HindustanTimes Tue,16 Sep 2014

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.

India is watching: will Mumbai come out and vote today?

As the campaigning for the 2014 polls closes in the city, Smriti Koppikar makes some observations and asks a few questions. At the best and worst of times, the city's trend is not that impressive.

Why can't we be sceptical about Modi model of development?

Increasingly, in the dominant political discourse, scepticism and questioning are seen as inconvenient.

Raj Thackeray’s local politics and BJP’s national ambitions

All politics is, ultimately, local. This axiom was brought home in the last few days as the BJP’s endeavour to win the maximum number of Maharashtra’s 48 Lok Sabha seats was threatened by the Thackeray family-turned-political feud.

How RR Patil helped Sanjay Dutt get parole

The actor and his legal team seem to breeze through the hurdles in a process which usually doesn't favour convicts seeking few days out of jail, writes Smriti Koppikar.

Why ex-cop Satyapal Singh's politics raises disturbing questions

To what extent did the former IPS officer, who quit to join the BJP, allow his personal beliefs and politics to intrude into his policing decisions? We will never fully know, writes Smriti Koppikar.

An Open Letter to Mumbai University VC: how not to be an intellectual leader

Dear Dr Rajan Welukar, may I suggest that you consider going on a sabbatical soon, in fact sooner rather than later? There are many reasons to make the suggestion; here are a few.
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