Gandhis vs Bachchan: Comments by Rahul Gandhi on the Big B's relationship with the Gandhi family eventually ended up with Bachchan boycotting the film festival in Goa, although he was present in the city. And when Doordarshan downplayed his recent illness while satellite channels went berserk, the doubting Thomases were out in full force, attributing motives and the growing rivalry.
Buddhadeb Bhattacharya vs the Comrades: The sweetest irony of the year. The CM was changing labour rules for IT companies, coming down hard on protesters, gloating over Japanese FDI being the highest in Bengal, and asking why MNCs must be opposed if they create jobs. But in the airconditioned TV studios of Delhi, his brethren were making exactly the opposite noises.
Deve Gowda vs Narayana Murthy: All year, Bangalore's crumbling infrastructure was in the news. But it wasn't till the former PM's broadside at the Infosys chief mentor's dormant role in the Bangalore airport that the shadow-boxing went public. Murthy resigned in a huff, but that couldn't stall Gowda from throwing some light on the technology bellwether's humongous land holdings.
Cricketers vs the National Flag: Does Team India represent the country or a conglomeration of clubs called the BCCI? Astonishingly, BCCI told the courts it was the latter, and for days there was much hand-wringing over whether the cricketers should be seen wearing the national tricolour on their helmet.
Nalini Chidambaram vs AIADMK: The decision of the Central Board of Direct Taxes to seek the legal services of the serving Union finance minister's wife had Jayalalitha's men (and women) in Parliament breathing fire.
Sanjay Nirupam vs Pramod Mahajan: The Shiv Sainik's move to ask a question in the Rajya Sabha on the former telecom minister's interest in Reliance invited Bal Thackeray's ire. Nirupam eventually left the Sena to join the Congress, much to the chagrin of Sunil Dutt. The Thackeray stronghold was otherwise twice rocked, when Narayan Rane and Raj Thackeray both left, citing Uddhav.
Verghese Kurien vs Amrita Patel: The father of the milk revolution was involved in a non-stop tussle with his protegee on Amul's latest moves. A tussle which later spilt over into a fight for control of the Indian Institute of Rural Management where Kurien did all he could to stop his bete noire from trampling his turf.
Sonal Mansingh vs Everybody: Last year's change of regime at the Centre saw the chairperson of the Sangeet Natak Akademi being cornered by a bunch of renegades who wanted her out. Even Girish Karnad's support, that this would set a bad precedent, failed to prevent the danseuse from being eased out.
Narendra Modi vs Gas Experts: Have we or have we not hit the mother lode of gas? The Gujarat chief minister, battling growing dissidence from Keshubhai Patel, rushed to the press declaring we had, but the gung-ho declaration came under fire from experts who argued that the figures were inflated. Modi was also involved in a tiff with Magsaysay award-winning social worker Ela Bhatt after he accused SEWA of misappropriating funds.
Spats we are not covering: Jayalalitha vs Vivek Oberoi on the film star's contribution to tsunami relief. Anbumani Ramadoss vs Sharmila Tagore after the censor board chief slammed the health minister's move to ban on-screen smoking. Ram Gopal Varma vs the Sippys on the remaking of Sholay. Brother vs Brother in business families—Ambanis, Mafatlals, the Escorts group. Praful Patel vs national carriers, as the minister was reportedly pursuing policies that helped the private airlines. Mani Shankar Aiyar vs Subir Raha on the ministry trying to fill the oil corporation's board with Congressmen. Airbus vs Boeing over an Air India business decision to opt for Boeing. And the mother of all rows this year: Khushboo and Sania Mirza vs the moral police.