Mauktik Kulkarni

Mauktik Kulkarni is an entrepreneur, author and filmmaker based in India. Trained in engineering at the University of Pune, biophysics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University, he has played a key role in a few health care and tech start-ups. After backpacking through 50+ countries, Kulkarni has written two books, "A Ghost of Che" and "Packing Up Without Looking Back," alongside articles for several international publications, and has been featured in National Geographic, among other media outlets. He co-produced “Riding on a Sunbeam,” a travel film about India, and has several more films in the pipeline. He routinely delivers lectures on neuroscience, entrepreneurship, creative writing and filmmaking.

When Truth No Longer Matters

September 04, 2021

An effective communicator with a questionable past builds a successful campaign as an outsider disinterested in everyday, run-of-the-mill politics. He smartly taps into the fears and anxieties of voters and projects himself as the only person who can fix the supposedly broken system. Despite warnings from ex-associates and journalists regarding...

A Modi-fied India Has Weakened on the World Stage

June 11, 2021

Narendra Modi, the prime minister of India, has completed seven years in office. At the same time, his autocratic leadership has brought the simmering discontent in the foreign policy establishment out in the open. Some members of the Forum of Foreign Ambassadors of India signed an open letter slamming critics...

Donald Trump Proves That It’s the System, Stupid

January 20, 2021

“It’s the economy, stupid,” a catchphrase coined in the 1990s by American political strategist James Carville, made George H. W. Bush — who won the First Gulf War for Americans — a one-term president, catapulting Bill Clinton into the White House. As Donald Trump’s one-term presidency winds down with an...

Is There a Path to Redemption for Mitch McConnell?

January 08, 2021

Outgoing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is famously a man of institutions. Even a brief stint of four years as a resident of Kentucky was enough for me to learn how well he knows the levers of power. Outsiders wondering why Kentucky reelects him by double-digit margins need to study...

The Hindu Ethos Is Hurting India’s Republican Spirit

August 17, 2020

The nomination of half-Indian, half-Jamaican California Senator Kamala Harris as the Democratic vice presidential candidate is a historic moment in American politics. The Indian American diaspora is justifiably proud of it. However, back home, it was Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s attending the foundation-laying ceremony to build a temple of Hindu...

Modi's Fantasy Versus Xi's Reality

July 07, 2020

By banning TikTok and 58 other Chinese apps, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expanded its ongoing military confrontation with China to include trade. While it will keep his voters happy, the brewing stand-off has exposed the yawning gap between global geopolitics and Modi’s propaganda. Since coming to power in...

India's Tactical Victory on HCQ Misses the Bigger Picture

April 27, 2020

Amid the debate surrounding COVID-19, the rhetoric around hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) in the United States and India is the best example of the populism of our times. Earlier on in the pandemic, anecdotal evidence from France led US President Donald Trump to proclaim that all the patients should try HCQ against...

India: Autopsy and Resurrection of a Republic

February 12, 2020

Citizenship is fundamental to any republic, and the executive branch has the right and obligation to keep track of the number of citizens and non-citizens residing in its territory. The National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the recently passed Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in India are worthy goals. However, considering...

While AI Is All the Rage, What Is Neuroscience Up To?

January 05, 2020

Ever since the term artificial intelligence (AI) was coined in 1956, it has had a close relationship with neuroscience. Initial concepts of building machines capable of logical thinking were derived from mathematical logic and information theory, but the driving force behind AI was the desire to mimic human brain function....

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