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A note on the issue: Box-office exit poll

Films have always been a vehicle for parties to get their agenda across to existing and potential supporters

From the exhibition, ‘Notes From A Generation’

By Shalini Umachandran

LAST PUBLISHED 13.04.2024  |  08:33 AM IST

Little else has dominated conversations as have the elections over the past few weeks. By next weekend, we’ll be in the thick of it with the first of the states going to the polls. Rather than look at vote shares and candidates, our lens at Lounge is a bit different. It’s the way elections affect lives that is of interest to us, and we approach it through ideas of art and culture. And so, the first of our stories for this election season is about cinema’s long association with the democratic process. 

Also read: Bollywood votes: Cinema in the shadow of elections

Films have always been a vehicle for parties to get their agenda across to their existing and potential supporters, with Tamil Nadu’s DMK being the first party to have built its base entirely by scripting films that read like party manifestos. More than stars, films have been a vehicle for campaigning and our cover story examines the impact, either obliquely or directly, that such films have on people’s decisions.


What will you vote for or against? That’s a question to ponder, because it’s not just about people and parties, but also the ideas that need representation. A few stories in this issue address these concerns, which may seem arcane but are deeply relevant to everyday living, such as climate action, the idea of history and the future of young people. We have a piece on a multimedia exhibition on the shifting aspirations and worries of 18-to-25-year-olds. Conceptualised between 2019 and 2024, the show, Notes from a Generation, by Snigdha Poonam and Prarthna Singh, is a collection of stories of the lives of young people that encapsulates a generation’s views on the world they inhabit, and is a pointer to the things we should think of when we vote, no matter our age.

As always, the elections coincide with summer, which chefs and bars are welcoming with new menus that spotlight unusual ingredients. As our story points out, everything from ant pupae to vetiver root are being pressed into service as the temperature rises. And if your palate runs to more traditional tastes, you’d be interested to read about the strategy and ideas behind Karnataka’s beloved MTR Foods, which started life as a place famous for its rava idlis but is now also known for its easy-to-cook packaged foods.

Write to the editor at shalini.umachandran@htlive.com


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