You don’t build a skyscraper to conceal a dead mouse, as Saul Bellow the Nobel Prize winning novelist would have asked. The entire nation was in a state of ferment over Pranab Mukherjee’s proposed speech on the occasion of the visit of the RSS headquarter. The national media had created such an air of expectancy as if a modern-day version of Book of Revelation was going to be launched from the ramparts of the RSS headquarters.

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Shankar Datt (Professor of English Literature, Patna University) has a great sense of anticlimax, I know for sure. Or you can say he likes to balance things, presenting both sides of the case. He called me up to write something about my days in Patna College for the souvenir to be taken out on the occasion of centenary celebration of Patna University.

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One thinks but thinks how little critical debate matters to our society which is implacably divided into hostile camps, convinced in the absolute infallibility of our own positions. I have become a minimalist and do not venture beyond Twitter or FB posts. But Ravish Kumar will not let you remain in peace. He protests so much even though there are strategies available for you to have your cake and eat it too.

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The picture above is the picture that launched a thousand ships for the elements who shouted their intention of fighting till the vivisection of the Indian state (Bharat tere tukde honge, etc) from the very heart of Bharat, from the campus of the elite Jawaharlal Nehru University, fully residential and fully funded by public money. It is famous for mass producing intellectuals.

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The decision to demonetize the big denomination notes has shown the mirror to our society and the sooner we accept the fact that the hideous face staring ominously at us is US, the better would it be. The mirror does not lie, so we cannot seek comfort in denial which has been the standard mode of coping with uncomfortable truths. At heart we are a deeply, incorrigibly corrupt society made doubly worse by our ingrained hypocrisy. The predisposition to be corrupt is fixed like an attribute fixed in our genes. This masked trait unfolds given a favourable environment.

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More than two weeks days down the radical decision to demonetize the high value currency notes, it is now transparently clear that the government had not thought deeply enough. The myriads of problems that this move would throw up and the commensurate logistical response to it had not been visualized in all their multifariousness.

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Mr. Modi’s decision to demonetize big denomination currencies has cast a spell of black magic on the entire political opposition, and even the high-minded and hypocritical parties, have been forced into a stance they would not have taken in normal times.

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The decision to demonetize the high denomination currency notes has sharply divided the national opinion which is not quite unexpected. Such is the political climate today that if someone takes a stand against cannibalism, there are bound to be people in support of human beings eating other human beings. Obviously, no one has quite lamented, "Oh! My precious hoard of treasured currency notes, the result of years of dishonest toil."

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November is the cruelest month for Delhi and you may survive, if you lock yourself indoors, denying yourself the much needed fresh air (such as it is, polluted several times over beyond permissible limits!) and sunlight (whatever miraculously seeps through the blanket of haze, smoke and dust which must now be declared Delhi’s official dress).

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Raid at Bihar School Education Board office in Patna last Tuesday.

Sometime in the year 2000 or 2001, the Patna High Court had directed me to enquire in the matter of the award of a fraudulent MA degree by the Magadha University – with a first class to boot - to an influential person.

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Who killed Rajdev Ranjan, the correspondent of a Hindi newspaper, is a question that reverberates today throughout the public sphere of Bihar and fuels private anxieties of those living in Biharis. The more we know the more stridently we ask the question 'Who killed Rajdev Ranjan?' We know who did it. By asking the question we are merely trying to point the needle of suspicion away from our own guilty selves. The society as a whole killed Rajdev Ranjan.

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