Every five years for the past decade or two, there is one name that crops up in my part of the world for President of India: that of Dr B K Goyal, eminent cardiologist and a face that was often on Doordarshan in the decade of the 1980s, in the era when President Zail Singh and Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi used to come calling on people like the Frontier Gandhi (Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan) at the Bombay Hospital, where Dr Goyal is still a consultant. Read more
As a reporter just coming into my own in the late 1980s, I recall following both then incumbent Prime Minister VP Singh and former PM Rajiv Gandhi rather closely through the series of elections, both Lok Sabha and Assembly, between 1989 and 1991. Read more
The BJP’s Gopinath Munde and Nitin Gadkari have almost always never agreed on anything. Read more
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
Minutes after senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader L K Advani had apologised to Sonia Gandhi for falsely accusing her and her family of having Swiss bank accounts of their own, Tushar Gandhi, the great-grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, had tweeted Read more
I can hardly believe that it is two decades since the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi.
Just a few days before he was killed he was campaigning in Bombay. I was working for a wire service at the time and my Bureau Chief had given me stern instructions: the then union government had withdrawn his security cover and Rajiv was a sitting duck for assassins. Read more
I was working for a wire service when Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated. A few months later, I received a call from my editors in New Delhi: the Amethi seat was up for a by-election and Sonia Gandhi had decided she wanted to give it to Amitabh Bachchan. Her children were too young, she was not into politics (then) and she would rather it stayed with “family”. Read more
Rajiv Gandhi was not sure what he must do. Of course, he did not have to sing for his supper but Sunil Dutt was urging him on. “Please come up on to the stage,’’ said Dutt. “Sing along with us.’’
Rajiv’s trademark shy, dimpled smile came out rather hesitantly and he half got up from his plush chair. “Come, come. Please come up,’’ went on Dutt sa’ab. Read more
I was working for a wire service whole of the time that Rajiv Gandhi was Prime Minister and also when he died. Read more
As Bal Thackeray turns 83 on Saturday (January 23), I cannot help recalling the politics of birthdays that I have witnessed over the years.
The first political birthday party that I ever attended was that of S B Chavan (father of Maharashtra’s Chief Minister Ashok Chavan), sometime in the late Eighties. Read more