The Legacy War at Teen Murti Between Nehru’s Fans and Foes

SHAKTI SINHA IS in office as early as 8.30 in the morning and soon he is snowed in with back-to-back meetings. A seasoned bureaucrat who is remembered mostly for his days as private secretary to the late Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, he takes the hectic routine in his stride. And when he meets you, … Continue reading The Legacy War at Teen Murti Between Nehru’s Fans and Foes

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How Vajpayee Straddled Two Worlds and Made Hindutva Palatable to the Masses

They say Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the right man in the wrong party. He wasn’t. Academics and independent political analysts such as Robin Jeffrey and Vajpayee’s contemporaries in politics remember him in the 1960s as a young, firebrand leader of the Hindutva cause, someone capable of the most offensive of anti-Muslim statements. A man groomed in the … Continue reading How Vajpayee Straddled Two Worlds and Made Hindutva Palatable to the Masses

Atal Bihari Vajpayee (1924-2018): The Beloved

On a deserted street outside Ahdoos Hotel in curfew-bound Srinagar on that distant afternoon of August 2016 from where I was heading towards Press Enclave, an elderly gentleman in a skullcap approached me, almost blocking my way, and began to talk animatedly in Hindi and English. He didn’t introduce himself, but I didn’t panic because … Continue reading Atal Bihari Vajpayee (1924-2018): The Beloved

The Making of ‘The Untold Vajpayee: Politician and Paradox’

Atal Bihari Vajpayee was born on the day Mahatma Gandhi was elected the Congress president for the first and the last time on December 25, 1924. But unlike most of his peers, the young Atal didn't think highly of the man who made a movement out of the Congress, which, before he took the helm … Continue reading The Making of ‘The Untold Vajpayee: Politician and Paradox’

The Untold Vajpayee: Politician and Paradox (Penguin Viking)

Publisher: Penguin Viking Release date: 25 December 2016 Buy the book on Amazon. (It is also available in Hindi and Marathi). Despite his grand ‘secular’ statements in Parliament that bordered on the Nehruvian, Atal Bihari Vajpayee has often taken brief excursions into the hardline camp. In 1983, he made an incendiary speech during the Assam elections in which the … Continue reading The Untold Vajpayee: Politician and Paradox (Penguin Viking)