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Fighting talk

ELECTION SEASON BRINGS out the combative best in politicians. This week, Senior Assistant Editor Soni Mishra, along with Editor-in-Charge V.S. Jayaschandran and the Malayala Manorama’s Chief Reporter Midhun M. Kuriakose, caught Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge at his Bengaluru home on Ugadi, the first day of the Kannada new year. He was at his combative best.


Kharge said that the answer to the BJP’s question of “Modi vs who?” was “Modi vs the common man”. He bristled when asked about those who were jumping ship and unleashed a broadside saying that they were ideologically kachcha (raw). “The kachcha people got pukka (solid) posts in the Congress.” The interview is optimistic and combative, as it should be, and you will surely enjoy reading it, dear reader.


Speaking of fighting talk, the magazine is full of it this week. Senior Special Correspondent Lakshmi Subramanian interviewed an aggressive Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin who was confident of winning all seats, and was sure that the break between the AIADMK and the BJP was eyewash. When Lakshmi asked him how he could be so sure, he gave a punchy answer, which is on Page 47. Lakshmi also interviewed the equally combative Kanimozhi Karunanidhi, MP from Thoothukudi, and quite often the national face of the DMK.


In West Bengal, Malayala Manorama Special Correspondent Javed Parvesh interviewed Rekha Patra, the BJP candidate from Basirhat and the first woman to come out against the alleged atrocities of Trinamool Congress leader Sheikh Shahjahan and his coterie.


In Bengaluru, Senior Special Correspondent Prathima Nandakumar interviewed actor Vidya Balan on her latest movie, Do Aur Do Pyaar. In addition, Prathima has also covered the trend in Karnataka, where sitting ministers are fielding their children in the general election.


Let me not forget to thank tennis ace Rohan Bopanna for gracing THE WEEK Sportsroom in Mumbai, where he was in conversation with our Sports Consultant Ayaz Memon. I would also like to thank HSBC for hosting the event at their India HQ, which is a lovely old-world building in Mumbai’s Fort area. If you are not already watching the weekly Sportsroom on THE WEEK’s YouTube channel, let me appeal to you to do so.


I am forced to stop on a mournful note, dear reader, especially after reading an excellent story of his in this issue. Our contributor from the Americas, Milan Sime Martinic, died on April 6. His last published article is in this issue—the one on Viatina-19, the Nelore cow which commanded a record price of $4.3 million (Rs36 crore). Milan wrote extensively for THE WEEK and theweek.in, giving us two stellar cover stories—the Pele tribute and the one on football sensation Endrick Felipe Moreira de Sousa of the Palmeiras and the Brazilian national side. Milan’s cover on Endrick was the first on him anywhere in the world, and his passing comes just as the young footballer is all set to join Real Madrid in July.


While reading about him, I learnt that Milan began as an assistant food editor at the Las Vegas Sun, and belongs to the vanishing tribe of journalists who started on typewriters. An old Royal, in his case.


Rest in peace, dear Milan. We’ll always have these things in common: a love for good food, a curiosity for the world around us and an abiding love for the written word.