In a week full of scams and scandals and exposes all over the country, just some random thoughts about my overview of the state of the nation – or rather its leaders. Read more

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I wonder what it is about male politicians, in India and elsewhere, that they just cannot be chivalrous about women, justifying the famous adage `male chauvinist pigs’ coined for their sex years ago at a particular international womens’ conference. 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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There are very few politicians that I admire. But among those I do, I was greatly disappointed the other day to hear one of them attribute West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee’s tantrums to her `singledom’. Read more

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Mayawati had Kanshiram, Sheila Dixit had her father-in-law Umashankar Dixit, J Jayalalithaa had M G Ramachandran, Uma Bharti first had the patronage of Rajmata Vijay raje Scindia and later of L K Advani who she acknowledged as pita-tulya (akin to a father) and, of course, her brother standing beside her through thick and thin. Read more

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I did not think this would happen in my part of the world but, after the rapist politicians of Uttar Pradesh, a home-grown one seems to have arisen in Maharashtra. Read more

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“I am Gokhale. She is Iyer. What are you?” a politician close to former Prime Minister V P Singh once asked me in the decade when the star of the so-called socialist parties, led by Singh, was on the ascendant.

“I am Anandan,” I replied.

“That I know. But you have to have a surname, surely?” Read more

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