Vikram Zutshi

Vikram Zutshi is a cultural critic, author and filmmaker, dividing his time between the United States and South East Asia, where he resides for half the year. After a decade in indie film and network TV, as consultant to tech start-ups in California, and later in international media sales/acquisitions, he went solo and produced feature films before transitioning into directing. His debut feature, 'Max Kennedy and the American Dream' has been globally broadcast. A prolific columnist, he writes for World Literature Today, Scroll, Quartz, Vice, Rolling Stone, The Wire, Popmatters, OpenDemocracy, The Diplomat, L.A Weekly, Times of India, The Hindu, Livemint and others. Vikram just completed two feature documentaries - 'Tijuana Dreams' about the immigration crisis at U.S-Mexico border, and 'Darshan', on the traditional arts of India and Nepal. He is currently prepping a narrative feature film.

When It Comes to Mental Health, India Remains Shockingly Misinformed

Jan 17, 2020

Indian journalist Manu Joseph recently wrote a column in which he questions major intellectual advances in history, claiming they were nothing but delusional ideas of schizophrenics. He asks, rhetorically: “What if many things that we call philosophies today had emerged from a mental disorder? What if influencers are influential chiefly...

Is “Wokeness” Killing Yoga?

Dec 06, 2019

Recently, I came upon a blog written by a well known yoga teacher by the name of Gregor Maehle. In it, Maehle berates Sharath Rangaswamy, a young Indian teacher who, as it turns out, is the grandson of the late Pattabhi Jois, founder of Mysore Ashtanga yoga. Several women had...

A Beacon of Light for India's Survivors of Domestic Violence

Nov 08, 2019

In 2016, India’s National Crime Records Bureau reported 338,954 incidents of violence against women, including 38,947 rapes, up from 309,546 in 2013. Forty percent of the victims were children. In the same year, only one-third of child sexual abuse cases brought to trial had resulted in convictions. What we are confronted...

South Asians Are Shaping the Future of Science and Technology

Aug 17, 2019

Each year, the MIT Technology Review publishes a list of outstanding innovators under 35. They come from fields as diverse as biotechnology, robotics, artificial intelligence, nanotechnology, energy, the web, transportation, communications, materials and computer hardware. Their innovations are recognized as having the potential to provide solutions with global ramifications and...

Inside the Wacky World of American Yoga

May 31, 2019

“Namaste, brother” says Chaitanya, a pudgy, rosy-cheeked man from Charlotte, North Carolina, smiling broadly at me and my friend Alison. He wears a sleeveless orange tank top and white cotton balloon pants. He tells us the moniker was bestowed on him after an elaborate naming ceremony conducted on the banks...

Belonging to the Universe: Fritjof Capra in Conversation

Apr 15, 2018

In this guest edition of The Interview, Vikram Zutshi talks to physicist, activist and author Fritjof Capra. Fritjof Capra is an Austrian-born American physicist, systems theorist and deep ecologist. He has written many popular books that connect conceptual changes in science with broader changes in worldview and values in society,...

The Treacherous Border Crossing to America

Dec 15, 2017

Every day, dozens, sometimes hundreds of Mexicans from the poverty stricken southern states are smuggled across the treacherous Sonoran Desert into the US. We had been driving for 900 miles and close to 12 hours from LA, through the endless, arid and blindingly hot expanse of the Arizona desert. All...

Arab Cinema's Moment of Truth

Nov 17, 2017

Artists are the bellwether of society, and if Arab cinema is anything to go by, the region is at the cusp of another major upheaval. Nabil Ayouch’s films stay with us long after the lights have ceased to flicker on celluloid. His stark, intimate and deeply affecting portraits of life...

In Praise of Blasphemy

Oct 28, 2017

Often, the most powerful art comes from minds that dare to question the status quo and tear down shibboleths, often at great personal and professional cost. When conceptual artist Andres Serrano launched his “Piss Christ” exhibit almost 30 years ago, little did he know it would become a lightning rod...

A Brief History of Kashmir's Vanishing Autonomy

Sep 06, 2017

All attempts to further erode the special status conferred on Jammu and Kashmir are likely to backfire. I had the good fortune of staying in Puerto Rico for a few weeks while attending a friend’s wedding last year. It is an archipelago situated in the northeast Caribbean Sea, blessed with...

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