Obviously since all these interactive shells depend on “readline” library behind the scenes, I thought it should be simple configuration to switch of “vi editing mode”.
set -o vi set editing-mode vi
I simply commented out the above two lines and now got my “irb” working fine. However, python would still not respect the above change and continue to be in “vi edit mode”.
On further googling and not finding any useful hints in the first 3 pages of Google Search Results told me that something is really weird.
Later, I did find some page talking about another configuration file used by Python shell and the file is “~/.editrc”
You will find a line “bind -v”. Simply commenting this took care of my problem that existed for 2 months 🙂