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HindustanTimes Sun,26 Oct 2014

Smruti Koppikar

Mumbai can be both, Marathi and global

The verdict of 2014 will be remembered for, among other things, the BJP’s haul of 14 of the 36 seats in the city. It rivals the Shiv Sena’s tally of 15 but its import is beyond what the numbers show, writes Smruti Koppikar.

MLAs’ job: shrouded in deliberate ambiguity

A straw poll that I conducted in the past week in a middle-class housing society, a college class, suburban trains, rickshaw queues and a slum showed what citizens expect of their MLAs, writes Smruti Koppikar.

BJP has set the campaign template; others follow

This election is less about parties and alliances; more a chief ministerial one, in the mould of the general election that had been turned into a prime ministerial one.

When do politicos plan on addressing citizens’ issues?

Less than a month before the state assembly elections, political parties are yet to focus on issues concerning people, such as roads, writes Smruti Koppikar.

Social media politics: Can parties get across the message?

It had to happen. After Narendra Modi demonstrated the considerable power of the social media in the LS polls, politicians priming for a place in the Maharashtra polls have boarded the bandwagon, writes Smruti Koppikar.

Shift the burden; push parties to pitch women

Women as proxy candidates have brought about some positive change, but getting elected on merit will deepen the feminisation of politics, writes Smruti Koppikar.

The power shift behind Amit Shah-Uddhav Thackeray handshake

Amit Shah’s visit will be a courtesy call that will assuage the egos of the Thackerays and their loyal followers; it’s unlikely to lower the battle cry of the BJP to lead the next government in Maharashtra, writes Smruti Koppikar.

Dahi handi: It’s the economy, govinda

There are arguments to not have courts sit in judgement over celebration of festivals, but the dahi handi has long ceased to be one. With the milk, curd and honey, there’s dosh for the brave-hearted participants and a lot of it for the organisers. It’s an economy, govinda.

Smart Mumbai? Forget it, let's build a resilient city

The fascination with technology-driven approach to basic urban issues tends to eclipse a fundamental point.

Media trial in defence of a media tried, the Shiv Sena way

It would be fine if Saamna had picked a bone with the media that sensationalised the case, but in the shadow of slamming a media trial, it went on to conduct one and all but pronounced the woman guilty of "crimes" as it saw fit, writes Smruti Koppikar. HT Poll | Do you condemn Shiv Sena for saying alleging rape has become a 'fashion'?

Mumbai train fare hike: Pure economics was a bad argument

The acute anger among commuters and the wide-spread criticism levelled from all quarters was only to be expected.

Improving road safety would be the best tribute to Munde

In his death, Munde brought bitter political rivals together. It was a testament to his ability to walk the tight-rope, balancing different, even contradictory, political interests. He also unwittingly brought the focus back to the road accident epidemic.

Patriarchal politics lives on in 2014 elections

The election campaigns of mainstream and alternative political parties in the general election, in Mumbai and rest of the country, have shown us the mirror: politics continues to remain a deeply classist and patriarchal field; the ideal candidate would have to be a wealthy, caste-conscious, male.

Mr Election Commissioner, Mumbai wants answers

52.6% voter turnout in Mumbai was impressive when compared to the 41.3% last election but the effort was marred by mass deletions of names including those of well-known banker Deepak Parekh and lawyer Ram Jethmalani.
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