Smruti Koppikar

Smruti Koppikar

When the Siddhartha Vihar Hostel in Wadala was brought down, floor by floor, in early February by the BMC, a piece of Mumbai’s history associated with Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar was obliterated.

Articles by Smruti Koppikar
If Mumbai is completely locked down, it will resemble a ghost town not unlike Wuhan from where photographs and videos were shared in late January.(Vijayanand Gupta/HT Photo)
If Mumbai is completely locked down, it will resemble a ghost town not unlike Wuhan from where photographs and videos were shared in late January.(Vijayanand Gupta/HT Photo)

Lockdown is painful but may be Mumbai’s best chance at tackling Coronavirus

By Smruti Koppikar | Hindustan Times, Mumbai
UPDATED ON MAR 19, 2020 04:30 PM IST
If Mumbai is completely locked down, it will resemble a ghost town not unlike Wuhan from where photographs and videos were shared in late January.
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Cities, after all, are potential hotbeds of epidemics given their large populations, public transit systems, and uncontrollable person-to-person interactions.(Pratik Chorge/HT Photo)
Cities, after all, are potential hotbeds of epidemics given their large populations, public transit systems, and uncontrollable person-to-person interactions.(Pratik Chorge/HT Photo)

Epidemic of fear and panic about CoVID-19

By Smruti Koppikar | Hindustan Times, Mumbai
UPDATED ON MAR 11, 2020 11:47 PM IST
Whether a city manages to ride out an epidemic with minimum loss depends partly on its good fortunes, partly on its administrators who manage information and health networks, and partly on its citizens
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Police stand guard in a riot affected area following clashes in northeast part Delhi(REUTERS)
Police stand guard in a riot affected area following clashes in northeast part Delhi(REUTERS)

Mumbai’s story: Vicious riot and elusive justice

By Smruti Koppikar | Hindustan Times
UPDATED ON MAR 05, 2020 01:03 AM IST
In Delhi, policemen were either mute spectators or predators as mobs wreaked havoc and violence on innocent citizens.
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There was violence from both sides but reports show that the scale, intensity and viciousness against Muslims were spine-chilling.(HT Photo)
There was violence from both sides but reports show that the scale, intensity and viciousness against Muslims were spine-chilling.(HT Photo)

Communal riot and inter-ethnic tapestry of cities

By Smruti Koppikar | Hindustan Times
PUBLISHED ON FEB 27, 2020 12:13 AM IST
A city is never the same after a communal riot or pogrom; it does not completely heal, it does not go back to being quite the tapestry it used to be
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The malice in making protests and protesters invisible

By Smruti Koppikar | Hindustan Times, Mumbai
UPDATED ON FEB 20, 2020 01:32 AM IST
The city police attempted this with Mumbai Bagh too in a way citing traffic impediments and bringing pressure to bear on the women sitting-in, slapping notices and FIRs on them and volunteers, profiling protesters and visitors.
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Kejrwal who advocated full statehood for Delhi had voted with the BJP to nullify Article 370(HT FILE)
Kejrwal who advocated full statehood for Delhi had voted with the BJP to nullify Article 370(HT FILE)

A Mumbai cabbie and Kejriwal’s free pass to hate ideology | Opinion

By Smruti Koppikar | Hindustan Times
UPDATED ON FEB 13, 2020 09:34 AM IST
The AAP did not take on the BJP ideologically; Kejriwal did not substantively disagree on Shaheen Bagh protests or CAA-NRC.
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Municipal commissioner Praveen Pardeshi set aside Rs 2,000 crore in the budget for Coastal Road(HT FILE)
Municipal commissioner Praveen Pardeshi set aside Rs 2,000 crore in the budget for Coastal Road(HT FILE)

Civic budget talk: Coastal Road a misplaced priority?

UPDATED ON FEB 05, 2020 11:10 PM IST
Pavements do not get prioritised in the BMC’s tasks lists perhaps because its movers-and-shakers do not use them
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Thackeray’s government was able to start the Shiv Bhojan programme within two months(HT FILE)
Thackeray’s government was able to start the Shiv Bhojan programme within two months(HT FILE)

Shiv Bhojan could be game-changer if Uddhav is watchful

By Smruti Koppikar | Hindustan Times
UPDATED ON JAN 29, 2020 11:50 PM IST
The Shiv Bhojan is as basic a meal as can be — a serving of chapatis, a vegetable, some rice and dal for Rs10 per thali or lunch-plate
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Malls, restaurants, commercial establishments in gated communities and non-residential areas will be allowed to stay open all night to boost local economy(HT Photo)
Malls, restaurants, commercial establishments in gated communities and non-residential areas will be allowed to stay open all night to boost local economy(HT Photo)

How to redefine nightlife in a city that never sleeps

By Smruti Koppikar | Hindustan Times
UPDATED ON JAN 23, 2020 12:03 AM IST
Mumbai, at its heart, is a commercial city; its rhythms do not cease at night and never will.
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Once spoken of as the Scotland Yard of the East, Mumbai Police now faces new and different policing challenges.(HT FILE)
Once spoken of as the Scotland Yard of the East, Mumbai Police now faces new and different policing challenges.(HT FILE)

Mumbai Police must refine the art of policing

PUBLISHED ON JAN 16, 2020 12:03 AM IST
The sensitivity that the force showed towards protestors needs to be extended towards women and children too
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People protest against CAA-NRC at Shivaji Chowk, Vashi on Wednesday.(Hindustan Times)
People protest against CAA-NRC at Shivaji Chowk, Vashi on Wednesday.(Hindustan Times)

Make no mistake, Mumbai is mostly political and non-silent

By Smruti Koppikar | Hindustan Times, Mumbai
UPDATED ON JAN 09, 2020 12:07 AM IST
Silence speaks volumes, silence is political too.
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The resistance to the CAA-NRC in the months to come would need to be sustained beyond the predictable protest-fatigue(HT File)
The resistance to the CAA-NRC in the months to come would need to be sustained beyond the predictable protest-fatigue(HT File)

2020 brings hope that Indians will reclaim a composite nation

By Smruti Koppikar | Hindustan Times
UPDATED ON JAN 02, 2020 12:04 AM IST
It’s a year that carries hope and aspirations of millions – hope for a gentler and more just future, aspiration to be any kind of an Indian that one wishes to be with freedom and joy.
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Hong Kong witnessed massive protests this year(HT File)
Hong Kong witnessed massive protests this year(HT File)

2019: When city streets became protest sites

By Smruti Koppikar | Hindustan Times
PUBLISHED ON DEC 26, 2019 12:29 AM IST
The urban space turned into a site of spontaneous and electrifying protests against governments.
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Protests against CAA and NRC have broken out across several parts of India.
Protests against CAA and NRC have broken out across several parts of India.

De-citizenisation by CAA-NRC drills through India’s soul

By Smruti Koppikar | Hindustan Times
UPDATED ON DEC 19, 2019 07:24 PM IST
The purpose of CAA-NRC is ostensibly to weed out illegal immigrants from three neighbouring countries but implicitly threatens Indian Muslims as well as all Indians who do not possess documents of their ancestry here.
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Efforts need to be made to foster gender equality in Mumbai.(HT Photo)
Efforts need to be made to foster gender equality in Mumbai.(HT Photo)

Gender equality: Global concern, Mumbai’s ignominy

By Smruti Koppikar | Hindustan Times
UPDATED ON DEC 12, 2019 12:41 AM IST
Despite anecdotal signals of women breaching barriers and breaking ceilings in several domains, the bias exists.
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The continued abysmal percentage of women in the political fray is disappointing.(HT File)
The continued abysmal percentage of women in the political fray is disappointing.(HT File)

Dear parties, ignore women and urban voters, face NOTA

By Smruti Koppikar | Hindustan Times
UPDATED ON DEC 05, 2019 01:16 AM IST
Three trends among many in the electoral basket stand out because their significances go well beyond this election.
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Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray is set to be sworn in as the CM on Thursday.
Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray is set to be sworn in as the CM on Thursday.

Some takeaways from Maharashtra government formation

By Smruti Koppikar | Hindustan Times
UPDATED ON NOV 28, 2019 03:24 AM IST
The shenanigans are confusing, but there are some takeaways.
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President of NCP Sharad Pawar and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray(Pratik Chorge/HT FILE Photo)
President of NCP Sharad Pawar and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray(Pratik Chorge/HT FILE Photo)

Uddhav’s ambition, Gandhi’s dilemma, and Pawar’s pattern

By Smruti Koppikar | Hindustan Times
UPDATED ON NOV 21, 2019 06:35 AM IST
The question is if Sonia Gandhi can trust Pawar enough to not throw the Congress under the bus in the months ahead if this government becomes a reality
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Police personnel deployed outside the mosque at Bandra ahead of the Supreme Court's historic verdict on the Ayodhya land case.(HT PHOTO)
Police personnel deployed outside the mosque at Bandra ahead of the Supreme Court's historic verdict on the Ayodhya land case.(HT PHOTO)

Why Mumbai can’t honestly say ‘Let’s move on’

By Smruti Koppikar | Hindustan Times
UPDATED ON NOV 13, 2019 11:13 PM IST
In the new-normal Mumbai, religion has come to play a greater part than it did in civic and personal matters
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Flooding along with unseasonal storms are a clear indication of the impact of climate change in Mumbai.(HT Photo)
Flooding along with unseasonal storms are a clear indication of the impact of climate change in Mumbai.(HT Photo)

Mumbai Story: From sea unto sea?

By Smruti Koppikar | Hindustan Times
UPDATED ON NOV 07, 2019 12:09 AM IST
The city’s geography and future is being threatened by rising sea levels as an outcome of global warming
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The meaning of the 2019 mandate

By Smruti Koppikar | Hindustan Times, Mumbai
UPDATED ON OCT 31, 2019 12:49 AM IST
The BJP-Sena divided the state’s 288 constituencies between themselves, went to voters with their record of the last five years, and asked to be re-elected.
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Voters queue up to cast their votes at a school in Ghansoli in Navi Mumbai.(Hindustan Times)
Voters queue up to cast their votes at a school in Ghansoli in Navi Mumbai.(Hindustan Times)

Why Mumbai’s voter disinterest is a disgrace

By Smruti Koppikar | Hindustan Times
UPDATED ON OCT 24, 2019 12:08 AM IST
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The BJP and Sena speak of an imagined enhanced status for India, the need for daily doses of nationalism. Simply put, these are not issues why Maharashtra’s voters should re-elect BJP-Sena to the Assembly.(Representational photo)
The BJP and Sena speak of an imagined enhanced status for India, the need for daily doses of nationalism. Simply put, these are not issues why Maharashtra’s voters should re-elect BJP-Sena to the Assembly.(Representational photo)

We will not ‘doob maro’, will keep asking questions this elections

By Smruti Koppikar | Hindustan Times
PUBLISHED ON OCT 17, 2019 12:55 AM IST
When the dissonance was pointed out by sections of the media, when the link between Article 370 and Assembly election was questioned, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said “doob maro”.
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The Aarey forest lost 2,141 trees in the span of two nights and a day over the weekend. The site resembled a war zone.(HT file photo)
The Aarey forest lost 2,141 trees in the span of two nights and a day over the weekend. The site resembled a war zone.(HT file photo)

The Aarey battle has invaluable lessons for Mumbai

By Smruti Koppikar | Hindustan Times
UPDATED ON OCT 10, 2019 12:00 AM IST
Civil society can and does stand up for causes, even in a city like Mumbai with the crushing demands it makes on people’s time and energy. Aarey is a good example of how citizens found common cause and rallied around together.
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Students offer tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150th birth anniversary, in Surat, on Wednesday.(PTI)
Students offer tribute to Mahatma Gandhi on his 150th birth anniversary, in Surat, on Wednesday.(PTI)

Invoking Gandhi, the icon; Ignoring Gandhi, the idea

By Smruti Koppikar | Hindustan Times
PUBLISHED ON OCT 02, 2019 11:38 PM IST
Gandhi, the man, must have been fascinating. Gandhi, the idea, even more so.
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Maharastra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has been campaigning for his party, the BJP ahead of the Assembly elections.(AFP)
Maharastra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis has been campaigning for his party, the BJP ahead of the Assembly elections.(AFP)

Election minus contest, unipolar politics isn’t good news

By Smruti Koppikar | Hindustan Times, Mumbai
UPDATED ON SEP 26, 2019 12:48 AM IST
The gradual disintegration of opposition parties has meant that the contrarian or challenger voice does not get reflected in the Assembly
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In Mumbai, language matters less than survival instinct and swagger(Representational photo)
In Mumbai, language matters less than survival instinct and swagger(Representational photo)

Mumbai’s many tongues and linguistic swagger

By Smruti Koppikar | Hindustan Times
UPDATED ON SEP 19, 2019 01:48 AM IST
What else is Bambaiyya Hindi if not a unique, grammar-free, syntax-free and reference-free mix of Marathi, Gujarati, even Urdu mixed with Hindi? It is voiced by Bollywood characters on the screen but the dialect – it is that, a dialect – is heard zillions of times more on the streets of Mumbai.
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People protest against the cutting of 2,700 trees for the Metro car shed at Aarey colony, on September 8.(HT FILE)
People protest against the cutting of 2,700 trees for the Metro car shed at Aarey colony, on September 8.(HT FILE)

Battle for Aarey is a battle for Mumbai

By Smruti Koppikar | Hindustan Times
PUBLISHED ON SEP 11, 2019 11:52 PM IST
This column rarely repeats an issue in successive weeks, but Aarey is too precious to lose even an inch of.
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Protesters form a human chain during protest destruction of Aarey Colony.(HT Photo)
Protesters form a human chain during protest destruction of Aarey Colony.(HT Photo)

Mr CM, take Aarey and you set up Mumbai for more floods

By Smruti Koppikar | Hindustan Times, Mumbai
UPDATED ON SEP 05, 2019 12:19 AM IST
The Tree Authority meeting, which saw a split of eight to six in favour of the proposal, seems to have had its share of slyness, politics and confusion
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Potholes, Mumbai’s monsoon menace, have already claimed 11 lives this year. There have been more than 100 complaints of potholes from each of the city’s 27 civic wards and this is not counting the ones on highways.(Representational photo)
Potholes, Mumbai’s monsoon menace, have already claimed 11 lives this year. There have been more than 100 complaints of potholes from each of the city’s 27 civic wards and this is not counting the ones on highways.(Representational photo)

Citizen activism can’t replace Mumbai civic body’s responsibility

By Smruti Koppikar | Hindustan Times
UPDATED ON AUG 29, 2019 12:09 AM IST
Citizens, however well-intentioned and resourceful, must not plug the gaps in a way that allows the BMC to get away easily
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