On June 3rd this year, Chief Minister of Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal, announced free metro and bus rides for women. While this is a new initiative by the Delhi government, it did spark some debate. After a few days of announcement of it, when Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia took a bus ride, enquiring with approximately fifty women regarding the government’s novel initiative, none of them seemed unhappy about it. A strong wave of women, all over Delhi, expressed their ire over the “freebies”, and stated that they can afford their travel expenses. While this surely shows how independent and self-reliant women are, it simultaneously echoes their already privileged position.
The initiative will prove to be a major leg up for women who are poor and underprivileged, who hail from the lowest rungs of the strata of society. These women work as house-maids, labors, sellers of various items on the bursting streets of Delhi, and are engaged in some other petty work of the same ilk, to earn a living and make both ends meet.
Their monthly income nears somewhere to seven to eight thousand, of which they unfortunately spend two to three thousand on travels, either by e-rickshaws or on foot. Metro, to them, is a luxury.
Added to this, metro is also a relatively safer means of commute system when compared to auto or bus rides. By making it free, not only women from deprived classes will be able enough to save some money, but their safety, which else compromised, also shall be guarded. The safety issue springs up for women of all classes, who are a part of late night commuters by metro.
The Delhi Metro Railway Corporation (DMRC) will incur no losses. The funding of the entire initiative is entirely under the ambit of Delhi government. The mere presumption of tax hike and the skepticism that male citizens will eventually have to bear its brunt holds no solid grounds.
Many critique its underpinning, knotting it with a move to bolster AAP’s vote bank for the upcoming Assembly elections which is due for the year 2020. But again, if at all it is a ‘poll plank’, it is a better strategy than fomenting religious or communal hatred, or hinting at majoritarianism, or disseminating disinformation to the masses through the sheer power of rhetoric.
This maneuver is one of the many affirmative actions that should be taken to empower women, since centuries of neglect and discrimination. Since it came to power, the Delhi government has taken many steps for the overall public welfare of the city. This new undertaking should not be leveled with gender equality. It is primarily about empowerment; because, say, have we ever seen men get uneasy with or question the unequal pay to women for the same job?
Even when a woman carries the same number of bricks as that of a man, she would be paid less because of the entrenched, stereotyped dynamics that are still linked to gender. So, free metro and bus travels are rather related to emancipation, than equality.
This inventiveness forms a part of a larger framework of enterprises needed to give freedom to women and enfranchise them.
With election results on the edge today and Modi government on the rise already for the second term, what could be the possibilities of NDA this time? Time again and again in the past 5 years we have seen radical views on the rise of “Hindutva Raj” walking side by side on the streets while also witnessing infrastructural development on a wide scale.
2019 elections hold a really important place as it would decide whether BJP will rule again or Indian National Congress would come back in power.
Let’s have a look at the past and possibilities of Namo 2.0:
More of World tours?
In a news article by economic times, Narendra Modi has supposedly taken 165 trips in total and had a total expenditure of 2021 crores. Though the trips were majorly focused on Foreign Direct Investment which did increase in his tenure but do we really need more of FDI and less attention on the root problems of the country such as poverty, unemployment, gender inequality and others?
Compared to Manmohan Singh’s term the total expenditure of his trips were accounted to be 1346 crores in total.
Total number of countries visited by him throughout are as follows according to Wikipedia:
Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Myanmar, South Africa, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Uzbekistan
France and Japan
He has been to Germany, Nepal, Russia and Singapore four times in total and finally he has visited China and United States for a total of times.
MORE OF LYNCHINGS?
India has witnessed almost 63 attacks done by Cow vigilantes which according to Reuters report came on the rise after the “Hindu Nationalist government” came in power in 2014. The report also states that a total of 28 Indians of which 24 of them were Muslims had been killed.
In 2014 itself we witnessed almost 4 violent attacks leading to communal tension from august 2014 to October 2014.
It only kept increasing and the numbers came up to 6 in total where individuals were beaten to death, it led to the extremes where a right wing Hindu mob in Jammu Kashmir “incorrectly” suspected that an 18-year-old had been transporting beef and had to suffer injuries due to gasoline bombs bring thrown at him.
From 2016 to 2017, India had already witnessed 16 attacks resulting from mob lynching due to alleged suspicion of cow smuggling and beef selling. The frequency of the attacks took a different turn in 2017 where the attacks rose up to 11 from 5 in 2016.
From 2018 to 2019, the attacks decreased down to 9 but still had some gory news to it where individuals aged 50 were shot in head or thrown in gutter.
GOING AGAINST THE NORMS OF EC
Twenty-one parties accused Bhartiya Janata Party of “blatantly” politicizing armed forces for vote bank. The joint meeting of the 21 parties equally criticized how the Modi government had been dealing with national security and failing at it.
“National security must transcend narrow political considerations. The leaders observed that the Prime Minister has, regrettably, not convened an all-party meeting as per the established practice in our democracy.”
On November 8, 2016 Prime minister declared a possibly beneficial decision for the country to get rid of black money and corruption, Demonetisation. This impulsive decision was not even discussed with the RESERVE BANK OF INDIA and RBI itself was made aware of the decision 2 hours ago before it was announced.
Later in the report released by RBI annually announced that our economy lost 1.5 percent of GDP in growth terms which was near to 2.25 crores a year.
Apart from the “Monetary aspect” to it which apparently failed majorly, this decision took 100 lives.
COMMUNCAL VIOLENCE NECESSARY WITH INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT?
The country saw the rise of infrastructural development on a wide angle, the rise of metros, cleaner cities, our apparent “ache din”. All these came with a cost of lives especially in the north and rural areas of the country.
There was a 28% rise in communal incidents under BJP rule. Statistical data collected by IndiaSpend showed an increase of 47% communal incidents in UP itself from 133 in 2014 to 195 in 2017.
According to RTI in 2017 itself 822 cases of communal violence were reported in which about 111 people were killed and 2384 were injured. Wherein 2016 702 cases were reported in which 86 people were killed and 1921 were injured.
In the fifth-to-last Game of Thrones episode ever, Everyone prepares for war. That now includes Jaime Lannister, somewhat ironically, officially rivals Bran for most pronounced character graph. Few have changed as much as Jaime Lannister, and this episode highlighted that at every opportunity, from his apology to Bran, to his knighting of Brienne of Tarth.
Season 8’s 2nd episode was yet another build-up, anticipation and the promise of something monumental waiting just over the horizon. It’s not just the Battle of Winterfell we have to look forward to: Dany and Jon didn’t get to finish their conversation in the crypt, and that’s arguably even more important. It’s the story behind the story.
The episode opens with Danaerys confronting Jaime she talks about how he killed her father and is threatening, despite knowing full well that her father was a murderous psychopath who needed to be killed. She doesn’t trust Jaime, and that makes sense given his past. Sansa doesn’t either, but Brienne vouches for him and she relents. Jon thinks they need every man they can get. And Tyrion says he believes him also. Jaime reveals of Cersei’s Plans of no intention of helping them and has a massive army that can wipe them all out once the Night King is dealt with.
Hard-Headed Women in the North
Daenerys takes out her frustration on Tyrion despite having gone along with his plan without question herself. Later Jorah takes her aside in private and speaks for Tyrion. He also urges her to make amends with Sansa though that doesn’t go quite as well as she hoped. When they’re speaking the ice does begin to thaw, but then Sansa brings up the fate of the North, asking Dany what happens when she takes the Iron Throne. Khaleesi inclining towards the madness like his Father does not wish to relieve the North.
Arya constantly in pure badass mode. She’s so tough, she’s such a great fighter, she can throw daggers with deadly accuracy, she tells Gendry to take off his own bloody pants because . . . it’s better to be tough than romantic or sexy? I’m not quite sure. It feels a little forced. I miss the old Arya.
Of the three strong women currently moving and shaking things at Winterfell, the favourite is Sansa. She’s smart and practical, stubborn and eloquent. She’s a good ruler and would make an excellent Queen in the North. I also like the young Lady Mormont, who is always putting someone in their place, this time, her cousin Ser Jorah.
The Dark Night forever.
This episode also revealed some of the Night King’s motivations, which has been a question since the very first scene of the show’s first episode. Bran tells the White Walkers are heading south so the Night King can kill him. “He wants to erase this world, and I am its memory.” Sam concurs with it and says that there would be no history left about anyone and all anyone would know of is the night kings existence.
As we head into the final battle of Winterfell, a plan has taken shape: The non-combatants will cower in the crypts (which might not be so wise if the theory about the Night King resurrecting all the corpses stored down there turns out to be right) while the army of the living holds off the dead long enough for Bran to lure the Night King to the Godswood.
Reunions still..Theon is greeted by Sansa rather emotionally as finally, he is fighting for what he is a Stark, by upbringing. Tormund and Beric Dondarrian arrive at Winterfell with the Nights watch.
‘One Wish Before Death’
The episode provided plenty of wish fulfilment for longtime Game of Thrones Characters and fans.
A Girl is Human
Arya actually getting together with Gendry was much anticipated but for me, it was a little eeky. Arya will always be a child for me so maybe I could not accept it.
Ser Brienne of the Seven Kingdoms
Jamie Knights Brienne, as we found out that a knight can knight another. Sitting around a fire crew of the show’s surviving characters: Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) and Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) and Podrick (Daniel Portman), Davos Seaworth (Liam Cunningham) and Tormund Giantsbane. Jaime knighting Brienne fulfils their relationship, although in a very different way. Brienne had inhibitions and denies any of such wish she has. but it all comes a full circle with Podrick’s valedictory nod. With characters present in the room make emotions run high.
At this point, Podrick starts singing, Jenny’s Song at the wish of Tyrion. The Song for me is everything about the episode, the dreams & death and it had an eeriness about it. In the books, all we’ve ever seen of the song is one line: “High in the halls of the kings who are gone, Jenny would dance with her ghosts.” Florence + the Machine performed the song over the episode’s closing credits.
The song with Pod singing, plays over shots of some of our heroes and the people that matter most to them—Sam/Gilly, Theon/Sansa, Arya/Gendry, Grey Worm/Missande, and, finally, Jon/Daenerys—should make us very worried for our favorites, and for the people who will live to mourn them.
“My name is Aegon Targaryen,”
After Jon did his best the entire episode to avoid Daenerys, she finds him down in the crypts. He’s standing in front of Lady Lyanna Stark, and Dany muses about her brother, Rhaegar, and how she can’t reconcile the good man from the stories with someone who could rape Lyanna. “He didn’t,” Jon tells her. “He loved her.” And the truth comes spilling out. He tells her how Rhaegar and Lyanna were wed in secret, and how after Robert’s rebellion was successful and Rhaegar slain, Lyanna made her brother Ned swear to raise their baby as his own bastard in order to protect him from Robert and the Lannisters.
Daenerys doesn’t believe him. After all, it’s his brother and best friend who came to him with this revelation. The conflict between Jon and Dany–the one caused by her life’s only mission the Iron Throne, should be easy to resolve. Where their conversation ended, I can hear what should have been the next line in my head: “But I don’t want the Iron Throne.” For Jon to respond in any other way would be unlikely; he’s always been reluctant to accept power, and quick to give it up once he gets it. Jon probably does not want the crown despite having the best claim, probably making him a better ruler.
Leaving that resolution as an open question throughout the upcoming battle was a fantastic narrative choice. Dany has become annoying, lashing out at Tyrion and exhibiting an alarming unwillingness to consider any alternative to her absolute rule. More than one character has expressed concern that Dany is more like her father and if she goes full Mad Queen or does something extreme in the coming battles, Jon might take the throne for Honor!
The Episode ends with the arrival of the whitewalkers outside Winterfell, setting the stage for an epic Battle of Winterfell. The Jenny Song in my head and the cinematography the show makes me feel for the characters. The music sets up the stage for heartbreaks in the next episode. Some dreams will be shattered, some Men will be lost.. Signing off with the song as the episode does…
Congress is trying its level best to regain the face it lost in UP, almost three decades back. Kisan Yatra is a tried and tested method that they are bringing to the menu again.
Rahul Gandhi, Vice-President of Congress indulged himself in election campaign . Once again, he has taken the charge, this time to conquer the largest state of the country. He had launched Kisan Yatra his party’s election campaign at Deoria, a town in eastern UP on September 6 ,by conducting a khaat Sabha. But, as soon as the meeting was over, the public created a chaos to collect the Khaats present over there . There were around 2000 khaats and the aim to arrange such campaign was to listen to the problems of the farmers. But, the public wanted at least some benefits from congress. This attitude of public questions the image of Rahul Gandhi.
Pic Credits- The Quint
In a TV interview with Rajat Sharma, Raj Babbar , Chairman of UP congress said “ Rahul Gandhi is being taken seriously by the farmers of UP. Rahul is talking about their problems. “ when a woman present in the TV interview asked about Rahul’s image as according to her no one takes him seriously now. His stand on Gandhi proves that every time Rahul does something he needs to be justified by his party members. It seems all his tactics are now overrated like eating at a farmers house. Day by day it is becoming tough for Rahul to relate himself to the farmers.
Rahul Gandhi’s Kisan Yatra had begun from Deoria and will conclude in western UP on October 5. Yesterday, he conducted a rally in Allahabad, where he was talking how Modiji is underestimating the farmers. .Rahul had undertaken similar campaign before 2012 assembly elections which covered around 15 districts. But, the party managed to win only 28 out 403 seats. Prashant Kishore, political strategist of UP congress is trying hard to increase the party’s vote percentage as the party is already comatose in the state.
Prashant Kishore has proved himself in 2014 and 2015 . But the year 2017 seems tough for him with Congress.
After Aam Aadmi Party removed Punjab chief Sucha Singh Chhotepur as AAP’s Punjab convener over the allegations of corruption, Aam Aadmi Party is most likely to split, reports suggests.
On Friday, last week former state minister, and AAP leader Sucha Singh Chhotepur was removed from the post of Punjab convener by Aam Aadmi Party. According to the party, Mr Chhotepur was allegedly taking the bribe to assign a constituency to a party candidate for the upcoming Punjab elections.
Mr Chhotepur who was before joining AAP was a member of the Akali Dal and Congress denied the allegation by calling it a conspiracy against him within the party.
AAP is most likely to decide Mr Chhotepur’s fate this week. According to sources, it is most likely that the party will expel him.
However, it seems like Mr Chhotepur also doesn’t want to continue with AAP anymore, in a press conference, he said, “They not only humiliated me but ensured that I was drowned. I have been reborn. I do not even want their shadows near me. I cannot forget the pain the party has given me.”
Meanwhile, an ultimatum has already been issued to AAP chief, and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal by six out of 12 zonal heads representing 13 Lok Sabha constituencies in Punjab, asking to restore Mr Chhotepur and remove two top AAP leaders Sanjay Singh and Durgesh Pathak.
While AAP leader and Member of Parliament Bhagwat Mann in a function on Wednesday, said no AAP leader has approached Mr Chhotepur for reconciliation, a report in The Indian Express said that AAP leaders including the state in charge Sanjay Singh tried to negotiate with him but he refused.
The Support Sucha Singh Chhotepur is getting from AAP volunteers from across the state and six zonal heads, suggests that Mr Chhotepur is most likely to form his own party. It is bit clear that his exit from Punjab’s AAP cadre might bring an interesting turn in upcoming Punjab elections.
Aam Admi Party in Punjab is already diving in controversy over the use of the broom, its party symbol alongside the golden temple’s picture on its youth manifesto; not only this after Navjot Singh Sidhu, changed his mood of joining AAP, it also lost a prominent face of the state.
Aam Admi Party’s march for election next year in Punjab doesn’t seem a smooth walk. Will AAP make it in Punjab, as they did in Delhi?
Integrity is too noble to be found in Indian politics. The recent developments in BJP rejecting 14 bills passed by Delhi Assembly is an acute instance of this ignobility.
Barry beat Eobard. For that reason Eobard hated Barry. He could not bear to live with the fact that he had lost to someone. Eobard decides to do everything he can, to trouble and torture Barry whenever and however possible, to make Barry’s life a mess. Eobard thought that one day Barry would give up. These lines could very well be used to describe the current situation between the BJP Central Government and the AAP in Delhi. If you thought you heard the last of AAP facing rejection and the Delhi CM lashing at the PM, well it’s just beginning.
In recent events, the Centre has returned 14 bills passed by the Delhi Assembly. Since Delhi is a Union Territory, any bill before being introduced in the assembly has to be vetted by the MHA (Ministry of Home Affairs) first. It has to come in the form of a legislative proposal first and if found to be not repugnant with Central laws then only it can be introduced in the assembly, let alone passed. A senior HMA official claimed that the procedure had not been followed by any of these 14 bills. A Delhi Govt official responded by saying that they will examine the issues raised by the MHA and work towards amending them as act of prior approval cannot be the sole reason for returning of the Bills. The bills returned included the Jan Lokpal Bill 2015, the Minimum Wages bill 2015, the Delhi School Bill 2015, the Delhi School Education Bill 2015, the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Bill 2015 and a bill related to working journalists.
“If he was not allowing the Assembly to function because he was not able to digest the defeat?” – Kejriwal lashed out against this move.
In an earlier issue, President Pranab Mukherjee declined to give his assent to a bill formed by the AAP. The aim of the bill was to exclude the post of Parliamentary Secretaries from the ‘Office of Profit’. The Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal retaliated to this by saying that the PM intends to not work himself and will stall anyone who tries to get proper work done. He asked the PM to trouble him as much as he wanted but not to stall work that intends to serve the interests of the people of Delhi. There were other politicians from BJP and Congress who lashed back at the Delhi CM and for a while there was a major war of words among the three parties. Eventually it died away and was over. The Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal retaliated to this by saying that the PM intends to not work himself and will stall anyone who tries to get proper work done.
Like before Kejriwal took to twitter to lash out at Modi for this set back. In a tweet Kejriwal claimed that Modi is avenging his loss to the AAP by stalling his work for the citizens of Delhi. In another tweet Kejriwal said that Modi’s slogan is ‘Na kaam karoonga, na karne doonga’ (Neither will I work and nor will I let others work). He even asked why the central government had the right to block the work done by the Delhi govt. ‘Is the Centre the headmaster of the Delhi govt.’ he asked. Other members of the AAP claim that the central government has no intention of passing any of these bills at all. At one side the AAP claims to be working in every possible way to uproot corruption while the Centre claims that all their bills contain legal loopholes. Who’s to say what is true and what is not true. With the return of these bills the AAP has again started lashing at the central govt. for their interference. Possibly there will be another war of words occurring shortly.
Despite Eobard’s intentions and rivalry, truth and righteousness always prevailed against him. Let’s hope that in this conflict of politicians the truth and right people prevail, especially for the sake of the citizens of Delhi.
Thankfully the courts of India is smarter than the bureaucrats. High Court bashed Mr Pahlaj Nihalani and his 89 cuts on the upcoming film Udta Punjab.
‘An idea that is not dangerous is unworthy of being called an idea at all’ – Oscar Wilde
The journey of good & true cinema is facing uneven resistant from the Censor board current chief. The old school paradox promoter has created enough trouble in a row for many of the good cinema. He prompts direct cut to the reel without seeing the what the subject in cinema is catering. In the world of internet what is censored! In the mid of April the trailer of an upcoming movie directed by Abhishek Chaubey was released. The trailer made it clear that the movie was about the abundant amount of drug abuse in the state of Punjab and the struggle of authorities to eliminate this drug abuse. Moreover the trailer even revealed the use of many renowned slangs and abuses throughout the movie. The movie is slated for a June 17 release.
In May, the CBFC (Central Board of Film Certification) demanded as many as 89 cuts in the film. The cuts included censoring and removal of explicit scenes and language, removal of any references to the state of Punjab, politics or elections in general. Pahlaj Nihalani, Chairperson of the CBFC wanted the movie to be set in a fictional land rather than the state of Punjab. This led to a row between Anurag Kashyap, a co-producer of the film and the chairman of CBFC. On June 6, Anurag Kashyap tweeted, ‘There is no film more honest than UDTA PUNJAB and any person or party opposing it is actually GUILTY of promoting drugs. The controversy took a political twist when Mr. Nihalani claimed that he had heard that Anurag Kashyap had been given money by the AAP to show Punjab in a bad light. AAP leader Ashish Khetan alleged that Mr. Nihalani is close to the BJP and is acting under the direction of the Punjab govt. so that the “reality of BJP’s coalition government in Punjab is not exposed.” On June 7 Anurag Kashyap tweeted, ‘I request Congress, AAP and other political parties to stay out of my battle. It’s my Rights vs. the Censorship. I speak only on my behalf’. With Assembly elections due in Punjab next year the drug abuse in the state has become a major campaign issue for the ruling coalition.
“Mr. Nihalani claimed that he had heard that Anurag Kashyap had been given money by the AAP to show Punjab in a bad light”
Phantom films, the production and distribution company filed a petition with the Mumbai High Court seeking a copy of the order passed by the censor board’s review committee which suggested many cuts in the movie and even demanded the removal of reference to Punjab in the movie. On the 10th of June the Mumbai High court told the CBFC that their function is to certify movies not censor them. A division bench of Justices S.C. Dharmadhikari and Shalini Phansalkar Joshi said that if people don’t like something they have a remote. They also asked the producers to tone down explicit and vulgar scenes. The producers agreed to remove a scene where actor Shahid Kapoor is shown urinating on a crowd. The review committee stated that, ‘The theme, presentation, language and visuals of the film are not suitable for non-adults.’ The hearing was wrapped up with Mr. Kadam quoting Archibald Cox that, ‘No government must dictate what its people can hear or say. The court posted the case for June 13 for its final verdict.
We all will ask Mr. Pahlaj to review his own films when we meet him next! Uncensored!