Scripting a flop
THE WEEK|May 23, 2021
After drawing a blank in the polls and facing a revolt in his party, Kamal Haasan has a dim political future
LAKSHMI SUBRAMANIAN 

ON MAY 2, A VIDEO of filmmaker-turned politician Kamal Haasan walking out of a counting centre in Coimbatore with a torch—his election symbol—in hand and a sombre look on his face, went viral. Kamal lost in the Coimbatore South constituency to the BJP’s Vanathi Srinivasan, after leading the race for most part of the day. The man who claimed the legacy of former chief minister M.G. Ramachandran and pitched himself as an alternative to Tamil Nadu’s established Dravidian parties fared disastrously in the assembly elections, with the remaining 153 candidates from his Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) losing their deposits. The MNM polled just 2.5 per cent of the votes compared with the 3.7 per cent it got in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, finishing behind parties like the Naam Tamilar Katchi and the Amma Makkal Munnetra Kazhagam.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM THE WEEKView All

Doctor steady

Mantra could bridge the global disparity in access to robotic surgeries

4 mins read
THE WEEK
June 27, 2021

A mighty roar

Will Newton director Amit Masurkar score another Oscar entry with his next, Sherni?

3 mins read
THE WEEK
June 27, 2021

ALL HEAT, NO DUST

The Gehlot-Pilot tussle is again on the boil, but political constraints prevent both from drastic moves

5 mins read
THE WEEK
June 27, 2021

Machine's learning

Covid-induced automation in industries can be a double-edged sword

3 mins read
THE WEEK
June 27, 2021

Mughlai chicken à la robot

These entrepreneurs are redefining our culinary future, bot by bot

4 mins read
THE WEEK
June 27, 2021

Citizen bane

India claims he is still Indian. Fugitive diamond trader Mehul Choksi claims he is an Antiguan citizen. Dominica has to decide and, possibly, set a precedent for runaway fraudsters

4 mins read
THE WEEK
June 27, 2021

Covid-19 Worsens Centre-State Relations

The pandemic has worsened the already strained relations between the Centre and state governments

7 mins read
THE WEEK
June 27, 2021

Antonio Banderas On An Actor's Pain And Glory

After an Oscar nomination and a Cannes win, Antonio Banderas is going back to his Spanish roots—and, theatre

5 mins read
THE WEEK
June 27, 2021

Sachin Tendulkar - Would Have Been Nice If We Had A WTC In My Days

Sachin Tendulkar, former cricketer

6 mins read
THE WEEK
June 27, 2021

How The Pandemic Will Be The Game Changer For Robotics In India

The need for robots was never felt more than during this pandemic—for companionship, domestic help or medical assistance. The race is on to create more socially intelligent robots, and Indian players are populating the field

8 mins read
THE WEEK
June 27, 2021
RELATED STORIES

We Have Our First Female Vice President - Here's Why That Matters To Me.

Kamala Harris isn’t just the VP— she’s proof that our generation can dream bigger than we ever thought possible.

4 mins read
Girls' Life magazine
February/March 2021

Exhale, America

The one-term reign of the man who never should've won

10+ mins read
New York magazine
November 09, 2020

GAME-AS-SERVICEABLE

The supes have never looked or sounded as good as they do in MARVEL’S AVENGERS, but their best efforts feel in vain.

7 mins read
PC Gamer US Edition
Holiday 2020

La agonía

Pese a las acusaciones de fraude lanzadas por el presidente Donald Trump y los recursos legales que sus abogados interpusieron para frenar el conteo de votos, la tendencia electoral que favorece a Joe Biden como ganador de los comicios del martes 3 se aprecia irreversible. El deslinde de connotados republicanos ante las actitudes beligerantes del mandatario, el comportamiento estable de los mercados, la eufonía de los grandes medios de comunicación en torno al proceso electoral, entre otros signos, alimentaron la sensación de un cambio de ciclo: Trump se va… pero deja tras de sí un país partido y enfrentado.

10+ mins read
Revista Proceso
November 08, 2020

OH, IT WAS NOTHING

Why Kamala Harris is caught between self-effacement and self-assertion

8 mins read
The Atlantic
November 2020

Last Exit

Donald Trump’s first term was characterized by theft, lies, corruption, and the incitement of violence. A second term could spell the end of American democracy.

10+ mins read
The Atlantic
November 2020

Intelligencer – 11 Months From Today

A second term for Trump seems more possible than ever. But what would it look like?

10+ mins read
New York magazine
February 17 - March 1, 2020

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH CURRENT 212 OLYMPIA CHAMPION KAMAL ELGARGNI - GOING OUT THE CHAMP

Lee Haney did it in 1991. Dorian Yates did it in 1997. Flex Lewis did it in 2017. “What exactly?” you might ask. They all went out on top, retired from their respective divisions as winners on their terms, when they chose to. Current 212 Olympia champion Kamal Elgargni, originally from Libya— now living in my country of the U.K.— I decided to catch up with to find out more on perhaps one of the most unusual career paths of any IFBB pro competing today. It was only March 2018 that the then 46-year-old Kamal was making his long-overdue 212 pro debut shocking us all (not me, though; I’ll explain more later) and winning the Arnold Classic, beating out a-lister 212 names such as Jose Raymond (5th), Dave Henry (4th) and Charles Dixon (2nd). So many questions were thrown around after this surprise win and even more surprising pro debut at age 46. Naturally, this was not the typical series of events that would lead to a pro debut and yet here we were just 21 months later (at time of writing) sitting in Kamal’s front room discussing his competitive retirement.

9 mins read
Muscular Development
February 2020

The Young and The Relentless

The climate crisis generation is sick of waiting

9 mins read
Mother Jones
January/February 2020

Well, Here We Are

Two weeks until Iowa, the race has narrowed. One of these people could beat Trump, right?

10+ mins read
New York magazine
January 20 - February 2, 2020