“DESPITE BEING A WOMAN SHE HAS ZERO TOLERANCE FOR TERRORISM”

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Now that’s not what we are saying but it came directly out of our PM’s mouth when he was on a visit to Bangladesh. And of course this controversial statement had to be followed by a lot of criticisms on social media. The Twitter world especially the women section reacted in the following manner in order to express their vexation.

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For people who have absolutely no idea of what we are talking about here is the link check it out (http://bit.ly/1G5NQdD).  We are still waiting for a statement from our dear Mr. Narendra Modi but this statement has no doubt initiated the spark which can no way be ignored.

 

SHUTTING DOWN IS NOT THE ONLY SOLUTION

[box]By Anwesha Brahma[/box]

Uber

Just before we start, this headline not in any sense means that we support Uber after the alleged sexual assaults committed by its drivers working via the ride-sharing app. But we also acknowledge the fact that cancelling the license is not the only viable option. The services were banned in the national capital following the rape of a financial consultant allegedly by a cab driver working in partnership with Uber in December 2014. The government had also issued directions for blocking the website and mobile app of these services. But still these taxi services continue to operate in Delhi surreptitiously. In other words people were still using its services.

We all know for a matter of fact and accept that the Uber services are definitely affordable. The app gets anyone from point A to B at the touch of a screen. With the occurrence of the Uber rape case the Delhi government was in dreads. And with the media mounting pressure on it, it went all haywire and thus the Delhi transport department banned all cab service aggregator apps including Ola on December 8, 2014. Interestingly, Ola appealed against the transport department’s order, and on December 23, the Delhi High Court set aside the transport department’s move. Is it because of the Indian touch?

Now the problem is though these aggregator apps are ready to accept any regulatory mechanism which aims to ensure traceability of drivers and safety of the passengers. But in the present regulatory framework, we don’t exactly have any mechanism to regulate the safety standards of the aggregator-apps. Thus the only solution leads us to close down the business or get radio-taxi license. But what about the initial idea the business started with?

No doubt we all are concerned about the security and rising incidents of molestation against the cab services but the question is that is it possible to deal with every state government or city transport department in the country. Instead can we have a single authority under the union government which would work along side of the services in order to set a safety and security guideline.

Two shades of India

Comparison is a word that every human being has been through. From school to working life, all of us have been compared. Someone has truly said “Comparison is a death of joy.” Seriously, just remember those innocent days when we made faces when our mother talked about it. But here it’s not about human to human comparison but we are here to present you something regarding two sides of India. Comparing India with the India as it is percepted worldwide!

We all know a coin has two sides, in the same way India approched diffrenetly by Desis and Videshis. The one is defined by “We Indians” and the other by “Them” who don’t belong to India. But whatever it is, what matters to us is talking about our own land. So let’s step forward to show them the meaning of our Incredible India!

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Photo courtesy- Just Indian Page

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The possible futures of the Janta Pariwar and its stakeholders

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Politics is the thing that can see even the South and the North Pole coming together. Parties and politicians with different ideologies come together for ‘social welfare’, pardon me no pun intended! Well, without beating around the bush I would come straight to the point and the point is Janta Pariwar, a Pariwar of six political parties.

Six parties namely- Samajwadi Party (headed by Mulayam Singh in the state of Uttar Pradesh), Rashtriya Janta Dal (headed by Lalu Yadav in the state of Bihar), Indian National Lok Dal (headed by Om Prakash Chautala in the state of Harayana), Janta Dal United (headed by the current chief minister of Bihar, Nitish Kumar) Janta Dal Seculr (HD devegowda in the state of Karnatka) and Samajwadi Janta Party (former Prime Minister ChandraShekhar) have merged though the formal announcement is awaited. These parties were the part of defunct Janta Party which was formed to defeat the former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.

Parties in the Janta Pariwar:

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Samajwadi Party: Samajwadi Party, the current ruling party of Uttar Pradesh seems to benefit from the merger. As all the parties aim to stand against the current central government, in other words Modi Skrkar. Moreover amongst all the parties in Janta Pariwar it is the only party with maximum number of seats in the Rajya Sabha where the BJP (Bhartiya Janta Party) is in dearth of numbers. With Janta Pariwar coming together, the party would get a stronghold over the BJP in the Rajya Sabha, which would help it in opposing certain legislations.

The party has remained unsuccessful in garnering seats in the Lok Sabha though it did well in the assembly elections in the state of Uttar Pradesh in 2012 assembly election. It has come to power in UP thrice and therefore the state remains the major focus point. Mulayam Singh Yadav, the senior leader of the party has been authorised to make a final announcement about the merger soon.

The merger seems to be a fair deal for the party as the first aim of the Janta Pariwar would be the Bihar assembly elections which are scheduled in end of this year and then the elections in its home state UP in 2017.

Rashtriya Janta Dal:

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RJD, headed by Lalu Prasad Yadav is based in the state of Bihar with representation in both the houses of parliament. RJD ruled Bihar for 15 years therefore it is a major contestant in the upcoming elections of Bihar. It is majorly supported by Muslims and Yadavs which are active participants in the politic of Bihar.

The sentencing of Lalu Yadav in the fodder scam led to a negative impact on the party image which was also overshadowed by the backwardness of Bihar during the regime of RJD. RJD joining hands with JDU can be considered as a lethal combination of two opposite poles coming together. The outcome of its merger with the Janta Pariwar is still the most awaited show. The merger might uplift the party and gat it rid of the nightmares of the Lok Sabha elections.

Janta Dal (United):

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Bihar’s current chief minister Nitish Kumar’s party has a fair amount of representation in the Rajya Sabha. The coming together of JD(U) and RJD has been a political game plan where both the parties having their substantial vote share that may perform well and give a tough fight to the BJP.

Its merger in Janta Pariwar would definitely hamper the BJP vote share as earlier it was a part of the NDA (National Democratic Alliance that headed India government from 1998-2004). But the merger would hamper the image of CM Nitish Kumar for sure.

JDS:

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The Janta Dal Secular led by the HD Deve Gowda is also a part of the Janata Pariwar. JDS is mainly based in Karnataka and Kerela. The southern states which are mostly devoid of the BJP being a key player, further its position might weaken in these states as the Janta Pariwaar would be recognised through JDS which has been in power in the state of Karnataka.

INLD:

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Indian National Lok Dal led by Om Prakash Chautala is a party based in the state of Haryana. It might gain advantage from the merger. Since it has not been performing well in the Lok Sabha elections from a very long time, its merger might help it in garnering some support. The basic vote share of INLD is of Jats, which are now not much in favour of the Modi government which has not taken a clear stand on the Jat reservation issue.

The merger of INLD may affect the BJP as once it was the part of the NDA government.

Samajwadi Janta Party:

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Samajwadi Janta Party was found by one of the former Prime Minister of India, ChandraShekhar and he was the sole MP from the party. Currently the party has no recognition in the parliament. Therefore getting merged with the Janta Pariwar may prove helpful for the party anyways it is not a deal of loss for them.

 

The possible futures of the Janta Pariwar:

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  1. BJP will have to face a major opposition this time in two major states Bihar and UP, which is already not an easy path for it. It is also a litmus test for the voters.
  2. The coming together of these parties to form an alliance against BJP will definitely give some colours to the Indian Politics as all the parties are from different states which have different socio economic backgrounds.
  3. It would also be interesting to see how long this merger survives and whether it is able to surpass the upheavals of the roller coaster political ride.
  4. The member parties of the Janta Pariwaar have received a lot of doubts from within the party over the merger. After all for how long can two opposite directions lead to a straight road without bumpy breakers?

It’s not about “Choice’’

deepikaThe recent video of Deepika where she emphasizes about choices has seen many going gaga over it saying it to be ”a worth watch” and many at the same time criticizing it by putting forward the male version of the same video.

I am a female writer; I am neither a feminist nor a male chauvinist. I am neutral and I have just one question- Was the video needed? Does it help in any which ways? Or any such viral video casting a celebrity or celebrities speaking to empower women create any difference?

Internet is flooded with many such ideal videos, where women are shown rebelling for freedom and within minutes the video goes viral. Does it create an impact on anyone?

Recently the talk of the town was the photograph of a menstruating woman which was removed by Instagram , but due to criticism Instagram had to upload the picture again with an apology to the concerned woman.

Everybody got mad as soon as the picture was removed. All started talking Biology and explained that the menstrual blood is not impure and it should not be a taboo. People blindly supported it. But again I have a question how relevant was that photograph to be uploaded on a public platform? I am sure the answer would be #MYCHOICE.

Since I have already mentioned that I am a female writer, hence I know what it is to go through the trauma if someone disrespects your body or you as an individual for just being a female but in my point of view, which might be contradictory to many trust me, this is not the way to create a mark or make people forcefully respect you for being a woman.

Definitely gender equality needs to be discussed, but not this way. Uploading any viral video showing a woman either in a distressed situation or in a compromising position or in her bathroom, is definitely not the way and yes I get offended when I see such things because I am not at the mercy of anybody neither do I enjoy people seeing my biological cycle openly.

There are other issues equally important which do not get adequate attention on the social media because the so called women empowerment is shared and made viral.

The issue of rape will never be solved by uploading videos; it needs a much deeper attention. Yes, mentality has to be changed, not forcefully but genuinely. People need to realise that a woman is a free soul, the change has to be on the very grass root level and believe it or not it will be with education. If a woman is educated a family is. So, if you need to change something, educate her, invest in female education, spread the message. Women will never be empowered by unhooking bra in front of the camera.

Ladies stand for yourself, stand high because you are dignified not suppressed!

#PadsAgainstSexism- Show Cause notice to Jamia students

1qAfter trying to walk the unconventional way, the group of students from Jamia received a show cause notice from the the Chief Proctoral Office. They have been asked to clarify their action by March 31. The issue dates back to a campaign which was started by a group of students from Jamia who had started sticking sanitary pads in the campus with feminist messages, to create awareness about rape and sexism.[gap height=”15″]

Proctor’s stand-

According to Professor Mehtab Alam, the university’s chief proctor, students did not follow due procedures before launching the campaign. Without getting into actual details, the core issue remains that the students tried to go on a different way, something which was different than the usual posters. It was much expected that the university which houses a majority of Muslim students wouldn’t have allowed anything which could have gone against their patriarchy rhythm.

The chief proctor further clarifies that the message was not a problem but the means used could have been better. He further said that since sanitary pads are private garment and it is not meant to be displayed in public. This statement of the professor completely reflects the pseudo mentality of so called open minded institution.

Professor there is this question that if sanitary pads are private-

  1. Is outraging a women’s modesty a public affair?
  2. Is it completely acceptable for the society to interfere with the body of a lady just for fun?
  3. Is it fine with you when a psychopath tears into the private parts of a helpless girl just to show his dominance?

The so called complaint-

The professor also said that one woman at the campus got offended and complained to the guard saying “Uncle vahan pe koi gandi cheez lagi hai “ (Something bad has been pasted there). Professor, we agree to the reason given by you but let me clarify, the girl who might have complained is also a part of that patriarchal society which considers menstrual cycle a taboo or something which should not be discussed in open.

DustbinDubba’s stand

Sir, you are a part of an institution which houses people from different backgrounds and different mentalities. Many people look at you to form an opinion, it is completely fine if you try to maintain discipline in the campus by seeking an explanation from the students but your statement which again pushes back the entire population into the patriarchal umbrella is the problem.

We need to change and if you have a better option rather than sticking posters with “meaningful messages” it will be welcomed. Sir, means could be anything but it should lead to complete elimination of the problem.

Sanitary pads are something which is not discussed so openly in our country and using it as a means is definitely a unique approach which would seek attention of all.

Hunterrr: Imagine the male protagonist being replaced by a female in Hunterrr

Is it really necessary that a sex comedy movie in Bollywood should always focus or revolve around a boy’s life, or makers have the perception that with females being the protagonists the movies won’t be successful? Girls get mature at a very early age, at least before guys get their puberty.

When I got my first periods, my father attributed the reason that too much thinking about sex is the reason behind. He thought that girl who thinks too much about sex; get their puberty at a very early age.

I was 12 and it’s normal to have periods at this age. But I can’t even deny the other factor, as I use to think a lot about having sex. My imagination had no boundaries in fact I must not even barred my brothers in it. I wasn’t the only one; my friends even had the same line of thoughts. Forget about learning about positions I had created my own positions with a promise that I would try it all, when I would have my guy.

Sabzi Wale (from the vegetable man) se leke Aachar Wala (pickle seller), everyone had their turn in my fantasy. I remember once I had gone out for watching a movie with my friends and if I can recall it was Jodha Akbar. During one such part in the film where Hrithik and Aishwarya are sharing some intimate scenes, one of my friends caught hold of my hand but that wasn’t the crucial part, the shocking part was that I didn’t react and let the situation move on. Not because I couldn’t have reacted but just because I didn’t want to.

Watching porn comes next; of course with me as a girl, it was quite difficult to do stuffs in public like going out for a porn movie. But internet solved all our problems, When guys use to use middle fingers in the classroom during discussions they thought we girls have no idea about it. I use to think Beta Main Tumhari Maa Hun (I am your mother in this) but of course I had to behave like a so called descent girl and all.

While I was watching Hunterrr, I just thought that it’s not compulsory that each Vasu character needs to be a male, as I don’t think the female section carries any different point of view about sex and its origin in our physical actions.

PM’s three nation tour and its outcomes

pm modiNarendra Modi led NDA government has been a target for all since its coming to power in May last year, it is maybe due to the aspirational campaign run by it prior to the elections. Indians were wooed by the charming strategic plans put forward by Modi jee .

India is aiming to strengthen itself again in its neighbourhood by establishing cordial relations with all the countries around be it China or Seychelles. The recent three nation tour of PM in the Indian Ocean is being admired and at the same time criticized also. Well keeping apart all the controversies, we believe it is a good move to establish India again in the region.

Earlier PM had to visit Maldives also along with Seychelles, Mauritius and Sri Lanka but due to political uncertainty in the archipelago, the trip was cancelled. Some of the experts believe that by cancelling the trip India has sent out a strong message to the Abdul Yameen government, that India would not tolerate the growing dominance of China in the region which has always been a part and parcel of Indian diplomacy.

The foresighted PM visited Seychelles, Mauritius and Sri Lanka with the long term plans and its after effects would be interesting to see:

Tour to Sri Lanka:

PM Modi successfully inked 4 agreements with his Sri Lankan counterpart which seem to be very effective in the Indo-Lanka relationship which had to suffer a bit after the end of civil war in 2009.

The important agreements include:

  • Visa on arrival for the Sri Lankan tourists to India. This move will significantly help in enhancing the tourism in India by Sri Lankan nationals and also increase people to people contact.
  • On Customs- Agreement between the two countries on trade and customs would help in enhancing the trade relations as Sri Lanka has always aimed at India as a big market and wanted simplified process to sell its produce in India.
  • India would provide an assistance of Line of Credit $318 million to Sri Lanka to upgrade its railways.
  • India will also help Sri Lanka in building Trincomalee power project.
  • India and Sri Lanka have also agreed to enter into currency swap agreement of USD Dollar of 1.5 billion to keep the Sri Lankan rupee stable.
  • The premiers also discussed the fishermen issue which has been a bone of contention between both the nations since a very long time and Mr. Srisena also released 86 Indian fishermen ahead of the visit of Modi as a good will gesture. It is also important to note that 33 Indian fishing boats were also released soon after PM’s visit.

PM also visited Jaffna and handed over 27000  homes to Tamil families which were left homeless after the civil war in Si Lanka. A move which was strategic enough to influence not on Sri Lankan Tamils but the major Tamil population back in India.

The visit could be seen effective enough as India is trying to woo sentiments of Sinhalese and Tamils at the same time by keeping enough for them in store. The rest would be seen in the coming days as Maithripala Srisena is expected to visit China soon. India would keep its eyes on the visit.

 PM visit to Mauritius:

PM’s visit to Mauritius is as significant as any other nation due to several reasons. 70% of the population of Mauritius is constituted by the people from the Indian origin. India and Mauritius shared good ties and Prime Minister’s visit just rejuvenated the older ties. Several agreements were made during the visit:

The major decisions are:

  • Agreement on cooperation in Ocean economy.
  • MOU for improvement in sea and air transportation facilities at Agalega islands of Mauritius.
  • MOU in the field of medicine and homeopathy.
  • Cultural co-operation between both the nations between a period of 2015-2018.
  • Import of fresh mangoes from India.

Apart from the above agreements India has also offered to develop the second cyber city of Mauritius, the first was also developed by India. India as also agreed to wave off visa fee for the nationals of Mauritius under the new visa on arrival system for Mauritius.

On the other hand Mauritius has also agreed to offer cooperation to India on information exchange on taxation. It was an honour for the Indian Prime Minister to be the chief guest at the National Day Celebrations .

Seychelles:

The island nation was the first in the three nation tour of Modi and has had an impressive effect on the relationship between the two nations. It was after 1981 that any Indian Prime Minister visited the nation.

India and Seychelles inked four agreements:

  • Cooperation in hydrography,
  • Cooperation in renewable energy,
  • Cooperation in infrastructure development
  • Sale of navigation charts and electronic navigational charts.Mr Modi also thanked Seychelles for supporting India in international fora, and for also endorsing India’s permanent membership of an expanded UN Security Council.

Visit of Modi is being seen as a move to tame the China effect in the region. Since the process of starting the maritime Silk route is under way, which would cover India from all the sides it is important for India to roll back and show its power in the region.

The Starbucks story: Did #RaceTogether campaign strike the right PR chords?

This campaign by Starbucks was initiated in an order to raise awareness about the racial issues. To egg this on, it started decorating its cups with the message, which read “Race Together.”

While some thought it to be a good initiative, some responded with tumultuous backlash and sarcasm. The criticisms led company’s executive leave Twitter.  One of the PR executive, who felt personally attacked amid a storm of angry tweets, deleted his Twitter account on 18th March, only to rejoin the service after 24 hours.

Without any doubt the whole campaign gave us some interesting PR lessons to learn:-

  • First with such a campaign, anticipate the backlash: racism being a sensitive issue, criticism is of course expected. It’s very difficult to make people share their thoughts on such an issue over a cup of coffee. And expect the double on social media platforms where people are free to voice their opinion.
  • Explain yourself rather than being rigid: apparently Starbucks didn’t respond to Colorlines, which is the news site where race matters, reaches out to a corporation that says that it wants workers to talk about race. Such an attitude can land up an organization in unintended situations.
  • Try to own your critics: let the campaigns calling card be the issue raised rather than the controversy. With such a campaign, criticisms had to come but it depends on how well you embrace them rather than ward it off.

No doubt Starbucks initiated this campaign with a different thought and expectation but landed up with hoards of criticisms. We hope it comes back with a new thought after enough preparations and time.