We wouldn’t count ourselves as people who would be interested in Women’s wrestling. But two episodes & we were hooked. Netflix must be commended for coming up with an interesting storyline around women’s wrestling. The show revolves around Alison Brie’s character – Ruth – an out of work struggling actress in 1970’s America, who dreams with her eyes open. The show will keep you engrossed as you trace Ruth & her best friend turned foe – Debbie Eagan, played by the busty Betty Gilpin transforming themselves into professional wrestlers.
The show is funny & will keep you glued to your seats. Credit must be given to the writers for this terrific script. Although you know, how the show will unfold & the fact that it is on the lines of Chak De or Lagaan – the journey of Ruth & Debbie will keep you intrigued. The supporting characters too are perfect in their roles. Take a bow team Netflix.
Sonu Tula Mazya Var Bharosa Nahi Ka is a popular & catchy Marathi song. RJ Malishka – one of the most widely followed RJ’s in Mumbai used the song beautifully to taunt BMC for its long heritage of giving pot holed roads to Mumbai. The video shot in Red FM’s Lower Parel office, quickly went viral. Though nowhere does the RJ mention the Shiv Sena in the video – owing to Shiv Sena being the incumbent party running the BMC & having ruled the BMC for close to over two decades, the Shiv Sena took it as a personal insult. Instead of tactfully letting the video play out its shelf life, Shiv Sena corporators slapped a fine on Mrs Mendonsa – RJ Malishka’s mother for letting water accumulate in her plant pots, which resulted in mosquito breeding & threatened to raze a part of her building owing to construction irregularities. RJ Malishka was in New York, when this incident happened & wasn’t in the city to give a fitting reply to the BMC. Although she did tweet that she has 6 more songs ready & would not give up without a fight.
The Shiv Sena is a Maharashtrian Party founded in the 1960’s in Mumbai by the charismatic Bal Thackeray. He used Mahrashtrian resentment against the growing clout of the South Indian community to his advantage & became a name to reckon with. The fact that he was a cartoonist, a satirist worked to his advantage & this topped up with his superb oratory skills made people sit up & take notice. Shiv Sainiks as the partymen are known started thrashing South Indians in the city in offices, on the roads & other public places & asked them to stop the inflow of more of their ilk. Shiv Sena started demanding more jobs for ‘Marathi Manoos’. This was a time when India was reeling under the socialist policies of the Gandhi-Nehru dynasty. India was a poor country, where literacy was low & jobs were few. Thus the Shiv Sena had no difficulty in recruiting Shiv Sainiks who would riot or trash happless people at their leaders instance. Their loyalty to him was unquestioned. The Congress let the rise of Shiv Sena go unchecked, as they though of them as a good counter to the Communist menace which plaguing Mumbai’s factories. Even Shiv Sena’s detractors will agree that had it not been for the Shiv Sena, the city would have been under the vice like grip of the Communists & would have suffered the same fate as Kolkata – which once was India’s most prosperous city, but is now the least prosperous city amongst the 4 metros. The Shiv Sena for the longest time was Mumbai party, with hardly any inroads in rural Maharashtra. While the Shiv Sena kept winning BMC & Lok Sabha seats from Dadar, Vile Parle, Thane & other Marathi bastions, the Congress kept winning the state elections. The Shiv Sena’s crowning moment came in 1992 during the Hindu-Muslim riots, when Shiv Sainiks are alleged to have been involved in rioting, which led to the deaths of several Muslims in the city. Bal Thackeray pulled no punches while making inflammatory speeches against Muslims & instigating his people to riot against them. Despite having tons of evidence the law or the nation’s judiciary did not have the guts to arrest the party supremo. Shiv Sainiks labelled him the Hindu Hriday Samrat. Even educated Hindus in Mumbai coming from different parts of the country were heard saying “Had it not been for Bal Thackeray & the Shiv Sena, we would have been battered by the Muslims”. As expected the Shiv Sena – BJP swept the state elections for the first time in 1995.With the state & BMC under Shiv Sena control & BJP being the minority partner, Bal Thackeray was the uncrowned King of Mumbai. Due to anti-incumbency issues they lost the next state elections to the Congress-NCP combine, which went on to rule for 15 long years, before losing to the Shiv Sens-BJP combine on 2015. But this time, the BJP – owing to Narendra Modi’s charisma was the bigger party in the alliance & the Siv Sena was relegated to second place. To make matters worse, Shiv Sena couldn’t get a majority in the BMC election either, with the BJP coming a close second. Since 2015, the party or their leader – Uddhav Thackeray have never missed a chance to pull down the BJP on national or state level issues.
The electorate of Mumbai has been voting for the Shiv Sena mainly as an alternative to the corrupt Congress-NCP combine which has looted the state for decades. The Marathi Manoos hoped that Shiv Sena would fight for its right. But even a staunch Shiv Sainik will concede, that the party hasn’t done much for the Maharashtrians in the city apart from providing lip service. In fact they have in some cases come across as worse off than the Congress party owing to their history of violence. It is a well known fact that through the decades, any statement against Bal Thackeray or the Shiv Sena or any action which would hurt Marathi sentiments would lead to Shiv Sainiks barging into your office or home to blacken your face & beat you up. Shiv Sainiks have damaged public property including buses, railway stations & stores promoting Valentine’s Day celebrations (Bal Thackeray thought Valentine’s Day is against Indian values & culture). Hapless people from UP who worked as rickshawallas, milkmen, laundry guys were thrashed Shiv Sainiks & MNS as they “stole jobs of poor Maharashtrians”. Bal Thackeray even spoke about the encounters of several mafia dons like Amar Naik & several others in the late 1990’s by the Mumbai police, referring to them as “Aamchi Mule” (our boys). People have perpetually lived in fear of the Shiv Sena. Shiv Sainiks are known to collect ‘hafta’ (extortion money) from illegal hawkers, restaurateurs, retailers across the city. Shiv Sena corporators are known to own tons of gold, despite earning a measly INR 10,000 salary. The source of wealth of the Thackerays is never questioned.You can file corruption cases against Lalu Yadav or Mulayam Singh Yadav or Jayalalitha, but no one has dared to filed corruption cases against the Thackerays. Despite batting for Marathi culture all his life, Bal Thackeray’s grand children are all English medium educated. Bal Thackeray kept taunting the Gandhis for their dynasty politics, but when it was name his successor, he nominated his son Uddhav Thackeray as the next party Supremo. this led to Raj Thackeray forming his won party. Although people wrongly assume that pot holes do not cause severe harm, one look at statistics will tell you much fuel is wasted & the fact that pot holes have caused several deaths The party & their workers have made tons of money through corruption in the BMC, mainly through kickbacks from road contracts. A road built with good material will earn Shiv Sena kickbacks just once, but a road built low quality material will earn you kick backs from contractors year on year seems to Shiv Sena’s ideology. This has helped them fund state & BMC elections for decades. Just like Congress, NCP, TMC, RJD, SP, BSP the Siv Sena is a a party which cannot let corruption die. It is an unsaid rule, that you do not go or say against the Shiv Sena. Be ready to face consequences if you dare to do so. Journalists, rival politicians all have been victims of the “Shiv Sena Style” bullying.
With the advent of social media, one thought things have changed drastically in India. With minute-by-minute updates available & people openly airing their opinions on various social networking sites, the Shiv Sena too has realized that their actions cannot go unquestioned in the digital era. The Nirbhaya rape case, Jessica Lal murder & outrage on social media has put fear in the minds of the Shiv Sainiks. With Marathi boys getting employment in malls/MNC corporations/e-commerce setups as delivery boys the agendas of the saffron party are largely redundant. An FIR against a Shiv Sainik may lead to him getting sacked from his daily job. It is an open secret that people of Mumbai dont fear Uddhav Thackeray as much as they feared his father. It is a fact that Bal Thackeray violent antics would not get him many fans in this era.
But when the Shiv Sena harassed an independent woman for airing her opinions & joking about the pathetic condition of roads in the city it crossed all limits of decency. Can’t one even joke or speak about issues affecting the city? Things haven’t really changed after all. The Shiv Sena still thinks Mumbaikars will continue to stay quiet & look the other way when Shiv Sena’s goondaism rears its ugly heard. What party targets & harasses a single woman? Truth be told the Shiv Sena is scared of public backlash in today’s digital age & tried to gag the RJ. they want to reimpose their fear in the hearts of Mumbaikars & hence reacted this way. They have made a blunder & we need to show them they can’t walk all over us no more. Every time they indulge in corruption which adversely affects the quality of Mumbaikars or when they harass us for airing our opinions we need to hit back.
Mumbai we need to let got of our “chalta hai” or “the city which never stops” attitude & show the Shiv sena or any other party which tries to suppress us that we will hit back. It is we who have voted for them & we will not let a party which harasses women stay in power. If they come in 10’s we will strike back in 1000’s or Lakhs.
As we speak several NGO’s & citizen forums are protesting against BMC’s response to RJ Malishka. RJ Malishka too is expected to give a befitting response as soon as she is back in the city. Several Mumbaikars have spoken against BMC & the Shiv Sena for their actions on twitter & other social media platforms. It’s time we do not let go of this momentum Mumbai & show the Shiv Sena that we had have enough!
This blind item is from Rajeev Masand. It is about this global A-lister, who started off in Bollywood. A TV show & a franchisee movie about beach bods has made her a household name in the US. We wonder if she is still dating the superstar back home
By the time you’re reading this, a popular Bollywood awards event will already be well underway in the Big Apple. Dozens of film stars, filmmakers, plus-ones, and hangers-on have left for the city that never sleeps to participate in a celebratory weekend packed with self-patting exercises and activities.
The organisers have roped in a handful of A-listers, but were reportedly unable to snag this top female star who has emerged as something of a global celebrity lately. The actress had been approached to co-host the show with Bollywood’s savviest film director, and negotiations were going well. But, according to sources close to both parties, things hit a snag when they couldn’t agree on a fee. The organisers did not want to fork out the sum her agents had quoted, or even a number nearabouts that figure. The actress’ management was happy to negotiate a fee that worked for both sides, but refused to be bullied. The haggling apparently continued. Then she signed an international project that required her to be shooting in Europe on the same dates and she asked her team to end negotiations. The organisers suddenly didn’t have a star. But it was too late for a compromise.
The organisers subsequently succeeded in getting a male actor for the job, but they realised they’d missed out on a coup. Last heard, the actress has signed another international film project with A-list co-stars. The loss wasn’t hers.
Thus blind item from Mirror is about a successful star kid, who despite being humble & well mannered keeps getting embroiled in controversies. If not for his relationship with a bollywood hottie, his is at the receiving end of bitchy remarks of several producers & directors. One director was directing a film which also starred his father, when he made nasty comments about the star kid!
WE are usually not mean on Fridays, but this one is too good to let go. So, it seems that this young action hero is so worried about his lack of facial hair that he has apparently started undergoing a facial hair transplant. And his insecurity about it can be traced back to a dig made by a big producer about his, ahem, flawless skin. The things this diarist has to endure just so that you guys are kept entertained.
Raj had a huge crush on Tina in college. Tina was beautiful, smart & popular. Raj was decent looking, had a good family background, played sports & did well in exams. Raj & Tina were part of the same circle of friends. All of Raj’s friends knew he had a crush on Tina. Raj had wanted to ask Tina out for days. But Raj always felt nervous & insecure around Tina. Thanks to his insecurity & constantly doubting his chances with Tina, he could never muster the courage to ask Tina out. As luck would have it, after a few months Tina started dating another guy from their college. Raj was heart broken. He was angry with himself, that he didn’t even try his luck with the woman he had a such a huge crush on. Raj did get married years later, to a woman his parents chose. But he still can’t wonder how his life would have turned out, had he asked Tina out.
Have you faced these issues too? Do you want to avoid being the next Raj? Men since ages have dreaded taking a step towards asking their crushes out. The most successful men have been at a loss of words, when it came to asking their crushes out, leading to their crushes dating/marrying other men who had the b*&$s to ask them out.
Sow how does one ask his woman out, without having to fear getting rejected? The Opinionated Indian answers it for you
1) Get her phone number: Getting her phone number is the most vital step in dating. Asking her out directly on your first meeting should be avoided at all costs. If she is your college mate/ colleague it is pretty easy in today’s times to get her phone number. All you need to do is ask! Women don’t really hesitate in sharing their phone number with people whom they are familiar with. We would suggest conversing with her a few times before asking for her number. If you meet an attractive lady at a mall or a club or any public place,strike a conversation about how much how much you like/dislike the place or If there is a TV playing the India cricket match, just go next to her & say “India is going to win today” She will probably say ” Yeah. Me too. Kohli is playing well” or “Nah. I am not into sports”. Post which, based on her response you can ask her “Who is your favorite cricketer” or ” So what are you into?” The idea is to say something generic & not come off as a flirt or someone trying to pick them up. After speaking for a 2-3 mins, tell her “it was fun talking to you. We should stay in touch. What is your phone number?” At this point 99% of women will tell you their mobile phone number. It is that simple! Unless you creeped her out, you can rest assured that you will get her digits. Women who are unavailable will also mention about their bf as they give you their mobile number, so you can get the hint.If she doesn’t say anything of that sort, remember to tell her ” Anyway I have some work I have to attend to, I have to leave. See you around”, 2-3 mins post getting her number. Do not spend 3 hours chatting her up & telling her everything there is to know about you. Women love mystery. Do not kill all the suspense on your first interaction.
2) Treat her as your friend: Beautiful women are tired of men constantly trying to get into their pants. A woman conversing with a man regularly is misconstrued by a lot of men, as an expression of interest. If you think so too, then please get this straight, if girl is talking to you, it doesn’t mean she is interested in you. They love it, when a guy is interested in her as a person & not just her X-rated areas. Treat her like a lady & not just as apiece of meat. Do not flirt or lech at her as soon as you meet her (unless she does that first). Do not let her know of your feelings for her right away. Speak to her like she is a normal person & not an angel from heaven. Have normal conversations about topics that are of mutual interest. Women love talking about TV shows, celebs or bitching about mutual friends.
3) What to say over the phone: Once you have her mobile number, we would suggest you wait at least for 24 hours before you text/call her. She will be awaiting your phone call. Texting/calling her immediately will kill all the excitement. Do not send forwards either. This is the biggest mistake which men do. Committing this mistake will take you from “Interesting guy whom i met & might end up dating” & put you in “another guy who is crazy bout me” category. For 24 hours, she will keep looking at her phone, think about the conversation you has & even tell her friends about it. After you call her, do not sound nervous or insecure. Women hate it in man. She too has butterflies in her stomach & is anxious about her first conversation with you. After she pick up the phone ask her “What’s up?”. Do not & I repeat Do not tell her how much you thought about her. Ask her what she is up to & tell her how awesome your day was & how much fun you had with your friends or family. Show her that you are a fun guy, who can show her a good time. Do not tell her how your professor or boss bullied you. She is not your crying shoulder! Tease her like you would tease your younger sibling or your friends (teasing them about their fat butts is not what we are hinting it). Women love it when men imitate them or others around them. Try to make her laugh & keep the conversation fun. The hotter & more popular the woman the more you need to tease her. Hot woman are used to men treating them like goddesses. When you treat her like a normal being, you will stand apart from all the other guys who are trying to woo her. Your conversation should not last more than 10-15 mins. Post which you excuse yourself saying you have important work to attend to. Like we said earlier, keep the mystery around you alive. She will be dying to know more about you. Do not kill the suspense early on.
4) Asking her Out: If you do not muster the courage to ask her out post 1-2 weeks, you risk getting friend zoned. Post 1-2 weeks of texting her 2-3 times & talking to her for 10-15 mins everyday, you should ask her out. Now is the time to overcome your fear of rejection. Men fear the embarrassment of the world knowing that they got rejected or how the girl might stop talking to them if they ask her out. Firstly, you need to stop putting undue pressure on yourself. You are not the first guy in the world to get rejected & you won’t be the last. Even celebs get rejected by their crushes! So take a chill pill. If you are not confident of her approval, the best way out is to ask her to join you for an activity. Ask her ” I am going shopping tomorrow. You wanna come along?” If she says yes, you can then ask her “We can go for a movie, post that”. At this point she is most likely to say yes. In the unlikely event of her saying no, you need to dial down on your phone calls & texts & try again after a week. If she rejects you again, do not call her for a few days in between. If she doesn’t call you then she is not interested in you & just wanted to make herself feel better about herself by getting your attention (women do that). Stop talking to her & look for other women. If she ever accuses you of having a crush on her, you can call her crazy for assuming such a thing. Tell her ” I just thought of you as a friend & wanted to go shopping with you, because it is boring to go shopping alone”. That should set such women straight. If she doesn’t accuse you of having a crush on her & if she calls after a few days, tell her you were busy. If she asks you why you are acting strange. Then tell her “I am not like the other guys whom you treat like trash. I don’t feel you respect me. I asked you to join me for shopping twice & you couldn’t even spare time for that!” At this point she will have new found respect for you & will not dare to take you lightly. She will not dare to turn you down ever!
What to do on your date? That is our next article. Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Today’s blind item is from Mirror. It is about this semi-retired superstar, who is now married to the most powerful family in Bollywood. If what they are saying is true, we are shocked as to why she is behaving this way. Her husband is the biggest producer-director in the country & their movies are the biggest grossers of the year.
EVEN though her producer-director husband pulled off blockbusters after blockbuster, this first lady of the movies can’t seem to loosen her purse strings. We hear she is so stingy, she finds it hard to pay her staff’s salaries on time. One in particular is an aggrieved yoga instructor, whom she owes a paltry Rs 5,000. But every few weeks when he asks for his money he is assured that she will pay him the following month.
In the year 2014, Narendra Modi – the reformer CM & famed for his Gujarat model of development of Gujarat was handed the mandate to govern the country till 2019. He was tasked with pulling the country out of stagflation, policy paralysis & corruption – terms synonymous with UPA2 administration. He vowed to make an India, for whose visa Americans will queue up for, double farmer income, give a befitting reply to terrorists, better India’s ease of doing business ranking & make India a prosperous nation. He promised “Acche Din”
The first year of Modi regime did not bring about the drastic change, that the government was expected to achieve. He probably did not expect the opposition to make life difficult by blocking each & every bill his government tried to pass. Apart from mining bill & Insurance bill, few bills were passed by the parliament. The opposition united to block the Land Bill from passing. The first two years were marked by huge announcements – Make In India, Swachh Bharat, Jan Dhan, Skill India etc. Out of these Jan Dhan got a very positive response from the public. But, the most prominent reform – GST continued to be blocked by the opposition. He also ensured that lazy bureaucrats who had a reputation for being laidback were forced to report to work on time, due to biometric attendance system introduced by PM Modi. Strict deadlines were given to all bureaucrats, by which work assigned to them had to be completed Meanwhile, BJP lost key elections in Delhi & Bihar. The astute politician that PM Modi is, he knew that he needed to act quick & out think the opposition. As he set the stage for GST to be passed in both the houses of parliament, he conducted to surgical strikes – one on Pakistan & the other on black money. Just when people were mocking Modi’s 56 inch chest remark, post several terrorist attacks, the army entered Pakistan territory to eliminate terrorist camps. Indians were overjoyed & the opposition was befuddled. Some lousy politicians went on question about the authenticity
of the reports & demanded proof from the army. This made them less likable & further established Modi as a someone who wont take things lying down. Just when his approval ratings were at an all time high, PM Modi took a huge gamble by “demonetizing” 86% of the country’s currency in circulation. By doing this, he fulfilled his promise of cracking down on black money & corruption. The move received mixed reactions. This forced India to move towards cashless or digital form of payments. One can’t help but admire PM Modi for taking such a huge gamble just before the crucial UP elections, which were just a few months away. This goes to prove that Modi doesn’t fear losing power due to his reform measures. The voters in UP rewarded PM Modi for his hard work by giving him a landslide victory. UP once a part of BIMARU states is now slowly on the road to recovery under CM Yogi Adityanath. As we write this article India is a military stand off with China over the Sikkim – unimaginable till Manmohan Singh was our PM. The country is now growing at around 7.1% (6% under UPA2). India is now being hailed for being the fastest growing major economy. Reforms are being rolled out a feverish pace. Sushma Swaraj, Suresh Prabhu, Nitin Gadkari, Piyush Goyal etc are all doing exemplary work in their departments. Each outdoing the other. Although opposition supporters are swift in down playing Modi’s achievements when it comes to job creation or economic growth vis-a-vis Manmohan Singh, one cant ignore the fact that global growth has slowed down drastically. Besides PM Manmohan Singh left the economy in a very bad shape. The country was growing at 4.5% in 2013-14.
It is now a foregone conclusion that BJP will win the general elections in 2019, a fact even hardcore Congress supporters will grudgingly concede. Even in the unlikely instance of PM Modi losing the elections in 2024, he will be remembered for centuries to come, for his exemplary work & the development that happened under his regime. He is most likely to be the best PM India has or will ever have.
But as we wax eloquent about Modi’s achievements, we cannot afford to ignore PM Modi’s shortcomings. Since the first few months of PM Modi being sworn in, hindu fundamentalists have been tarnishing India’s secular image. PM Modi too is guilty of indulging them, by taking little or no action against them. The government was stupid enough to ban beef in several states. Firstly, to impose your religious beliefs on the entire nation is fascism & secondly not imposing it in Christian dominated states in the north east & Goa stinks of vote bank politics. Why should the state decide my diet? What next? Ban all sorts of meat in Gujarat, AP, Tamil Nadu & Karnataka, because majority of the population in these states is perceived to be vegetarian? By enforcing such laws India is now being compared to intolerant countries like Saudi Arabia. Many hindu outfits are hailing the move & the move has received positive response from several quarters. The muslims in the country are being lynched on charges of cow slaughter by self righteous gau-rakshaks. Such incidents are highlighted by the western media & are damaging India’s image abroad. Surprisingly most of these incidents happen in UP – which was SP rule, but is now a saffron state. Till last year, Sanghis kept blaming the SP government for the situation in UP, but post the election victory in UP, BJP can’t blame SP anymore. CM Yogi Adityanath must ensure that the minorities are safe. PM Modi must make it his priority to stop such incidents. Just giving lip service won’t do!
PM Modi has the choice to either cleanse his image by taking immediate corrective action or tarnish his legacy as a leader who put India on the fast track of economic development, but who failed in maintaining the secular fabric of the nation.
This blind item from Pinkvilla is another story about this forbidden romance between an Ace actor & his young protege cum girlfriend cum daughter in a movie….yuck! This superstar was deserted by his wife thanks to his habit of not being able to keep it in his pants. There were rumors of him doing several of his co-stars, till the time he married his current wife – an artsy JNU type, who the actor quoted verbatim & it became a national issue. Post years of staying faithful & not getting linked to any actress, the superstar has gone back to his old ways. But doing the girl who played your daughter in a movie is plain gross
Rumours of this juicy fling between a much older actor and his young girlfriend refuse to die down. Despite repeated efforts by the star and the lady to keep things under wraps, a lot of information about their growing fondness manages to trickle down.
As if the hush hush rumours of this much married actor’s obsession with this actress half his age weren’t enough, a new gossip about them has surfaced on the web, which has caught everyone’s attention. After managing to cast the young lady in his upcoming film, the superstar is now trying to convince the makers of his film to include a steamy lovemaking scene in the movie. These murmurs have only added fuel to the fire.
While the producers of his movie have showed their apprehensions about it, the hero is unaffected and has in fact ensured the makers that the said bedroom romance scene won’t affect his image. Not just that but he has also convinced the producers that he will make sure the audience accepts his pairing with the young lady. The superstar has even decided the point at which the much discussed love making scene will be shot in the movie.
The young actress, who has no qualms of this, obviously, is excited with this new inclusion. Given that her career is in his hands, she is blindly following what the actor is saying. Clearly, steamy romance in exchange of films is not a bad deal, after all.
And guess, this few films old actress surely knows!
Have you’ll got the hint of whom are we talking about?
When India gained Independence from the British in the year 1947, they had two choices – either join the Capitalist nations of the world headed by the US or to side with communist clique headed by the then USSR. Although it refused to embrace any ideology completely, it did lean more towards socialist ideology, which ended it making it less capitalist & less communist. This was all thanks to the socialist ideology of Mahatma Gandhi & Jawaharlal Nehru – the first PM of the country. Freedom for India came at a steep price – a price which was paid by an entire generation of Indians. India was largely influenced by Mahatma Gandhi’s philosophies. The Mahatma believed in living a austere life devoid of any luxuries & exhorted his followers to do the same. His favorite pupil of course was Jawaharlal Nehru.That the party workers wanted Sardar Patel as the PM candidate is a topic for another day. But. PM Nehru imposed his socialist policies on the nation.
The governments of Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi & to an extent Rajiv Gandhi used to frown upon terms like profit, business growth & display of wealth in any form. Indira Gandhi went on to give away farm lands to farm laborers. Such populist moves generated a lot of god will for the Gandhi dynasty but had far reaching implications for Indians. The Nehru-Gandhi dynasty also introduced strict labor laws, License Raj & permit raj. Whereby, any honest Indian who dreamt of setting up a business empire or become the next Rothschild or Rockefeller, had to go through a long bureaucratic process to get a “license” to set up or expand his business. The logic that starting or expanding the business would generate jobs & pull people out of poverty was totally lost on the Congress party. For a generation of Indians, a government job/farming/ small retail store were the only career options.Due to FDI not being allowed int he country, MNC’s could not invest in the country. This lead to an increase in crime, unemployment & disgruntlement amongst the Indian youth. The only way for businessmen to grow their companies was to bribe a bevy of bureaucrats.The only people who prospered were politicians, gang lords, government servants or businessmen like Dhirubhai Ambani who managed to mould the system to his liking. One may look at Mr. Ambani with disgust, but my question to these people is simple, what was a man like Mr. Ambani supposed to do? Wait his entire life, for the government to change its policies? Or forget his dreams & let go of his ambitions? Mr. Ambani was not the exceptions, all Indians started to think that bribing officials to get their job done was a easy way out. As a result corruption grew & became a way of life for Indians. The honest bureaucrat or government servants lived in poverty whereas the corrupt ones enjoyed all the material pleasures that life could offer. All the brightest Indian minds then started migrating to the US or UK post completing their education. The career path of Indians was to do whatever it takes to settle abroad. “Nothing can happen here” was a common refrain of a majority of Indians. Every Indian hoped to land a job in US, UK or the middle east to escape the poverty of their motherland. There was no hope the country ever prospering & becoming a developed nation. Bridegrooms settled abroad were hot property in the marriage market. The ‘NRI’ tag was a much coveted one. The country relied a lot of foreign aid.
When countries like Thailand, China, Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia were allowing FDI into the country post realizing that socialist policies aren’t enough to get millions out of poverty, which ended up in setting up of manufacturing plants across these countries & accelerating the GDP growth rates of these countries, the governments of the day in India continued to snooze. India got dubbed as the sleeping elephants, while these countries got dubbed as the “tiger economies” of Asia. While Nehru-Gandhi dynasty kept stashing their ill gotten wealth in bank accounts abroad, the country remained poor. The only things India was known for was its rich history & spicy food. Till 1991, the year India opened up its economy, the GDP growth rate stayed in the 4% – 5% range. These growth rates were condescendingly called the Hindu rates of growth. The per capita income of all the aforementioned countries barring China & Singapore has risen to $13000. The per capita income of Singapore is $35000 & that of China is $6500. Whereas the per capita income of India currently stands at a measly $1600. Barring a few PSU’s there are barely any Indian companies in the Fortune 500 list.
It was only post opening up the economy in 1991 due to a repayment crisis, that the country started witnessing growth. Jobs were generated in the private sector, thus lessening the dependence on agriculture & allied services. The disposable income of Indians increased, they could finally dream of holidaying abroad, buy a car & an expensive house. The standard of living gradually improved. India’s $2 trillion economy is now the 7th largest economy in the world. But, there is still a lot of catching up to do. China’s economy now stands at approx. $13 trillion.
What befuddles us is despite of being Cambridge educated & witnessing the benefits of Capitalism first hand, Nehru chose socialism over capitalism. Congress supporters will point out that, post independence Indians were vary of foreign companies setting shop & colonizing us again like it happened with East India Company. They will also tell you, that USSR & other communist nations were faking data to show high GDP growth rates. But, when the rest of the world which included Communist China realized that socialism as a model was failing & adapted to the new environment, then why couldn’t India? Couldn’t Indira, Rajiv Or Sanjay Gandhi see that socialism had failed in India & strong reforms needed to be undertaken? Indira Gandhi & Rajiv Gandhi both had landslide election victories. Both had control over both of the houses of parliament. So much could have been done! What were they waiting for? You can’t help but wonder that, they probably wanted to keep India poor & under their control. Millions of Indians thank Indira Gandhi for nationalizing banks & providing employment. But truth be told, had FDI been allowed in the country, millions of jobs would have been generated anyway. This would have stopped the brain drain completely, which would have had a ripple effect on the country’s economy.
Supporters of the lengthy socialist phase will argue, that being closed to the outside world allowed India to grow it’s own set of entrepreneurs in every field, which is unlike a lot of the other countries mentioned in this article. But then again, did we have to protect our industries for 44 years? Weren’t 20 years enough? Even going by the logic of supporting home grown entrepreneurs, why did they tie their hands by imposing license & permit raj? Why were the top echelons taxed 97% under Congress rule?
The Opinionated Indian strongly feels that since the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty has enjoyed the fruits of their labor in getting independence for the country from the British, they also need to own for their mistakes & apologize to the nation. It is their actions which adversely impacted millions of Indian lives, for which they are paying a price till date.
Today’s blind item is from Rajeev Masand. It is about a young actor couple. The actress doesn’t get along well with the actor’s mother. She was seen in a hit film about a cricketer’s biopic last year. Although she does look drop dead gorgeous, she hasn’t been seen in too many movies
Speaking of building residents and starry neighbours, the folks with flats in this modest Bandra apartment block say it’s hard to get a few words out of this gorgeous upcoming actress who’s renting a flat in their society. She keeps to herself, barely cracking a smile when she encounters neighbours in the elevator. They’re all praise for her action-star boyfriend, however, who they say is amiable and happily takes pictures with the kids when he’s dropping in to see her. They do wish, however, that he wouldn’t park his long white BMW outside on the narrow stretch of road, often creating traffic jams in the neighbourhood. They also think it’s awkward that his chauffeur hangs out for hours in the street by the car waiting for the actor while he’s inside conducting whatever business he might have with his girlfriend.