Thank you!

All things, good and bad, have to come to an end. It is for the readers of ‘Thinking Aloud’ to judge whether the 309 pieces, including this one, which I wrote under it since September 2005, were good, bad or a combination of both. However, with a little bit of sadness and an overwhelming feeling of gratitude, I have to say that this column comes to an end today.

I am sad because something that was a part of my work routine for the past nearly eight years, and had indeed become a part of my public identity, is now going to be a thing of the past. To be a columnist of this great newspaper is a badge of honour. I wore it with pride, and that pride will never leave me. I call The Indian Express a great newspaper not only because of its illustrious past, but also because of its distinctive, committed and often courageous practice of the art of journalism even now. Independence of thought, freedom of expression and the sense of responsibility that must guide the twin functions of thought and expression are what make journalism a dharma, not a mere business. At a time when so much of what passes for journalism has become crass and corrupt business, and also when running the business part of journalism itself is becoming more

and more difficult both in India and around the world, this newspaper has adhered to the values of both fairness and frankness. In my own small and humble way, I contributed to the plurality of views that are daily printed on its pages. Now other, and better, columnists will get to wear The Indian Express badge of honour.

The freedom this newspaper gives its columnists to air their views is a part of what makes it great. And I must record here that never, and not even indirectly, did its editor-in-chief or his editorial team influence what went into my column. For this, I remain grateful to Shekhar Gupta, Raj Kamal Jha and their

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