Years ago, when I was aspiring to become a journalist and had just about got my first job in a newspaper my maternal uncle a high ranging bureaucrat in the Madhya Pradesh cadre expressed both contempt time sorrow time that his niece had chosen to become a reporter. He had wanted me to sit for civil services exams instead or at least for some bank entrance tests. That would be more honest work than becoming a journalist, he said. Read more

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When I first met Kanshi Ram as a rookie journalist, he had just founded the Bahujan Samaj Party. It was election time in the 1980s and he had no hope in hell of winning even a single seat, despite his sharp focus on Dalit welfare in the country. Read more

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In a recent interview to an English TV channel, I was both startled and delighted to see Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi tongue-tied – though that’s a mild word for his reaction – to a question on whether he thinks he should apologise for 2002 to be able to clear his path to New Delhi. Read more

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Some years ago I wrote this story about Giani Zail Singh in my column ‘anandan ON WEDNESDAY’ which appears in the print edition of the newspaper every, well, Wednesday. I guess it bears repeating in another context. Zail Singh had become President of India just as I started off as a rookie in journalism and all I had heard about him were wise cracks about his bumbling ways. Read more

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