Monday December 18, 2017
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Patel agitation: First an explosion, then a whimper

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Ahmedabad: Less than four months ago, a 22-year-old from Ahmedabad’s backyard burst on Gujarat’s political horizon like a bolt from the blue with his demand for job quotas for the Patel community. But the agitation that shook the ruling BJP seems to be tottering.

The Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS) launched by Hardik Patel, a commerce graduate and son of BJP worker Bharat Patel, caught the imagination of youngsters from his community who thronged his rallies across the state in hundreds of thousands.

And for a state known for peace, 12 people were killed as large-scale violence erupted during a police crackdown on the agitators. Patel wants his community to be included among the Other Backward Classes (OBC) who enjoy 27 percent quota in jobs and educational institutions.

The agitation that shook the Bharatiya Janata Party government now seems to be tottering as quickly as it began, thanks to Hardik Patel’s inability to handle the unexpected power the Patel youth handed over to him. This is besides the re-grouping and consolidation of the OBCs backed by Dalits and tribes who would not part with a share from their quota.

After initial procrastination, the Anandiben Patel government cracked the whip. Hardik Patel faces the law for every mistake he made. These are being attributed to his losing the massive support that he got from July.

The sequence of events, since Chief Minister Anandiben Patel set up a seven-member panel headed by seniormost cabinet minister Nitin Patel and invited the Patel youngsters for talks, tells the story.

First, Hardik Patel and his group did not mention their reservation demand and instead sought action against 4,200 policemen who, they said, had unleashed violence, leaving 12 dead after his Ahmedabad rally.

He wanted Minister of State for Home Rajnikant Patel sacked. Driven to the wall, a confused government sought 10 days’ time.

Then, Patel announced a “reverse” Dandi march from south Gujarat to Gandhinagar to press for the reservation demand.

Anandiben Patel ordered police to clamp prohibitory orders at all places where Hardik Patel and his supporters planned rallies in a bid to crush the agitation.

Hardik Patel kept changing the venue of the ‘yatra’ till the last minute before looking for a safe sanctuary in Surat’s Patel-majority Varachha area. But here too hardly 50 people came. When he ended his speech, police whisked him away with 30 others.

More than the fear of arrest, it was the threat by the newly-formed OBC Ekta Manch to counter the Patels in OBC-dominated 90 villages that unnerved the Patels. The Patidars (Kadwa Patels and Leuva Patels) have a huge population in Surat city but not much outside.

Days later, Hardik Patel organised a rally in Aravali district, some 40 km from Ahmedabad, without seeking police permission. He addressed about 2,000 people and escaped in a cavalcade of cars. On finding police blockades on all roads leading to the highway, he ran through the fields.

Later that night, his supporters claimed he was missing and filed a habeas corpus petition in the Gujarat High Court.

The next day, Hardik Patel told a TV channel that he was kidnapped by plainclothes policemen and left on a highway 100 km from Ahmedabad. He and his lawyer were pulled up by the court for taking it for a ride.

On October 4, Patel made his controversial remarks that “courageous Patels” should kill a policeman or two instead of committing suicide. For this, Patel now faces a sedition charge.

Subsequently, he threatened to disrupt the India-South Africa one-day cricket match in Rajkot by mobilizing 50,000 people. Hardly 50 gathered, and they were rounded up much before the match began.

Here, he was charged with insulting the national flag which he held upside down before he was picked up by police.

During all these events, there was no public outburst or gathering in his support — unlike at the August 26 Ahmedabad rally.

But the government is not writing off Hardik Patel, as is evident from its desire to put off elections to over 300 local self-government bodies.

The government has also announced it would initiate steps to empower the economically weaker sections (EWS) from all communities, including Patels, set up an autonomous development board for EWS, give scholarships for meritorious students and free-ship in self-finance medical and engineering colleges.

(Darshan Desai,IANS)

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Gujarat Elections: The Fight to the Finish between Congress and BJP

The counting of votes for the Gujarat elections will begin on December 18 at 8.00 AM

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The Gujarat elections have brought the BJP and the Congress in close contest with each other.
Women on their way to the polling booths in Gujarat on December 9, VOA News

 

  • The Gujarat elections have brought the BJP and the Congress into a close contest over the seats.
  • The exit polls predict a victory for BJP.
  • The counting of votes will begin at 8.00 A.M. on Monday, December 18.

The Gujarat elections, which were carried out in two phases on December 9 and December 14, will finally come to its culmination on Monday, December 18, as the counting of votes will commence from 8.00 A.M. The Gujarat polls, over which seasoned BJP politicians such as Narendra Modi and Amit Shah  have locked horns with the newly appointed president of the Congress, Rahul Gandhi, have been subjected to numerous speculations and predictions, ever since the two political parties have launched themselves into relentless campaigning for the various constituencies.

The Gujarat elections have brought the BJP and the Congress in close contest with each other.
Rahul Gandhi kissing his mother after being elected as the President of Congress on December 16, 2017, VOA News

Congress vs. BJP: Who will Win the Gujarat Elections

The campaign for the Gujarat assembly elections has been a vehement one for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has extensively referred to the growth index and other statistical details while enumerating the virtues of the BJP government. His developmental policies, such as the Ujjwala Yojana through which free LPG gas facilities were provide to households below the Poverty Line, have made him immensely popular among the women of Gujarat. Modi’s appeal as the ‘son of the soil’ has earned him support in the urban and commercial hubs of Gujarat, in spite of the brewing discontent over demonetisation and the imposition of GST. The BJP has also succeeded in securing the support of the tribal people of Gujarat, who were previously considered as a stronghold of the Congress.
However, with the trio of Hardik Patel, Alpesh Thakor and Jignesh Mevani, Rahul Gandhi seems to have infused young blood into the Gujarat elections, and has thereby attracted a significant number of young voters. Hardik Patel, with his political acumen has become a potential threat for the BJP, as multiple scandalous tapes of him as well as his aides have not decreased his popularity. In North, Gujarat, Saurashtra and Kutch, people seem to be disappointed with the BJP government, since the much-applauded ‘Gujarat Model’ has failed to solve basic issues in their lives, such as shortage of water.

 

The Gujarat elections have brought the BJP and the Congress in close contest with each other.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the voters at Kalol, in the outskirts of Ahmedabad on December 8, 2017, VOA News

Gujarat Elections: The Exit Polls

The Gujarat Polls of 2017 have often been hailed as one of the closest competitions faced by the BJP government during its 22 year long tenure as speculations are rife regarding who will win the Gujarat elections. However, in spite of the unyielding campaign by the Congress and Rahul Gandhi, the speculations hint towards another victory for the BJP in the state. An aggregate of nine exit polls in Gujarat show that the BJP is expected to secure 162 seats, while 65 seats may be secured by the Congress.

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Hello Foodies ! You Can Spot These 8 Street Foods at Every Nook and Corner in India

Here is a list of delicious street food items, now available everywhere in India

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Delicious Street Food
Delicious Street Food in India. Wikimedia

Sep 02, 2017: Street foods in India is the new trend amongst foodies these days and are indeed delectable to savor. Previously, it was known that street food confined to a particular region. However, nowadays, a south Indian food can be found even in the north of the country and here is why you don’t need to go all the way to Assam to eat momos.

Many street food items have become quite popular throughout. Let’s have a look at these street food items.

Here is a list of delicious street food items, now available everywhere:

Vada Pao

Street Foods
Vada Pao in Delhi. Wikimedia

Vada Pao is the Indian style burger, quite famous in Maharastra. Fried potato dumplings are stuffed inside pao and are coupled with green chili and spicy chutney that add flavor to this Maharashtrian dish.

Chaat

Street Foods
Papri Chaat. Wikimedia

The sweet, tangy, and spicy taste of Aloo tikki, Gol Gappa, bhelpuri, Sevpuri, will tempt you. This is a mouth-watering street food from Uttar Pradesh. It adds extra taste to your buds when garnished with curd and chutney.

Momos

Street Foods
Cabbage Momos. Wikimedia

The white colored steamed snack of North East is getting popular amongst Indians these days. It makes an awesome combo when served with spicy red chutney and hot momos.

Also Read: “Regionality is What Sets Indian Food Apart” from the Cuisines Across the World, says MasterChef Australia Judge Gary Mehigan 

Poha Jalebi

Street Foods
Poha the staple breakfast of India, with Jalebi. Wikimedia

Sweet jalebis served with salty poha is a trademark street food of Madhya Pradesh. Now the combination is a hit amongst people of the country.

Idli Sambhar

Street Foods
Idli-Sambhar-Coconut chutney. Wikimedia

Idli Sambhar is the most popular street food of Tamil Nadu in India. It is a delicious combo of idli, sambhar and coconut chutney.

Chole Bhatura

Street Foods
Chole bhature. Wikimedia

Chole Bhature, a favorite dish of every Indian is chiefly a treat of Punjab.  It is served with green chilies, onions, and chutney.

Dhokla

Street Foods
Gujarati Dhokla (Khaman Dhokla). Wikimedia

The sweet-sour Dhoklas are a specialty of Gujarat state. It is a famous street food baked from the fermented batter of gram flour. This treat is also served with chutney and green chilies.

Pyaz ki Kachori

Street Foods
Rajasthani Pyaz ki Kachori. Wikimedia

Pyaz ki Kachori was originated in Jodhpur city of Rajasthan. The dish is now relished all over India. These crispy and flaky kachoris with onion masala, garnished with sweet tamarind chutney will throb your heart.


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India Has the World’s Largest Ship Graveyard in Gujarat

From being the focal point of the world where ships were to be sent, Alang is left behind with scarcely any work

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Ship Graveyard
Ship Graveyard. Wikimedia

July 24, 2017: Ships have a life. Does it sound peculiar to you? After you get down from the wonderful journey you probably never think about the ship again, however, ships also have an existence cycle, similarly as we do. Alang in Gujarat has the biggest ship graveyard on the planet where voluminous tankers and luxury ships are rejected on the Alang shore front. Here, things are distinctive and it notices a greater amount of old things than newly composed ones.

A Ship graveyard is a place where ships are sent to be decomposed.

 

Ship graveyards are the ones that are made particularly for decomposition of the ship. Alang has a 10 km long coastline where ship breaking is done. The First ship was brought here in 1983 and from that point onwards 6,900 ships have been disassembled there.

Despite the fact that 60% of the world’s aggregate ship breaking is done in Alang, the place has seen lots of ups and down. From being the focal point of the world where ships were to be sent, it is left behind now with scarcely any work.

This recycling industry is valued at 6,000 crores. In the year 2010-2011, they had utilized 20,000 laborers and generated more than a lakh employments. The ships that once rode the high oceans ended up on the shores of Alang. With the passage of time, the oil-drenched shoreline looks infertile, with just a couple of ships dotting the skyline, their rusted anchors, and chains is an evidence of a shoreline that once cut down hulks.

Ships that once carried many vacationers to exquisite areas and carried voyages to far-flung ports are among the vessels from all the world that have wound up on Alang’s shores post the termination of working lives. They are scrapped for their steel which can be sold for use in development.

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Alang’s shoreline as a ship breaking yard benefitted from this labor-intensive exercise of crushing these vessels. Such work can be carried out in nations with cheap labor and lesser restrictions in terms of dealing with hazardous substances, for example, India, Bangladesh, and Pakistan.

Japan and the Gujarat government have held hands to redesign the current Alang ship breaking yard. This is a part of the Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor, a venture between the Japanese and Gujarat government. The venture’s point is to make this shipyard the biggest International Maritime Organization-compliant recycling shipyard in the world.

– prepared by Naina Mishra of Newsgram. Twitter @Nainamishr94