Saisuresh Sivaswamy

Saisuresh Sivaswamy has been a journalist for 35 years and wrote his very first column for Rediff.com on January 25, 1997. You can read his columns at: https://www.rediff.com/news/sai.html . Sai (as he is known) usually writes on politics, but once in a while you will find him reviewing the odd film, especially if it features Rajinikanth or Kamal Haasan. You can e-mail the author at sai@rediff.co.in

All stories by Saisuresh Sivaswamy

Zoya and the M factor of Gully Boy

Zoya and the M factor of Gully Boy

Rediff.com21 Feb 2019

'If Murad's Mozziness doesn't strike us in the eye, if we see the film as a youth's struggle to break free of the shackles holding him back and not as a Muslim fighting the system, it is because not once in the film does Zoya show him blaming his religion for his low social status or struggle, a temptation many 'progressive' film-makers may have yielded to for it sounds so politically correct,' says Saisuresh Sivaswamy.

Why Modi govt's Ayodhya plea is different

Why Modi govt's Ayodhya plea is different

Rediff.com30 Jan 2019

By pegging the exact area of the Babri Masjid site at 0.313 acres, and not the original 2.77 acres, the government hopes to be in line with the court ruling in the 1994 Ismail Faruqui case which mentions return of land to original claimants once the exact area needed for acquisition is determined, observes Saisuresh Sivaswamy.

Priyanka's sister act

Priyanka's sister act

Rediff.com24 Jan 2019

'Having taken the first step, Priyanka will do well to remember that politics is not a part-time occupation, nor is it meant for guest appearances and cameos.' 'It can't be that come June 2019 and Priyanka goes back to her cocooned life, to re-emerge five years later because the family business is in trouble again,' says Saisuresh Sivaswamy.

Modi ka Magic Chalega Kya?

Modi ka Magic Chalega Kya?

Rediff.com11 Dec 2018

'Facing foes with a common intent is not something Modi-Shah's BJP has done before,' points out Saisuresh Sivaswamy.

2.0 trailer warns you: Tech is out to get you

2.0 trailer warns you: Tech is out to get you

Rediff.com3 Nov 2018

2.0 raises the bar for Indian films, taking them a step closer to Hollywood blockbusters, says Saisuresh Sivaswamy.

'This anger is now too far gone to be easily reversed'

'This anger is now too far gone to be easily reversed'

Rediff.com29 Oct 2018

'The new generation of teenagers which has taken the forefront is largely an amorphous, leaderless mass.' 'It is extremely difficult to find a representative with whom to negotiate now, unless one turns to a militant leader.'

'Pakistan can certainly contribute to peace in Kashmir'

'Pakistan can certainly contribute to peace in Kashmir'

Rediff.com29 Oct 2018

'...by stopping its promotion of turmoil, its aid and abetment to militancy.' 'Mr Vajpayee paved the road for peace by engaging Pakistan tirelessly while also reaching out to Kashmiri leaders and people at large.' 'Like so often in the past, this government does not have a policy. No consistency in approach.'

The Hindu Shah Bano moment is here

The Hindu Shah Bano moment is here

Rediff.com17 Oct 2018

'Modi's power rests on the Hindu vote.' 'It is this vote bank that sees the Supreme Court verdict on Sabarimala as an intrusion into its religious practice and is frothing at the mouth.' 'History shows us the ill-fated consequences of a strong government buckling before street power,' cautions Saisuresh Sivaswamy.

'India will feel impact of future financial crisis more than in 2008'

'India will feel impact of future financial crisis more than in 2008'

Rediff.com3 Oct 2018

'I can confidently say there will be another financial crisis soon enough, and probably more than one global crisis within the next century, given the increasingly integrated nature of the global economy.'

Sabarimala verdict brings a new dawn

Sabarimala verdict brings a new dawn

Rediff.com28 Sep 2018

'What the Sabarimala majority verdict has done is to elevate the principle of equality over all others, including the right to worship, and declared that this will be the litmus test of all practices, and re-emphasise that practices that are ultra vires will be junked,' says Saisuresh Sivaswamy.

How not to do a no-trust vote

How not to do a no-trust vote

Rediff.com21 Jul 2018

'Friday's parliamentary confrontation obviously was a precursor, or a trailer, to use a pop culture reference, to the real show awaiting the nation,' says Saisuresh Sivaswamy.

'Hinduism is under threat from those in power'

'Hinduism is under threat from those in power'

Rediff.com9 Jul 2018

'there is absolutely no question that the Hinduism of the mob-lynchers, the people who have actually gone and killed others because of what they are eating or how they are worshipping or the faith they belong to or what they're doing professionally, those are, to my mind, not Hindus at all.' 'Hinduism needs to be reclaimed for the Hindus who are not bigots.'

'Congress are better Hindus than BJP'

'Congress are better Hindus than BJP'

Rediff.com9 Jul 2018

'...because we are truer to the spirit of the Hindu faith.' 'There is absolutely no question that the Hinduism of the mob lynchers, the people who have killed others because of what they are eating or how they are worshipping or the faith they belong to or what they're doing professionally, those are, to my mind, not Hindus at all.'

Coming soon: The Hindu Vote Tsunami

Coming soon: The Hindu Vote Tsunami

Rediff.com20 Jun 2018

'It is this new brand of nationalism, where the saffron has elbowed out the other shades in our Tiranga, that will go before the electorate later this year.' 'And it is this new nationalism that will power Modi back into office with 300-plus seats when elections are held,' says Saisuresh Sivaswamy.

Baazigar O Baazigar!

Baazigar O Baazigar!

Rediff.com18 Dec 2017

Baazigar O Baazigar!

Not a ministry reshuffle for 2019

Not a ministry reshuffle for 2019

Rediff.com4 Sep 2017

'The days when less government, more governance were spoken of are well and truly behind us.' 'More government, it is now believed, means more governance,' says Saisuresh Sivaswamy.

Nitish Kumar only bats for himself

Nitish Kumar only bats for himself

Rediff.com27 Jul 2017

'Nitish Kumar has only done what any smart politician will do in his place,' says Saisuresh Sivaswamy.

Yogi in UP, but eyes on Gujarat

Yogi in UP, but eyes on Gujarat

Rediff.com18 Mar 2017

'The coronation of Yogi Adityanath as the surprise chief minister should set at rest all speculation over the nature of the UP mandate,' says Saisuresh Sivaswamy.

Modi and Muslims need a political outreach

Modi and Muslims need a political outreach

Rediff.com15 Mar 2017

'For the sake of the nation, and the preservation of its polity, it is high time the country's largest political party and the country's largest religious minority make peace between them,' says Saisuresh Sivaswamy.

How to defeat Modi in elections

How to defeat Modi in elections

Rediff.com11 Mar 2017

'Modi is larger-than-life, but not invincible. Yet,' says Saisuresh Sivaswamy.

Before the Owaisis there was Shahabuddin

Before the Owaisis there was Shahabuddin

Rediff.com9 Mar 2017

Today as one sees the Owaisi brothers of Hyderabad seeking to lay claim as the custodian of the Muslim vote and the upholders of the community's interests, it is Shahabuddin who springs to mind for having been there, done that, says Saisuresh Sivaswamy.

A remarkable Indian you never heard of

A remarkable Indian you never heard of

Rediff.com8 Mar 2017

ACN Nambiar's life was extraordinary and intricately linked to momentous turns in history. Having lived in Europe for five decades, he was witness to and entangled with what we today -- with the benefit of hindsight -- call recent history.

Review: Raees and fall of the Don

Review: Raees and fall of the Don

Rediff.com25 Jan 2017

Raees has a very bold Shah Rukh Khan who's stepped out of his comfort zone of crinkly eyes and dimpled cheek, says Saisuresh Sivaswamy.

The Narendra Modi of TV news

The Narendra Modi of TV news

Rediff.com3 Nov 2016

'To be fair to Arnab Goswami, the television camera is his only fix.' Unlike other TV stars who rule social media, Arnab is nowhere to be found.' 'While they hold forth in newspaper columns, maybe having realised that true gravitas is earned via newsprint not digicams, he does nothing of the sort.' 'He breathes and lives TV news,' says Saisuresh Sivaswamy.

Justice for all or just another jumla?

Justice for all or just another jumla?

Rediff.com18 Oct 2016

'The timing is a little suspect.' 'Could it be, just be, a convenient tool to wield months ahead of a hyper-crucial state election, judge if its efficacy in sending out its subliminal message is intact, and accordingly decide the future course of action on the long but quick road to 2019?'

Review: Watching Kabali is an experience

Review: Watching Kabali is an experience

Rediff.com22 Jul 2016

Watching a Rajnikanth film in Mumbai's Aurora Theatre can only be compared to watching a Salman Khan film in Bandra's Gaiety-Galaxy, but multiplied 100 times over, feels Saisuresh Sivaswamy.

The Kabali Review: LIVE!

The Kabali Review: LIVE!

Rediff.com22 Jul 2016

Saisuresh Sivaswamy is watching the noon show at Mumbai's Arora theatre, known for catering to Rajini fans, and making a mega celebration of all his releases.

'TN's finances are a mess, it's not going to be easy'

'TN's finances are a mess, it's not going to be easy'

Rediff.com19 May 2016

'We have about Rs 4 lakh crore debt on a state budget of about Rs 1.5 lakh crore.' 'We are in a debt two-and-a-half times our annual budget,' says the banker who would have been Tamil Nadu's finance minister had the DMK won.

Will re-enact law to prevent NEET: Amma's promise in Tirunelveli

Will re-enact law to prevent NEET: Amma's promise in Tirunelveli

Rediff.com12 May 2016

Amidst the blazing heat, women line up the streets offering 'mor' (buttermilk), water, local snacks while supporters wait for a glimpse of their 'mother' AIADMK chief at an election rally in Tirunelveli.

MGR comes alive in Thiruvananthapuram!

MGR comes alive in Thiruvananthapuram!

Rediff.com11 May 2016

What is 'MGR' doing in Thiruvananthpuram, seeking votes?

Kanhaiya, the Leela begins now

Kanhaiya, the Leela begins now

Rediff.com4 Mar 2016

'His prosecutors have no doubt turned a student union leader into a national figure - howsoever briefly - with their miscalculations and misdeeds, and have done Kanhaiya a huge favour.' 'But he will soon realise that it is a double-edged sword that he has been handed,' says Saisuresh Sivaswamy.

The mukhota has finally slipped

The mukhota has finally slipped

Rediff.com18 Feb 2016

'What is holding this government to ransom is the Parivar. It is this group's thought process, ideals and philosophies that course through the veins of India's elected government. And it is this that is holding the government, and through it the country, to ransom.'

Khan't you just see the growing intolerance?

Khan't you just see the growing intolerance?

Rediff.com24 Nov 2015

'In a competitive industry where no one has a formula for success other than the actor's personal appeal, the need to dominate the news cycle in the interim between films is so overpowering that even the otherwise sober stars can suffer a Ghajini moment,' says Saisuresh Sivaswamy.

5 things Modi needs to do ASAP

5 things Modi needs to do ASAP

Rediff.com8 Nov 2015

'The prime ministership needs a statesman, not a politician, and 18 months into the job Modi is yet to learn the difference between the two,' says Saisuresh Sivaswamy.

EXCLUSIVE! How the Naga Accord was reached

EXCLUSIVE! How the Naga Accord was reached

Rediff.com12 Aug 2015

'In the first meeting of this new year, we took a joint new year resolution that we will complete it this year. At the time things were not very clear, but the mood was clear that yes, we must resolve it.' 'Yes, details have to come out, but there are some sensitivities, there are some stake-holders not yet on board, especially other Naga undergrounds etc, we would like them to come on board... So at a proper time it has to be revealed to the country, and to the legislature. Perhaps, we may have to wait for some more time.' 'With better understanding of the Indian system, many of them have learnt, realised, appreciated that Naga nationalist aspirations can be accommodated in the Indian system. The Indian system is pretty comprehensive and flexible.' 'A Naga has as much stake, claim over India as any other Indian. There is no distinction. This, Nagas have realised, that yes, Naga nationalist aspirations and Indian nationalism are not mutually exclusive.' Ravindra Narayan Ravi, the Government of India's Special Interlocutor for the Naga talks, explains how the Naga Peace Accord was reached in an exclusive interview to Saisuresh Sivaswamy/Rediff.com

Dhanushkodi: A ghost town hopes to come alive

Dhanushkodi: A ghost town hopes to come alive

Rediff.com7 Aug 2015

50 years after a cyclone wiped it out, Dhanushkodi is slowly finding its feet. A tourist attraction precisely for its desolateness, road connectivity could soon transform it. Saisuresh Sivaswamy, who spent a few hours there, comes back enchanted.

A tale of two janaazas

A tale of two janaazas

Rediff.com4 Aug 2015

Does India's first majoritarian government that is hard-focused on economic development have it in it to provide the Muslim community the healing touch? On evidence available so far, I am not hopeful at all. Yet, like the besieged community, I too find it impossible to abandon hope in the land's millennia-old syncretic traditions, says Saisuresh Sivaswamy.

'Allah hu Akbar, Dr Kalam ki Jai' chants ring loud at Kalam's funeral

'Allah hu Akbar, Dr Kalam ki Jai' chants ring loud at Kalam's funeral

Rediff.com30 Jul 2015

Thousands throng the narrow mohallas around the Mohideen Aandavar mosque in Rameswaram for A P J Abdul Kalam's Alvida Namaaz. Saisuresh Sivaswamy/Rediff.com reports from Rameswaram.

Rameswaram's special send-off for their favourite son

Rameswaram's special send-off for their favourite son

Rediff.com29 Jul 2015

Keeping his secular credentials in mind and his love for all religions, a special prayer will be held at the Rameshwar temple and the Mohideen Aandavar Masjid.

The Top Editor who's also a Fine Novelist

The Top Editor who's also a Fine Novelist

Rediff.com8 Apr 2015

'In the newsroom, the thought process is about understanding the story and trying to look beyond the obvious. The fiction-writing process is similar in many ways but more internal.'

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