When aspirations, ambition and assertiveness clash with xenophobia, prejudice and status quo, a billion new mutinies are inevitable. Yes, India is now a land of a million mutinies that is hurtling towards a billion new mutinies.
In a notorious first, Justice Shamit Mukherjee, a stern sitting judge of the Delhi High Court, was arrested in 2003 by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for his alleged involvement in a multi-crore land deal where he was believed to have traded a judgment for money.
Now there is no Sahib in Siwan. People called Shahabuddin “Sahib”, when he “ruled” Siwan. He had his own dictum; own private army; district magistrates (DMs) and superintendents of police (SPs) queued up for their transfers and postings. This was the time when people believed there were two power centres in Bihar.
The 1999-2000 budget was a stormy one as there were serious leak charges. The Reliance Group proved unreliable and three of its officials were arrested for flouting the Official Secrets Act. It was an unusual scene in Parliament, when Finance minister, Yaswant Sinha, was presenting the General Budget for 1999-2000.
It is not every day that an attractive woman is spotted begging on Delhi's lecherous roads. But in September 2007, India's fashion fraternity was shocked when that was the sight that greeted it in south Delhi's upscale Hauz Khas Village area.
Chandraswami was the most important holy man known for unholy practices in the '90s. He was so powerful that when the then Union Home Minister, Rajesh Pilot, ordered legal action against the Swami in some case, the fallout was such that Pilot had to quit his Cabinet rank Senior journalist Manoj Raghuvanshi recalls how once thousands of followers were waiting for the Swami at the Chaar Bagh railway station at Lucknow.
The country’s independence was just a year old and the state of Haryana was yet to be born. In the Sirsa area of erstwhile Punjab, Baluchistani saint, Shah Mastanji, set up a spiritual and social organisation by the name of Dera Sacha Sauda.
By the end of 2006, the murder of Kavita Choudhary, assistant professor of Fine Arts at the Choudhary Charan Singh University of Meerut had become such a political hot potato that the Mulayam Singh Yadav government had to ask for a CBI probe.
On May 9, 2003, Madhumita Shukla ‘Madhu’, a budding poet of considerable fire but questionable merit, was murdered in her Lucknow home by two assailants.
The murder trial of KS Vyas, a 1974-batch IPS officer, by CPI (ML) Peoples War Group (now known as CPI Maoists) has revealed the corrupt face of Andhra Pradesh police. DIG Vyas was killed by Naxalites on January 27, 1993, at LB Stadium, while jogging.
Abhishek Misra’s death made headlines because of its association with then rail minister Lalu Prasad Yadav. Yet when the CBI closed the case stating that it was the result of drowning, Misra’s father, Subhash Chandra’s worst fears came true.
Joginder Sharma looks to get back to cricket… In India’s 2007, 20-20 tournament win against South Africa, Joginder Sharma was hailed as a new talent, but plunged into oblivion soon after. He was gifted a police job by the Haryana government, which many blame for the fall in his cricketing form.
On May 22, 1987, 19 members of the 41 B battalion of Uttar Pradesh’s Provincial Armed Constabulary murdered 42 Muslim men, mostly daily wagers and weavers from Meerut’s Hashimpura locality.
After grabbing headlines and dancing across TV screens in late 2005, Debendra Kishore Panda, better known as Doosri Radha, has settled down to a quiet life of prayer in Allahabad.
Many years after Mohinder Amarnath called the Indian cricket selectors a “bunch of jokers”, the little-known Abhijit Kale went a step further and decided to pull a fast one.
In the 31-year long conflict between the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) and the government, the killing of IPS officer and superintendent of police of Dibrugarh district, Daulat Singh Negi, is perhaps the most audacious attack on a government servant.
Crony Capitalism is a term frequently used nowadays to explain the bewildering variety of scams that seem to plague India. The most path-breaking of such scams was the 1992 Harshad Mehta scam.
On August 25, 2008, in the backdrop of communal clashes in Kandhamal, Orissa, a nun was gangraped. The shocking incident took place at K. Nuagaon village of Baliguda subdivision and the FIR was lodged by the victim herself the very next day. Yet no action was taken till September 30.
Recently, in a routine political debate on one of the Telugu news channels, Lakshmi Parvathi, widow of NT Rama Rao, former chief minister of Andhra Pradesh, was accused of bigamy by a prominent leader of Telangana Rashtra Samiti, Harish Rao. Neither the leader nor his party have apologised.
The ISRO espionage case that rocked India in 1994 cost Kerala's Congress strongman K. Karunakaran his chief ministership. Many in Kerala believe it was only a case of immigration rules violation that allowed two women from the Maldives to overstay in India. However, P.A. Vishwambharan, former IB officer, thinks otherwise.
As marriages go, this was made in heaven. In 2010, Haryana's deputy chief minister Chandramohan, eldest son of Bhajan Lal, long standing former state chief minister, one fine day decided to marry Anuradha Bali.
Before October 20, 2005, no one knew Kunjilal Malviya because there was no reason to – except one. The 81-year-old had announced his own death and that was good enough for TV cameras to descend upon the Sehra village in Madhya Pradesh's Betul district to witness his death at close quarters.
On February 4, 2008, in Patan, Gujarat, during a physical education, training period, a poor Dalit girl student of Government PTC (Primary Training Certificate) College fainted.
He wanted to be in the big league and used all possible means to get there. Result: his name figures among the top scamsters of India. We are talking of Chain Roop Bhansali, who floated CRB Capital Markets Limited in 1985.
The body of Natasha, daughter-in-law of former external affairs minister Natwar Singh, was found on the terrace of Delhi’s Hyatt Regency Hotel on March 17, 2002.
“For us Rajan Pillai is not a forgotten story. We are still fighting a case for justice and compensation in the Delhi High court. Since the matter is sub-judice, my lawyers have advised me not to speak on this issue. Hope you will understand,” said Nina Pillai, the widow of “biscuit baron” Rajan Pillai.
It is not easy to become a popular leader in Mumbai if you don't have a godfather. But a keen insight on the life and times of former trade union strongman Dutta Samant and his struggle for mill workers can be seen in Mahesh Manjrekar’s film, City of Gold.
Eight years ago in a Nagpur slum, no woman used to go to the hand pump to fetch water. Verandas used to be cleaned before sunrise, and no girl would be found sitting outside her house in the evenings. All this because of the fear of Akku Yadav, the local goon. People were fed up.
The dense jungles of Chhattisgarh are turning into graves. When a helicopter was lost in the 9047 square km area infested with naxalite camps, the government was thrown off gear….
In April 2010, India was stunned with the arrest of a second secretary ranked Indian diplomat Madhuri Gupta, based in Islamabad, on charges of espionage.
Babu Patel, alias Babu Bajrangi, prime accused in the Naroda Patiya riot case, was always notorious. He was a Bajrang Dal leader who wore his Hindu chauvinism on his sleeves.
On October 28, 2008, fate and Mumbai police dealt Patna’s Kundan Singh a cruel blow. That winter night the body of his only son Rahul Raj, killed by the cops in a “fierce encounter” in a bus, was handed over to him.
Horror and nausea were served on the morning of December 29, 2006, with every news channel focussing on a haul of human skulls near House Number D-5 in NOIDA's Sector 31, near Nithari village. It was revealed that all the skulls were of children.
On July 4, 2011 there is serene calm at the Palam Vihar office of Charkha, an organisation started by Sanjoy Ghose, social activist who was killed while working in the Majuli islands of Assam.
“Please be there sharp at four o'clock”, Ramar Pillai told me over the phone. He asked me to wait in front of a Ganesha temple at Kodambakkam. I was there just before 4. The street was deserted.
Sher Singh Rana surrendered before the Dehradun police in connection with the murder of dacoit turned MP Phoolan Devi who was killed on July 25, 2001.
On 2nd May, 2006, Budhia Singh walked into record books as the four year old wonder boy who covered a distance of 65 kms in just seven hours and two minutes.
Do you recall a Haryana lad called Prince? He is still well remembered in his area and even 50 kilometers away people are able to guide you on the winding road to his village once they hear the name.
A decade after being visited by notoriety, Anara Gupta has found fame and fortune in the world of Bhojpuri films. In 2001, Gupta was crowned Miss Jammu and then in 2004, a CD purporting to feature her in a blue film was confiscated by the police.
Three different phones ringing, customers streaming in and out of the electronic shop, laptop in front, internet connection blinking, emails to be replied to – it is in this cacophony of Sadar Bazar in Gurgaon that Chandra Mohan Katyal finds his peace.
You might take a moment to place Captain Vikram Batra, even though his name still strikes awe in the minds of the enemy, as a synonym for unmatched valour and blinding courage.
The word Bangaru (‘gold’ in Telugu) is a synonym for a person with unimpeachable character. Until Tehelka's investigation team caught him on tape in a sting operation while chasing a fictitious defence deal 10 years ago, Bangaru Laxman, the then BJP president, was the saffron party's mascot in home state Andhra Pradesh.
One of the first casualties of the crack team that helped restore normalcy in Punjab was former senior superintendent of police (SSP), Ajit Singh Sandhu.
It's becoming quite the norm now for RTI whistle blowers to face the music. And in Gujarat, this is happening with increasing frequency. In the last two years
Two and a half years have elapsed since Cyclone Aila hit the Sunderbans. But the affected people of the area, the few that are left behind, still struggle to make ends meet.
In Tamil Nadu, the election victory of the AIADMK has meant many changes and one of them is the fate of the Shankaracharyas who were accused in the sensational murder of Sankararaman, a Brahmin manager of Varadharaja Perumal temple in Kanchipuram.
Air hostess Amrita Ahluwalia's life would have been different had she not heard and reacted to the sobbing of an 11-year old girl on a routine Delhi-Hyderabad flight in August 1991.
When Bibi Jagir Kaur was handpicked in 1999 by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to be the first woman president of the Shiromani Gurudwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) since its inception in 1920, it was seen as step towards women empowerment. Soon after, however, the case of the death of her elder daughter, Harpreet Kaur (alias Rosie), 19, in mysterious circumstances came to light, and she had to quit.
She has lost her eyesight. Her husband blames her tears for the loss of vision. She is Mony, 65-year-old mother of Maniyappan, who was beheaded by the Taliban in Afghanistan on November 25, 2005.
Four years ago, 22-year-old Pooja Chauhan of Saurashtra’s Rajkot streaked through the streets of the city to protest against alleged dowry-related harassment by her husband and in-laws.
A magazine in 14 languages? Everyone even slightly serious about media – the seniors in the fraternity included – had genuinely laughed when we had bounced the idea off them!
Discrimination is one word that is used indiscriminately in our society. But amidst all kinds of discrimination (on the basis of income, caste, religion, colour) the one that is most inhumane is the gender discrimination within children.
“Amsterdam is an amazing city! It has this really nice ambience!! You must go there”, GA was gushing. He had just returned from his honeymoon, and of all the sights and sounds from Champagne to Cologne, all he could remember was Amsterdam.
Long ago, an Iranian friend of mine had drawn an interesting parallel between “Islam in siege” and a porcupine. He said that, like a porcupine, the Islamic world, when under siege, sees overtures even from liberals as a danger and withdraws itself to regroup and attack.
Judged by the high standards that he sets as an actor, Pankaj Kapur’s directorial debut, Mausam, is disappointingly limp though it has much going for it.
“Why are you asking me that question?” he said. My heart had skipped a beat. I didn’t speak a word… just waited, waited for an answer.
I heard you were back from the South Pacific; but I didn't want to call you because I always feel stupid bringing up the matter of the Godfather.
The editorial “Lessons for India...” by Prof. Arindam Chaudhuri (TSI, Sep 12 -18) was a good analytical piece. I have just returned from a water supply related convention held in Xian, a city in central China.
The cover story “Afzal Guru- Retrospective” (TSI, Sep 26-Oct 2) by Ira Jha revealed the mindset of the main Parliament attack accused when he compared the judgment of the death penalty awarded to him by the Supreme Court with the Khap Panchayat.