Thursday, April 30, 2009

3M’s Voting Experience


We have recently shifted our residence to a “fully loaded residential complex” in the island city to beat the commuting from the suburbs. Coming from a family of ardent voters who never miss any election, my father had ensured that our names are transferred to the local list so that we “exercise our right”. But much to my chagrin, none of the political parties cared to give us the “voter’s slip” that tells us the location of our voting booth. Probably, they think that “Tower Dwellers” don’t vote…
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Luckily, I came across the website of the Chief Electoral Officer (Maharashtra) which claimed that it could help me locate the booth. After an hour of weak connection, I was able to find out that this elusive booth is in “Mandap K Tata Blek Kr 1 V 2 chya Moklya Maidanat”… WTF… was this some coded message?… or was it some grand plan to deny us the coveted black dot????
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Luckily, a local NGO had put up a poster on the society notice board that the booth was in a local municipal Urdu school… so out went the 3M family to locate that “temple of democracy”… The school was teeming with voters of all sorts… but not a single political worker of any party was present there to help you locate the booth (How I miss good old Vile Parle!). After 15 minutes of search, we realized that our “complex” is not in the list… omigosh… they deleted the whole complex from the list! Conspiracy… Conspiracy… After a few phone calls to our neighbours, we realized that the locality has another Urdu school… half a kilometer way… YES… we have found our Shangri-La!
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No indication at the entrance of the school that a tiny part of the “world’s biggest elections” is taking place inside. EC was kind enough to dedicate an entire classroom for our complex… which was deserted except for the bored government staff. After the customary identification and signature, 3M got his chance to decide who will “take his voice to the corridors of power in Delhi”… As per tradition, I placed my index finger on the desk and that seemingly tipsy guy put a black stroke (not the dot) on it. Off I went with puffed chest to do my duty, by pressing that prized button… ‘peeeeeeeeeeeeeee’ screamed the Banshee inside the voting machine and locked my vote for ever!
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Only in the evening (when I saw the celebrities brandishing their middle fingers) did I realize that all Mumbaikars (voting types) have the black stroke on the middle finger… Hope I am not on the wrong side of law!
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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The missing link



Even as Mumbaikars heave a sigh of relief that the decade long Bandra-Worli Link project nears completion as the "Last link" is put in place... The even grander Trans-harbour link is put in the cold storage!
3M fails to understand as to how come the congress government in Delhi is able to complete infrastructure projects in record time... while we have to wait for decades!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Chavan unhappy with Kore’s ‘Raj’karan


Maharashtra’s CM, Ashok Chavan is irked by the fact that one of the ministers has openly supported Raj Thackeray’s MNS in the Mumbai Elections. Vinay Kore of Jan Surajya Party is the Non-conventional Energy Minister in the current Maharashtra Government… He is known to have substantial influence on the Mumbaikars from the Kolhapur belt… Also the fact that JSP has fielded strong candidates in Nanded and Latur, the fiefdoms of current and ex CMs, has added to Congress’s anguish!

3M feels that Chavan’s outburst is uncalled for… JSP is a part of Lokshahi Aghadi (Coalition in Maharashtra) not United Progressive Alliance (Coalition in Centre)! Why is he bullying a small partner? If he has guts he should take on Sharad Pawar for fielding 12 candidates against Congress in other states! BTW was the Government sleeping when Raj Thackeray used the Prati Kolhapur dias to launch his Lok Sabha Campaign?
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Sunday, April 26, 2009

One more Marathi Theatre bites dust

Vijayanand, a theatre that epitomized the golden era of Marathi Theatre, is being pulled down for to make way for a mall… how long can we continue to be mute spectators as our architectural heritage is “mauled”?

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Will recession take the migrant load off Mumbai?


If Economic Times is to be believed… As jobs are lost in Mumbai, the demand for the “Mumbai-returned” talent in increasing in the hinterland!

As Gujarat and Southern States developed in 80s and 90s… the migrations from these states came down substantially… in fact many Gujarati families migrated back due to “better business opportunities”… while a number of my Southie friends went back to Hyderabad and Bangalore during the IT boom. Hopefully if this current phenomenon continues and we see some “reverse migration”, Mumbai might heave a sigh of relief…

When 3M recommends “Reverse Migration”, hinterlands of Maharashtra are also included in it!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Raj T goes gaming online with Zapak

When Raj Thackeray launched his party’s official website (www.manase.org) 2 months ago, 3M was impressed by the content… sadly it turned out to be a “near static” site! Imagine… how can they keep “forthcoming events” blank during the Lok Sabha Elections? Guys, take some lessons from BJP on the e-front… From www.lkadvani.in to www.friendsofbjp.org and from SMS to Facebook, they have exploited all options!

Just when 3M thought MNS had “lost” the e-battle… they come out with www.manase.zapak.com... A gaming site… rudimentary but probably a first in India! MNS has correctly identified its target group... youth.
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Beat the Mumbai traffic with a speedboat!


Sagar Jondhale, a businessman residing in Worli has found out an ingenious way to beat the Mumbai traffic… He uses a speedboat to reach his office in Dombivali!

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3M wants the government to explore this option for the masses… that will certainly take some load off the beleaguered transport system in the city… wonder what happened to those hovercrafts?

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Raj set to spoil BJP-SS chances in the Golden Triangle

BJP-SS cadre in the Golden Triangle (Mumbai-Pune-Nashik) seem to be demoralised as MNS makes inroads into Marathi vote bank… 3M is amused that Raj's message finds resonance with the NCP cadre in Nashik!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Now BJP tries to woo Marathi Manoos




After the MNS’s Marathi campaign, Shiv Sena had to reemphasise its Marathi roots to stay relevant to its core constituency… now its ally BJP has jumped into the fray demanding greater usage of Marathi in administration, road signages etc.

3M says that if BJP really wants to woo the Marathi Manoos it should set the ball rolling to settle the Belgaum Border Dispute… but who will bell the cat?
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Monday, April 20, 2009

Chintoo goes online!

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Since 1991, Chintoo has been a part of Marathi Manoos’s morning rituals… over the years, this comic strip in Sakal (a Marathi Daily) has endeared itself to people of varying ages. Surprisingly Chintoo seems to be trapped in the pre-liberalisation era… the quintessential next door Marathi Mulga in the 70s and 80s.

So 3M was amused that the creators of the comic strip Charuhas Pandit and Prabhakar Wadekar have decided to go online with www.chintoo.com... Enjoy!
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छबीदार छबी Chabidar Chabi

The lyrics of this song are amazing… especially the opening taunt! Incidentally, Pinjara is a remake of a Hollywood movie – Blue Angel, starring Marlene Dietrich!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Mud House in Vidarbha


In a small corner of Vidarbha, Mr. Vasant Futane (an organic farmer) is trying to revive the concept of mud houses… sadly very few people are listening!

3M feels that the government should encourage such efforts to promote green and low cost housing… hope Mr. Futane turns into another Laurie Baker or Satprem Maini for Maharashtra.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Pray… but only in Marathi!


Earlier this week, 3M reported that Marathi was “not OK” in South Mumbai… But now North Mumbai says that nothing but Marathi is OK! Locals in Bhayendar were up in arms against ‘outsiders’ not praying in Marathi… and to the amazement of the readers of this blog, none of the Senas (self proclaimed messiahs of Marathi Language) was involved in this! The tussle is between ‘Local’ East Indian Christians and Mangaloreans over the language for prayers… Konkani or Marathi!

‘Bombay Dost’ is back after a 7 year hiatus


India’s first Gay Mag - BOMBAY DOST, is back on the stands after a gap of 7 years…


… 3M wonders as to what is Shiv Sena’s reaction to this… the publishers are using the word “Bombay”… and it’s about homosexuality… 2 things that SS is allergic to… Probably the saffron brigade can counter it with a “Mumbai Mitra” with hetrosexual content!

Friday, April 17, 2009

2 more Marathi films hit Mumbai today



After the roaring success of Me Shivajiraje Bhosale Boltoy, get ready to enjoy two more Marathi film this weekend… Dilip Prabhawalkar’s Bokya Satbande, a kiddie film and Nau Mahine Nau Diwas, a comedy starring Nirmiti Sawant and Makrand Anaspure.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

“Cosmopolitan Candidates”


Read this article in DNA about how candidates are getting more cosmopolitan in Mumbai… Sidharth Bhatia writes “It is a fair bet that this kind of diversity would be missing in the candidates' list in say Kolkata or Chennai.”… this means that Maharashtra is far more accommodating than other states when it comes to ‘outsiders’…
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3M feels that Bhatia is reemphasizing Raj Thackeray’s point that Marathi Manoos is losing his political clout in the city? BTW why is he so irritated about Shiv Sena releasing its manifesto in a 5 Star hotel? Are "Ghaati Parties" not good enough to make it to these hotels? As for "And the Marathiness of Mumbai can never be ignored--it is part of every Mumbaikar's DNA"... LOLROTF

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Shekhar Suman challenges Raj Thackeray

3M totally agrees with Shekhar Suman… “Har aadmi apni gali mein sher hota hai!”…

That’s why Mr. Suman had to go to his Hometown Patna before he could make this statement! Why did he not raise his voice against the violence in Mumbai when it took place? Because he did not have a Congress Ticket at that time!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

sachin@tussauds.com


Sachin Tendulkar’s wax statue would be inaugurated at Madame Tussaud’s on April 24, the day the cricketer turns 36.

Monday, April 13, 2009

No Marathi please… U R in ‘Republic of South Bombay’


At a ‘Meet your candidate’ event in the snooty Mumbai South Constituency, the organizers insisted that Marathi cannot be used as a medium of conversation as most people “don’t understand the language”… It happens only in Maharashtra!

मामाच्या गावाला जाऊया Mamachya Gavala Jaooya

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A song that epitomises the start of summer vacations for an entire generation of Maharashtrians!

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Saturday, April 11, 2009

Sevagram Ashram forgotten


As new-age Gandhis battle it out in the political minefield, the original Gandhi’s legacy is rotting away.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

म मराठीचा - “मास्तर” Brown comes to Maharashtra




In the late seventies, BBC ran a sitcom called “Mind your language” that can now be considered iconic. This was the time when the concept of “Multicultural Britain” was getting established and the serial was well received. Professor Brown would handle the class full of contradictions including a Pakistani and a Sikh baying for each other’s blood. There was a reasonably successful effort make an Indian version called ‘Zaban Sambhal Ke’ about a decade back…

So when 3M came across hoardings of म मराठीचा (M Marathicha) across Mumbai, he was delighted. The hoarding has Atul Parchure as Marathi Master with Dhotar, Coat, Kolhapuri Chappla and Topi… as imortalised in movies like Pinjara and Bangarwadi. Sadly today’s episode exposed the bad production quality and poor script. The Mi Marathi Channel management will have to tighten its belt if they have to survive the fight for the Marathi eyeballs!

As 10 year old, 3M remembers seeing MYL on the VCR of his 'London returned' class mate – Mansoor… those were the days!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Daddy cools down


After Mayawati’s decision to field Muhammad Ali from Mumbai South constituency, Arun Gawli decided relook at his decision to merge his political outfit with Bahujan Samaj Party. His daughter even announced that she will file the nomination paper on his behalf as “Daddy” is cooling his heels in the Arthur Rd Jail. Now suddenly Gawli has had a change of heart and has decided to withdraw in favour of Milind Deora!

3M wonders as to who has influenced him… Papa Deora or Kaka Rawle? High chances it’s the former who has also influenced Deepak Parekh and Adi Godrej to openly support his son… the question is – will Gawli’s Marathi votes transfer to Deora or will Rawle and Nandgaonkar siphon them off? Or will Deora Jr play the Marathi card given the fact that he is half Marathi?

Shivajiraje beats Akki & Vin Diesel


In recent time, “De Dhakka” was the only Marathi movie that had a better opening than Hindi Movies released in the same week… not only in Maharashtra but also in the city of Mumbai. But its success looks puny in front of the record opening by ‘Me Shivajiraje Bhosale Boltoy’. The opening weekend collections were a whopping Rs. 1.5 Crs! The film overtook Akshay Kumar’s ‘8x10 Tasveer’ and Vin Diesel’s ‘Fast & Furious’.

3M hopes that the Marathi Film Industry will see the ‘Prabhat Days’ again!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

BJP fields an ‘Anti-Bhaiyya’ candidate



During the ‘Anti-Bhaiyya’ campaign by MNS, BJP leadership (national as well as regional) spoke against Raj Thackeray… keeping in mind the North Indian voters. So, BJP does not believe in such ‘parochial’ tendencies… or so 3M thought till he realized that the party has given LS ticket in Solapur to Sharad Bansode, the man who directed and produced the controversial movie “Mumbai Aamchich”. This movie was initially banned by the censors (Read Sharmila Tagore) for promoting anti-north sentiments in Maharashtra but was later released with Raj Thackeray’s blessing in 2007.

So is BJP running with the rabbits and hunting with the hounds?

Monday, April 6, 2009

Sena-BJP Rally – a Damp Squib


Sena-BJP did not look like a coherent front in yesterday’s rally @ Shivaji Park… The strain in the relationship was evident as Pawar’s shadow loomed large over the gathering. Though Uddhav did pitch for ‘Advani as PM’, it hardly looked convincing. Absence of Vajpayee, Mahajan and Thackeray Sr made the whole event lackluster!

3M was irritated when Balasaheb’s ‘hi-tech’ speech turned out to be a video recording and not a live telecast… What so high technology about a recorded message? Surprisingly in his speech Thackeray Sr made no mention of either Advani or BJP… he only asked the Janta to vote for Shiv Sena. Looks like Sena will tango with NCP for the assembly elections!

अंजनीच्या सुता तुला Anjanichya Suta Tula

Hanuman Jayanti will be celebrated on 9th Apr

Sunday, April 5, 2009

MNS fields a ‘Bhaiyya’ candidate - Shalini Thackeray


Talking of women candidates... here is an interesting case study!

When Raj Thackeray declared that Shalini Thackeray, his cousin’s wife, would contest from Mumbai North-West, it raised quite a few eyebrows… for she was the first from this ‘remote control dynasty’ to contest elections. But you can hardly call that the controversial part of her candidature… A birdie told 3M that Shalini is born to a Punjabi father and ‘Uttar Bharatiya’ mother and migrated to Mumbai in her teens!

So Rajsaheb… is it change of heart? Or the Thackeray surname washes away the ‘Bhaiyya’ tag of your candidate?

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Parties wary of fielding women candidates


Even as the women’s reservation bill is pending in the parliament, political parties are wary of fielding women candidates in Maharashtra for the forthcoming elections. In terms of percentage, MNS leads the pack by fielding 3 women amongst its 12 candidates… that’s if you do not consider Vinay Kore’s Jan Surajya Party whose lone candidate in Nanded , Preeti Shinde, is a woman. NCP is a close second with a 3/22 tally… while BJP, Congress and Shiv Sena have decided field 1 woman candidate each!

3M has learnt that Preeti Shinde is conversant in Italian… probably she is in the wrong party!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Gajanan Watve is no more


Gajanan Watve, the father of Marathi Bhavgeet, passed away yesterday at the ripe old age of 92… now who will entertain the Marathi masses with the evergreen “Radhe Tuza Sail Ambada”?

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Pawarful candidate for the top job



3M has been speculating for a long time that after the elections the fight for the top job won't be between L K Advani and Manmohan Singh… rather between Mayawati and Sharad Pawar!

Mahesh Vijapurkar writes an interesting article about why the Maratha Chieftain should not be ruled out… what says janta?

Church to promote secular parties


The Catholic Bishops Conference of India (CBCI) has requested all Christians in India to vote for ‘secular’ parties in the coming elections… Ironically, the concept of secularism evolved in Europe to reduce the influence of the Church on politics and governance!

3M wonders if MNS is a secular party. Its flag has 3 colours – Blue, Saffron and Green to represent Buddhist, Hindu and Muslim hues of Maharashtra… probably it’s the first ‘Secularly Parochial’ party in India!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Congress-BJP in coalition talks!


Politics is all about impossible made possible. According to extremely reliable sources within Congress and BJP, serious rounds of discussions were held between representatives of the two parties to explore the possibilities of a post-poll alliance. Former President Dr APJ Abdul Kalam is acting as the mediator for this effort.

This action was apparently triggered by a larger perception within the two national parties that none of them alone would be in a position to form the government on their terms. Early today, at 7 :45 am, LK Advani and Sonia Gandhi held an hour-long discussion on the subject as per one of the key members of 10 Janpath staff .

Details of the discussion are not available. However, the length of the discussion suggests that coming days can bring a lot of unpredictable actions in Indian politics.

Spokesperson from the Congress… (Click here to read more)

Marathi Mulgi ani Batate


Monali Meher, a Puneri Mulgi settled in Amsterdam, gave a ‘Batata performance’ in NCPA Mumbai... she peeled the potatoes in a way that the words ‘war’, ‘violence’ and ‘hatred’ were carved on the surface… Then she distributed them amongst the audience to be cooked at home to convert all these ‘negative things’ into nutrition! Wierd... but true.

3M feels that the potatoes should have been given to Uddhav Thackeray for his launch of Shiv Vada Pav... probably with the words 'Kasab' and 'Pakistan' carved on them!

MAHAPOL POWERLIST APR 09 Edition


click on the image to see larger version

The complete list of 25 most powerful politicians is as follows -

1. Bal Thackeray (82) SS +1
2. Sharad Pawar (68) NCP -1
3. Ashok Chavan (50) INC 0
4. Chhagan Bhujbal (60) NCP +1
5. Gopinath Munde (59) BJP -1
6. Uddhav Thackeray (48) SS 0
7. Raj Thackeray (39) MNS 0
8. Vilasrao Deshmukh (63) INC 0
9. Narayan Rane (56) INC +3
10. Ajitdada Pawar (49) NCP -1
11. R R Patil (52) NCP 0
12. Nitin Gadkari (60) BJP -2
13. Praful Patel (53) NCP 0
14. Ramdas Athavale (55) RPI 0
15. Prakash Ambedkar (51) RPI 0
16. Vinay Kore (37) JSP 0
17. Murli Deora (71) INC 0
18. Gurudas Kamat (51) INC 0
19. Sushilkumar Shinde (66) INC 0
20. Balasaheb Vikhe-Patil (76) INC 0
21. Manohar Joshi (71) SS 0
22. Vijaysingh Mohite Patil (64) NCP 0
23. Vinod Tawde (45) BJP 0
24. Jayant Patil (46) NCP 0
25. N D Patil (78) PWP 0

Party Code
BJP – Bharatiya Janata Party
INC – Indian National Congress
JSS – Jana Surajya Shakti
MNS – Maharashtra Navanirman Sena
NCP – Nationalist Congress Party
PWP – Peasants & Workers Party (Shetkari Kamgar Paksha)
RPI – Republican Party of India (any faction)
SS – Shiv Sena

Movement on the MahaPol ladder –
0 : Zero indicates that there has been no change in the ranking over the previous month.
+X : Plus indicates improvement in ranking over last month and ‘x’ indicates how many ranks he/ she has moved upwards.
-X : Minus indicates degradation in ranking over last month and ‘x’ indicates how many ranks he/ she has moved downwards.

To understand the methodology used for the ranking click here.
The figure in bracket indicates the age of the politician.

Analysis
  • Balasaheb Thackeray - Sharad Pawar Khokho continues for the top post. Pawar’s acceptance of Manmohan Singh’s candidature as PM has weakened his position. Also he has succumbed to the bullying tactics of Udayanraje Bhosale of Satara.
  • Inability of Gopinath Munde to get a ticket for his niece (Poonam Mahajan) has pulled him down by one rank while Chagan Bhujbal has acquired more बळ (Strength) by getting a LS ticket for his nephew (Sameer) by keeping aside all the Maratha claimants.
  • A variety of factors have ensured that Narayan Rane is back in the Top 10 Hall of Fame – Son Nitesh has got the Congress LS ticket, Better say in LS election strategy etc.
  • Rane’s ascendancy has pushed Nitin Gadkari and Ajitdada Pawar on the lower rungs of the power ladder.
  • Not much change in the lower ranks but the scenario can change rapidly after the polls!

MahaPol can be directly contacted on mahapol25@gmail.com

posted on behalf of Mahapol due to uplinking problems

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