Battle for Mumbai

Mumbai is voting today to decide which party will control the country’s richest civic body the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation or BMC.

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Image source : Hindustan Times

The on-going elections will be a trial of survival for the ruling Shiv Sena while ally Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), which is now the dominant partner in Maharashtra, is seeing the electoral battle to take control of Asia’s richest civic body to create space for itself in the city’s political landscape.

Political observers say the election will primarily be a Shiv Sena versus BJP battle.

Let’s check, what makes a municipal poll big enough to shake state & national alliances?

The Fight

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Image source : India Today

Elections to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) or Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) the civic body that governs Mumbai happen today i.e. – on Feb 21, 2017

 

Its Pouring BRICKBATS

Like there is tenure of election code, there is tenure of this notice period’

                            -Uddhav Thakeray saying Maharashtra Govt. was on a ‘NOTICE PERIOD”

 

“My Govt. will survive even if the Sena pulls out

                                             -Devendra Fadnavis

 

The Reason

BMC is the Richest Municipal Body of India’s Commercial Capital

 

The Prize

BMC’s budget is more than that of some states

Size of 2016-17 budget in Rupees Cr

 

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The Power play

BMC elections are really big and is powerful politically

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60 of 288 MLAs in Maharashtra assembly come from the Mumbai region

 

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11 of 48 MPs that Maharashtra sends to parliament are from Mumbai region

 

Friends or Foes?

BJP is the senior partner in Maharashtra assembly but was the junior partner in BMC

 

Assembly :

BJP (122) + Shiv Sena (63)

BJP won 15 of 36 assembly seats from Mumbai, one more than Shiv Sena

 

BMC:

Shiv Sena (75) + BJP (31)

 

Other Teams

The other parties in the fray are Congress, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP).

There are chances that as in assembly polls, NCP will show up as a potential spoiler for Shiv Sena

Party/ No. of corporators  ( 2012 BMC polls)

MNS- 27

NCP- 7

Independents- 28

Halfway mark – 114

 

Bombay meri Jaan

A hold over Mumbai will allow the BJP govt. in the state to govern more peacefully; but the big question is “WILL IT BE ABLE TO?”

 

Feature image source : http://www.colourentice.com

News Information :-  India Today

 

UP Elections: Litmus test for Modi

The largest state of India with 403 Assembly seats, Uttar Pradesh has finally gone to polls. The state is having its Assembly Elections in 7 phases, the first of which was concluded today. The voting for 73 assembly seats of Uttar Pradesh was held today. The last phase polling for UP Elections will be held on 8th March after which the counting of votes will take place on 11th March.
 

Understanding the Complex UP politics

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For decades it has been tough to comprehend the Uttar Pradesh politics. The caste and religion based issues have always dominated over the local issues such as health care and education. Before understanding the politics of UP it is essential to apprehend the complex caste-religion structure of the state.
There are 14.1 crore electorates in Uttar Pradesh out of which an enormous 40% are OBC’s. Usually the votes of OBC’s gets divided between BSP and Congress. The SP-Congress Alliance will consolidate a huge number of OBC votes and this will for sure sabotage the prospects of Bahujan Samaj party. 20% of the electorates in Uttar Pradesh are Dalits. For long Dalits have  been and are still to some extent the vote bank of BSP. But the Congress has also tried to woo Dalits. 18% of electorates in Uttar Pradesh are Muslims. Muslims usually vote for the party which is in the best position to defeat BJP but most of the time the Muslim vote gets divided as all the three secular parties SP, Congress and BSP try to woo Muslims. But this time most of the Muslim votes will go with Samajwadi Party-Congress Alliance as it appears to be defeating BJP while BSP is out of the race even before the polling of votes. 11% of the electorates in UP are brahmins which have been a core vote bank of the Congress party in the past. Congress is trying hard to retrieve its vote bank. The BJP mainly focuses on upper caste voters. In 2014 General Elections BJP got votes from the dalits and OBC’s as well. Since then it has been trying to retain these votes. 

SP banking on Akhilesh’s development plank

UP Elections Samajwadi Party Akhilesh Yadav

Image source: Likveuamap.com
This time the stakes are high for almost all big parties. A win here for Akhilesh Yadav will not only emerge as the undisputed king of the Yadav family but he will also come out as a national leader who can take on Narendra Modi in 2019 General Elections. The Samajwadi party is banking on the development done by Akhilesh Yadav in his 5 year tenure as the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister. 

Why Congress is the largest gainer?

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Image Source: Patrika.com 
The Congress appears to be a mammoth gainer in this election. The party which was having no prospects in the state is now in an alliance with the frontrunner Samajwadi Party. Whilst the alliance will benefit both Congress and Samajwadi party but it is the Congress party which will gain the Lion’s share. Congress was almost expunged from the political scenario after the 2014 general elections and achieved nothing in the Assembly Elections that took place in last 2-3 years. It was reduced to 0 in Delhi and also lost  Haryana Assembly Elections among others. It had no prospects in Uttar Pradesh and all it could have done was to assist the Bharatiya Janata Party by getting some anti BJP votes. But now the picture has totally changed. The alliance with the ruling SP government has suddenly reinvigorated an otherwise lethargic campaign of the Congress Party. The alliance will help Samajwadi Party as it will get some additional Muslim and Brahmin votes. The Muslims who mainly vote to subjugate BJP will prefer going with Samajwadi Party-Congress Alliance rather than BSP.

Where does BSP stand?

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Image Source: India.com
The Mayawati led Bahujan Samaj party is nowhere in the race. The party is poised to get even lesser seats than what it got in the last assembly elections. The main Vote bank of BSP was dalit/OBC and Muslims but now even the dalits are divided and the Muslims are inclined towards the SP-Congress alliance as the latter one is in a better positiom to defeat the Bharatiya Janata Party. This alliance has badly damaged the prospects of BSP. 

Can Modi be defeated?

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Image Source: Naradanews.com 
The actual fight is between SP-Congress alliance and BJP. Various opinion polls  are showing a neck and neck fight between these two. A win for SP will bring Akhilesh Yadav in the national politics while a loss for BJP (read Modi) might turn out to be a major roadblock in its retaining power in 2019.
After a landslide victory in 2014 general elections it seemed as if BJP under leadership of Narendra Modi is undefeatable but the Delhi and Bihar elections have already proved that BJP can be defeated. The state of Uttar Pradesh gave a historic 71/80 parliamentary seats to Modi’s BJP in 2014 and a loss here would imply that Modi has lost his connect with the people and that the BJP has not been able to fulfill its promises. That is why the UP Elections are going to be a litmus test for the Bharatiya Janata Party after the 2014 historic mandate. A win here for BJP will connote that people still believe in Modi and it will be first big thing for BJP to rejoice after the 2014 polls. It will also signify that BJP won’t be facing any opposition leader who can compete with Modi in the next general elections.

Battle of Faces: Akhilesh v. Modi

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Image Source: DekhNews.com
The UP Elections will decide where our national politics is heading. A win for Akhilesh Yadav will project him as one national leader who can take on Narendra Modi while a win for BJP will mean that Modi might easily enjoy the power till 2024. The Uttar Pradesh assembly elections will prove to be litmus test for BJP after the 2014 historic mandate.

This Article Will Tell You How Love Can Destroy You Forever!

Just like love can’t be defined, it can not be measured as well. And neither can the pain be, when the separation happens. Maybe that’s why neither did we ask how much we loved each other, and nor do we now ask how much pain we are in. There is no measurement of it. Neither the love, nor the pain can be poured in a vessel to be quantified and recorded for examination and validation.

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And the separation – it is always mechanical where we convince ourselves that we have unloved someone. That there are no regrets and there are no demands. That we wish the best for each other now and that is it. If it was love – the undefined, the unmeasured love – separation is merely a state of mind. It’s the part of maze where you end up again and again while finding your way out, thinking you have moved on. But there you are, stuck right at the point where you can’t decide if you moved on, or you ever will. Or perhaps this whole concept of moving on is just a construct and absurd.

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You knew this won’t work and hence you push him away hard. Find reasons to hit the nail harder so that he could bleed. Obliviate him from life so that he moves on – being hopeless and empty which would translate to anguish that can act as the fuel for him to move.

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And then you touch the subject back subtly. Like dipping your feet in a brook to figure out how cold it is. It feels lukewarm and you smile and decide to dive in. But as soon as you dive in, you realize how cold it is in the deeper part, freezing you to death or a state where you gain infinite inertia so that you can’t move an inch. You are right there – frozen, fooled by the lukewarm surface blessed with sunshine to remain warm. It felt the same when he thanked me and said he can finally be person who is. Your lips stretch to smile but stop in between – reallising how the scheme worked well to push him and he is someone who he is; but you are not. You don’t even know who you are anymore, seeking a definition. And just like your love was undefined, you are undefined too – cringing and still convincing yourself that what he said is right – No regrets ; No Demands.

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Worse? There is no solution to it. All you can seek is closure, keep yourself busy and wish, just like he defined love for you for the first time, someone would redefine it for you. But you won’t ever be in love again. Not in the same way, not with the same intensity, passion and ember that burn your own self. That fire now rests dead in ashes, and so do you.

Feature image source : myblueberrynightsmovie.co.uk

What does home feel like ?

“This used to be my home” She said and smiled and I looked back at her, watching as her smile slowly but steadily faded away into this easily readable note, written in sadness and in pain, all over her face, like her eyes singing, reciting whatever she had seen. Her speed slowed down and eventually came to rest, halting at the alter of Allah she came to everyday, nothing but parts of which remained now. Her feet hadn’t forgotten the touch of the marble on the masjid floor.

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Image source : quranicpath.com

The paint on the walls was still intact, just the walls weren’t. She had prayed on this land for all the days she had lived and breathed, to the God who didn’t seem to be around anymore. The sound of Azaan was still afresh in her ears, from the mornings she woke up to and from the evenings the sun set into. I saw her touch the sand under her feet. Amused, I couldn’t help but ask, “What are you doing?” “Trying to remember and believe what home feels like.” She said, her face so blank, so drained, so devoid of emotions that it’d break someone’s heart. It was days after what all had happened that she had finally agreed to go back, hoping against hope, that someone, someone from her family would be found.

An Iraqi Yazidi girl, who fled her home when Islamic State (IS) militants attacked the town of Sinjar, poses for a photo inside a building under construction where she found refuge on the outskirts of the Kurdish city of Dohuk, in Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region, on August 16, 2014. According to the human rights non-governmental organisation Amnesty International some 200,000 people have escaped to safety in Iraq's Kurdish region. AFP PHOTO/AHMAD AL-RUBAYE (Photo credit should read AHMAD AL-RUBAYE/AFP/Getty Images)

Image source : apdf-magazine.com ( Photo by : AHMAD AL-RUBAYE )

“The last thing I remember” she said “was praying before we had the last meal of the day. Abba hadn’t returned from work yet and after waiting for him for a long long time, we had decided to eat without him.”

She stopped and didn’t speak anymore. The silence had somehow begun to sting my ears but the tears in her eyes told me she wasn’t ready for more right now.

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We sat on something that neither of us was sure of being what part of a healthy building someday. We sat for a long long time in silence and suddenly she sniffed, pulled in a long long breath and spoke again.

“I don’t remember my lips touching the first bite of dinner that night. Because after I opened my eyes after praying, I saw nothing, nothing but this black coloured mist, probably smoke because it smelled like something fiercely burning under my nose. I couldn’t see or hear for a long long time and nothing made any sense. There was no roof over my head and the house wasn’t a house anymore. I screamed and yelled and called out to my brother, to Ammi who was supposed to serve me food a few minutes back but I heard no sound in return. No one responded, no one answered back. There was sand and there were stones and then there was me, my eyes frantically searched for known faces, for someone who’d call out my name this once. My head spun, and my lips bled. My eyes stung with the salt in them and I couldn’t feel half of my body anymore. I do not know what happened. Maybe I collapsed, maybe I didn’t. Maybe I left for where they were. Maybe not. I do not remember.”

I looked at her, didn’t know what to say, how to respond to the ache of this twelve year old lady sitting next to me.

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It was dust we sat in but never would have any dirt given out more pain or sung out more death songs than this did. The place stunk of blood and human flesh but we had never belonged to any place more than now. She because she had seen it all and lost it all. And I because I couldn’t gather myself up in her eyes to be so small to have nothing to offer to the brave heart.

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I do not know how much time went by while we sat there in silence and in rarely spoken words till she looked at me, her sight holding mine while she smiled,

“This used to be my home and I’m sure Ammi’s still sleeping underneath. In this quiet, quiet dust.” I don’t think I heard anything after that.

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A Heart-touching Article Every Bullying Victim Must Read

Remember that fat kid in your class who was the butt of all your crass jokes or that ‘too short for his age’ kid or that ‘ugly according to your standards’ girl in your class? Or perhaps that guy with not so good English or that guy who was too girly for you to tolerate? Do you remember all those fine specimens of imperfection who served as your sources of entertainment, sometimes even acting as fuels feeding your superiority complex as you derived validation for yourself by ridiculing their flaws? Of course you do, we all do. Most of us have been guilty of shattering someone’s self image to pieces. Many of us, at one time or other have participated in intentional or unintentional bullying . Well , what can we do? The idea of deriving the sense of superiority by belittling others over their flaws is enough to lead one astray.

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Image source : deviantart.com

People who are insecure and have nothing that makes them feel good about themselves, tend to seek that feeling or justification of being better by making a mockery of other people’s shortcomings. But in doing so, nobody ever thinks about how much pain and suffering thay are putting those people through. People don’t give a single thought to the fact that their actions, their words might induce a constant phase of doubt and self loathing in someone. In their pursuit of fun, often they forget that they might be scarring someone permanently; that they might be ruining their confidence and stature altogether.

Girl comforting her friend --- Image by © Dan Pangbourne/Image Source/Corbis
Image by © Dan Pangbourne

Image source : getyuxin.com

I know what it feels to be ridiculed , what is it like to be the constant topic of jokes. When people stop being sensitive to what maybe hurtful or insulting to you, and you are reduced to the status of a matter to joke about, trust me it feels awful. Since as long as I can remember ( that would be standard 1) ,I used to be the fat ugly girl of the class. I couldn’t understand why but, my classmates found extreme joy in ridiculing my appearance. I hadn’t even realised that it was that big a problem until everyone around me started making my looks pretty much the bane of my existence. I was hurt. I lost count of how many times people made me cry with their supposedly funny , harmless jokes and comments . At first I used to fight, take a stand for myself. Nevertheless, the jeering continued. Then I was told not to be a crybaby. “ Be a sport, laugh along”, they said. I didn’t have an option but to do just exactly that. So everytime someone tried to be creative with jokes regarding my weight or my face , I laughed along. It didn’t make me feel any less insulted. I was spared some awkwardness though. Being a bright student, an all rounder, none of that mattered more than the fact that I was the fat ugly girl. What it did to me? Well, it made school torture for me. My bullies took every ounce of self worth or confidence I had in me. Forget the schoolmates, your relatives never leave a chance to show the heights of cruelty. I’ve had comments like, “ Who would marry her?” to “ Even a dog wouldn’t date her”, spoken straight to my face ( If by any chance the speaker is reading this, know that you are the smallest person alive and please die in shame). I spent a good many years hating myself, dreading the mirror, believing that maybe no one would ever find me attractive. After all these years, I still find it impossible to believe a single compliment.

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But I was able to derive some good out of all this. I certainly learnt not to give a single fuck about what people would think about me. If I am comfortable with myself, no one can make me question my worth and disturb my peace of mind. Not everyone gets their confidence back though. There are a lot of people who go on living their lives with an inferiority complex rooted so deep inside them, nothing makes them appreciate themselves. I see so many people , so unsure of themselves, so worried about conforming to a specific social conduct or characterisation. They loathe themselves just because a few people refuse to be decent and more accepting of their flaws or quirks.

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To all those people who can relate with this, who have experienced this , know one thing, you are what you chose to believe. Do not let other peoples’ perceptions and judgements define you. Believe that you are awesome even if nobody around you cares to say so. You don’t need anyone’s approval or acceptance if you are confident of yourself. So cast your doubts into the drain and go live your life like a boss.

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And to all those people who mock others, who bully others, who think they get to act cool by making a show of someone’s shortcomings or disabilities, there’s a special corner in hell reserved especially for you all. Nobody has the right to degrade another person’s self-esteem. Know that there is a difference between laughing with someone and laughing at someone. And before you even think of making fun of others’ imperfections, make sure you are perfect. Ruining someone’s confidence is a sin. If you are guilty of it, stop it right now and if it’s not too much to ask , apologise to anyone who has suffered because of you. Love people, encourage them and the positivity will reflect back in your life. Do otherwise and Karma will find it’s way back to you.

Feature image source : glbimg.com