The Story of Caste, Conflict, and Politics!

If Modi is winning UP elections, why the language of desperation?

Wasn’t BJP really confident it would be smooth sailing this election?

 

As the seven-phased Uttar Pradesh Assembly election heads for the penultimate round, the narrative of all political parties has witnessed a sea change.

If Prime Minister Narendra Modi went off the tangent to raise issues like “kabristan (graveyard)” and “shamshan (crematoria)”, “Eid” and Diwali, UP chief minister and Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav stooped lower by dismissing his adversaries as “gadhas (donkeys)”, while Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) supremo Mayawati did not mince words when throwing the religious bait, as she repeatedly declared in her speeches that she had given tickets to nearly 100 Muslim candidates.

What followed made the campaigns questionable: perhaps, realization dawned within the BJP that taking the communal line was no longer Modi’s cup of tea.

This prompted party chief Amit Shah to change the track from “Hindu-Muslim” to terrorism – apparently in the hope of evoking patriotic sentiments.

But the manner in which he chose to do so was quite weird. It began with the twisted acronym of Kasab – read as ‘K’ for Congress, ‘SA’ for Samajwadi Party and ‘B’ for Bahujan Samaj Party. However, it failed to gel with the voters.

 

Akhilesh Yadav may have paved the way for BJP to win UP polls!

Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav has possibly made two “fatal” errors.

The first was to over-emphasise the Samajwadi Party’s traditional appeal to Muslims. This has set off a counter-polarization backlash.

Non-Yadav Hindu voters are increasingly disillusioned with the SP’s pro-Muslim tilt. Most people admire the development work Akhilesh Yadav has done, especially in the past two years. The roads in urban Uttar Pradesh are smoother, many villages get 18 hours of electricity, thuggish SP MLAs have been refused tickets.

The BJP has been accused of polarizing the UP elections. And it has. But critics forget that UP was first polarized by the SP and the Congress.

Muslim polarization is not what the middle-class English-language media likes to dwell on. The 1985-86 Shah Bano case was the Congress’ contribution to creating a communal divide in Hindu-Muslim relations, leading to a revival of the demand for a Ram temple in Ayodhya and culminating in the demolition of the Babri Masjid in December 1992.

The polarization the Congress set into motion in 1985 was gleefully grasped by the BJP, then only a five-year-old party.

Hindu polarization followed.In Uttar Pradesh today, the same sequence is playing out. For decades the SP has used Muslim polarization to supplement its Yadav vote bank and secure a vote share above 30 percent. Without the Muslim vote, the SP would get less than 75 seats in the UP assembly.

 

Tactical error

The second error Akhilesh made was to allocate to the Congress as many as 105 seats. The original polarizer, the Congress, now falls between two stools. Its erstwhile Muslim vote bank has lost faith in it and defected to the SP. Hindus, deeply resentful of its pro-Muslim bias, have deserted it for the BJP.

The Congress’ strike rate in these elections is, therefore, unlikely to be much higher than 25 percent. Sensing this, Priyanka Gandhi has stayed away from active campaigning, confining herself to two appearances in her family’s pocket town of Amethi, defeat tarnishes her image as the Congress’ last trump card in the 2019 Lok Sabha election.

If the Congress ends up with just 25 seats, Akhilesh will need to win over 175 seats of the 298 the SP is contesting to secure a majority in the assembly. That represents a strike rate of nearly 60 per cent (175/298)

Even if the SP achieves a strike rate of 50 per cent in its 298 seats, it will end up with around 150 seats. Add the Congress’ 25 seats and the alliance’s tally of 175 will fall tantalizingly short of a simple majority.

Had Akhilesh held firm and allocated around 60-70 seats to the Congress, as he originally intended, leaving 340-odd seats for the SP, the alliance could still have scraped through. It might still do so, though the odds have turned against it in the second half of the UP campaign.

The dangers of excessive “minorityism” were underscored last week by the results of civic elections across Maharashtra. The Congress and the NCP’s Muslim vote bank has been split by small Muslim-only parties like the AIMIM.

In Mumbai, the BJP and the Shiv Sena collectively accounted for an extraordinary near-75 percent (166/227) of the seats in the BMC, wiping out the NCP and marginalizing the Congress — both victims of pro-minority polarization.

The echo from Mumbai — and the rest of Maharashtra where the BJP last week swept the Opposition aside — may carry all the way into the heartland of Uttar Pradesh.

 

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Something Missing in Your Life?

Thanks: How the Science of Gratitude Can Make You Happier

 

Gratitude means thankfulness, counting your blessings, noticing simple pleasures, and acknowledging everything that you receive. It means learning to live your life as if everything were a miracle, and being aware on a continuous basis of how much you’ve been given. Gratitude shifts your focus from what your life lacks to the abundance that is already present.

 

Notice and appreciate each day’s gifts

People tend to take for granted the good that is already present in their lives. There’s a gratitude exercise that instructs that you should imagine losing some of the things that you take for granted, such as your home, your ability to see or hear, your ability to walk, or anything that currently gives you comfort. Then imagine getting each of these things back, one by one, and consider how grateful you would be for each and every one.

Giving thanks makes people happier and more resilient, it strengthens relationships, it improves health, and it reduces stress.

 

If you want to grow in life, idolize the people who are superior to you. But if you want to value life, adore about the people who are deficient.

 

Conclusion

Once you become oriented toward looking for things to be grateful for, you will find that you begin to appreciate simple pleasures and things that you previously took for granted. Gratitude should not be just a reaction to getting what you want, but an all-the-time gratitude, the kind where you notice the little things and where you constantly look for the good even in unpleasant situations.

Today, start bringing gratitude to your experiences, instead of waiting for a positive experience in order to feel grateful; in this way, you’ll be on your way toward becoming a master of gratitude.

 

“If the only prayer you say in your life is ‘thank you,’ that would suffice.”

 – Meister Eckhart

 

My challenge to you is: Choose one topic in your life right now that you feel negativity towards. Pay attention to your thoughts, and when you start to think negatively about the topic, replace those thoughts with a statement of gratitude instead.

Then share your experience in the comments section! Did consciously practicing gratitude change your perspective at all?

You are innocent and they’re all guilty!

Judgments Say More About The Judge Than What’s Being Judged

We’re scared to speak our heart out by the fear of being judged and laughed at, we’re scared to dress, we’re scared to upload a picture we love but others might not! We’re scared to be friends with the opposite sex, can boys and girls ever really be just friends? YES! but the censorious world out there wouldn’t allow them to be. We’re scared to have our own identity, hence we tend to gel in the bandwagon effect and camouflage being someone who we are not, just to be accepted by others. We’re scared of living the way we want to!! 

If you want to stop enabling the fear of judgment living inside of you, read on because this article is just what the doctor ordered.

It’s hard to believe, but you don’t need to be born audacious to stop fearing judgment. You don’t need to be exceptionally brave and courageous. You just need to make a few small changes in how you see the world and how you interact with others in it.

At some point we become ashamed of the nakedness of our souls and so we start to cover them up, we become afraid of judgemental eyes, whispers, and hostile snickers.

We start losing the ability to be free in ourselves because the fear of being unliked, unwanted, unattractive, or unworthy is too great to overcome.

We learn the rules of engagement for socialization and we start to judge and accept judgment from others. Negative judgment is a death sentence to our self-esteem.

You foster this fear every time you say ‘no’ when you really want to say ‘yes,’ because you don’t want to look like an idiot/a crazy person/silly/etc. You nourish this fear by hiding who you are to avoid embarrassment.

If you’re like most people you want to be able to walk around without fearing judgment. You want to ‘not care’ what people think, but you just can’t seem to bring yourself to do it.

 

We don’t see things as they are. We see things as we are. – Anais Nin

 

It’s never about you.

Whatever judgment is being passed on you, has nothing to do with you and everything to do with the judge’s opinion about what you should be like.

For example, think of the craziest outfit you’ve ever seen. The kind of outfit that makes you stare and think ‘wtf is wrong with that person?!’ Now consider for a moment that there are people in the world who think it’s the most attractive getup possible. It’s a fashion phenomenon. It’s wildly fabulous!

Your judgment has nothing to do with the individual you’re judging and everything to do with how you think that person should dress. You might not know exactly what they should be wearing, but in that moment, you know what they shouldn’t be wearing.

This is exactly what happens when others judge you.

 

Being Less Judgemental Frees You From Being Judged

Every time you judge someone else you perpetuate the cycle of judgment.

Consider the example above. If you judge someone’s clothing, you’re going to expect others to be judging your clothing as well.

The best way to show how true this is, is for me to ask you if you commonly judge people’s flexibility? I’m going to assume that you don’t. Now ask yourself if you’ve ever been afraid of being judged by your flexibility. No?

If we went and asked a dance teacher if they commonly judge a person’s flexibility, they’d probably say yes.

You’re only afraid of being judged on the things you find yourself judging others on.

The best way to eliminate a habit is to replace the bad habit with a better habit.

I suggest replacing judgment with curiosity. The moment I started doing this, the moment I started choosing acceptance over rejection, is the moment I began to feel like I was free to be me.

When you see something ‘abnormal’ or uncommon, you judge because it doesn’t fit into your view of the world. The best way to stop judging is to make it less ‘foreign’ so it can fit into your world view. The only way to do that is to learn about it, and the only way to learn is to be curious.

So next time you see someone sporting a chicken on their head for a hat, don’t stop your thought process at ‘that’s weird.’ Continue on and be filled with wonder at how strange and new that is to you. Think about how interesting the reason behind the chicken hat must be, and vow to find out what kind of cultural norm this is. Learn about it, be curious, carve for this new information.

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Give space to other’s to be who they are, and you will receive ample space in return.

Twitter the epitome of modern online communication

“I love Twitter… it’s like owning your own newspaper without the losses” – Donald J. Trump

Who’s not on social media these days? No, really? My guess would be the very young, the very old, and those living in remote areas, where access to the Internet is limited. But even these boundaries are being pushed ever more often. People from all cultures and walks of life join social sites to boost their egos, network, in search of social acceptance, or to vent creatively. This new type of creativity is something that particularly draws me to social media. Personally, I’m moving across a number of platforms on a daily basis, however, I’ve found that it’s Twitter, that offers the most in terms of pure, unique content.

So, what makes Twitter stand out? Well, a number of things, actually. Twitter extracts and mixes the best out of the other most popular platforms and puts it all in a nutshell. Twitter is dynamic, direct, as real-time as it gets and has the 140-character limit, which forces you to bring your writing so precise, when composing a tweet.

We are the generation of Social Media, our biggest revolution is a Tweet of 140 characters. As of this writing Twitter has 317 million active users. Every second, on average, around 6,000 tweets are tweeted on Twitter, which corresponds to over 350,000 tweets sent per minute, more than 500 million tweets per day and around 200 billion tweets per year.

Fact: A news first breaks on Twitter and then on any news channel across the world. Twitter has changed the global media, every person is getting real-time news. The importance of news papers every morning has been decreasing since digitization and mostly due to Twitter which provides real-time news unlike any newspaper.

What do you’all think about the revolution Twitter has brought about in the digital era?