I know I should be outraging about both the Aam Aadmi Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party getting their flag codes wrong this Independence Day but I guess the laws are good enough to deal with such mistakes. Serves them both right, I would say, for they be always acting more holier than thou – and everybody else. The mistake only shows up how much attention they are really paying to the nation and its emblems.

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During the course of an interview that I was conducting with him some years ago, I remember actor-politician Shatrughan Sinha nearly jumped from his chair, electrified as I broke into Hindi. Read more

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After the BJP wins nearly a hundred seats in the Lok Sabha from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, it seems a bit much for BJP leader Vijay Goel to threaten migrants from these states with deportation/prevention of free movement into Delhi – it reminds me of the time when Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray had made a similar statement soon after his party came to power in Maharashtra. Read more

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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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