Mahesh Vijapurkar

All stories by Mahesh Vijapurkar

RIP Aroon Tikekar: The thinker's editor

RIP Aroon Tikekar: The thinker's editor

Rediff.com19 Jan 2016

Mahesh Vijapurkar pays tribute to Aroon Tikekar, journalist, historian, author and an important intellectual voice of Mumbai, who passed into the ages on Tuesday.

If only Uddhav had held his tongue, and Saamna its acerbity

If only Uddhav had held his tongue, and Saamna its acerbity

Rediff.com29 Oct 2014

It is some consolation that the BJP top brass which had kept the Sena on the ice has now said that it would be happy to have the former partner in the government. What it did not say openly is that it would be on the BJP's terms, says Mahesh Vijapurkar.

Pawar play to keep NCP out of trouble, Sena out of govt

Pawar play to keep NCP out of trouble, Sena out of govt

Rediff.com19 Oct 2014

The NCP has seen the largest flow from its ranks to the other parties, more towards the BJP before the elections, even up to the last minute. The Sena and BJP together could, in power, become even bigger magnets. Disillusionment with the NCP leadership has been growing, which may have forced its hand, says Mahesh Vijapurkar.

Will Maharashtra see the end of the coalition era?

Will Maharashtra see the end of the coalition era?

Rediff.com14 Oct 2014

The vituperative campaign against the BJP by the Shiv Sena does not make for an easy post-poll tie-up should either of the two be forced to come together to cobble the numbers. Either must get a clear 145 seats to avoid a forced remarriage to the same political spouse. Any one going with Congress or the NCP only means the platter serves up a goulash, says Mahesh Vijapurkar.

Will Maharashtra see the end of the coalition era?

Will Maharashtra see the end of the coalition era?

Rediff.com14 Oct 2014

The vituperative campaign against the BJP by the Shiv Sena does not make for an easy post-poll tie-up should either of the two be forced to come together to cobble the numbers. Either must get a clear 145 seats to avoid a forced remarriage to the same political spouse. Any one going with Congress or the NCP only means the platter serves up a goulash, says Mahesh Vijapurkar.

Affidavits on politicians' wealth must be challenged

Affidavits on politicians' wealth must be challenged

Rediff.com1 Oct 2014

The question we must ask is how do politicians get that wealth disclosed in the affidavits, says Mahesh Vijapurkar.

Greed for power behind Maharashtra break-ups

Greed for power behind Maharashtra break-ups

Rediff.com26 Sep 2014

When political parties opt for alliances, it is to win an election, and if post-poll, to come to power by cobbling together the numbers to secure a majority. This has been a striking feature of Indian politics, throwing up such screens as 'coalition dharma' to hide all ills, including corruption, says Mahesh Vijapurkar.

A House of the People? Or Chamber of Princes?

A House of the People? Or Chamber of Princes?

Rediff.com17 Sep 2014

No wonder Parliament has some 130 MPs out of the 545 hailing from political families. This class threaten to make the Lok Sabha, which the People's House, into a sort of Chamber of Princes which we once had before Independence, says Mahesh Vijapurkar.

Modi should address teachers not students

Modi should address teachers not students

Rediff.com4 Sep 2014

Why does Modi want to speak to the students while his audience should be teachers and parents, not necessarily in that order. And September 5 is not Children's Day but Teachers' Day, says Mahesh Vijapurkar.

To the BMC, CCTVs are anti-opacity

To the BMC, CCTVs are anti-opacity

Rediff.com25 Aug 2014

Given that Mumbai civic body deals with the lives of the people at the cutting edge, the better way would have been to agree to have giant television screens put up outside the civic headquarters to relay the proceedings live so the people are kept in the loop. It eliminates to an extent the distance between the people and their civic keepers but perhaps it is farfetched now, says Mahesh Vijapurkar.

This dahi handi, the law was invisible

This dahi handi, the law was invisible

Rediff.com22 Aug 2014

When the high court delivered the stringent norms, which in no way eliminated the fun of the proceedings but made it safer, by requiring proper safety measures, there was an undercurrent of defiance. Sensing the adverse implications of loss of a mass contact platform, the government persuaded itself to seek a review, says Mahesh Vijapurkar.

Why this hullabaloo about English in the UPSC test?

Why this hullabaloo about English in the UPSC test?

Rediff.com7 Aug 2014

What we need to do straightaway is to get our act together and educate children better than merely award degrees. Since English cannot be thrown away, it would be better to learn it well. The crux lies there. Lowering standards of UPSC tests is no use, says Mahesh Vijapurkar.

Railways want to break even, commuters' economics be damned

Railways want to break even, commuters' economics be damned

Rediff.com23 Jun 2014

If the Indian Railways thinks it can get away with this sassy attitude, it is because it is, in a sense, a monopolist in the business of transporting people. The distances one has to cover, say from Thane or Virar to Mumbai is impossible by road provides railways the arrogance, says Mahesh Vijapurkar.

Changing the government culture of shabbiness

Changing the government culture of shabbiness

Rediff.com12 Jun 2014

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has ordered a clean-up of all central government offices. Mahesh Vijapurkar laments the pervading culture of shabbiness in government offices around the country.

Pankaja looks set to take over Munde's mantle

Pankaja looks set to take over Munde's mantle

Rediff.com4 Jun 2014

Pankaja Munde, who is the MLA from Parli, led the campaign for Gopinath Munde during the Lok Sabha elections against the single-minded, 'undo the Mundes' campaign by the Pawars and the Nationalist Congress Party. She is not set to take over his mantle, says Mahesh Vijapurkar.

Judge Smriti Irani by performance, not qualification

Judge Smriti Irani by performance, not qualification

Rediff.com28 May 2014

One can understand that all MPs are equal in that sense and are endowed with varied talents but that does not automatically qualify them to run ministries. Some are adept at meeting challenges and some simply are not, and remain ornaments. By seeking pro-rata quotas, the very purpose of a forming a ministry of talent is lost, says Mahesh Vijapurkar.

Will Rahul lead the opposition or be its backbencher?

Will Rahul lead the opposition or be its backbencher?

Rediff.com13 May 2014

The one simple fact is that a government can be remote controlled but not an opposition. It needs to be kept on its toes, all the time enthusing its ranks to believe that it would win back the government in time. Would Rahul Gandhi be up to this challenge and provide proof that he does have the stuff, asks Mahesh Vijapurkar.

Why the Modi-Afroze Fatta photo cannot be ignored

Why the Modi-Afroze Fatta photo cannot be ignored

Rediff.com2 May 2014

Modi and Rahul's Gandhi's case cannot be dismissed casually. Both are high visibility persons, subject to intense scrutiny, and above all, under heavy protection. So anyone meeting them is properly vetted, says Mahesh Vijapurkar

If AAP had continued governing Delhi...

If AAP had continued governing Delhi...

Rediff.com16 Apr 2014

The media wittingly or otherwise has been a key player in stymying the AAP. It is not so much the rivals, but the media, mostly the television and from its cues, large sections of the print segment, who got the trophy. The political parties, especially BJP and Congress, can now laugh in their sleeves, says Mahesh Vijapurkar.

Vote-buying kills democratic contests

Vote-buying kills democratic contests

Rediff.com2 Apr 2014

Despite a strong anti-corruption mood, where election costs are seen as the driver for graft, politicians don't change their spots. Unsurprisingly, this trend of unleashing cash can be expected to continue in this Lok Sabha elections too, says Mahesh Vijapurkar.

Why the media anger at Kejriwal is not justified

Why the media anger at Kejriwal is not justified

Rediff.com19 Mar 2014

But by picking on Kejriwal for his threats, unfortunate as they are, and ignoring the appreciation he gets is missing the woods for the trees. Hopefully, the media would introspect and infuse more vigour, not mere hype, in democratic debates, says Mahesh Vijapurkar.

Why Mumbai's slum rehab plan does not work

Why Mumbai's slum rehab plan does not work

Rediff.com5 Mar 2014

Though launched in 1996, the slum replacement scheme has more or less bombed. Builders have not found the slum spaces attractive enough to build, harvest extra FSI for sale in open market thereby subsidising the rehabilitation, says Mahesh Vijapurkar.

How Parliament is being sabotaged from within

How Parliament is being sabotaged from within

Rediff.com19 Feb 2014

It is quite likely that the Parliament itself could now attract people's scorn. That would be terrible, and not the people but the politicians would be responsible, says Mahesh Vijapurkar.

Lack of patience may wreck AAP's Lok Sabha dream

Lack of patience may wreck AAP's Lok Sabha dream

Rediff.com6 Feb 2014

Perhaps Arvind Kejriwal got it right when he described the party as Shivji ki baraat. In other words, without the pejorative sense associated with it, a ragtag. New, and new to the business of government, it is faltering, notes Mahesh Vijapurkar.

Image crisis hits AAP too early in life

Image crisis hits AAP too early in life

Rediff.com28 Jan 2014

A party of newbies which had anger as fuel and hope in its own capability to work wonders suddenly finds itself not only in government but put on fast forward by everyone. These are heavy burdens for a fledgeling party, to perform under a microscope. Transparency is what they promised, and they are in a glass house now, says Mahesh Vijapurkar.

Untoward leaders, but the AAP is on course

Untoward leaders, but the AAP is on course

Rediff.com21 Jan 2014

Dismissing Kejriwal as an anarchist and trying to corner him on that score is unfair because the AAP is unlike any other party we have so far seen. It takes its strength directly from the people not just by way of votes but being participatory in its decisions, says Mahesh Vijapurkar.

AAP's campaign costs leave parties no justification for graft

AAP's campaign costs leave parties no justification for graft

Rediff.com13 Jan 2014

It is not yet clear how many Lok Sabha constituencies would see Aam Aadmi Party's candidates in the fray. If those seats are fought and won the way the 28 assembly seats were in Delhi, it can end the usual excuse for corruption: high election costs, says Mahesh Vijapurkar.

Why the AAP needs to watch out

Why the AAP needs to watch out

Rediff.com8 Jan 2014

Now that the AAP has turned from an anti-corruption movement to a political party running a government in New Delhi, it may find that the media is no more a collaborator, says Mahesh Vijapurkar.

Why is Maharashtra trying to curb liquor sales?

Why is Maharashtra trying to curb liquor sales?

Rediff.com26 Dec 2013

Will the state forgo its lucrative excise collections in a bid to curb sales of liquor in the festive season, asks Mahesh Vijapurkar.

Delhi election results: Political pundits don't get it

Delhi election results: Political pundits don't get it

Rediff.com11 Dec 2013

The AAP will face the more determined BJP at the next round in Delhi. Sure it would have to counter a Modi-led campaign but hasn't it already weathered that? In the re-poll, AAP would not need to bother much about the decimated Congress, down on both moral and image. All it needs to do is stay the ground till then, says Mahesh Vijapurkar.

Post the 26/11 attacks, have we learnt nothing?

Post the 26/11 attacks, have we learnt nothing?

Rediff.com27 Nov 2013

We continue to be what we were before 26/11-- sitting ducks, says Mahesh Vijapurkar.

A year since Bal Thackeray, Uddhav's challenge is about to begin

A year since Bal Thackeray, Uddhav's challenge is about to begin

Rediff.com16 Nov 2013

In the one year since his father, Shiv Sena founder Bal Thackeray's death, Uddhav may not have done much, but the coming months will show if it was time wasted or spent in useful strategy-making, says Mahesh Vijapurkar.