BEYOND TELANGANA, The Telegraph [Saturday, January 15th, 2011]

The United States has less than half as many citizens as the Republic of India, yet almost twice as many states. The map of that country has been drawn and re-drawn very many times in the course of its history. On 1st January 1800, for example, the U. S. had only sixteen states; fifty years [...]

 
 
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  THE LIVING LEGACY OF SANJAY GANDHI, The Telegraph [Saturday, September 11th, 2010]

The only time I have been less than sorrowful at a premature death was when Sanjay Gandhi perished in an air crash. He was truly a nasty piece of work. Having dropped out of the Doon School, and then dropped out of an apprentice scheme in the Rolls Royce factory in the United Kingdom, he [...]

 
 
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  A BRIEF HISTORY OF BIPARTISANSHIP, Hindustan Times [Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010]

When the politician-social worker Nanaji Deshmukh died last month, none of the obituaries mentioned what may have been his finest moment. This occurred during a debate in the Rajya Sabha in the first week of May 2002. The subject being discussed was the recent Gujarat riots. As members of the Bharatiya Janata Party and the [...]

 
 
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  RECONCILING THE MAOISTS, The Telegraph [Friday, February 26th, 2010]

Soon after the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi in January 1948, the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) was banned. This was in part because Gandhi’s murderer, Nathuram Godse, had once been a member of the RSS; and in part because RSS leaders played a crucial role in the polarization of Hindu-Muslim relations that led to that tragic [...]

 
 
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  THE NORTH-EAST AND THE NATION, The Telegraph [Saturday, June 21st, 2008]

Earlier this year I spent ten days travelling through three states of north-eastern India. My journey began in Manipur, where, on my first night, I had dinner with a bunch of academics and journalists. The humour on display was black: it was aimed chiefly at the two agencies that between them control and dominate the [...]

 
 
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  SELECTIVE RIGHTEOUSNESS, The Telegraph [Saturday, December 8th, 2007]

A mail arrived in my Inbox last week, as part of a circular sent to many people with some connection to the press. Addressed to ‘the Chief Editor/ Photographer’, it read: ‘We request you to cover the demonstration that AIDWA is organizing against the violence perpetrated on a (sic) tribal women in Assam at 1.30 [...]

 
 
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  POWER WOMEN OF NORTH AND SOUTH, The Telegraph [Saturday, May 26th, 2007]

The day the U. P. election results came in I was having lunch with a friend in Mumbai. ‘Mayawati appears to be the Jayalalithaa of the South’, he said, before passing on to other matters. But his remark stayed with me; the more I thought about it, the more the comparison made sense. Mayawati and [...]

 
 
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  CHOLBÉ NA!, The Telegraph [Saturday, August 5th, 2006]

In Marginal Men, his fine history of refugee politics, Prafulla Chakrabarti recounts how Kolkata acquired its by now well founded reputation as a city of protests and protesters. To demand fair compensation and citizenship rights, writes Chakrabati, the leaders of the movement aimed to throw ‘regimented bands of refugees in the streets of Calcutta and [...]

 
 
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  THE SOCIOLOGY OF RESERVATION, The Telegraph [Saturday, April 29th, 2006]

The announcement that reservation for OBCs is to be extended to IITs and IIMs has provoked much debate in the press. Critics say the move will undermine the functioning of these institutions by devaluing the principle of merit. Cynics add that the announcement was a consequence of the HRD Minister’s wish to outstage and embarrass [...]

 
 
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  THE POLITICS OF PERSONALITY, The Telegraph [Monday, April 10th, 2006]

In her early years as Congress President, Sonia Gandhi was treated as a political lightweight, by her opponents and independent commentators alike. Her public persona exuded diffidence. She spoke English inadequately. Her Hindi was worse. Her command of both languages was made more imperfect by the thick Italian accent in which the words were couched [...]

 
 
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