoes of the world we know.
About the Author
Rajesh Talwar studied at Harvard, Oxford, Nottingham, London, Delhi and Lucknow for shorter and longer durations, with varying degrees of enthusiasm. His previously published children’s books include The Bearded Prince, The Three Greens and The Sleepless Beauty.
Sanjay Sharan is a retired Commissioner of Customs & CGST from Government of India. He is a post graduate in History and has also done Management Development Program from IIM, Lucknow. He has also had trainings/interactions with London School of Economics, Cambridge University, Nyenrode University (Holland), LKYSPP (Singapore University), Graduate School of Business of SKK University (South Korea) and IIM(Kozhikode). He is a Master Trainer of GST, and as part of his multifaceted personality, he is also an authentic expert on Life Skills, Yoga & Meditation, Stress Management. He regularly takes sessions on GST, Stress Management and many other areas for a number of institutes and academies. He also takes online training sessions.
He is an accomplished author. He has written a unique book for mankind by name “Householder Ascetic”. This book is available worldwide on amazon-both as e-book and paperback. In India, it is available as e-book and can be sourced from amazon for Rs. 250/- only. For this, Kindle app has to be downloaded from play store or app store on mobile phone or laptop. Once purchased from amazon, it comes in kindle app and the same can be read with convenience.
"Householder Ascetic ", written as a book of fiction for ease of writing and reference only, is a reference book for mankind across the globe giving authentic and eternally valid answers to various questions and challenges that comes to human mind in day-to-day life. The book is mainly based on teachings from Divine Masters from India. The valid answers are given through the replies to a number of questions that the characters of book ask for, as stated in the book. The replies to questions and inquiries are authentic with eternal validity. The replies are also at times supported with quotes from various scriptures. The book derives several congruent, converging and congenial messages from Bhagwat Gita, Holy Bible and Sri Guru Granth Sahab. It also derives from Islam, especially from Sufism.
Although written as a book of fiction to facilitate ease of writing only, the book covers a bit of metaphysics, occult, history, geography and information about the land of India and her teachings for global understanding.
The book discusses, inter alia, the following: -
It may be repeated with all emphasis that clarifications and information given by way of answers/ replies in the book, by way of conversations and dialogues between two or more individuals, shall remain valid for all time to come for the humanity to help and guide mankind.
The author has crafted some beautiful poem in the book, with lot of hidden and suggestive meaning.
Home sweet home,
We emanated from Om,
Om, Amen & Amin,
Is it not the same hymn,
We came from thee,
We merge into thee,
We are birthless,
We are deathless,
Om sweet Om,
Thou art our home,
Why do we roam,
When father wants us home,
When mother wants us home,
Why do we roam,
Om sweet Om.
The larger purpose of book is to help and strengthen the mankind and to remove inter-class and inter-religious strife to make a better and saner world on sound and valid principles of understanding and universal acceptance of all faiths, beliefs and cults.
Mr Sanjay Sharan is available for imparting of training and teaching, even for public lectures. He can explain and answer all questions concerning life of humans. He can be reached on mail id firstname.lastname@example.org
Vadhan is a prolific reader who turned to writing a few years ago. His first published book is Shatru, a prequel to his yet unpublished fantasy Series. Shatru sets the stage for a tale based on Indian mythology in which the universe is at risk from a primordial evil leaping through time continuum’s.
His second book, Agniputr: When Agni First Spoke, is hailed as one of the best multi-genre thrillers by some of India’s leading national newspapers, literary platforms, critics and top-end bloggers. Agniputr threads through fantasy, science, law, politics and philosophy to deliver an edge-of-the-seat entertainer. Vadhan is a lawyer by qualification and Director responsible for regulatory risk practice in the world’s largest professional services firm.
Here is the Q&A’s for Vadhan’s interview.
Why do you think there is an increasing lack of faith in law? even the highest court faces a lack of trust.
Firstly, thank you for giving me the opportunity to voice my views. In my opinion this is a very sensitive question. There is no substance to establish that we have lost faith in law. In fact, there is a lot of cleaning up that has happened in the last 5 years. There is a lot of transparency introduced into the public systems that was lacking earlier.
What is law? It is best described as societal guidelines to ensure common good. There are two sides to it, implementation of law and compliance with the law. A citizen’s minimum guarantee to a democratic society is compliance with the law. When there is defiance to the law of the land it will cause unrest. Every country in the world is only as good as its laws and compliance with it. In fact, in the recent past, the highest court of the land has been proactive and has stepped in several times in interpreting as well as providing clarity on compliance with the law. The root cause really is the attitude of certain sections, be it the effluent or the politically motivated, which intends to misinterpret the law to give it a wrong color coding to suit their own ends and to mislead the gullible common man.
Secondly, it is important for people not to think they are above the law. No one is really above the law. A democratic society functions are based on strong fundamentals enforced by institutions. For instance, the last word in investigation is the CBI. The quality of work of the NHAI is another example. ISRO and the tremendous work it has done till now instills faith in it. That is known as institutionalizing the principles of democracy. It is important to restore faith in public institutions. If we don’t, the alternative is harnessing and unleashing power. While institutions follow processes, power is unfettered and functions based on the impact of backlash if it is questioned. As a democratic country, we must work towards building our institutions and running the country based on the fundamental pillars of those institutions.
Does fear of God have to play a positive or a negative role in the ability to establish order of law?
In a country that believes in a divine largess and the positive nature of divinity, Fear of God is a deterrent against misuse of power. Is it really effective? I leave the question open. There are God men and people of influence who have used the divine largess to profit and control the mind of people to do their bidding. In our own culture as also that of others, people who sinned are known to face the wrath of God. Hence, logically such sinners must have fear of God. The surmise of my book, ‘Fear of God’ is to reinstate faith in law.
Your book fear of God high- lights this aspect of growing vigilantism. Does it in some way justify it with someone taking law in their own hands to bring justice?
Let me make it clear. Fear of God does not encourage vigilantism. Vigilantism can be defined a violent reaction to societal injustice and dysfunctional law. Ours is a country abiding by the rule of law. We have a justice delivery system. Is it the best? No. Not yet. But we are getting there faster than we can imagine.
The protagonist of my book insists that one has to be obey the law to be protected by it. If one breaks the law, one must be answerable to it. If you consider yourself to be above the law then there is only fear of God. There- fore, there is attack on corruption and the corrupted. The book only encourages obedience to the law. Do we need Fear of God to ensure that obedience? Defiance to the law will destroy civil society. Cheating the public exchequer, abusing public funds for private gains, using public institutions for personal purposes, not delivering public services, corrupting democratic institutions, these are signs of defiance to the law. The purpose of ‘Fear of God’ in the book is to remove the decay. The book doesn’t set out to propagate vigilantism. In fact it implores to obey the law. First and foremost it is a book of fiction; it is a thriller and an entertainer. If there is a lesson to be learnt (which is entirely up to the reader), it is that above every- thing else is law and obedience to it is the bedrock on which democratic society rests. If you think you are above the law, then there is only Fear of God!
There is a general sense of mistrust among people, lack of trust in authority, the government, each other. what do you think is the reason behind it?
I would peg the general sense of mistrust, if at all, that the people may have on the lost years of independent India when a despotic few controlled the way in which people felt or thought. I would blame it on manipulative coalition politics that forgot its mandate (if it had any at all) and lived for itself rather than the people who delivered a fractured and confused vote. I would blame it on those square kegs that tried to plug round holes. Gaining back the trust of the people inflicted with the injury by such manipulative few is a task. In the last few years, I have only seen a growing respect for the country, a growing sense of unity and dignity for everything Indian and for India.
“The protagonist of my book insists that one has to be obey the law to be protected by it. If one breaks the law, one must be answerable to it. If you consider yourself to be above the law then there is only fear of God.”
Last many months have continued to see people taking law in their own hands. More recently with lockdown situation, there have been such episodes. what do you think is the reason?
Firstly, the average Indian, whether educated or otherwise, is a person who wants to grow in life. I believe that is the mental makeup of an Indian today. Therefore, those who are ‘taking law into their own hands’ are those few who think they are entitled to more than the average Indian. That is my honest opinion. What gives them the right to such entitlement is not something altogether clear. When a policeman stopped a crowd from entering a marketplace without proper passes during COVID- 19 lock down in Patiala, they chopped of his hand! People attack doctors who are the front line soldiers in the battle against a global pandemic. These are signs of entitlement. ‘How dare you work on a COVID patient and step into my locality?’ These are signs of people who think they are above the law. To generalise it would not only be unfair to the average Indian, it would be criminal. When successive governments in the past have given in to influential lobbyists to secure the rights of the few to the detriment of many, for such ‘entitled’ individuals to come to terms with the fact that they are not ‘entitled’ any- more is a difficult task. We can only offer them pity. Not even sympathy.
Your book is going to be made into a movie. how do you perceive this new rush or need for books to be made into series or movies?
Well, look at it this way. There is a ready made script right there, already in the public domain and appreciated by people who would love to see it adapted into a movie or a web series. There is already an established connect with the viewers that the film maker can use. So, why not? Movies were always made from adaptations of the books. As the number of readers have gone up, an author’s name and adaptation from a book renders a greater leverage to the film maker and more acceptance from the viewing public. It is a step in the right direction. Changing a book to a movie involves a lot of creative work of script writers, novelists and film makers. I see good times ahead.
In conclusion, I request all of my readers out there to be safe, stay home and stay healthy. Relaxation of lock down conditions is not a ticket to roam around freely. Use it judiciously, for your own safety and for the safety of those who love you.
Inputs from OECEL News Bureau..
It’s past your bedtime in Delhi and there’s smog all around, but pollution is not the only thing that’s suffocating Anjali, the protagonist of Damyanti’s debut novel. Damyanti Biswas’s dark and gripping literary crime thriller You Beneath Your Skin has many layers to keep you engrossed and engaged, page after page.
An Indian American single mother, Anjali Morgan is fighting with the demons of the past while juggling her job as a psychiatrist and caring for her autistic teenage son. She is in a long-standing affair with ambitious police commissioner Jatin Bhatt. Across the city, in a crime spree women from Delhi slums are being found stuffed in trash bags with their faces and bodies disfigured by acid. As events spiral out of control, Anjali finds herself horrifyingly at the center of it all. Biswas knits a world where a smog-choked Delhi is filled with life’s vagaries from rape, murder, prostitution, acid attacks to social, political, hypocritical intricacies of the society, and of course the bane and savior of our lives- love.
The characters in You Beneath Your Skinare real and flawed. The nuances of the characters, as you move forward in the story, remind you of people you may have seen, met and talked to. Their rage is real, their problems are real and their truth is real, and this takes you to dark spaces in your city. Yet, you are not able to put down the book as the plot and the crisp, compendious, and absorbing style of Biswas’s writing keeps you on your toes.
One of the key elements of the book is the voice it gives to the innocents. The mothers who are abused, the little daughters who are sold out, and how their lives mean so little. Using the framework of a crime thriller, Biswas conjures in this book a well-researched portrayal of poverty, misogyny, and political corruption. The narrative brings forth an authentic, resonant novel that comes from Biswas’s years of interaction with women and children in Stop Acid Attacks and Project Why, the two organizations where the author proceeds of the book are directed. Overall, the book is a bold, dark, sensitive and ambitious view of the gruesome underbelly of big cities that will keep you awake all night.
Courtesy: Opinion Express News Services