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About Me

Former political editor of the Times of India, as representative of the paper in Gandhinagar, Gujarat’s capital, I have covered the state government between late 1997 and early 2013. In formal journalism since 1979, I believe in what George Orwell said, "Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed: everything else is public relations." 
Before I joined TOI in 1993, I was in Moscow, covering Mikhail Gorbachev's rise and fall between 1986 and 1993 for Patriot, Delhi's semi-Left paper, and weekly newsmagazine Link. Though ideologies have fascinated me, I feel, in the changed scenario, they are losing ground. And when someone asks me, what's replaced ideologies, I just have one answer: "I am a newsperson, How do I know?"
I have been associated with the Times of India's online site blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com, and my column was called True Lies, which I have tried to continued as True lies blogs. My write-ups have been a modest attempts to bring forth impressions of the life around and efforts of the establishment to influence it.
Many of my byline stories published in the Times of India between 2001 and 2013, when I covered the Gujarat government under Narendra Modi as chief minister, can be accessed here
Currently, I edit www.counterview.net, a news, news and features site which sources information from alternative quarters. I am also associated with counterview.org, an interactive blogging site owned by rights-based NGOs (Janvkias, Centre for Social Justice, Dalit Shakti Kendra and Navsarjan Trust) in Ahmedabad.
Email id: counterview.in@gmail.com

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Left-wing film maker's 'Socialism of a Third Kind': What about equal economic status?

KP Sasi, a well-known Left-wing film director and cartoonist from Thrissur, Kerala, currently based in Bengaluru, has come up with a 12-point charter on what he calls Socialism of a Third Kind. Sent in an email alert via Dalit Media Watch, Sasi, who is son of late K Damodaran, a Marxist theoretician and writer and one of the founder leaders of the Communist Party in India, provides his perspective of the types of equal status he thinks socialism should have. Though I found it interesting, I didn’t find in any of his 12 points what exactly his view on economy is – whether there could be economic equality, especially at a time when even Marxists agree private capital is a must for development in view of the fact that the productive forces are not ripe enough to change relations of production, supposed to be a precondition of socialism. Be that as it may, I found the 12 point charter by Sasi interesting, coming as it does from a person who has made powerful documentaries like "A Va

Imagine! Lord Ram, a Kshatriya, didn't have 'right' to convert tribals into Brahmins

Shukleshwar Mahadev temple in Anaval village The other day, I was informally talking with a younger friend on caste situation in Gujarat. In order to explain how caste has taken shape, he told me his own example. “I am supposed to be Anavil Brahmin”, as he said this, I wondered where these Brahmins are placed in the Brahmin caste hierarchy, which is known to be pretty rigid, and has many sub-castes. 

What's behind rise and rise of Girish Chandra Murmu, Gujarat cadre IAS official

Girish Chandra Murmu. The very name amuses me. A 1985 batch Gujarat cadre IAS bureaucrat retiring next month, I still remember, during my interaction with him as the Times of India (TOI) man in Gandhinagar, his rather huge laughter (a loud “ha ha ha”) after he would frankly tell me what all was going on in the government. Now, the very same Murmu, 59, has been appointed the first Lieutenant-Governor of the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.