Years ago after a rather scintillating interview with Bal Thackeray, I thought I had a sort of `scoop’ of the century. The Shiv Sena was ruling Maharashtra in alliance with the BJP and the 13 day government of Atal Behari Vajpayee had just reinstated the Srikrishna commission probing the 1992-93 Bombay riots, which had earlier been dismissed by the state government. Thackeray was livid. He sent for me when I called him for a reaction – it was worth every minute spent at Matoshree to watch him letting off steam. I recorded the entire interview. Read more

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On Teachers’ Day today, I can see a lot of tributes being paid by all people to all their teachers. I learnt a lot from most of them but the tributes I saw got me thinking if there was any one in particular that I could pick out as particularly influencing my life, education and career – sadly in early life and school days I cannot think of one. 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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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 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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For me an era truly passes with the passing away of Khushwant Singh. Read more

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