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BY SANDEEP PAURANIK
In order to regain dominance in the country, the Congress is mulling using the tribal card. This plan of action is to be first implemented in Chhattisgarh.
Riding on the success of the Assembly and urban body elections, the Congress feels that it can increase it base through tribals as they constitute 8 per cent of the total population.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the first three Assembly elections in the state, after its formation in 2000, recorded huge victories and came to power. But after the Assembly elections held last year, the scenario changed. After registering a victory in the Assembly elections and then in the urban body polls, the Congress showed that it still dominates the tribal areas.
The Congress gave the responsibility of the tribal areas to the tribal leader of Madhya Pradesh Umang Singhar which eventually helped the party. Now, the party is planning to spread out nationwide through Chhattisgarh.
Former party president Rahul Gandhi, while inaugurating the National Tribal Dance Festival in Raipur, gave a message to the tribals who are here to participate in the festival that the Chhattisgarh government is working for all the sections and this is the reason why there has been a downward trend in naxal attacks and the state economy has also improved.
The Congress is planning to publicise the improvements in Chhattisgarh throughout the country because the tribal population in the state is 32 per cent.
BJP media panellist Sandeep Sharma, however, claims that the party’s base has not shrunk. He said till Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh were not divided, the Congress was strong in the area but in the elections held after three years of the bifurcation, the BJP won the Assembly elections and was in power for 15 years. Though we faced defeat in the 2018 elections, the only reason was that people wanted a change but they were not angry with the BJP, he claimed.
The BJP won in the Lok Sabha elections and the margin in the urban body elections was also not much. So, it would be inappropriate to say that the BJP’s base has shrunk, he said adding that in one year the Congress’ base has declined by 9 per cent whereas in Assembly elections it got 12 per cent more votes and in urban body elections the margin was 3 per cent.
Analysing the political landscape of the state, political analyst Rudra Awasthi said, “When it was Madhya Pradesh then the Congress had stronghold in Chhattisgarh. Several big leaders were also from the state but after the formation of Chhattisgarh since Ajit Jogi was accused of being a fake tribal the Congress lost its stronghold over the tribals. Though it continued to dominate in some of the areas which helped it in regaining the power.
“As of now, the Congress has started including the tribals with the backward class. First Bhupesh Baghel was the state chief of the party and he was replaced by Mohan Markam as he became the Chief Minister. During the Assembly elections, the Congress talked about the identity of the tribals which helped the party. After winning the elections, the decisions of the Congress government were in favour of the tribals which helped the party in the urban body elections,” said Awasthi.
The Congress is mulling over spreading its message to the tribals across the country through the three-day festival going on here. For this several senior leaders of the party will attend the festival and share the government’s schemes while giving the message that the Congress government in the state has brought a positive and a significant change in the lives of the tribals. (IANS)
The country’s first garbage cafe has been launched here in Chhattisgarh. Under this, the Municipal Corporation will provide food to the poor and homeless in lieu of plastic waste. Persons fetching 1 kg plastic waste will be offered a full meal while those collecting 500 grams waste will get a substantial breakfast.
Ambikapur, which has been selected as the second cleanest city after Indore, plans to use the plastic for construction of roads. The cafe will operate from the city’s main bus stand, said Mayor Ajay Tirkey who presented the city’s municipal budget on Monday.
The budget provides Rs 5 lakh for the Garbage Cafe Scheme. There is a plan to provide free shelter to the homeless who collect plastic waste. Ambikapur already has a road made with plastic granules and asphalt.
The first such road in the state has been made in the city by mixing 8 lakh plastic bags. The road constructed by mixing plastic and asphalt is durable, because the water does permeate through it. Under the campaign, the Municipal Corporation will provide food for poor and homeless people of the city free of cost. Not only this, there will also be arrangements for shelter with food for such people.
This scheme is being linked to the cleanliness campaign. Ambikapur is the second largest city in the country in the ‘Sanitation Campaign’. Tirkey said the corporation has already restricted the use of plastic carry bags.
By adding it to the Garbage Cafe scheme, it will be implemented strictly. Ambikapur made stupendous progress from last year’s 40th rank to mark its emphatic presence as the top civic administered town in solid waste management. (IANS)
Zarine Khan was invited as the chief guest for the one-day state level awareness workshop, which is an effort by the state government to create awareness about menstrual hygiene. Many girls of Chhattisgarh participated in it.
“I am humbled to be invited for such an important cause. It is a great initiative taken by the government and I am more than happy to create awareness through my speech,” Zareen said in a statement.
“Thanks to Akshay Kumar who showcased the cause so beautifully through his film ‘Pad Man’,” she added.
“Pad Man”, starring Akshay, is based on the story of a real-life superhero who invented a low-cost sanitary pad manufacturing machine to bring a menstrual hygiene revolution for women. IANS
- Rajkummar Rao starrer-Newton draws attention to the clan of Indians who do not vote during elections
- The film strikes a balance between humor and the urge to tell the real story of the group of Indians who choose not to participate in the decision-making process
- Newton will have a theatrical release on September 22
New Delhi, August 30, 2017: In the beginning, the name “Newton” may stir thoughts about the great Scientist and his philosophies, but one you get a glimpse of the trailer, you will understand that Rajkummar Rao starrer “Newton” is a dark political comedy going by the simple rule “If you don’t change nothing, nothing will change.”
From the very first glimpse, Rajkummar Rao in and as Newton makes the trailer appear extremely promising.
Imagine sitting in a remote village somewhere in Chhattisgarh, far beyond the reach of technology and any worldly interference.
Imagine being surrounded by impassive villagers on one end and Maoists and police forces on the other, with both competing for cooperation and power among local people.
Now, what if you were to conduct election voting in such a scenario?
The Maoists would want the villagers to boycott the elections.
As per the trailer, this film is about the people living in villages, who hardly have any idea about exercising their right to vote, and showcases various shades of human emotions blended with humor.
— Rajkummar Rao (@RajkummarRao) August 29, 2017
Newton, a political satire starring Rajkummar Rao in a titular role, tells the story of an oddball named Nutan Kumar who is a stickler for rules and principles- this is revealed from the very first frame of the trailer when he refuses to marry an underage girl.
ALSO WATCH: “Newton” Trailer Starring “Rajkummar Rao”
The film is an intimate portrait of a government clerk with the single-minded agenda to conduct free and fair elections in a village riddled with conflict in Chhattisgarh. However, amidst violent clashes between Maoist guerrilla armies and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawans, Newton is exposed to a bigger problem- villagers who are not aware of their “right to vote”.
The film reflects an underlying social problem of the contemporary Indian society- the unrelenting saga of ignorant citizens who do not exercise their voting rights; of people who cannot make sense out of elections and those who deem it unnecessary and treat it like a joke.
What Inspired ‘Newton’ ?
In an interview with LiveMint in January, writer-director Amit Masurkar had said “the only day people feel powerful and really a part of the democratic process is Election Day: regardless of caste, gender, religion” which prompted him to make Newton.
The young director drew inspiration from the Indian Constitution and its Preamble. According to him, these are great documents but there exists an inherent gap between the virtues upheld in the Constitution and the reality of India that could make for quality cinema.
In another interview, Masurkar said, “the humor is incidental and the subject is serious. Some may find elements of a thriller. I would call it a ‘dramedy’.”
Newton Gives Hope To Bollywood
Newton comes at a time when Bollywood is slowly transitioning towards impactful cinema. With films like Nil Battey Sannata and Toilet : Ek Prem Katha, that lend support to adult literacy, and Clean India campaign respectively, ‘Newton’ also aims to impart awareness, however of a different kind. It belongs to the selective category of cinema that entertains yet provokes a viewer to reflect on what he saw, even long after the film has ended.
The film very conveniently aims to give a wake-up call to everybody who considers voting as an insignificant activity. The trailer exposes how people in villages fail to exercise this right due to deep-embedded fear and hence, continue to stay defenseless.
With Rajkummar Rao’s words echoing in your ears “If you don’t change nothing, nothing will change”, the trailer comes as a gentle reminder that the power lies right in our hands.
The trailer looks quite promising and the film is all set to release on September 22.
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