What a state of flux Maharashtra’s politics seems to be in – I have always heard that there can be no permanent friends or enemies in politics but here, on the western shores of India, the dividing lines seem to be etched in acid with no room for crossovers. Read more

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I must begin by disclosing my vested interest in writing this particular blog post. Some might call it a plug (which in a way it is) but I wished to familiarise a wider readership with Bal Thackeray and what he really was and meant to Bombay and Maharashtra – and that is why I wrote the book “Hindu Hriday Samrat : How the Shiv Sena changed Mumbai forever’’. Read more

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Sometime in the late 1990s, I remember, the Bombay police had rounded up a load of ‘Bangladeshis’ and packed them off to the borders of West Bengal by the Bombay-Howrah Express as part of the Shiv Sena-BJP government’s commitment to ridding the nation of these migrants from the neighbouring country. Read more

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For all that Narendra Modi invited leaders of SAARC nations to his swearing-in ceremony in New Delhi, just about two weeks later it seems no one is afraid of our new Prime Minister. Really. Read more

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I have already written a tribute to Gopinath Munde earlier this week in my Wednesday column (http://read.ht/fNj). This now is a salute to the Maharashtrian priests, who conducted the funeral rites, for the minimum fuss with which his oldest daughter Pankaja was allowed to light his funeral pyre. Read more

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On a day when Narendra Modi and the BJP decisively sweep the elections, I have hardly anything left to say except that I am truly stunned. I have not as much idea about states in other parts of the country to which I did not travel at these elections but I toured Maharashtra extensively and all my instincts rebel against the results – I and most of my colleagues who thought similarly are unable to fathom what went wrong for the Congress-NCP alliance. Read more

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If I had liked Narendra Modi better, I could even have been highly amused at the manner he chooses to turn every event to his advantage. But at the end of this very long drawn-out, very hot summer election, it is very clear to me that there had been no Modi wave in the country – only a media manipulation toward the same – and that Mr Modi is actually struggling to win this one and striving hard to hit the target with whichever weapon comes in handy. Read more

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I had heard it from many Congressmen on the campaign trail, including those as high up as Maharashtra chief minister Prithviraj Chavan but dismissed it as a case of sour grapes. Now while travelling through parts of Gujarat, I have heard it from the common people, too – perhaps the lowest down on the rungs of the social ladder as they can get: the farmers of Gujarat. They are not connected but the complaint is the same: about a biased media this election season which simply, according to them, blanks out the other point of view and does not bring their stories to the rest of the world. Read more

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I have never been able to fathom quite what a wave is all about during elections in India. The last we heard of it was in 1984 but that was essentially a reaction to the assassination of Mrs Indira Gandhi. Since then no political party as been able to gain 350 seats in parliament and according to me less than that number is by no means a wave. Read more

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I never did think that I would write this in a political context but I never did like alpha males. Such aggressive males are okay in the context of the wild and the deep dark jungles – it is the survival of the fittest after all — but I do not think one suits the civilized context or even the Indian milieu. Read more

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