GLOW Review

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.

Our Rating: *****



Sonu Tula Shiv Sena Var Bharosa Nahi Ka – Mumbai Needs to Put an End to The Shiv Sena Menace

Shiv Sena was formed by the Late Bal Thackeray in 1960’s. He fought against the growing clout of South Indians in Mumbai

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!



Blind Item – 17th July

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




Blind Item
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.

Our Guess:
Top female star: Priyanka Chopra




Celeb Gossip – Match Fixing

He was part of the ex  cricket captain’s coterie. He is a batsman – fielder & was part of many Indian victories. He is the Captain of a state cricket team. If rumors are to be believed the cricketer is very insecure & never allowed any other batsman from his state Ranji team to shine. He was part of the cricket team only because he was in the good books of Captain Cool. He was rumored to have affairs with the wives of several of his team mates! He even bought himself a fancy bungalow in a plush area of the Capital. People started questioning about the sources of his income, considering he has barely any brand endorsements. Turns out our cricketer is neck deep into match fixing, especially IPL matches – his IPL team was banned due to match fixing charges for two years. Bookies even apparently paid for his lavish wedding.

As luck would have it, he did not get along with another star cricketer. This cricketer turned into a superstar & with Captain Cool’s declining fortunes, the mantle of Indian cricket team’s captaincy was passed on to the new superstar ( now dating a movie star). The new captain wasted no time in chucking this match fixing, womanizing, insecure, a*&^ole. He is not a part of the Champions Trophy starting soon. Like they say, “Karma is a Bitch”

 

Bolly Gossip – May

Rumor has it, that a good looking hero launched by a big shot producer/director/TV host/judge/studio boss along with two more star kids a few years back, is actually the big shot’s love interest. Ever wondered, how come all movies starring this hero are produced by his bollywood biggie boy friend? How come bollywood is so accepting of a rank outsider ? All news pieces about the actor dating his actress from his debut movie & other actresses/models are planted by the bollywood biggie himself. When the hero came on the biggie’s TV show recently, the biggie tried hard to make the hero look interested in women. It is all a facade! Truth be told, the big shot producer was distraught after his muse/superstar boyfriend of many years left him for a woman! Post which the bollywood biggie found solace in our good looking hero’s arms. The hero has been caught exiting the bollywood biggie’s house early in the morning by several photogs in the past.

Wealth is Temporary, Class is Permanent – Tips on being Classy

Haven’t we all come across people who drive swanky cars, earn millions but still don’t come across as classy? Just the sight of them makes you cringe? Whereas some in spite of not being uber rich, nor hobnobbing with society elites come across as extremely & desirable? Like they say, there is a difference in being rich and wealthy. Although we personally feel class has nothing to do with money. One can be not very wealthy & yet be classy



So what does one have to do to come across as classy? The Opnionated Indian lists out to ways to get rid of your uncouth image & impress people around you with class.

  1. Personal Hygiene: Personal hygiene is one of the biggest parameter distinguishing the classy men from the rest. It is important to look & feel good at all times. Please do society a favor & invest in a good face wash, deodorant & perfume. Despite what biology books will tell you nobody will get attracted to you by the smell of your sweat! Carry the deodorant with you at all times, especially during the summers. Spray some perfume before leaving from your home or after reaching your workplace. Calvin Klein, Davidoff Cool Waters, Hugo, Versace, Armani are some of the best perfume brands. Please ditch your family friend/barber who’s family has been giving your family haircuts & massages since the time your grand dad landed in this city 400 years back & go to Enrich or b:blunt or Jawed Habib. Thanks to growing disposable incomes of the Indian middle class these salons have mushroomed across all Indian metros. Although you may think there is not much of a difference between a haircut from friendly barber uncle & the slightly expensive one at a salon, trust us when we say that there is a huuuge difference! Right from the equipment which salons use, to the end result. The salon employees are trained professionals whereas barber shop employees learn on the job. The salon employees give value inputs on the latest hairstyle trends & which one will suit you. It goes without saying that there is an gargantuan difference between the ambience of a salon vis-a-vis a barber shop. It is prudent to follow up your monthly haircut with a pedicure. Most Indian men don’t tend to trim their nostrils regularly. It is advisable to check & trim your nostrils on a weekly basis. People tend to take their oral hygiene for granted. People should plan a visit to the dentist at least once in six months for a dental clean up & repair damaged tooth.
  2. Stay Understated: Okay, your salary may be in millions, but trust us when we say this, nobody cares. It is irritating when people go on & on about how much they or their kids/parents earn or how much they spent on their holidays abroad. People secretly look down upon noveau rich posting every tiny detail of their holiday abroad on social media. When you are truly successful, you dont have to brag about your achievements, the world will do it for you! Bragging makes a person look insecure & someone craving attention & assurance. A truly classy man is self assured & stays modest despite laudable achievements.
  3. Clothes Maketh the Man: What you wear ie your attire goes a long way in defining the kind of man you are. In a corporate environment, we suggest you to go for light shaded shirts with minimal designs on them. Despite what looking at most Indians in a corporate environment will make you believe, ideal corporate attire would be a light shaded shirt in white/blue/Grey colors. Light pink is also acceptable. You can indulge yourself & buy a couple shirts in dark shades since India is not very strict when it comes to this issue. Strictly avoid flowery designs or weird designs of any sort. Cheque shirt are fine. Stick to shirts with minimal designs. Despite what your friendly neighbourhood tailor will want you to believe, it is very easy for a lay person to look at your shirt & tell you the price range. We strongly recommend opting only for brands like Arrow, Van Heusen, Louis Phillipe, Indian Terrain, Wills Lifestyle or Zara. You can buy designer brands based on your  affordability. Remeber to follow fashion etiquettes & avoid common faux pas.
  4. Be Well Read: Nothing says classy, like being able to quote famous authors, be it a novel or a business related book. Mouthing of lines or being able to discuss the characters or the story line of a best selling novel will make you an instant hit amongst the elite crowd. Being able to engage your boss in a conversation on one of his favorite reads, will make you immensely likeable. On the other hand, not reading enough will make you a silent spectator during frenzied discussions, be it at a friendly gathering or at your workplace. We highly recommend investing in a kindle & read as many novels & business related books as possible. This goes a long way in improving your vocabulary as well. Don’t shy away from using big words you have learnt from your extensive reading. Farrago anyone?
  5. Hold Your Drink: It is very annoying to see men or women getting drunk on free alcohol on flights or official gathering. Just cause it is free doesnt mean you drown yourself in it & reduce yourself to a caricature. Getting sloshed on an office party can significantly damage your image in front of your peers & bosses. It is something you rather not be remembered for. It is applies to bingeing on food as well. Even during official lunches or dinners, eat only as much as your appetite allows you to.
  6. Branded Residences: Now that you have groomed yourself well, are doing well at your job or your business, own a decent car & have some decent money in your bank, it is time to upgrade your home. With the huge number of branded residences coming across the top cities in the country, it is considered extremely classy to stay in one of these branded residential apartments or villas which come along with a society club house, round the clock security, plush lobby, intercom & a host of other amenities. Although your monthly maintenance bill will go up drastically, it will be money well spent.
  7. Handling Pressure: Classy men don’t crumble under pressure. How much ever pressure they may be under, they never show it. Sporststars like Bjorn Borg, Steve Waugh & MS Dhoni are admired for keeping their cool & not letting pressure show on their faces during the most tense situations. This irritates your opponents & earns you their respect. Subordinates love working under a boss who doesn’t crumble under pressure.
  8. Club Membership: Nothing says classy, like being a member of one of the prestigious clubs in your city. Owing to club managements restricting memberships to select few & based on recommendations of existing members, club memberships are a coveted prize. The membership may cost you anywhere around INR 5L – 50L, but the sheer discounts on everything from food, alcohol, sporting facilities make its worthwhile. Besides you cant put a price on the prestige factor can you? Most of the elite clubs have closed their memberships & open only when one of their member dies! The biggest advantage of club memberships is the networking opportunity it offers. Prominent people across various fields like to put their feet up post their round of sporting activity to spend quality time with friends & family surrounded by the cream of the city.
  9. Staying Fit: The Opinionated Indian strongly believes in the adage that Health is Wealth. With increasingly hectic lifestyles it is becoming important to devote time to health & fitness. It is strongly recommended to indulge in some sport like tennis/squash/cricket/soccer 3-4 days a week, followed by a weekly round of golf if possible. Most CEO’s or head honchos are golf fanatics & most high profile deals are struck on the golf course is a well documented fact. If not sports, at least spend time walking/jogging daily for an hour & complement it with yoga sessions in the morning. Staying lean makes you look good in almost anything that you wear, makes you look young, feel positive, energetic & also has a host of other health benefits.
  10. Stop Washing Dirty Linen in Public: We all get into fights or arguments with our family, friends or relatives. What differentiates a  classy man from a moron is how he deals with the situation. Airing your inner most thoughts or squabbles out on social media is the stupidest thing one can do. Your thoughts on such fights should be private & should not be aired to the general public. Consider the example of Narendra Modi & Arvind Kejriwal. In spite of being an IIT graduate & a government official Delhi CM Kejriwal wasted no opportunity to speak ill about Narendra Modi. Whereas PM Modi never responded to any of Arvind Kejriwal’s barbs, clearly coming off as the classier one amongst the two.
  11. Gadgets: People who are well versed & own the latest gizmos are considered to be cool & sophisticated. It makes sense to read & educate yourself about the latest mobile phones, tablets, cameras, watches & other gadgets.



  12. Speaking about Relationships: It is bad practice to speak about/post pics with someone whom you have just started dating & are you both not ready to make the relationship official. It makes you liable to embarrassing questions from friends, family & colleagues in the event of a break up. We would suggest dating for at least a year & being supremely confident of your relationship before announcing it on social media.
  13. Handling Relationships: It is considered extremely classy to come across as devoted family man, loyal to your spouse/companion & involved in your kids lives. It is very immature of people to give details of their bedroom exploits to anyone & everyone who bothers to listen. Gentlemen don’t kiss & tell. It is considered rude of people to speak about their exes in front of their current love interest.
  14. Gossip: Although it is extremely difficult to resist the temptation to gossip with friends & colleagues, it is advisable to limit the amount of gossip you indulge in, lest you become known as the gossip queen of your office. This may lead to your hard work getting over shadowed by your image of being a gossip monger.




AAP – India’s Lost Chance At Clean Politics

I remember my father telling me when I was in my first year of college “College will change you. You will be tempted to drink, smoke, flirt with women, we might seem boring to hang out with & you might lose focus from your career. Beware!” I vehemently denied the possibility of any of these happening. Drinking maybe, but smoking – no chance in hell, I am not gonna get swayed by women/ lose focus on my career. But as luck might have it I did start smoking, I did start drinking, I did fall for women & did hang out more with my friends as compared to my family. All this had a telling impact on my marks in college & my career.

This anecdote reminds me of another similar development in modern India.

During the political chaos ridden years of 2013-14 one atypical group of people had emerged in our country. They were doctors, engineers, bankers, lawyers, government servants. They were the “Aam Aadmi” people like you & I, who were fed up of wide spread corruption brought on by the socialist & so called secular parties of our country (mainly the congress).

Although even a staunch BJP supporter like me can’t deny the stellar job done by Shiela Dixit, Delhi state & central did face the issue of rampant corruption. This led to a huge stir by Anna Hazare & his then relatively unknown acolyte – Arvind Kejriwal, demanding introduction of Lokpal to check corruption. People were told about the sudden transformation of Singapore thanks to Lokpal, of how a corruption plagued Singapore, became a developed economy literally overnight!

The Anna Hazare movement made the UPA government fall into a policy paralysis. There were country wide anshans & dharnas, especially in Delhi. Large reams of news print were dedicated in the coverage of these events. There was no decision taken on various projects including defence deals, infra spending etc for the fear of another corruption scandal emerging. This started the downfall of the UPA. Manmohan Singh, who till 2011 would be introduced by “Singh is King” was now being dubbed as Maunmohan Singh. His political opponents wasted no opportunity to paint a sorry picture of our then PM.
In the midst of all this chaos, from the shadows of Anna Hazare emerged an IIT graduated ex. government  servant – Arvind Kejriwal. Never before had someone so well qualified ever bothered to let go of the perks of corporate/government life to repair the distraught political situation in India. He immediately became the hope for a better India. An India run by educated, well qualified set of people. No longer will we have to put up with shameless, uncouth, uneducated politicians like Lalu Yadav, Mayawati, Mulayam Singh Yadav etc. The new political class will shun corruption & get into an with neither of the two factions, come what may!

At the same time the maverick, charismatic CM of Gujarat Mr. Narendra Modi fresh off a favourable court verdict on the riots case & winning the state elections for a third term was capturing the imagination of the nation by proclaiming the unmatched success of the Gujarat development model. His biggest opponents included his one time mentor Mr. LK Advani who had long harboured dreams of becoming the PM. Modi’s oratory skills combined with administrative abilities in handling had made him a clear favorite amongst the general populace & BJP workers alike. The workers wouldn’t miss a chance to chant his name. Modi’s public outreach through social media gradually captured the imagination of the country. The ghosts of godhra were exorcised. The voters were eagerly awaiting the election to caste their vote for this man with the fabled 56 inch chest.

As Modi was putting his plan of becoming the country’s most powerful man, Arvind Kejriwal was making a few manoeuvres of his own. After denying any ambitions of joining politics whatsoever, Kejriwal, owing to people’s demand ( yeah right) succumbed to the lure of political power & made a grand entry into politics by launching a new party – AAP (Aam Aadmi Party). Thereby breaking his first promise – of never getting into politics & never aspiring to hold a political post. He launched a party which was neither socialist, corrupt like the secular parties nor hindu right wing like the BJP. Many people charmed by the promise of a new India, quit their high paying jobs & lucrative businesses to join the AAP movement. I remember reading about a woman from the senior management of a private bank quitting her job, to follow her calling.

Even die hard AAP followers were aware that their party would not become the single largest party after their first Lok Sabha elections itself. But, Arvind Kejriwal dreamt with his eyes wide open. He challenged Modi & Rahul Gandhi openly. Contested the election from Varanasi- to take Modi head on. He left no stone unturned to win the election.

But the 2014 elections clearly belonged to one man – Narendra Damordas Modi. His charisma, legendary development of Gujarat topped a huge media blitz promising “acche din” was enough to ensure a clear majority for the NDA. Few could have predicted the huge margin of victory for the NDA.

Arvind Kejriwal’s AAP along with Modi’s other opponents were wiped out. Around the same time Delhi state election results were announced. Kejriwal’s debutante party had tied with BJP at 21 seats. AAP then allied with the Congress – the very party against which it held dharnas to claim majority & form the government in Delhi. Thus, Arvind Kejriwal broke his second promise – of never allying with either the UPA or the NDA. Arvind Kejriwal was sworn in as the chief minister. For the brief period that he was the chief minister, Delhi apparently changed overnight. Traffic cops, state police & government officials stopped demanding bribes. The rickshaw drivers the most harassed lot, was the most relieved. Thus becoming AAP’s biggest supporters in Delhi.  The government didn’t last barely lasted a month. Elections were called again, but this time it was Kejriwal’s crowning moment. BJP barley managed 3 seats. AAP had a landslide victory. People were anxious to know what disruptive changes the Kejriwal governement will bring.

What was Delhi’s & India’s hope quickly fizzled out into a joke of sorts. Instead of hearing about June strides their governement was making, the only news the citizens of Delhi heard was about their CM blaming the PM for everything which was happening in the Delhi & the country. The PM was apparently scared of AAP & its meteoric rise to power. Kejriwal might not be the first CM who blamed the centre for being supportive enough, but the manner in which Kejriwal regularly hurled allegations & abused made him the laughing stock of the Indian polity. The Indian middle class was disgusted with this headline grabbing, drama queen CM. Arvind Kejriwal had quickly become the most hated politician in India.

If these antics weren’t enough, the AAP lost its soul – that of a non corrupt, non minority appeasing, law abiding party. Their head was seen sharing the Dias with Lalu Yadav – a corruption scam convict, gifting a bicycle to an under age rapist from a minority community & doing everything possible to discredit the central government. Apart from the odd even rule, they did nothing for making the lives of Delhi citizens better. Millions were spent on ads speaking to various subsidies given by the Delhi governement. The party had no development stories to speak about and; relied on social welfare schemes to retain the faith of the public. But the people were furious with their CM. Why does he have to go to Bihar to campaign for the secular parties, when AAP is not contesting the elections? For how long will he keep blaming the PM & the LG? Many of AAP’s meme era including their founding memebers quit the party, owing to Kejriwal’s power hungry, megalomaniacal ways.

The NDA government meanwhile showed astute dedication towards getting the country back on track. After years of policy paralysis & the ensuing stagflation the country’s image had taken a beating. PM Modi enacted various laws & brought in several reforms to help realise India’s dream of becoming a global super power. Modi took the huge demonetisation gamble & luckily for him it paid off rich dividends. PM Modi smartly never responded to Kejriwal’s ploy of getting the PM into a never ending debate, thus annoying Kejriwal further.

AAP was tipped to win Punjab by the mainstream media. The NDA was to be handed over a huge defeat, thanks to the anti incumbency factor. Elections in UP, Goa too were just round the corner. AAP was hoping to win a few seats in Goa as well & had decided to sit out of the UP contest. The voters were anxious to find out out as to who will be the victor amongst Kejriwal & his arch nemesis PM Modi in this electoral battle. Fortune again seemed to favour Modi, as he won a landslide victory in UP & managed to come second in Goa & Punjab. The NDA pulled the proverbial rabbit out of the hat by forming the government in Goa, despite Congress being the single largest party.

The AAP suffered shameful defeats in Punjab & Goa. It did not manage to win a single seat in Goa & performed way below expectations in Punjab.

Instead of changing track & focussing on development, the party blamed EVM’s for their debacle. As if the electoral losses were not disheartening enough Kapil Mishra – an AAP party man accused Arvind Kejriwal of accepting a ₹2 crore bribe. To divert attention from this scandal AAP demonstrated how EVM’s can be tampered in the state assembly, using fake EVM’s.

Thanks to such antics the AAP & Arvind Kejriwal have lost all credibility. Kejriwal is compared to renowned drama queens like Rakhi Sawant. All noise & zero substance. Kejriwal has turned into the very politician whom he promised to rid India of. He is your stereotypical business class flying, abroad vacationing, corrupt politician, who joined politics just to make money & satiate his lustfor power. AAP will find it increasingly difficult to win an election anywhere in the country thanks to Mr. Arvind Kejriwal gross mismanagement of his party.

Mr. Kejriwal I don’t know how stupid the Indian electorate is to actually buy your gimmicks, but all I can say is you have been a huge let down. AAP losing the next Delhi state elections is a given & so is Mr.Modi getting a second term in 2019. It will be a matter of time before AAP will forgotten or pushed to a corner due to series of electoral defeats & the resulting infighting.

The worst affected will be the Indian electorate & the truly honest individuals who want to enter politics to make a difference. Kejriwal’s horrible performance when entrusted with the mandate to cleanse Delhi has made it doubly difficult to trust rank newcomers from corporate India who promise clean politics. The biggest gainers will be NDA & UPA – India’s best bets at stable governance. Even if a newbie with no political background does enter politics you can rest assured the NDA or UPA candidates telling the voters “Kejriwal ko Bhool Gaye? Bharosa toh us pe bhi kia tha. Phir kya hua?”

AAP’s failure in running a credible governement is one of modern India’s biggest losses. The only way forward to salvage the situation is for AAP to remove Arvind Kejriwal from the party, get back Prashant Bhushan, Yogendra Yadav into the fold & start afresh.

Netflix Vs Hotstar Vs Amazon Prime Connundrum

Are you spoilt for choice between Hotstar, Netflix & Amazon? Is the confusion giving you sleepless nights? Are you dying to decide on which one to subscribe? Relax, you have reached the right place. I will answer the question plaguing millions of viewers across India.

If someone would have told me 2-3 years back that not in the very distant future, I would stop paying for my Tata Sky Plus HD connection, I would have probably wagered against it. After all, Tata Sky with its pause, play, record options, high quality formats & long list of channels was the coolest thing in Indian living rooms.

The advent of Netflix & other content streaming platforms has totally changed the way content is consumed in India.


Hotstar was the first major entrant followed by Netflix. Amazon Prime Video was launched a few months back.

Hotstar which was the first entrant is backed by Star TV – the network behind hugely successful Hindi TV shows. Thanks to the support of their parent company Newscorp, Hotstar has been able to purchase quality content from US & other countries.

The top shows on Hotstar include hits such as Modern Family, Homeland, 24, Fresh off the boat. Their biggest strength though lies in their HBO tie up, which allows them to add titles such as Sopranos, Veep & Game of Thrones – probably the biggest TV show on the planet right now. Users can also consume Hotstar’s huge line up of Hindi TV shows & movies. Hotstar also has a huge line up of sporting events including the IPL! It recently got Republic News on board. The deal breaker though is it’s limited movie library. At ₹200 per month it is a very good value for money buy. Hotstar can be accessed through its mobile app, Smart TV’s, google chromecast & through web. It is not compatible with Xbox One/PS4.

Netflix launch was one of the most eagerly awaited events in the country. When rivals in the content streaming segment like Hotstar, YouTube were charging no money for consuming their content, Netflix changed the rules of the game by charging a whopping ₹600 bucks for their monthly HD subscription.

Netflix boasts of a huge library of world class TV shows, movies & documenataries, stand up comedies from across the globe. The sheer size of its library dwarfs all of its competition combined! Apart from homegrown content including TV shows like House of Cards, Orange is the new Black, 13 reasons why, Bojack Horseman, Netflix’s tie with Marvel is its biggest USP. Netflix- Marvel tie up has led to extremely popular shows like Luke Cage, Daredevil, Jessica Jones & Iron Fist. Their tie up with Adam Sandler has yielded 3 movies. Hits not produced by Netflix include Better Call Saul, Gotham, Suits, How to Get Away With Murder, Broadchurch etc. It’s movie line up of English, Hindi & regional content is admirable. Netflix content is accesssible through their mobile app, smart TV’s, Xbox One, PS4, web. Netflix has recently started allowing users to download content on to their phones or laptops. The only reason why any urban Indian TV & movie connoisseur would not subscribe to Netflix is it high price. Hotstar clearly beats it when it comes to Indian content & Amazon Prime is way more affordable.

The last entrant into the online content streaming arena was Amazon Prime.

The biggest USP of Amazon Prime is its throw away price of ₹499 for the entire year! Which is way lower than Hotstar – ₹1200 & Netflix – ₹7200. Their content line up of Emmy winning TV shows like Goliath & other popular home grown content like The Patriot, Transparent, Red Oaks is impressive. The Mentalist series, good line up of Indian stand up comedies make the ₹499/year price very reasonable. Amazon Prime’s biggest strength vis-a-vis its competition is its movie line up. Be it Hindi, regional or English Amazon Prime easily has the best movie line up.The added advantage of subscribing to Amazon Prime is faster delieveries of your online orders from Amazon.
Amazon Prime is accessible through Smart TV’s, mobile apps, Firestick & web. Amazon refused to comment on when their tie up with Xbox One & PS4 abroad will be extended to India.

The earlier issue of not being accessible through google chromecast or Xbox One/PS4 has now been addressed by launching the Firestick.

If I were to pick a winner amongst the three I would definitely pick Netflix. Netflix wins hands down thanks to its huge content line up. If media sources are to be believed the library will only get bigger & better from here on. The local content in the Netflix library too will get a huge boost owing to their exclusive tie up with top production houses in the country

If I had to omit one from my monthly subscription – it would be Amazon Prime. Amazon Prime needs to better its English TV shows library.

But, as far as subscriptions are concerned Hotstar is the clear winner at 64 million & Netflix is at 4.4 million. Other rivals like Voot – which is no where in the race as far as content is concerned is at 13 million.

The biggest loser in this war of online content streaming players are Tata Sky, Dish TV etc who will have to come up with a way to deal with increasing number of urban English content viewing audiences who will stop paying for TV subscriptions.

Stop Glorifying The Farmer!

I recently came across an article on social media, which exhorted Indians to spend on farmer welfare rather than blowing it on a lip syncing pop sensation. Although a lot of people who went to the concert will tell you that felt as cheated as a Nigerian lottery scam victim & the fact it is no Ines business how I spend my hard earned income tax deducted money , this article is not about that.

What I want to throw light on is  about is the unending mollycoddling of the hallowed Indian farmer by its populace.

One can’t challenge the fact that, most of the Indian farmers continue to remain poor, have low levels of education, lack basic infra, low standards of living etc etc. But then again look at the benefits of being a farmer in India – they pay no taxes, get free electricity, free education , free/subsidised fertilisers & get their loans waived off every now and then! It’s in stark contrast of the urban population  or people from rural India who are not into agriculture or related activities – pay taxes, pay for electricity & no loan waivers. Even a daily wage laborer- say a porter or a cobbler –  who is making minimum wages never has the good fortune of getting a loan waiver! So if your are not a farmer & are neck deep in debt, the Indian government doesn’t give a rat’s ass about your situation. Picture this – even if you have died fighting for your country, your family won’t be fortunate enough to receive a loan waiver from the government. And yes, you will have to pay your income taxes for as long as you live. So what the government is trying to say is farmers are way more important than its army men!

 

The middle class Indian – the ATM machine of the country too  will be shown no sympathy in the event of a debt issue, or a cash crunch. This, in spite of paying taxes & for everything that you can imagine. Yes, even for using a bridge, for which he has already paid in terms of direct & indirect taxes.

The wealthy farmer is the luckiest of the lot. Not only does he enjoy all the perks of being a farmer, he doesn’t pay a single penny in taxes. If demonetisation was a success among the masses, owing to sadistic pleasure they got from seeing the rich run helter skelter trying to save their ill gotten wealth, we can bet on the success of income taxes for the millionaire farmers in our country.

The farmers are not the only poor people in our country. Despite rapid economic progress, large swathes of our population continue to remain below poverty line. India’s per capita income of $1600 is one of the lowest in the world. Many of Indian poor – who works as security guards, cobblers, domestic maids, vegetable vendors, continue to live in urban slums or rural hutments in deplorable conditions.

Why then are politicians & public in general so protective about farmers? The answer is not to difficult to decipher.

It was Lal Bahadur Shashtri one of the first few PM’s of independent India who coined the term “Jai Jawaan Jai Kisan”. Those were times when most of India was poor, lived in villages & agriculture contributed approx. 80% of its GDP. 70 years post independence the dependence on agricultural income has drastically reduced. In spite of agriculture contributing only approx. 25% towards the nation’s GDP, a large part of our population continues to depend on agricultural income.

Our slimy, power hungry politicians have smartly been sourcing funds from the urban middle class to suck up to the farmer & spoil them with social welfare benefits. Even a middle class sympathising party like the BJP couldn’t resist the temptation of handing out a farm loan waiver during UP elections.

Such cushioning has deeply spoilt the Indian farmer, who is now just as sick as our national carrier. Studies by eminent economists, have shown that farmers tend to relapse into huge debts a few years after receiving a farm loan waiver. They tend to rack up huge debts, expecting a farm loan waiver again. Farmers tend to be reckless while using fertilisers/ pesticides due to it being given free of cost or at a throw away price. This badly affects productivity.

I am not alien to the concept of charity. All should do their bit for society & it’s under privileged. Taxes are a form of charity or wealth redistribution, where money is taken from the better off & given to the needy. But, what if the wealth is being handed to someone who shows no signs of improvement?

It’s time India asks its farmers to look after themselves, like the rest of the nation does. This may lead to short term pain, but will lead to huge gains in the long run. India may cease to depend so heavily on agriculture, and may turn to manufacturing, animal husbandry & other fields instead. Thereby making the amount of rainfall less relevant if not irrelevant. The money saved can be used for building infrastructure – which will create jobs, army welfare or the welfare of the differently abled people of the country.

Nay Sayers will be quick to ask me – if the farmers stop farming, what will you eat? My reply is simple. If doctors stop working, who will treat your illnesses? If media industry stops working who will give you your daily dose of news? If IT engineers stop working, who will make the software required to run apps/ large corporations? If teachers stop working, who will educate your kids? Everybody in this country is helping in building the nation, farmers are no different!