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Life lessons from Vajpayee, thanks to a dad who idolised him

Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s speech at Gol market in Delhi in 1977 was a huge influence on my father, who had come to Delhi from Bihar’s Muzaffarpur, and it formed a big part of the life lessons he imparted to his children.

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Income tax refund: It’s a slow, agonising process

The current government’s penchant for everything shiny and new, such as the Rs. 2000 currency notes is a nightmare when it comes to accessing your IT refund.

Why Mumbai rallied behind the farmers on march

It started as a face-off between the state and the farmer. And remained so. With the urban dweller rallying behind the farmer.

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Ryan murder case: It’s time to teach kids empathy

Kids need nurturing, a feeling of connectedness and a safe zone where they can discuss their problems and, most importantly, feelings. But, for that, one needs to put away the mobile phone and learn to talk emotions with a child.

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Will the twain of North & South Korea ever meet? Unlikely

At each of these Unification Centres we are shown short films — stark images of starving children, North Koreans crying and fanatically beating their chests at the demise of their Great Leaders, extreme poverty — a generally unhappy people.

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Indian struggles in 1917: On the eve of the Russian Revolution

In India, too, 1917 was a curtain-raiser to events two years later that would mark the beginning of mass involvement in the movement for freedom. As Gandhi’s critic M N Roy acknowledged in his memoirs, Lenin looked upon Gandhi “as the inspirer and leader of a mass movement” and “a revolutionary”.

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I am the khichdi, and this is my moment of glory

The Khichdi Story: From the high peaks of Himalayas to the serene backwaters of Kerala I withstood your constant demands for moulding me as per your needs. As you battled each other in the name of caste and religion, I stood there sternly uniting you as the one-pot meal suited for all.

Losing Jantar Mantar is like erasing our growing-up years

It was at Jantar Mantar that I watched Maya Krishna Rao perform her powerful “walk” in response to the December 2012 rape; heard Imphal-based protest musician Akhu sing about oppression; and saw two men kiss each other passionately and without fear.

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Panchkula violence: Haryana CM Khattar has some answering to do, especially to judiciary

Gurmeet Ram Rahim case: At least 28 people were killed in the violence by the supporters of Dera chief as paramilitary troops and police personnel deployed outside special CBI court before the judgment failed to prevent the crowd buildup and the resultant mayhem.

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Hizbul Mujahideen ban goes global, but will it reach the Valley?

Though the Hizbul Mujahideen has been projected as the largest “Kashmiri” militant group, during the last decade and half, it had lost the appeal to a more radical section such as the Lashkar-e-Toiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Mohammad.

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Misogyny, sexism, threats: Women fight it all online too

A woman who dares to have an opinion and broadcast it too, is highly likely to be personally targeted by denizens with the aim to ‘put her in her place’ and see her silenced.

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In the minds of people in Bihar, communalism is not a tangible thing, corruption is

The expansion of the anti-secular constituency has to be reversed by fighting corruption.

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Another movie release, another controversy: How outraging on movies is almost part of the script

The paradoxical nature of an individual or a group’s objections or bans on films — that they end up generating a cloud of pre-release publicity and serve to pique audience interest — makes them a fertile ground for suspicion and conspiracy theories.

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Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s tweet highlights our fixation with skin colour, but it’s not simply ‘racism’

Headlines by many news outlets hailed Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s tweet as criticism of a ‘racist’ remark in Bollywood. But is it really racism that we are talking about?

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What are Mayawati’s options now?

Mayawati’s term as MP from Rajya Sabha comes to an end in April 2018. The BSP chief cannot be reappointed to the Upper House on her own as her party suffered humiliating defeat in the recently held Uttar Pradesh Assembly election.

Silly season for Indian politicians!

And one didn’t expect Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi to come up with this male-bashing statement—”Which men have committed suicide? I have not heard/read of a single case.” A very Pappu thing to do, we would think!

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Noida’s Mahagun Moderne episode is a reminder of discrimination, vulnerability of domestic helps

The specific nature of domestic workers, their workplaces and their employment relations are not dealt with under existing laws and concepts.

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Make road to root searches hurdle-free

Every year, thousands of adopted individuals begin and end their journey to find their biological parents in Pune and other cities of Maharashtra that have traditionally been adoption hubs of the country.

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West Bengal is bullying a small Himalayan state

Sikkim is sandwiched between Tibet, which has flared up on the one hand, and the active non-cooperation of the West Bengal authorities on the other.

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Why is vegetarianism in India linked to purity?

Purity, pollution, authority, and tradition were found to be the chief concerns of Indian vegetarians, as per a 2013 study, as opposed to universalism, animal and environmental welfare which concern vegetarians elsewhere.