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Aakar Patel

Aakar Patel is a writer and columnist. He is a former newspaper editor, having worked with the Bhaskar Group and Mid Day Multimedia Ltd.

Mar 2, 2014

BJP’s rise rooted in hate, why Rajnath’s apology to Muslims is welcome

Muslims and other Indians wary of religious division look at the BJP with alarm. This is why is it right for the party to reach out to them and assure them that they may have done something wrong in the past. #apology #Ayodhya #Bharatiya Janata Party #BJP #Gujarat #Hindus #Hindutva #InMyOpinion #Kashmir #Lok Sabha Election 2014 #Mandir-Masjid #Muslims #Narendra Modi #Rajnath Singh #Uniform Civil Code

Feb 28, 2014

Modi’s Mentors: Keshavrao Deshmukh, who revamped RSS in Gujarat

The RSS is an eight-decade old institution focussed on character-building. It is enough for a human to become humane, that is the mantra adopted. #BJP #Modi'sMentors #Narendra Modi's mentors #RSS #WhoIsThis

Feb 23, 2014

Why there’s nothing wrong in releasing Rajiv Gandhi’s killers

This “rarest of rare” business is something few really understand and the fact is that Indian courts keep sentencing so many people to death that rarest of rare has lost meaning. #Death sentence #InMyOpinion #Life imprisonment #Manmohan Singh #Rahul Gandhi #Rajiv Gandhi #Rajiv Gandhi killers #SC #Sonia Gandhi #Tamil Nadu #Tamil Nadu Government

Feb 20, 2014

Modi’s mentors: Inamdar, who shaped his ideas of Hindu-Muslim relations

Modi also wrote a poem for him, titled The debt to the Rishi'. Modi's stark view of Hindu-Muslim relations appears to come from this mentor, affectionately Vakilsaheb. #BJP #Gujarat CM #India #Modi #Modi's mentors #Narendra Modi #RSS

Feb 16, 2014

Why we can’t blame just Penguin for pulping Doniger’s book

We must not blame the law here. The problem is expecting that a benevolent and broadminded judiciary will thread the needle. #Books #India #Penguin #Section 295 A #The Hindus: An Alternative History #ToTheContrary #Wendy Doniger

Feb 13, 2014

Modi’s Mentors: Bachubhai Bhagat, the RSS mainstay for five decades

The RSS was not a river, and hardly a stream, when Bachubhai immersed himself into it as a student. #Bachubhai Bhagat #BJP #Gujarat #Modi's mentors #Narendra Modi #PoliticalPlay #RSS

Feb 9, 2014

Why Kolkata’s reading habit beats Mumbai, Gujarat hollow

It operates on a scale that is impressive even by global standards, but it is local in a way #Gujarat #Jyoti Basu #Kolkata Book Fair #Mumbai #OnOurMind #Sudipto Gupta

Feb 7, 2014

Modi’s Mentors: Babubhai Oza, the other OBC luminary of RSS

Shri Babubhai Oza was for years in the senior-most position in the Gujarat RSS. Because of his last name (AP: Ozas are a Brahmin community in Gujarat) and the fact of his position in the RSS, it was assumed by others that he was a Brahmin. But since the RSS did not acknowledge caste, this was not taken seriously. #Babubhai Oza #BJP #Gujarat #Modi's mentors #Narendra Modi #PoliticalPlay #RSS

Feb 2, 2014

Why the Congress party needs the Gandhis at the helm

It is difficult to imagine the Congress party without the family being in-charge, and there is not even a whiff of rebellion in the ranks though the Congress is headed for a defeat in the 2014 elections. #Congress #India #Lok Sabha elections 2014 #Nehru #PoliticalPlay #Politics #Rahul Gandhi #Sharad Pawar

Feb 1, 2014

Modi’s mentors: Vanikar who fought against conversions

In this chapter of his book Jyotipunj, Narendra Modi writes about the founder of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad in Gujarat. Dr Vishwanath Vanikar quickly made the VHP a popular and public-funded organisation, and worked in the tribal areas, resisting conversions. #BJP #Gujarat #Modi's mentors #Narendra Modi #RSS #VHP #Vishwanath Vanikar