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Saturday, June 19, 2021

Cover Story

Now, A Billion New Mutinies

Sutanu Guru

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.

Judge to be judged

Ravinder Bawa

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.

No Sahib in Siwan

Sanjay Upadhyay

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 insider's advantage

Pramod Kumar

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.

Model Scarlet Pimpernel

Ravinder Bawa

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.

Master of deception

Abhishek Kumar

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.

Sins of the sant

Abhishek Kumar/ Umesh Patil

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.

Halted in the fast lane

Narendra Kumar Misra

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.

Murder most foul

Puja Awasthi

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.

An unsung martyr

Naresh Nunna

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.

An unsolved mystery

Prashant Saran

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.

20-20 hero goes into a slump

A Kumar

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.

25 years, and still no justice

Puja Awasthi

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.

Doosri Radha

Puja Awasthi

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.

Not quite cricket

Saibal Chatterjee

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.

When Assam police lost its Daulat

Hemanta Phukan

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.

A death shrouded in mystery

Sutanu Guru

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.

Nun’s battle for justice

Dhrutikam Mohanty

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.

No home for Lakshmi

Naresh Nunna

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.

A case lost in the labyrinths of power

T Satisan

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.

The blink and miss it marriage

A Kumar

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.

A macabre joke

Raju Kumar

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.

Gangrape victim bounces back

Hitesh Ankleshwaria

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.

Payback time for scamster

Ravinder Bawa

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.

Sudden death and the maiden

Umesh Patil

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.

The sad end of a biscuit baron

Ravinder Bawa

“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.

India's own Jimmy Hoffa

Danish Reyaz

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.

The fury of women scorned, terrorised

Satish Patil

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.

Twenty days between hope and despair

Anil Dwivedi

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….

The spy who came in from the cold

Umesh Patil

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.

Hounded hooligan

Arnold Christie

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.

The dead and the damned

Sanjay Upadhyay and Danish Reyaz

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.

The Nithari horror show

Abhishek Kumar

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.

A futile apology

Rupraj Sarma & Ravinder Bawa

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.

He is still at it

N Asokan

“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.

Phoolan murderer turns screenwriter

Umesh Patil

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.

From run to jog?

Subrat Dash

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.

Learning to rise from the pits

Abhishek Kumar

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.

Ra ra over Anara

Shatrughan Prasad

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.

The shadow of terror

Ravinder Bawa

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.

'Yeh dil maange more'

Rajneesh Sharma

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.

Not very very special

Ramu Suravajjula

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.

Hero or zero?

Jagtar Singh

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.

Bloody fight for Right

Rupesh Panchal

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

The eye of the storm

Chandrasekhar Bhattacharjee

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.

Trial of God's own men

N Asokan from Chennai with D Sivakumar from Puducherry

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.

The day Amrita's life changed forever

Naresh Nunna

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.

Killed for honour?

Nirupama Dutt

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.

Painful memories of a cruel decapitation

Kavalam Sasikumar

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.

Girl, interrupted

Hitesh Ankleshwaria

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.



Five successful years of being Passionate About India!

Arindam Chaudhuri

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!


Is death better than this?

Prasoon S Majumdar

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.


Lessons from controvercity

Prashanto Banerji

“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.



Celebrating Dissent

Saurabh Kumar Shahi

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.


Movie Review: Mausam

Saibal Chatterjee

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.



“Tiger Sir, as I remember him...”

Spriha Srivastava

“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.


History Mail

Francis Coppola to Marlon Brando


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.


Dear Editor

The winners of Rs 3000 are...


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.


Letters to Editor


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.



Issue Dated: Feb 5, 2017