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Happy Green Diwali-2020!

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Diwali, the biggest festival of India, is a festival of lights, and is traditionally celebrated by lighting rows of earthen lamps or diyas , candles and strip electric lights, in and around homes and buildings. People can celebrate and enjoy in this way even during the worst crisis ever faced by humankind as there are no restrictions on burning oil or electric lamps. In fact, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had appealed to us to light up  diyas  just before Lockdown was enforced in March. Lighting up your houses essentially means driving away evil spirits and forces, and hoping for a bright year ahead. Celebrating Diwali this way does not in any way rob you of enjoyment.   Besides, if you’d like to have sweets and distribute those to your neighbors there are no issues either. Sweet shops are open across the country you can even walk down to and buy to your heart’s desire. Various state governments have also announced measures to ensure undiluted sweets for your good health. Then, if y

Bihar Elections-2020: Was Chirag Paswan BJP’s Conscious Strategy?

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  Defying all exit polls, the BJP-led NDA (National Democratic Alliance) came back to power with a simple majority in the closely fought Bihar Assembly Elections-2020, giving the fourth consecutive CM-term and fifth overall to Nitish Kumar. All of the exit polls gave simple to two-third majority to the MGB (Mahagathbandhan or Grand Alliance) led by the young energetic face of Bihar, Tejaswi Yadav, son of the Bihar stalwart and former Chief Minister for three terms, Laloo Prasad Yadav, who had been in jail since a long time on corruption cases, and predicted Tejaswi to be the next CM. One or two exit polls indicated, in the worst scenario, a hung assembly.   Various reasons have been ascribed for the incredible comeback of the NDA against all odds. The primary reasons are: the continuing influence of the Modi-factor, the 12 crucial rallies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Bihar where he warned people against falling for the ‘Jungle Reign’ of the RJD (Rashtriya Janata Dal) led by L

Another Student Commits Suicide: Digital Education Still A Mirage!

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  Online education had been hailed as an integral part of the new normal after the COVID-19 pandemic hit India and lockdowns were imposed from 25 th March 2020 onwards. Schools and colleges were closed since late February, and after more than 8 months the much-touted online education is still not affordable for students of the poorer sections. The dream of Digital India had been sold years before with tremendous emphasis on smartphones and connectivity, even in the rural belt. And yet, one more bright student in a college in India’s capital commits suicide due to lack of a mere laptop or a proper smartphone with good internet connection. Earlier, incidents of students’ suicides were reported regularly from various states including Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and Assam.   Her name is Aishwarya Reddy, a topper in 12 th standard exam from the state of Telangana. This bright ambitious student got admitted in the prestigious Lady Shri Ram College of Delhi last year, as a B.Sc. Mathemati

The Decibels Of Desperation!

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  Tiken has developed a gut feeling. That he is not going to win this time. He tries hard to get rid of that miserable feeling, but is not successful. He understands his other gut feeling. That he cannot afford to lose this. He has everything to lose if he does. In fact, Tiken had sounded a threat even before the event that he would leave the place in case the inhabitants stopped supporting him, and they would miss his prestigious presence sorely. Then, he muses, did he actually know about the wave for change in the air? Perhaps yes, perhaps not.   It is a huge housing society that Tiken lives in, with five wings from ‘A’ to ‘E’. Each wing has hundred flats most of which are occupied, either by owners or tenants. As the General Secretary of the Society’s Residents’ Association he has been enjoying immense powers in taking decisions or initiatives or desirable actions. He was elected in the last elections by a very narrow margin, but most of the members in his executive committee wo

Anticlimactic Twist To An Absorbing IPL-2020, KXIP And RR Eliminated!

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IPL-2020 has been one of the most absorbing versions ever given very different terrains in the United Arab Emirates, its three stadiums being Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah. Dubai is almost similar to the Indian flat tracks inducing high scores while the pitches in Abu Dhabi and Sharjah are on the slower side, both rather helping the bowlers yielding mostly modest scores, more than 200 runs very rare. That IPL 2020 is so absorbing is clear from the fact that only a couple of matches to be played in the final stage of the league, only one team has officially qualified for the play-offs and it is still not clear which three of the five teams would finally join MI there. Of course, Dhoni’s CSK had already been officially eliminated from the tournament, along with KXIP and RR as of today.   We had maintained in our earlier IPL piece that thanks to the slowish nature of the pitches the struggle between the bat and the ball was keener, and therefore, we were having many hard-fought humdin

Self-Respect And Respecting Others!

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We more or less understand the meaning of self-respect which is to keep or show respect to one’s own self. A self-respecting person is one who tends to justify his/her deeds or actions or reactions in the intrinsic belief that s/he cannot possibly do or say wrong things, and if s/he gets insulted by others in the process or is asked to do or comply with ridiculous tasks s/he gets mortally offended. Losing one’s self-respect is often the end of the world for a truly self-respecting individual. This, of course, differs from individual to individual depending on the individual’s perception about it and whether his/her sense of self-respect is genuine or cultivated or vain. To this point we will come at a later context. First, we must try our best to explain the syndrome of self-respect or self-esteem further.   How does self-respect come about? We have to be clear about one thing that we cannot possibly create self-respect on our own; supposing we can the questions are at which stage

India Cross 8 Million COVID-19 Cases Amid A Much-Improved Scenario!

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  India, the second worst-hit country of the world, has crossed the imposing 8 million COVID-19 cases mark today, but the situation now is much more improved than in the previous spikes. It has taken about 19 days for this million-cases increase whereas it was 15 days for the earlier one. In the month of August India added 2 million new cases while in September about 3 million, and fortunately, the much-awaited peak was reached in the third week of September after which the curve has been showing signs of flattening. For the last 3-4 days spikes in daily new cases have been below the 50 thousand mark with daily deaths hovering around 500. For the last twenty-four hours there were 49881 new COVID-19 cases and 517 deaths. More significantly, recovery rate has increased to 91% with total recoveries being more than 7.3 million. Fatality rate is at 1.5%. Total deaths in the country are 1,20,527 now. Maharashtra, the worst-affected state in India, has been showing consistent improvement with