It’s a great day today for the fans of literature and certainly a moment to rejoice its legacy for someone who has varied interests for his reading portfolio, from non-fiction to fiction, from strategic world affairs to spiritual affairs, from electoral analyses to poetry, from humanity to beyond humankind.

September 30 marks the birth anniversaries of three literary Greats from different circumstances and ‘genres’ of life that made what they are known as. One is from the 13th Century. Two are from the 20th Century. And one of them is still alive.

Rumi or Jalal ad-Dīn Muhammad Rumi, born in a family of eminent jurists, the 13th Century Persian poet’s popularity has cultivated a worldwide following and his work is being translated in more and more languages in the contemporary times. Wikipedia, quoting different sources writes that “he has been described as the most popular poet in America and the best selling poet in the US”, in a land far away from his birthplace in present day Tajikistan or Afghanistan or from his final resting place in present day Turkey. Much of the classical Iranian and Afghan music is said to be influenced by the Sufi Mystic’s poetry.

September 30, 2017 – December 17, 1273

Truman Capote: I was aware of Truman Capote and had a brief outline of his work, but never intended to or thought of giving more attention, until Philip Seymour Hoffman’s ‘Capote’ happened in 2005. For me, it took the genius in Hoffman to introduce me to the literary genius of Capote. Hoffman played Capote in the biographical drama based on ‘In Cold Blood’, a non-fiction crime novel as Capote described it, a work that made Capote the most famous author of his time in America. His troubled childhood proved out to be the formative period of his literary career.

September 30, 1924 – August 25, 1984

Elie Wiesel’s ‘Night’ came to me as a soul-stirring experience. Before it, I was largely focused on documentaries, visual media, news reports and studies on Holocaust to know more about the largest pogrom of modern human history, to feel its pain, to realize its message. But the experience after ‘Night’ transcended all and made the Holocaust memoirs the major part of my Holocaust reading, of the past, as well as the ongoing ones. The sudden change, from the peaceful childhood days to a life of utter debasement, where there were no children, no adults, no males, or no females, just living human corpses, waiting to be gassed and burned, in a matter of a few weeks, brings tears that don’t stop. The 1986 Peace Nobel Laureate is still with us. His life and work remind how debased the humankind can become and how resilient the humanity can come out to be.

September 30, 1928

RUMI-CAPOTE-WIESEL CollagePhotographs sourced from the Internet

It is indeed a day to look back on works of these literary Greats to express gratitude for staying with us, for enlightening us, for empowering us, for giving us peace, for giving us joy, for giving us the precious moments to reflect on.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey –


As the two main political alliances forming the broad spectrum of the state politics in Maharashtra got over, with NCP quitting the senior partner Congress and BJP walking out of the Combine with Shiv Sena, the rush was to forge new alliances, to retain smaller allies, to find new allies.

Congress immediately announced Samajwadi Party coming on board with it, but a day later we came to know it was a premature announcement.

The BJP-Shiv Sena split saw increased bonhomie between Raj Thackeray and Uddhav Thackeray but there is no definitive word on the political rivals from the Thackeray family coming together.

BJP retained three of the four smaller parties of the Mahayuti, the grand alliance that contested the Lok Sabha elections, Raju Shetti’s Swabhimani Paksh, Mahadev Jankar’s Rashtriya Samaj Party and Vinayak Mete’s Shiv Sangram. These small parties carry significant electoral weight in different regional pockets of Maharashtra.

But the RPI(A)’s stand was not clear. Both, Shiv Sena and BJP, were trying to woo Ramdas Athavale given the significant chunk of Dalit votes in the state.

Dalits are around 12% of the population of the state and have been a traditional vote bank of Congress-NCP.

An alliance with RPI(A), a previous Congress-NCP ally, fragmented the Dalit votes in Western Maharashtra, Marathwada and Mumbai, regions where Dalits are a major electoral force.

The Dalit vote fragmentation led the BJP-Shiv Sena Combine win many seats that it had lost in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections.

And so there was a rush to win over RPI(A) and the BJP finally won it.

True, there are other Dalit political outfits in Maharashtra including three other factions of Dr. BR Ambedkar’s RPI (led by Dr. Ambedkar’s grandson Prakash Ambedkar), but RPI(A) is the largest one of this divided mess.

And it will certainly help the BJP in diverting more votes away from Congress and NCP, given the fact that the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) got 4% of the Dalit votes in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey –