Maharashtra: After the castling, BJP is going for Shiv Sena.

Maharashtra reminds me of Vladimir Putin’s Prime Minister between 2008 to 2020. His name was Dmitry Anatolyevich Medvedev. How many people remember that Medvedev was the President of Russia between 2008 to 2012 and in this period, Vladimir Putin was his Prime Minister. Again in 2012, Putin became the President and Medvedev became the Prime Minister.

A similar arrangement has been made in Maharashtra. Devendra Fadnavis is Deputy Chief Minister and Eknath Shinde is the Chief Minister. The reason is rather obvious.

First, with this castling, Shinde can ask for nothing more. This is the end of the bargain. This also shows to Thakrey that the problem was his being in office and it was not about Fadnavis in the office of CM.

Secondly and more importantly, Shinde as Chief Minister, will attract the rest of the party workers like Magnet. He will go around visiting City after city, seeking support at the ground and then file a claim on the party i.e. Shiv Sena with the Election Commission. This is the jugular vein of the political capital of Thakrey.

Shinde has a big task ahead and Fadnavis will run the Government for him.

Surprisingly, Thakrey is literally sitting like ducks. With his serious health problems and arrogance disproportionate to his stature, he can’t match the street fight. Not beyond Mumbai in any way.

Today’s vote of confidence in the house is a mere formality. With the success in election of speaker with 167 votes in the house of 288, it will be a cakewalk for ruling combine in the house today.

People can start writing political obituaries of Thakrey. The father and the son and his recent benefactor ‘Kaka’ who led him to this day.

If you disagree with my chess analogy, listen to what Chagan Bhujabal, leader of NCP has to say about it:

Teesta Sitalwad: arrest of an activist who is descendant of a legendary family.

Teesta Sitalwad has been arrested last week by Anti-terror squad (ATS) of Maharashtra from her residence in Juhu, Mumbai. Her arrest was such a big event that the United Nation spokesperson expressed concern and in reply a spokesperson of Foreign Affairs of Government of India had to issue following statement:

Foreign Ministry spokesman Arindam Bagchi said that we have seen a comment regarding legal action against Teesta Setalvad and two other persons by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. The comments are completely inappropriate and set an example of interference in the independent judicial system of India. Bagchi further said that India works strictly against violation of law as per judicial procedures. Labeling such legal actions as harassment for the sake of activism is misleading and unacceptable.

The question arises as to who is Teesta Sitalwad?

She was destined to be a lawyer, like her father and grandfather but she left law and passed out as a journalist. He credentials as a journalist remained foggy but after 2002 she emerged as a professional public interest litigant. Her case would eventually land up in Supreme Court before a particular judge and she would get some relief or the other. Few years back she was arrested on the charge of misappropriation of money from Charities created for victims of 2002 riots in Gujarat but she was released on bail as it was granted on an alleged phone call from Kapil Sibal.

The Sitalwad Family:

Like many in lime lights of the media, the Sitalwad Family has an illustrious past.

Her great great great grandfather, Ambashankar Setalvad (1782–1853) worked for the East India Company.

Her great great grandfather Harilal Ambashankar Setalvad (1821–1899) was awarded the title of Rao Sahib by the British for his loyalty to the crown and in the process he made substantial wealth.

‘Sir’ Chimanlal Harilal Setalvad (1864–1947) was one of the
member of Hunter Commission which gave ‘clean chit’ to Reginald Dyer for Jallianwala Bagh Massacre in 1919. He was awarded title of ‘Sir’ in 1919 & appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of the Indian Empire (KCIE) in 1924 by the British. He was also a family friend of Jawaharlal Nehru.


Motilal Chimanlal Setalvad (1884–1974) was India’s first & longest serving Attorney General (1950–1963).  He helped Nehru in imposing a tax on salt from retrospective effect in the name of cess. Courts had struck it down. (Remember slat agitation of Gandhi called Dandi March?) He also helped Nehru in keeping Rowllet Act in Constitution of India as article 22 by strongly defending it in courts.

Atul Motilal Setalvad (1933–2010) was a left leaning  Mumbai based lawyer with a rather not so illustrious a career but had left behind aan ancestoral home in Juhu, Mumbai which has a personal garden of 3 acres. Nobody, even the richest men of India namely Ambani and Adani enjoy this luxury in the heart of Mumbai.

Teesta Javed Setalvad (1962– ) is a journalist cum activist who married Javed Anand who is also an activist cum journalist. Presently she is under arrest for forging affidavits, manipulating litigation and abuse of legal process for 16 long years. The matter is under investigation.

Few other British loyalists:

Sitalwad is not alone. The British left behind their loyalists who shifted loyalty to the Nehru family immediately after 1947 and their descendants continue to do so thereafter.

Kunj Bihari Thapar gave a saropa to Governor Dyer who was the Governor of Punjab when Jalainwalan Bagh massacre took place. His illustrious descendants include General Thapar who lost 1962 war to China. Romilla Thapar and Karan Thapar are the other descendants continuing the legacy of Raj.

Khuswant Singh was press secretary of Nehru who was fired after a picture of Lady Mountbatten in night gown kissing good bye to Nehru in London, appeared in Newspapers. His father Sir Sobha Singh became a British loyalist who was awarded acres of land in and around Delhi at throw away prices after he testified against Bhagat Singh and B.K.Dutt, the freedom fighters in courts to ensure their hanging till death. Khuswant Singh defended his father as he spoke the truth.

There are many such illustrious British loyalists who joined Nehru and his descendants in doing what the British did to India namely LOOT away wealth. British looted 45 trillion dollars. So much so they refused to pay what they owed for war supplies in 1947. It was about 2 billion pounds. Nehru never mentioned it.

Arrest of Teesta could be a trend setter that these dynasts in media who represent British legacy of personal loyalty and not merit may soon become a thing of past. It is important that this happens as meritocracy is not possible with dynasties of loyalists.

Opposition parties of India have a plan for 2024

Media anchors, experts, YouTube commentators would have us believe that the opposition parties in India seem to have no plan against the ruling BJP in 2024. It is plainly incorrect. They have a plan and it is hidden in plain sight. Before evening their plan let me share with you a few facts.

Abdullah is a member of parliament from Srinagar. Do you know how many people voted for him?

The total turn out in abdullah’s constituency was 10%. In other words 90% of people did not vote. Abdullah got more than 5% of votes and became a member of parliament.

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USA is no more a beacon of human rights. A report highlights gross abuse of human rights in USA.

USA embroiled in allegations of religious bigotry, racial discrimination and election fraud.

Centre for Democracy, Pluralism and Human Rights, has come out with a startling report on human rights violations in United States of America. According to this report, in recent years, free speech rights and freedom of the press have been eroded and Internet  controls have been institutionalized. Voices are suppressed on social media, the academia,  as well as the print and broadcast media, and are forced to speak in one voice that matches  the opinion of the USA government officials, and as per the new policies to control the  internet, which have been put in place by intelligence officials, and masqueraded as  policies to advance the free-speech rights of the common people. In general, any opinion  that is not part of the approved ‘liberal’ discourse or the approved ‘conservative’ discourse  is branded as an ‘extremist’ position, and people with independent positions are hounded  out of the public space. 

Following are the other shocking highlights of the Report: 

1. RACIAL DISCRIMINATION: RACISM IS DEEPLY ENTRENCHED IN THE SYSTEM 

Structural Racism Built into the State Constitution Some of the provisions in the State  Constitution are racist and continue to date, like the Three-Fifths Clause which  violates the principle of equality, and the Fugitive Slave Clause which did not permit  people to escape slavery.  

Three-Fifths Clause (Native Indians, not to be numbered equally but three-fourths) 

“Representations and direct taxes shall be apportioned among the several States  which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers,  which shall be adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to  Service for a term of years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three-fifths of all other  persons.” 

The 3rd Clause of the 4th Article of the USA Constitution authorizes the enslavers to seize  enslaved people: 

“No person held to Service or Labour in one State, under the Laws thereof, escaping into  another, shall, in Consequence of any Law or Regulation therein, be discharged from such  Service or Labour, but shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such Service or  Labour may be due.” 

The Constitutions of California and New York states too have racist provisions, which are meant to deny housing and disfranchise Native Americans respectively. 

Systemic Issues: Racism and Corruption in the Legal System and Judiciary 

The law enforcement agencies, legal system, and the judiciary have all built up a reputation for corruption and racism. 

In particular, a harsh law passed in 1994 was designed to ensure that Blacks would face a  cruel justice system and long prison terms which would, in turn, benefit the owners of private prisons. Blacks are given more severe punishment by judges for the same crimes. 

The composition of the judiciary is racist in nature. Most of the positions are filled by Whites and fewer Blacks, Asians, and Native Americans in proportion to their population. Even  Clerkships are not offered to Blacks easily. However, Blacks lead in the number of wrongful convictions. 

Racism is Institutionalized in Political Parties 

Both the parties have been hypocritical in their conviction to end racism and none of them framed a comprehensive policy to eradicate it. Leaders of both parties have made racist remarks at multiple occasions, venting out their ingrained racism. 

Lack of Representation of Minorities in Media and Academia 

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Why Zomato and Swiggy are failing?

When a business can’t differentiate between Apple and Oranges, it eventually fails.

The above principle applies even more so in the service industry. The hair cut and shaving cannot be priced the same.

The share price of Zomato has fallen by half. The company is running in losses and is clueless about its Strategy. It is trying to rope in new customers by intensive marketing but is failing to keep existing customers.

To be fair to Zomato, its competitors are doing no better. They are in the same boat and suffering the same fate.

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