The only surprise Dhanuka threw in near the end of her tirade was the additional charge of being ‘anti-national’! Apparently, she’d been planning to haul me in ‘even before this morning’, because of ‘the number of unhappy parents’ who’d emailed her about some of the content of our class conversations, in which, instead of ‘sticking to the syllabus’, I supposedly spent a great deal of time ‘undermining our present Prime Minister’...

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh invested heavily in the peace process with Pakistan despite periodic setbacks, usually in the form of terror attacks in India. He believed the Siachen dispute could be solved relatively easily.

People might have now forgotten, and younger ones may not even know, that during the 1965 war with Pakistan, there were wild rumours that film star Dilip Kumar (Yusuf Khan) had somehow conspired with Dr Zakir Husain (then vice president of India) to undermine national interest

‘It’s a very strange case, Avniel. It seems like she was in captivity, where she was assaulted severely for a while but then it stopped. Maybe someone decided to step in and protect her. So the assault stopped. ...'

The architectural historian Percy Brown, writing in the 1940s, noted that the Sayyids lacked the resources to build forts, cities, palaces and mosques on the scale of their predecessors and that all that survives of their work is their tombs.

As communal relations between Hindus and Muslims deteriorated and rioting became a recurrent feature of public life in many parts of India, the space for Hindu nationalism reopened. But it was a space that the Congress never vacated.