Namo 2.0 or Hindutva 2.0

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:

Visited once;

Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bhutan, Brazil, Canada, Fiji, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Jordan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Maldives, Mauritius, Mexico, Mongolia, Mozambique, Netherlands, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Philippines, Portugal, Qatar, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Spain, Sweden, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Vietnam

Visited twice;

Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Myanmar, South Africa, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Uzbekistan

Visited Thrice;

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.



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.


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.


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.


New Year Resolution For Gujarat – Water Conservation

It is year end and everyone is thinking about new year resolutions. We have a small suggestion for the newly elected Government of Gujarat – water conservation. Here’s why.

In late February, the country’s Supreme Court mandated that all polluting industries must ensure that waste water discharges meet quality standards by installing effective primary effluent treatment facilities by March 31 2017.

River and lake pollution is a major problem across much of India, and regulatory inertia toward industrial waste water has exacerbated the situation. The court’s decision represents a watershed moment in the governance of natural resources.

Gujarat’s challenge

The issue is particularly salient in the drought-prone industrial state of Gujarat. Numerous efforts over the years have not stemmed widespread discharge of untreated effluents, which has reduced the biodiversity and regenerative capacity of its water bodies.

Coastal areas in this western state have seen a 15% decline in high-value fish stocks, and many rivers are facing extinction of fish communities. In 2011, Down to Earth magazine reported an almost 50% decline in fish catch from the Damanganga river in the Daman district, situated near the Vapi industrial cluster in south Gujarat.


Thol Lake in Gujarat, today a biodiverse wildlife hub, could be affected by pollutants in the long run. Emmanuel Dyan/Flickr, CC BY

Where industrial waste water is being used for irrigation, for example on farms located near industrial clusters, there is increasing evidence of crop contamination with heavy metals. Groundwater is also polluted as a result of indiscriminate industrial dumping, causing freshwater scarcity in the region.

In Gujarat, even regions with otherwise plentiful surface water sources are affected as creeks and rivers turn into black cesspools thanks to increasing municipal waste and insufficient sewage treatment plants. In 2015, the Central Pollution Control Board of India reported that 74% of the state’s 27 monitored rivers, whose tributaries flow along 38 prominent industrial townships and urban centres, including the cities of Ahmedabad, Surat and Vadodara, are severely polluted.

More water does not mean clean water

In the past decade, India has made progress in ensuring its citizens have access to water by investing in comprehensive water augmentation measures. This has included building, in 2002, the Narmada canal network, constructing check dams and harvesting rainwater, among other schemes.

In Gujarat, a 2010 Ministry of Environment and Forests moratorium on new building in eight of the state’s most polluted industrial clusters, curbed the expansion of existing industrial clusters and demanded “immediate” closure of non-compliant factories within these areas.


Vishwamitri river, near Vadodara in Gujarat. Bhupesh Niranjan Pathak/The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, Author provided.

Though the ban was criticised for negatively affecting employment and output, it had regulatory results. The Gujarat Pollution Control Board forced non-compliant industrial units to implement a time-bound action plan, including a series of strategies to mitigate water and air pollution within the industrial clusters. There were no fines, but the industries may face closure or restrictions on expanding operations if they do not fulfil their environmental obligations.

Following recommendations made by the Gujarat government’s Water Resource Department in 2015, the state’s five-year industrial policy has now introduced various financial incentives to help facilities improve waste water quality and curb usage. It allows investments of up to 500 million rupees (US$7.5 million) in pollution-abatement infrastructure, including common effluent treatment plants and recycling of treated waste water. It also provides targeted financial assistance for adopting cleaner, more energy-efficient and less water-intensive production technologies“.

A refinery of Essar Oil in Vadinar, in the western state of Gujarat, India. Amit Dave/Reuters

Finally, the Gujarat Pollution Control Board made good use of its e-governance platform to connect with industries, leveraging the Xtended Green Node software to increase inspections (without any having to spend scarce funds on hiring additional staff).

These steps are beginning to show some results. According to the agency’s 2014-15 annual report, industrial use of pollution-abatement technologies and upgrades in common effluent treatment plants have mitigated chemical oxygen demand and ammoniac nitrogen in water sources, both measures of industrial pollution.

Industrial discharges into rivers, lakes and creeks translate into a larger need for oxygen to maintain aquatic life. When pollution levels get too high, biodiversity will be compromised, rendering the water body unfit for any human use.

The annual average for chemical oxygen demand in the river Amlakhadi, which runs through the Ankleshwar industrial area, declined drastically each year from 2008 to 2014, based on the board’s monthly monitoring results.

Still, pollution levels were more than four times higher than national standards for the domestic usage of rivers. And neither state nor national environmental controls have improved the quality of water in Gujarat’s rivers, lakes, creeks and coastal areas outside the specified industrial clusters.

Today, access to reliably clean water is still an ongoing challenge for Gujarat. Preserving the quality of all water bodies – both surface and groundwater sources – will be critical to ensuring safe drinking water for domestic uses and maintaining sufficiency for economic and agricultural uses in the long run.

Clean water remains scarce

The moratorium on Ankleshwar and three other industrial clusters were lifted in late 2016. Industries faced a critical decision: return to the old way of doing things (potentially facing a similar shut-down in the future) or move forward proactively, building water efficiency and waste water treatment into their production processes.

Water is sprayed over coal at an Essar Power coal-fired electrical plant in Gujarat. Amit Dave/Reuters.

The recent Supreme Court case, with its March 31 deadline for installing effective waste water treatment facilities, has made business as usual seem considerably more risky. And given the many new Gujarat government incentives aimed at improving industrial environmental governance, the investment required to upgrade environmental protections no longer looks quite so unprofitable. Such innovation is not only now financially feasible, it could also help industries to insulate themselves against future water scarcity in the state.

Sustainable industrialisation has a critical role to play in water governance. The 2014 Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change highlighted how industrial symbiosis within special economic zones and industrial clusters could be an effective laboratory for innovative in pollution-mitigation strategies.

As the recent Vibrant Gujarat Summit 2017 showed, industrial Gujarat is still attracting significant national and international investment for brownfields, mining, petrochemicals and other projects.

Continued sustainable development in the resource-constrained state will require a comprehensive water-conservation blueprint that integrates environmental protections into industrial activities. If Gujarat succeeds, it could set a precedent for the rest of the country. We could only wish that this would be a good new year resolution for Gujarat.


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India needs to burn effigies of these 10 Ravanas this Dussehra

Dussehra is a time when we celebrate the triumph of good over evil.

While we burn effigies of Ravana this year, we must also burn effigies of evils that we need to rid the country of forever

1. Poverty-

172 MN People live below the poverty line- that’s 12.4% of India’s total Population

 [Source: – World Bank estimates for 2015]


2. Hunger-

195 MN People are undernourished-that’s 15% of the total population

[Source: – UN Hunger Report 2015]


3. Rape-

Every hour 4 Women are raped. In 2015 34,771 Women were raped

[Source: – NCRB 2015]


4. Illiteracy-

287 MN adult illiterates in India- That’s 37% of the Global total

[Source: – UNESCO Report 2014]


5. Corruption-

We are 76th most corrupt country in the world. An average India household pays INR 4,400 as bribe every year

[Source: – Transparency International, National Council of Applied Economic research survey]


6. Black Money –

152-181 BN USD of Illegal money is hidden in foreign tax havens

[Source: – Bank of Italy estimates, 2016]


7. Lack of Sanitation-

595 MN people in India don’t have access to toilets: 2.44 Trillion USD a Year is what inadequate sanitation costs us

[Source: – UN, World Bank]


8. Pollution-

1.4 MN people die prematurely due to Air Pollution, which also costs India 8.5% of its GDP

 [Source: – World Bank, American Association for the advancement of Science]


9. Communal Violence-

During 2005-09 648 people were killed and 11,278 injured in 4,030 incidents of communal violence. Since then, there have been more than 650 Riots every year.

 [Source: – PRS India]


10. Bigotry

123 Cases of crimes committed against Dalits every day.

[Source: – NCRB 2015]

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Surprise! Vijay Rupani the New CM of Guarat

In a shocking turn of events, BJP state Chief Vijay Rupani has been named the new Chief Minister of Gujarat. Nitin Patel would only be his Deputy.

The surprise move came after a meeting of the BJP legislators at State Party headquarter Shree Kamalam. Till the time it was decided, Nitin Patel was almost confirmed to take over reigns from the outgoing CM Anandiben Patel.

Vijay Rupani CM Gujarat

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Nothing is known about what actually happened in the meeting. The meeting was held in the presence of national BJP president Amit Shah and central observers Nitin Gadkari and Saroj Pandey. Besides these, national vice-president Parshottam Rupala, State in-charge Dinesh Sharma and national organising Secretary V Satish were also present.

Health Minister and a front runner for the coveted post Nitin Patel has said that whoever will be chosen at Friday’s meeting, he along with all MLAs will support him wholeheartedly. By Friday afternoon, after his name emerged as almost certain, Patel even gave television interviews accepting congratulations.

Rupani had earlier bowed out of the race for CM.

On Wednesday, former chief minister Anandiben Patel submitted her resignation to Governor O P Kohli after BJP leaders decided to accept her offer to quit the post.

The events in Gujarat is getting unpredictable every moment. What will the Patels do now? What happens to Dalit issue? What tact card is Amit Shah playing here?


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Gujarat CM Resign: Dawn of new Modi? Or Setback to BJP?

The days of Anandiben Patel in Gujarat weren’t very smooth. The State-wide protests, following the thrashing of a Dalit family by cow protection group, have shaken Gujarat politics. In a recent rally, the Dalit community threatened the BJP Government that they will teach the saffron party a lesson in the elections next year.

However, the circumstances of Anandiben’s resignation are very similar to the situations in 2001 when Keshubhai Patel, then CM of the state, resigned. Similar to Anandiben, Keshubhai faced criticism after BJP lost by-elections and the foundered handling of the 2001 earthquake in the state.   

Also read | Did Anandiben Patel Resign For Lame Reasons?

Till he resigned, Keshubhai was the unquestioned leader of BJP in the state. The party had not many options then, and as fate would have it Narendra Modi, then general secretary, was promoted the new Chief Minister of the state. Similar, to how it is now, Modi came to power when elections were just a year ahead. The next election was held, to the backdrop of the violent communal riots of 2002. Modi gave a thumping victory to the party and established himself its champion in the state. With his mass appeal, he was able to repeat the results twice in the successive elections of 2007 and 2012. Then, as ‘Gujarat Model’ became the standard of development, Modi became the Prime Minister in 2014.

When Keshubhai resigned, it was an opportunity, that Modi seized, and how!   

Now, when Anandiben Patel steps down, the party is again back to that phase. Who will be the new face? And will he be able to handle the heat? Modi had 2002 Riots to help him win the elections. 2016 is nothing like 2002. In the past one year alone, the incumbent party has antagonised two key voter factions. The Paitdar agitation, which brought the Government much shame, has alienated the support of Patils from BJP. The heat of Dalit Protests, and the deaths associated with it, is still rising. State Government has totally mishandled the entire incident.

Modi’s rise to the national level left a political void in Gujarat. It was understood that Anandiben Patel was just a caretaker till the next elections. But under her, the ‘care’ was not enough. Issues are getting out of hands. The Dalit issue has been so blown up that it might also affect elections in Uttar Pradesh. What BJP needs now is a strong leader, who can be another Modi, to make Gujarat ‘great again’, because, frankly, BJP is losing it in Gujarat now. Gujarat being the home state of Modi and Amit Shah, two largest leaders of the party, it also becomes a prestige issue for BJP to manage this efficiently.

So, will we see rise of a new Narendra Modi? Or will Gujarat see a change in Government after a long time and go for the alternatives – AAP or Congress?

Did Gujarat CM Anandiben Patel Resign for a lame reason?

The political landscape of Gujarat was very volatile since Anandiben Patel took charge. In a surprising move, the first woman Chief Minister of the State has offered to resign.

After a week of protests across the state in reaction to the assault of four Dalits by an allegedly ‘cow protection group’, Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel has submitted her resignation. She sent her resignation to the BJP top brass seeking relief from the top job in the state.

What is even more interesting is that she posted the letter of resignation on Facebook. In the letter she said that she had sought to resign two months earlier from the party to give “enough time to the new incumbent to prepare for important events like the upcoming Vibrant Gujarat summit”.


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“For the last some time there has been a tradition in the party that those who attain the age of 75, voluntarily retires from the post. I will attain the age of 75 in November,” the state’s first woman chief minister, who succeeded Narendra Modi on May 22, 2014, said in the Facebook post.

“It (the rule of 75) is a good thing and it will give a chance to young leaders to come up,” 

“Two months ago I had requested the party to relieve me from the post and today also through this letter, I request the party to relieve me of the post,” Patel said.

“I am asking the party to relieve me two months in advance as the new chief minister will require the time to work, when the state is going to face elections in 2017 and an important event like Vibrant Gujarat Summit to be held in January,” Patel said.

“It (the rule of 75) is a good thing and it will give a chance to young leaders to come up,” she added.

Anandiben Patel made the disclosure in a Facebook post. Elections in the state are due in the later part of 2017.

Also Read | Gujarat CM Resign: Dawn of new Modi? Or Setback to BJP?

The unwritten convention in the party, set by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in recent times has been that those attaining the age of 75 have to quit the post.

In 2015, Patel had to face the heat when BJP fared unsatisfactorily in rural civic body polls. Congress, on the other hand did considerably better in the same elections.

The Patidar communities quota agitation and the State subsequently bowing down to them was also backlash for her. Another dent to the image of BJP in the state came with the thrashing of Dalit youth in Una.

Resignation by Anandiben Patel might be an opportunity or a political gimmick. Whatever it is, the story is only unfolding.


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Attempt Suicide to Protest in Gujarat!

Protest is taking a new form in Gujarat. 16 members of Dalit community attempted suicide in protest against four men from the community were beaten up for skinning dead cows near Una.

Suicide attempts were reported from Junagadh, Kesod, Ahmedabad and Godhal on Tuesday. One amongst these was local Congress leader Anil Madhad. According to local news agency Sandesh, one Hemant Bhika Solanki died after drinking poison in Khambaliya village, Bhesan.

Protestors blocked a national highway and set state transport busses on fire. While, clashes between protestors and the police were also reported from Amreli District.


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The Gujarat government had earlier suspended four police officers for negligence about the beating of the Dalit community members. The government has also ordered a probe by Criminal Investigation Department.

The incident that triggered all this was the when four men from Dalit community was beaten up. The victims were skinning a dead cow they had bought, when around six men intervened and started asking them how and where they got it. They accused the Dalits of killing the animal and started thrashing them. A video showing the incident, ironically uploaded by an accused himself, went viral on social media. Apparently, the accused wanted to caution people against killing cows. The accused belong to a cow protection committee in the area.

Ahmed Patel, a Congress leader, said, “People who have faced violence need to be given justice. Failure of authorities to protect Dalits in Gujarat is absolutely shocking. Is it the Gujarat Model? Independent probe is the need of the hour.”

The protest is spreading throughout Gujarat and this is a cause of worry for everyone.

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