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Reading the Future in the Ashes of Thursday

WHAT MAKES AN Indian election really Indian is the dramatic tension it produces on a stage creaking under the weight of characters who are delusionary as well as disruptive, all promising to shift…

Congress: The Dead Old Party of India

A POLITICAL QUAKE HAS hit the Congress, burying under its rubble two crucial governments of the party in Assam and Kerala. It was felt in Tamil Nadu and West Bengal, too, where the party’s revival…

Assam: Storming the Citadel

IN THE END it looked so simple. The BJP has finally won Assam and resoundingly at that. In a 126-member house, the BJP alliance won 86 seats. Assam is one of the most diverse and politically complex…

Kerala: Red With a Dash of Saffron

SINCE THE EARLY 1980s, by some unseen understanding in its electorate, Kerala has unfailingly switched between the two political fronts that vie for its throne. It adhered to the pattern this time…

Jailhouse Grooming in Kerala

GOING TO THE prison once in a week does not sound like a good idea, but for residents of Kannur, Kerala, it is not that unusual. For them, jail is a place where they go shopping for food, organic…

Tamil Nadu: The Cult of Mother is Intact

THERE ARE MANY ways to interpret the triumph of Jayalalithaa: as the death knell for anti-incumbency in Tamil Nadu, as a positive vote for India’s most ambitious welfare campaign, as the confounding…

West Bengal: Soaring Sister and Falling Fossils

AT THE HEIGHT of the campaign for the seven-phased election in West Bengal, Mohammed Salim, CPM Politburo member and one of the key architects of his party’s ‘alliance’ with the Congress, had told me…

Virat Kohli: The Magnificent Disruptor

WHEN T20 CRICKET first came to be, everyone—from players to pundits and administrators—imagined the 20-over format as the exciting ‘slog’ overs of a One Day International match. Where the top five or…

The Cows Come Home

THE COW IS not your mother. It is an animal. It is a useful animal. That still does not make it your mother. You must be kind to animals. The cow is one among them. You must be kind to the cow. That…

The Best Way to go Bust in India

AT ABOUT TEN minutes past 11 am on 16 May, the Sensex of the Bombay Stock Exchange was at a level of 25,376, which, give or take a few minutes, is eerily where the index was exactly two years earlier…