Weekend Reads

  1. “If the Modi government lays any store by credibility, it must withdraw forthwith the tag of eminence given to Jio Institute,” says a leader in the Deccan Herald.
  2. Snigdha Poonam, writing in the Hindustan Times, says Gurugram has a Hindu-Muslim problem far bigger than the namaz row.
  3. “Some thought the elder Ambani a relic from an earlier era, and predicted his decline, as happened to America’s Gilded Age tycoons before him. Yet Ambani seemed determined to fight this very possibility, from the Pharaonic scale of his investments to the over-the-top grandeur of his family home. No one embodied so clearly the power of India’s new super-rich. And looking down from Antilia’s roof terrace – his own ‘pinnacle of moneyed magnificence’ – no one else could grasp quite how far there was to fall.” Open carries an excerpt from James Crabtree’s new book.
  4. “It used to take weeks to procure the right ingredients, days to prepare and many anxious hours of tantalising ant­ici­pa­t­ion to serve,” writes Arshia Dhar in Outlook. “The biryani was once accustomed to pride of place in the kitchens of nawabs and maharajas, beg­ums and courtesans, but nowadays it has beco­me egalitarian.”
  5. For most Indian male models, a stable income remains elusive,” Shreevatsa Nevatia takes a look at the world of male modeling in The Hindu. “Also, there just isn’t enough glory to go around. The pie, aspirants quickly learn, is small. They invariably drop like flies.”
  6. “Lesbian, widow, goddess, queen, women who have desires – let’s not have them, the censor committees have repeatedly ruled,” writes Sanjukta Sharma in Mint.
  7. Paul Mozur in the New York Times reports on China’s high-tech authoritarian future, where algorithmic governance and constant surveillance will be the norm.
  8. Following the money, Martha Mendoza and Larry Fenn report for the Associated Press that detaining immigrant children has morphed into a surging industry in the US that now reaps $1 billion annually.
  9. As the men’s football World Cup comes to an end, read all of the coverage from the Players’ Tribune, starting with this remarkable piece from Romelu Lukaku.
  10. Also worth digging into: the World Cup coverage of Africa is a Country, which tends to examine the political and social implications of football, such as this piece about why French fascists love Kylian Mbappé and hate Karim Benzema.