n the puzzle that is Varun Gandhi, the oddest piece, for me, was his education. As the story was being told, today’s sullen, vengeful Hindutvavadi was, only a few years ago, a carefree student in England. That he
diligently completed his bachelor’s at the London School of Economics (LSE) and went on to a master’s at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS). Both are renowned institutions, steeped in the liberal democratic tradition we associate with Ambedkar (an LSE graduate) rather than Bal Thackeray.
As the controversy generated by Varun’s campaign speeches refused to die down, his degrees were applied, detergent-like, to wash off the saffron stain on his character. They were mentioned by the newswires; soon they popped up in the Washington Times and the London First Post. And they evolved and grew. From the Calcutta Telegraph, readers learnt that Varun’s "MPhil dissertation at SOAS" was "on decentralisation, with eastern...