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Would like to work with Omung Kumar in a film: Tiger Shroff

The Kashmir Monitor




Actor Tiger Shroff says he would like to work with the National-Award winning filmmaker Omung Kumar in a film.

He was interacting with media when he attended a charity event where Omung unveiled a hand painted animal calendar.

Tiger said: “I have had the opportunity to meet Omung (Kumar) sir at very few occasions actually. He has been the art director of Star Screen Awards as well and that’s where first time, I met him.

“I also had the chance to go and meet him at his office or at my home discussing various scripts so, very soon hopefully we would like to work together in a film and I am looking forward to that day.”

Talking about Omung’s initiative where he unveiled a hand painted animal calendar and the revenues of which will be directed towards the betterment of animals, Tiger said: “I really salute Omung sir for doing this. For animals, I will do anything as per my capacity so, there isn’t any better way to be associated with Omung sir’s initiative.”

The “Baaghi” actor also talked about human being’s habit of trespassing forest land because of which forest animals are moving towards residential areas.

“It’s really sad and it is something that has been happening from long time and it’s very rampant all over the world so, we should do our part by planting trees wherever and whenever we can,” he said.

Tiger will next be seen in Punit Malhotra’s “Student of The Year 2” along with Tara Sutaria and Ananya Pandey in lead roles.

The film is distributed by Fox Star Studios and produced by Karan Johar, Hiroo Yash Johar and Apoorva Mehta under the banner of Dharma Productions.

It is set to release on May 10, 2019.

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Bugle for 2019 battle sounded

The Kashmir Monitor



By Ajaz Ashraf

The slide in the Bharatiya Janata Party’s fortunes in Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh makes it so much harder for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to realise his dream of governing the country until 2024. Regardless of the spin the BJP will give its defeat, electoral history shows the Assembly election results of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh tend to get reflected in the Lok Sabha elections held in these states three to four months later.

It is very likely that Modi and the BJP will draw inspiration from the exceptional triumph of Chief Minister KC Rao in Telangana, where his Telangana RashtraSamithi faced the combined onslaught of the grand alliance or Mahakutami of the Congress, Telugu Desam Party, Communist Party of India and Telangana Jana Samiti. Just as the Telangana RashtraSamithi trounced the Mahakutami, it will be argued that Modi can also trump an Opposition alliance at the national level.

But Modi will know there are significant differences between the politics of the Telangana RashtraSamithi and the BJP. In 2014, the Telangana RashtraSamithi won just three more seats than the majority mark of 60 in the House of 119 members. However, its strength in the Assembly grew to 90 because of defections of MLAs from the Opposition. Some of these MLAs would have augmented the party’s vote share of 34.3% in 2014, as against the Mahakutami’s 40.8%.

Rao also introduced a slew of welfare measures, including 24X7 power supply to rural Telangana, enhanced pension, and expansion of the irrigation network. Not only did he not alienate significant social groups, his welfare measures enabled him to cut across caste and religious loyalties.

Unlike Telangana, though, the BJP in North India enters the electoral arena without counting on the support of Muslims, whom its footsoldiers have viciously targetted during Modi’s reign. The BJP has also increasingly alienated large sections of Dalits, particularly the Jatavs, many of whom had in fact voted for the party in 2014 and in the 2017 Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh.

This means that the BJP will begin with a huge deficit in the electorally crucial state of Uttar Pradesh, where the party and its allies won 73 out of 80 seats in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. The BJP will find it difficult to offset the deficit because of the growing possibility of the Samajwadi Party and BahujanSamaj Party forming an alliance, with or without the Congress, in Uttar Pradesh.

It is against this backdrop that the Assembly election results of Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh constitute bad news for Modi. It can be safely assumed that the BJP will lose some of the seats it had won in these states in 2014.

In 2013, while the BJP won 163 of Rajasthan’s 200 seats and polled 45.2% of the votes, the Congress bagged 21 seats on a vote share of 33.1 %. Months later, in the 2014 general elections, the BJP won all of Rajasthan’s 25 Lok Sabha seats. In the 2008 state elections, the BJP won 78 seats and the Congress 96, with a vote share of just 2.6% separating the two. Yet, in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, the Congress won 20 seats.

The year 2004 provides the best indicator of how state elections seem to influence the outcome in national elections. That year, the AB Vajpayee government was voted out of power at the Centre, but his party, the BJP, bagged 21 Lok Sabha seats in Rajasthan. It mirrored the Assembly results of 2003, when the BJP had won 120 seats and the Congress just 56 seats. The BJP had just a 3.5 percentage advantage over the Congress.

Madhya Pradesh, too, provides proof of a correlation between the vote share of a party in the Assembly elections and its subsequent performance there in the Lok Sabha polls. In 2009, when the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance won a second consecutive term at the Centre, the party won 12 Lok Sabha seats in the state against the BJP’s 16. The BJP had won the 2008 Assembly elections but, unlike 2003 and 2013, bagged just 5.2% more votes than the Congress. In 2013, the BJP had led the Congress by 8.5% in the Assembly elections, and in 2003 by 10.9%.

Chhattisgarh’s significance in the national electoral competition is limited because it accounts for just 11 seats in the Lok Sabha. Since 2003, the BJP has won the Assembly elections and has consistently taken 10 Lok Sabha seats from 2004 onwards. The difference between the vote share of the BJP and the Congress ranged from 2.06% in 2003 to 0.7% in 2013.

The 2018 results should shock Modi’s BJP: the Congress leads it by a margin of over 10% votes. Rich in minerals, Chhattisgarh is important because the party ruling the state has access to huge financial resources. For a resource-strapped Congress, the victory in Chhattisgarh should come as a relief.

Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh together account for 65 Lok Sabha seats, of which the BJP won 61 in 2014. Tuesday’s results suggest this tally will dip, although it will be perilous to put a number to it. The BJP’s sweep of North India was the principal factor behind it crossing the majority mark on its own in the Lok Sabha in 2014. Modi will find the going tough north of the Vindhayas, not only in Uttar Pradesh if the Samajwadi Party and BahujanSamaj Party tie up, but also in Bihar, where the incarceration of Lalu Prasad Yadav has generated sympathy for his party, the Rashtriya Janata Dal.

The BJP cannot offset its losses in the north through gains in the south. Telangana, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Tamil Nadu account for 129 Lok Sabha seats, out of which the BJP had won 21 in 2014. Seventeen of its 21 seats here came from Karnataka, where the Janata Dal (Secular)-Congress alliance will disable the BJP from retaining its 2014 tally, let alone improve upon it.

Worse for Modi, the Telugu Desam Party has broken away from the BJP, its ally in Tamil Nadu, the All India Anna DravidaMunnetraKazhagam, is on the backfoot, and the Sabarimala controversy cannot be squeezed in Kerala, which has just 20 Lok Sabha seats, to recoup the likely losses in Karnataka and in North India. The BJP cannot bank on the bigger of the eastern states – West Bengal and Odisha – to notch spectacular victories there, although it will seek to subject the region to intense communal polarisation. In Assam, since the BJP won seven out of 14 Lok Sabha seats, it cannot substantially augment its electoral harvest here.

Modi is an electoral warrior who will scrutinise the Assembly results to replenish his arsenal. His top priority will be to tackle the agrarian distress, touted as the most important factor behind the BJP’s reversals in the Assembly elections. Given that there are three to four months left for the Lok Sabha elections, Modi will likely opt for a quick fix, such as loan waivers for farmers, or introduce the idea of universal basic income, as is the buzz in Delhi. But he will have to implement such schemes now, not merely announce them. Otherwise, the Opposition will remind people how he belied his 2014 promise of bringing back black money stashed abroad and crediting Rs 15 lakh in every person’s bank account.

Modi and the SanghParivar, in an orchestrated move, will raise the pitch on the construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya, as has already started to happen. He will also polarise the Other Backward Classes, pitting the more socially and educationally backward groups among them against the relatively better-off groups.

Modi will seek to discredit the Gandhis, citing their alleged venality as the principal factor behind India’s woes. Charges of corruption and conflict of interest have already been flung at them. The government has in its custody Christian Michel, the alleged middleman in the AgustaWestland VVIP helicopter deal, who is expected to sing against Congress stalwarts.

Modi will portray an Opposition alliance as a conglomeration of dynasts and corrupt leaders who have come together only to dislodge him, an honest son of a chaiwalla. He will say the Opposition, unlike him, has no vision for India, a point that many political pundits too have pointed out. In India, though, power tends to shift from one party to another because of anti-incumbency. There is a reason for it – most people want their today to be the same as, if not better than, their yesterday.

Occasionally, though, a staid yesterday appears preferable to a traumatic present. This might seem to be the case in Modi’s new India, which does not seem a better India, increasingly angry, alienated and violent as it has become.

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BJP seems to have lost its way

The Kashmir Monitor



By Saba Naqvi

As a long-time BJP watcher, what is happening now is not making sense to me. Having suffered a setback in the assembly polls (in spite of a creditable fight-back in two states), in the days leading up to the poll results, the actions of the party cause confusion.

Yes, it’s clear that hard Hindutva is on the cards between now and the national elections that will begin in about four months. But hardline politics is also calibrated in ways that make sense – what we have now is utter mayhem, designed to put off the middle-of-the-road voter who bought the message of change and hope offered by Narendra Modi in 2014.

I write this piece after seeing footage of crowds gathered in Delhi on a call issued by the RSS and VHP to demand a law to build a Ram Mandir at Ayodhya, just days before the results came and the winter session of the Parliament began. As the crowds march on, they shout: “Ek Dhaka aur do/ Jama masjid tod do” (One more push/ bring down the Jama Masjid (of Delhi). I would appeal to the police to take action against those inciting violence, and to the Imam of the masjid to file an FIR.

Is Yogi Adityanath now the face of the politics of the BJP as he campaigned more in these assembly elections than the prime minister? I ask because the over-projection of Yogi Adityanath in these rounds of assembly elections, where hard Hindutva was not really a public issue, is perplexing.

Shivraj Singh Chauhan, who has given a creditable fight-back after three terms, said so in an interview to a leading national daily before voting day. He stated that issues such as the Ram Mandir have their place but are not important in assembly elections that are fought on development and economic issues.

Yet, there was Yogi, traversing regions that he does not rule, while a policeman was shot dead in his own state. He made memorable interventions such as ‘It’s Ali vs Bajrangbali’; “AsadOwaisi will have to flee when the BJP comes to power in Hyderabad”; “the name of Hyderabad will be changed when the BJP comes” and so on.

Borderline hate speeches by the man who is pressing ahead even as the reports from Uttar Pradesh are not encouraging for the BJP. Is he acting autonomously – or is this a strategy coordinated by the national leadership?

The huge mobilisation on the Ram mandir issues confuses as well. For the facts are simple – even if the BJP were to bring an ordinance declaring that a Ram mandir is built at Ayodhya, it would be legally overturned and not be possible to build it as a clutch of cases linked to Ayodhya are being heard in the Supreme Court. The schedule announced by the court does not match the election schedule where the BJP will be on test.

Why then is the RSS now upping the ante for the Ram mandir – even though it’s impossible for the Modi government to deliver? Is the Sangh too doing so as part of a coordinated strategy or just asserting its own powers?

Linked to this is another question. The current display of mobocracy in Uttar Pradesh, where a mob shot dead a policeman in Bulandshahr and in Delhi, where the mob made hate speeches suggest the script is mayhem. But is it a script or are Yogi and the RSS now acting as autonomous units and pressure points on the BJP dispensation at the Centre?

All of the above brings us to the next question – is the BJP convinced that invoking Muslim hate is all that is required to win elections? Especially, as in Assam, there has been resistance, even by sections who support the BJP, to segregate Hindu and Muslim Bengalis and there is always a limit beyond which polarisation does not work?

Beyond ideological issues, let’s move to another point – the sheer abuse the BJP heaps on its opponents. Does the BJP not recognise that heaping abuse and threats on Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi makes them the underdogs and evokes sympathy? And making a tasteless remark about the widowhood of a woman whose husband was assassinated is really bad form from no less a figure than the Prime Minister?

Beyond ideological matters, the exit of RBI Governor Urijit Patel suggests another kind of institutional chaos. After what has happened in the CBI, does the party think that the middle class is so enamoured by the idea of hating Muslims that they are comfortable with institutional degradation? Does the party not worry that a section of the middle class that supports the idea of a strong leader because it suggests order may get put off when they see chaos?

The day before the assembly polls result were declared, an NDA ally, UpendraKushwaha, who has three MPs in Parliament, quit the government. As a member of a caste-based party with some clout in Bihar, this is not a good sign for the BJP in a state where politics works strictly on the arithmetic of caste and community. Another NDA ally, JitanramMajhi, had already left and joined the opposition led by Laloo Prasad Yadav’s RJD. (The joke in Delhi now is that if the ultimate weather-wane Ram Vilas Paswan exits NDA, then it’s certain that the BJP is in trouble).

There is also a caste insensitive strategy currently on display in Uttar Pradesh, the state from where the BJP got most of its MPs. Across the country, Yogi Adityanath may be only understood as a Hindutva hardliner. But within UP, the other dimension to his persona is that he is a Thakur (Gorakhnath Mutt, of which he is the head, is a Thakur order) to add to which Yogi is not diplomatic.

Inside the state, therefore, the CM is seen as promoting what is referred to as ‘Thakur-vaad’. This puts off other communities.

A Dalit MP from Bahraich in the state, with the evocative name of SavitribaiPhule, quit the party last week, saying the party does not work for social justice. Is the BJP not worried?

Most significantly, the state is home to most of the country’s Brahmins, who make up 10 per cent of the population and are a significant voter bloc. There has been a traditional Brahmin-Thakur rivalry (Thaks make up 8.5 per cent) that has only been accentuated by Adityanath Yogi’s lack of tact or finesse. In 2014, differences of caste were papered over by the Modi wave. Now, the resentments are simmering.

The direction in which the BJP is moving therefore no longer makes political sense.

There seems to be a loss of control over institutions, cadre and most significantly, the chief minister of the nation’s largest state, who does not take instructions from anyone. When a party begins to lose the battle of perception, it’s hard to control the slide if you just respond with chaos and if autonomous power centres chart their own scripts.

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Vivo V11 Pro Supernova Red Colour Variant Launched in India

The Kashmir Monitor



Vivo V11 Pro ? 23,598’s Supernova Red colour variant was launched in India Monday. The new variant comes with a red and black gradient that is enclosed within its curved 3D body. Vivo also claims that the V11 Pro Supernova Red will expand its commitment to the government’s ‘Make in India’ programme and is manufactured at its Greater Noida facility. The Vivo V11 Pro originally debuted in India in Dazzling Gold and Starry Night Black colour options. The smartphone comes with a 19.5:9 display and features a dual rear camera setup.

Vivo V11 Pro Supernova Red price in India

The Vivo V11 Pro Supernova Red price in India has been set at Rs. 25,990 for the lone 6GB RAM and 64GB onboard storage variant. The smartphone’s new colour variant has gone on sale through all offline channels and on the Vivo e-Store, Amazon, Flipkart, and Paytm Mall starting December 10.

Launch offers on the Vivo V11 Pro Supernova Red include five percent cashback when purchasing through HDFC card EMI, credit card regular transactions, and consumer durable loans. EMI options start from Rs. 1,733, and six easy EMI at zero down payment, zero interest, and zero processing fees can be availed via Bajaj Finserv.

Customers can also avail a Rs. 2,000 Paytm cashback coupon, whereas exchange offers are available on Amazon, Flipkart, and Paytm Mall with up to Rs. 18,000 in lieu of your old smartphone. Moreover, there are benefits worth Rs. 4,000 along with 3TB data from Reliance Jio.

To recall, the Vivo V11 Pro was originally launched in India back in September with Dazzling Gold and Starry Night Black colour options.

Vivo V11 Pro Supernova Red specifications

The dual-SIM (Nano) Vivo V11 Pro Supernova Red runs Android 8.1 Oreo on top of Funtouch OS 4.5 and features a 6.41-inch full-HD+ (1080×2340 pixels) Halo FullView 3.0 Super AMOLED display with a 19.5:9 aspect ratio. Under the hood, there is an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 AIE, paired with 6GB of RAM. The smartphone has a dual rear camera setup with a 12-megapixel primary sensor that has an f/1.8 aperture and a 5-megapixel secondary sensor along with an f/2.4 aperture. On the front, there is a 25-megapixel sensor along with an f/2.0 aperture. The camera setups are supported with artificial intelligence (AI) features, including Bokeh, Backlight HDR, AI Low Light Mode, AI Face Beauty, Funmoji, Palm capture, Gender detection, AI Face Shaping, AI Selfie Lighting, AI Scene Recognition, and AI Portrait Framing. Also, the smartphone has preloaded AR Stickers and Google Lens integration.

Vivo has provided 64GB of internal storage on the V11 Pro that is expandable via microSD card (up to 256GB). In terms of connectivity, the handset has 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth v5.0, GPS/ A-GPS, Micro-USB with OTG, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Sensors on board include an accelerometer, ambient light sensor, e-compass, and a proximity sensor. The smartphone packs a 3,400mAh battery that supports Dual-Engine fast charging. Besides, it measures 157.91×75.08×7.9mm and weighs 156 grams.

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