Twelve years is a very long time in Indian politics

K.N. Govindacharya it was, who famously termed Atal Behari Vajpayee as the mukhota (the mask) in 1995. The insinuation was that Lal Krishna Advani was the real power behind the throne; that Vajpayee was just the “good cop” to woo voters and allies.

In 2007, the mask has come full circle, in the eyes of cartoonist Surendra in The Hindu; it is Advani who now needs the mukhota given the abrasive belligerence of the likes of Narendra Modi.