DIWALI LIGHTS AND COLOURS

Lights: Colourful. Jovial. Meaningful. Social.
Colours: Dazzling. Thoughtful. Delightful. Inviting.
Diwali: The Spread of Light. The Reach of Colours.
Diwali: The Spiritual Symbolism of Light.
Diwali: The Situational Pragmatism of Colours.
Diwali: When the Brightest Hour Comes of the Darkest Day.
Lights and Colours of Diwali:
Let There Be Light. Let There Be Colours in Life. For All.

Diwali 2 copy

DIWALI LIGHTS AND COLOURS

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

MAHARASHTRA ASSEMBLY ELECTION 2014: WHY SHIV SENA IS THE BIGGEST LOSER

Out of NCP, Congress and Shiv Sena, the biggest setback goes to Shiv Sena. It is the biggest loser in spite of registering growth, in seats and in vote share.

Many in the party would be rightly thinking, that just for 5 seats, they lost the ‘senior ally’ in Maharashtra tag, and that too, by a huge margin. Yes, they are the second largest party in Maharashtra assembly but their 63 seats are nowhere near to BJP’s 122 seats, given the fact that BJP had been the junior partner of Shiv Sena in Maharashtra and was ready to do so even this time, agreeing to contest on lesser number of seats than Shiv Sena in the failed seat-sharing talks.

And BJP had reasons and rights to ask for so, because it was not too outrageous a demand. It had performed exceedingly well in the Lok Sabha elections cornering maximum number of Lok Sabha seats from Maharashtra that sends 48 members to the parliament.

In 2014 LS polls, BJP had won 23 seats with 27% vote share while Shiv Sena had 18 seats with 21% vote share. It was a considerable improvement for both. BJP had taken up its tally from 9 LS seats and 19% vote share in 2009 to 23 seats in 2014. Shiv Sena also did very well taking up its tally from 10 seats to 18 seats with 17% vote share in 2009.

But Shiv Sena’s performance was not at par with its junior ally of the past, when seen in comparison with BJP’s rising graph in the state, when it had to be surpassing what BJP achieved. Even in 2009 assembly polls, the junior partner of the alliance had won two seats more (46) than Shiv Sena’s 44 seats. And when it simply outperformed everyone in the Lok Sabha polls registering 8% increase in vote share and over 150% increase in seats, it was right to expect for more.

BJP had a symbolic edge over Shiv Sena with 2009 assembly election results but the 2014 LS polls outcome placed it much ahead of all others, including Shiv Sena. Shiv Sena had to realize it and should have appreciated when BJP didn’t ask for sky-high price for its electoral edge.

But, their ego had to blind them all. Alleging BJP of the ‘big brother’ attitude, they tried to act ‘bigger brother’ and the talks collapsed.

This was when BJP had Narendra Modi and the Modi Factor advantage as well, that drove home a clear majority to a non-Congress party for the first time in electoral history. Probably, Shiv Sena strategists had become so convinced of the hypothesis that Modi Wave had receded based on the bye-election outcomes, that saw that all the ‘green’ was going to adore them only. But Maharashtra and Haryana (in Haryana, BJP got clear majority and is going to form the government there, from 4 seats in 2009 to clear majority in 2014) tell Modi Wave is still very much here.

It was for Modi Wave only, that BJP, despite not having as strong an organizational structure in whole Maharashtra as Shiv Sena had, could outperform so brilliantly its ‘senior partner’ from the recent past.

So brilliantly, that Shiv Sena is now slated to become BJP’s junior partner in Maharashtra.

So brilliantly, that BJP is now dictating the terms, even if it is 23 seats short of the majority mark. The NCP offer of unconditional outside support has taken whatever sheen Shiv Sena was left with in a post-election scenario of hung assembly.

BJP won more than what Shiv Sena was offering, 119 seats. Had it been in the alliance, even if with 5 more seats, BJP would not have been able to win so many seats. What BJP was demanding was modest. What Shiv Sena’s arrogance gave it was grand. And what Shiv Sena lost was grander, costing it the ‘senior alliance partner’ position, and the leverage in the national politics.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

FACTORS AT PLAY IN MAHARASHTRA AND HARYANA: ANTI-INCUMBENCY

RELATED POSTS:
MAHARASHTRA AND HARYANA VERDICTS AND MODI WAVE*
FACTORS AT PLAY IN MAHARASHTRA AND HARYANA: RULING PARTY/ALLIANCE CORRUPTION**

The discontent was telling. And it was the ‘most’ popular sentiment in the just concluded elections.

In Maharashtra, the ruling NCP-Congress combine was in government for 15 years, the last three terms. And like the political dispensation has been in India so far, even if it bring some development, it is riddled with corruption and allegations of corruption, as we saw in case of Sheila Dikshit’s government in Delhi. Sheila was Delhi’s chief minister for three terms, for 15 years.

Her government’s track record on development was good, but was not free of corruption. And as the terms went on, from five years, to ten years, to fifteen years, the governance got riddled with more and more allegations of mammoth levels of corruption. Yes, the Delhi that we see today, that can claim substantial development during her terms, kept on oiling the wheels of corruption as well, that put even her under the scanner.

And Maharashtra could not claim even of this front – development (with corruption).

Coupled with political arrogance and insensitivity reflecting in political statements on issues of social relevance, the lack of development or rather the lack of balanced development created heaps of anti-incumbency against the ruling coalition government.

Then there were ‘popular’ measures adding to the anti-incumbency, the discontent, like verbose talks even if Vidarbha farm suicides continued unabated, like a chief minister on a Taj Hotel tour with a filmmaker just after the 26/11 terror strike, like the continued Maratha Vs Non-Maratha rants, like the consistently bad show of vital social indicators, like the Maratha reservation card and so on. The list seems pretty long.

The discontent had brewed to its full ‘ripeness’.

Similar is the story of Haryana.

A Congress ruled state for 10 years had a family sort of rule, of the Hooda family, a Jat leader from Rohtak who never crossed the ‘culturally backward Haryana’ line on social evils like Khap dictats and honour killings, a Jat leader whose rule was basically focused on Jat dominated areas of Haryana, in and around his city Rohtak, who, as well, played the reservation card, a Jat leader, who like other politicians, and in typical Congress fashion, promoted interests of his family, his clan and the families of his party members first. Allegations of widespread misappropriations in recruitments were common and even the civil services were not left out.

And the Hooda government even bungled the case of Gurgaon, the once dubbed Millennium City of India that is increasingly being identified as a concrete jungle with unplanned development on social indicators and a city of horrible crime rates.

Also, the associated corruption that came with its lucrative real estate dealings did not leave even the first political family of India. Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra is facing allegations of corruption and misappropriation in land deals and former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda is facing allegations of going out of the way and mending rulebooks to help clear the Vadra land deals.

And naturally, these are not the standalone cases where allegations have erupted. There are many on the lines of nepotism, casteism and regionalism spread over the last 10 years – a perfect recipe for sky-high discontent.

And so, the anti-incumbency built was huge and saw its desperate way out in the Modi Factor, as in Maharashtra, in the promises made by Narendra Modi, in the day he has been able to add to the development of Gujarat, a state Modi ruled for over around 14 years, a good enough stretch of time to let the discontent and the associated anti-incumbency creep in. But, anti-incumbency has never been an electoral factor all through the Narendra Modi’s tenure as the chief minister of Gujarat.

The huge anti-incumbency reflected in the higher turnouts as well – highest ever in Haryana with 76% voting and 64% in Maharashtra, fourth highest ever and 5% more than 2009 assembly elections – a measure of increasing ‘popular discontent’ against the ruling establishment.

*http://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/2014/10/19/maharashtra-and-haryana-verdicts-and-modi-wave/
**http://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/2014/10/21/factors-at-play-in-maharashtra-and-haryana-ruling-partyalliance-corruption/

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

FACTORS AT PLAY IN MAHARASHTRA AND HARYANA: RULING PARTY/ALLIANCE CORRUPTION

Though NCP has announced unconditional outside support to BJP for forming the government in Maharashtra, when Narendra Modi addressed NCP as ‘naturally corrupt party’ during campaigning in the run-up to the assembly polls, it was not without reasons.

Many high level politicians from NCP and Congress have been facing allegations of corruption and many had to resign. The list includes chief minister and deputy chief minister besides many other ministers and politicians.

The nation cannot easily forget the ‘forced resignation’, a hastily brought whitepaper to declare Ajit Pawar clean in the irrigation scam and his ‘reinstatement’. It was all in bad taste.

And the 15 years of NCP-Congress combine rule had no dearth of such newsmaking headlines going deep on follow-ups.

Every year, if thousands of farmers are forced to commit suicide, in a so-called prosperous and industrialized state, Maharashtra, and if the state sees huge scams like the irrigation scam worth 70,000 crore, nothing but political corruption is to be blamed.

Similar was the case in Haryana.

A chief minister belonging to the main opposition party was out on bail sighting health reasons. He was jailed after found guilty in a recruitment scam. He misused the terms of his bail to campaign in the polls and was sent again to jail by the high court.

The last chief minister was alleged of mammoth scales of corruption, though nothing proved yet. Family biases and nepotism ran deep in Haryana. And it is not always necessary that court verdicts drive the sentiments. In electoral politics, it is all about perceptions and the perception that corruption was running deep in Haryana had made deeper inroads in the psyche.

The nation cannot easily forget the largesse shown to Robert Vadra and the witch-hunting against an honest official, Ahok Khema, for taking on Robert Vadra because he found his case violating norms. The Hooda government went out of the way in clearing the deal for Vadra the nation saw it. And the nation also saw how defiantly the previous chief minister defended his acts perceived to be wrong and corrupt by the common man, the common man who sent him packing in the just concluded elections.

Allegations of widespread corruption and nepotism in Haryana civil services are a regular feature to decorate the news headlines. Then there were case studies like Gopal Goyal Kanda.

And the electors were watching, in Maharashtra and Haryana, waiting for a chance, that they saw in promises of Narendra Modi, to bring the politics of development back on track, and to deal with political corruption.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

TWO OCTOBER 19 SUNDAYS: ARROGANT RAJ THACKERAY OF 2008 TO HUMBLED RAJ THACKERAY OF 2014

October 19, 2008, Sunday – Raj Thackeray was blamed for inciting the mob of his partymen. He had been crying loud and talking provocative against the people he considered ‘outsiders’ in Maharashtra who had become parasitic on Marathi Manoos.

North Indian students in Mumbai to take a Railways recruitment exam were targeted and beaten by the members of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) led by Raj Thackeray. It was one of the most ghastly acts of political ‘goondaism’ unleashed by MNS and its ‘political’ hooligans. Means of public transport including trains were hit hard. Raj Thackeray was shouting and sloganeering, from over the top. His brandishing of the ‘Marathi Manoos’ sword was getting harsher and harsher. And it was not just in Mumbai. The goons were operationalized in areas where MNS had impact and where MNS had wanted to create a constituency of its own exploiting the Marathi sentiments of the Marathi votebank. The arrogance and disregard to the democratic values were reeking.

October 19, 2014, Sunday – No one was where Raj Thackeray was. It could not be said with ‘a degree of newsworthiness’ if he was sought at all yesterday, or even today.

Yes, he was making for headlines with his anti-North Indian rant while campaigning for the Maharashtra assembly polls. His interviews were carried where he spoke in his trademark ways that we had been watching since his separate advent on Maharashtra political scene after leaving his uncle Bal Thackeray and Shiv Sena he wanted to head after the senior Thackeray. His sky-high ego was brought down in a grand way yesterday when his ‘style of politics’ was rejected by the voters and his party was crushed mercilessly by the electorate. It was just yesterday when Raj Thackeray was being discussed as a possible kingmaker in Maharashtra politics. And today, he is staring at total annihilation of his political life with his party shrunk to just one assembly seat and a vote share of just 3%, down from 13 seats and around 12% voter share in 2009.

From an October Sunday in 2008 to an October Sunday of 2014 – on 19th of October – ironies of day, date and fate – that have forced Raj Thackeray to hide behind his shattered arrogance, the shield of which is already fragmented.

Raj Thackeray may not be able to hide in his own layer with such a fragmented shield of humiliated arrogance, but no one is seeking him either, at the moment, not even his Marathi Manoos, who played a significant role in hunting and humbling him down.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

MAHARASHTRA AND HARYANA VERDICTS AND MODI WAVE

Narendra Modi didn’t campaign (or intensively campaigned) in the bye-elections held after BJP’s high voltage performance in the Lok Sabha election 2014 that made it the first party to get majority on its own after 1985.

And BJP languished in these bye-elections – first in Uttarakhand, then in four states including Bihar, and then in 9 states including Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and West Bengal.

The negative talking points against BJP’s performance simply outnumbered the few positives that it gained in these bye-elections with the later two important bypolls seen and analysed as ‘acid test’ or ‘semi final’ or ‘test of the Modi Wave’ before the upcoming assembly elections in Maharashtra, Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir and Jharkhand.

And BJP failed in these ‘semi-final’ sort of tests. Bypoll verdicts gave voices to everyone. Congress, JDU, Samajwadi Party, RJD, Shiv Sena, and other parties and the leaders of these outfits. They took on BJP with their customized reasons.

But the undercurrent was – assembly polls were different than parliamentary elections and BJP needed its allies. And the favourite talking point of the opponents was – Modi Wave was receding or had gone away, especially after poor show in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar bypolls.

But did Narendra Modi and the Modi Wave fail?

No. The Maharashtra and Haryana poll verdicts say so.

Modi campaigned extensively in these assembly polls, inviting sarcastic remarks from his opponents and allies that he should have stayed focused on delivering in Delhi. But Modi, in his workaholic work style, stayed focused on delivering his speeches reaching out to the electorate. And he promised what was his central plank during the Lok Sabha poll campaigning.

And BJP has registered historic victories in Harayana and Maharashtra assembly polls today.

It is to be seen in the context that BJP had no major political figure in these two states and the party had contested without projecting any chief-ministerial candidates. The central theme of campaigning was Narendra Modi. The party asked for votes in Narendra Modi’s name. And Narendra Modi was there, to establish direct contact. He exploited well the supporting but vital factors like anti-incumbency, government corruption and poor governance.

The analysis into the voting trends shows it has been like the Lok Sabha elections, beyond the boundaries of caste and regional considerations – voting in the name of the politics of development.

Electorate in the Lok Sabha elections bought what Modi promised and voters in these two assembly polls have once again expressed their faith in Modi and like the Lok Sabha elections, even in Maharashtra and Haryana, the ground earned by BJP was much beyond the BJP’s claim in these two states based on the party’s political history.

The verdicts today re-establish the Modi Wave discourse as the central theme of political analyses on upcoming elections, Jammu & Kashmir and Jharkhand.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

MAJOR TAKEAWAYS FROM MAHARASHTRA AND HARYANA ELECTION VERDICTS

Factors at play: Huge anti-incumbency + Ruling Party/Alliance Corruption + Modi Wave/Modi Factor + Promises of Developmental Politics.

Narendra Modi didn’t campaign in bypolls: BJP languished. Modi campaigned extensively in assembly polls, inviting sarcastic remarks from his opponents and allies that he should have stayed focused on delivering in Delhi: BJP registers historic victories in Harayana and Maharashtra. It re-establishes the Modi Wave discourse as the central theme of political analyses on upcoming elections, Jammu & Kashmir and Jharkhand.

Maharashtra verdict: It was also about realignment of political affiliations and alliances in Maharashtra with new realities and changed circumstances and BJP has emerged as the clear winner. Parties contesting on their own to realize their political grounds – it had become politically imperative after decades of fighting together in alliances. It was to happen, sooner or later. But no Pankaja Munde or anyone like her, with being the daughter or son of a top politician as the only qualification, as the claimant of chief minister’s chair please. In absence of an acceptable face to all, BJP may decide on Nitin Gadkari.

Out of NCP, Congress and Shiv Sena, the biggest setback goes to Shiv Sena. It is the biggest loser in spite of registering growth, in seats and in vote share. Many in the party would be rightly thinking now, that just for 5 seats, they lost the ‘senior ally’ in Maharashtra tag, and that too, by a huge margin. Yes, they are the second largest party in Maharashtra assembly but their 63 seats are nowhere near to BJP’s 122 seats, given the fact that BJP had been acting as the junior partner of Shiv Sena in Maharashtra and was ready to do so even this time, agreeing to contest on lesser number of seats than Shiv Sena in the failed seat-sharing talks.

The one ‘glorious’ highlight of the Maharashtra verdict – MNS and politics of hatred has been rejected. No glory for Raj Thackeray and his brand of politics. In fact, the whole Bal Thackeray clan deserves it if the family members don’t change their ways. Bravo Maharahstra voters. Jai ho Marathi Manoos.

Also, the Hooda government wipe-out in Haryana was long overdue. Its arrogance and corruption was reeking nepotism and anti-democratic practices. There was an absolute family rule with the clan coming first in exploiting the state’s resources. It was even cordially extended to a member of yet another ‘first family’ in Delhi. But, will the BJP led government reinstate the pride and position of honest officials like Ashok Khemka? Remain sceptical and take it with a spoon of salt given the controversy surrounding AIIMS whistleblower Sanjiv Chaturvedi’s removal.

The country would see more of BJP’s ‘walk alone’ strategy in upcoming polls after its unprecedented performance in Maharashtra and Haryana. In Haryana, from 2009 to 2014, the party scaled up its show from 4 to 47 seats winning the majority while contesting alone. In Maharashtra, though there were some small parties in alliance, it was largely about BJP. Contesting under the shadow of Shiv Sena for decades, the party stumped all emerging as the largest party. In fact, it is after 1990 that any party has win over 100 seats in Maharashtra and that party is BJP. It would certainly bolster Narendra Modi and Amit Shah who prefer to contest alone or on their own terms and talk emphatically of clear majority in electoral politics.

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

THE LAAD BAZAAR BANGLES @ CHARMINAR (3)

Some are like fields of sunlit corn,
Meet for a bride on her bridal morn,
Some, like the flame of her marriage fire,
Or, rich with the hue of her heart’s desire,
Tinkling, luminous, tender, and clear

From Sarojini Naidu’s ‘The Bangle Sellers’


Laad Bazaar-6

Laad Bazaar is famous for bangles though its numerous shops are also known as a cultural marketplace for other products of aesthetic value as well, like its exquisitely designed pearls encrusted jewellery.

‘Laad’ translates to endearment or fondness or adoration or many other similar words, but the meaning remains the same – the love bestowed upon, to pamper, to caress. It is adoration of pure feelings in human relations.

Laad Bazaar-7

Bazaar translates to market. Laad Bazaar is a centuries old market in the Charminar area of Hyderabad. It forms the essential part of the heritage that makes the Charminar the cultural epitome of Hyderabad, a historical city weaved in culture and tradition.

Laad Bazaar is about a cultural legacy and it reflects in products here and in the way the business is conducted about these products – the soft, pampered approach to adore the customers in a pure Hyderabadi style – to sell them, who are so dear to us in our families, the endearing thoughts associated these ‘circles of light’, the bangles, they are so fond of, as the Nightingale of India, Sarojini Naidu writes.


THE LAAD BAZAAR BANGLES @ CHARMINAR


THE LAAD BAZAAR BANGLES @ CHARMINAR (1)

http://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/2014/09/20/the-laad-bazaar-bangles-charminar-1/

THE LAAD BAZAAR BANGLES @ CHARMINAR (2)

http://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/2014/09/21/the-laad-bazaar-bangles-charminar-2/


 ©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/

THE RAINBOW IN TEARS

The rainbow in tears,
With colours of peace,
In a pair of wet eyes,
Reflecting on so far,
Speaking up the mind,
In harmony with soul
The learning,
With odds of life to meet,
The poise of living the pain,
Surviving,
Through the selfish corners,
Breathing the indifference,
Earning the salvage,
To be on the journey,
Lost in chaos of duplicity
Tears of joy tell the eyes,
Now is the time,
Have no more cries..

Contemplation & The Reflex

“The rainbow in tears with colours of peace in a pair of wet eyes
Reflecting on so far, speaking up the mind in harmony with soul
The learning with odds of life to meet the poise of living the pain
Surviving through the selfish corners, breathing the indifference
Earning the salvage to be on the journey lost in chaos of duplicity
The tears of joy tell the eyes, now is the time, have no more cries”


THE RAINBOW IN TEARS

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – https://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/


 

OCTOBER 16, 2014: THREE ‘UNBROKEN’ YEARS ON ‘BEYOND THIS LIFE’

October 16: My Third Blogging Milestone Day

Yesterday, I completed three years of posting something, on a day to day rhythm, a work of mine – an article, a photograph, a quote, a poem or digital experiments on images – at least one of them every day, on this blog here, Beyond This Life*, my first blog that I created on July 1, 2009.

On October 16 in 2011, it was now some days that I had been thinking of making it a routine, a discipline, to look for ‘meaningful’ meanings in life after a series of huge emotional setbacks that had left me almost devastated, emotionally as well as existentially.

I was continuing with life, yet I was not living it. Throughout my whole life till then, I had arrived at meanings of events and elements of life on my own, with my identity firmly in place. And I bought what I spoke. I lived for what I was, for what my thoughts were.

But, the series of setbacks left me rushing for to call the meanings that had been pivotal so far. They had stopped responding. There was a nagging element of deepening mutual irrelevance. And my devastation was so acute that I was not able even to track down the meaning of the ‘meanings’ with the energy I was left with, even if I could. Something was killing ‘a person’ in me. My honestly cultivated life of ‘living severally alone’ was taking a severe beating, by detractors, by time, by moments, and by the people I cared for.

But like it is said the absolute hopelessness has elements of hope in-built; that there comes the lowest point on fall beyond which the journey goes always up.

I am yet to dissect on ‘what led to’, or probably I am not willing to look into at this moment, but I could see that ray of hope, I could identify those elements to pick up to enable me to be on the journey up.

And one of those major elements was this discipline with writing and posting something daily on my blog, something that was my own creation. Before it, my blog did have entries of others, though very few in numbers, but after it, it was all mine.

It was first on October 14 that year when I decided to begin but somehow could not post the October 15 entry in time. By the time I hit the ‘publish’ button, it was already October 16. But that was it. I posted another one on October 16, 2011 and it has been continued since then.

Yes, I had no idea on how long to go with, some future roadmap on it, a timeframe for which I would like to continue doing so. To sum up, it had no ultimate goal.

It built on day after day, week after week, month after, and then, year after year. There were small ‘scales’ to scale. There were small goals to achieve. There were randomly made thoughts to work on. And the events followed the continuity on the chain. With the central theme being maintaining the continuity, to have the chain remain unbroken.

It was a gradual healing, in stages, from one benchmark to next. The element chosen here pushed me to think more, think diverse and helped me think away. Here is how I have lived up these years so far on ‘Beyond This Life’.

October 16, 2011 to October 15, 2014 – 1096 days
October 16, 2011 to October 15, 2014 – 1352 posts
October 16, 2011 to October 15, 2012 – 374 posts
October 16, 2012 to October 15, 2013 – 439 posts
October 16, 2013 to October 15, 2014 – 539 posts

These figures are what define my journey on ‘Beyond This Life’ so far, scaling up gradually, like the healing.

What began as an urge to explore and write something day after day is now an urge that comes with a joy of creating every day, writing on range of issues, writing on life, clicking life, experimenting with words and images.

And the satisfying part of it is I still feel the same urge, a call that helps me to remain focused on exploring more and learning more – learning on the journey to life.

And like October 16, 2011, still, I do not have set goals to achieve or ‘scales’ to scale, but the motivation to feel the joy of having created something of my own at the end of the day.

*Beyond This Life – http://severallyalone.blogspot.in/

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey – http://santoshchaubey.wordpress.com/