Advani a Guru who got sidelined


The expectations on nominating MR  Lal Krishna Advani as the 14th president of India were doing the rounds when BJP came to power in 2014 under the leadership of  Mr. Narendra Modi. But on 19th June when BjP announced the Name of Mr. Ram Nath kovind as their presidential nominee has left many of the party supporters like me surprised and shocked , Certainly the move has created enough rifts in the opposition camps and would continue to happen in the coming days. The Congress the major opposition party has been harboring the hopes to make the presidential election a close contest through the support garnered from like-minded parties. But Modi and Amith Shah combine left everyone awestruck by choosing a not so familiar personality like Ram nath kovind .  The move to pick a  Dalit face is certainly aimed at sending a larger political message that, BJP as a national party cares for the interest of Dalit community.

But as a citizen of India and  BJP supporter, I had been admiring the leadership qualities of Advani well before the Modi’s rise to prominence. Mr. Advani worked strenuously to convert the  BJP from its incubation stage to a party of national stature, also successfully ruled the nation under the leadership of Mr. Vajpayee. As a leader, Advani played the second fiddle role, complemented well with  Vajpayee, also was successful in keeping the  NDA constituents together for 5 years.   If we take any high-profile leader now in the present cabinet, all of them grew under the wings of Mr. Advani , The Advani has developed and nurtured the second rung leadership in BJP when he was controlling or calling the shots in the party. So certainly as a token of dakishna to his Mentor  MR Modi should have shown the courtesy to return it back by supporting the candidature of Mr. Advani as a Guru Dakishna. It is well-known fact that after the Gujarat riots in 2008, Vajpayee had insisted  Modi to resign from CM post by following Raj Dharm, It was Mr. Advani who supported Modi to continue as CM. In the Book, “My country and My life” authored by LK Advani, the strong character and commitment to our Bharath was evident when he stood rock solid without moving an inch by not allowing the Agra summit to go through when Musharaf visited  India in July 2001. He is also one among the earlier RSS pracharak to travel across the length and breadth of this nation to strengthen the party to its present form.

 Advani is man of principles who is equally against promoting dynasty politics, He could have easily pursued her Son and daughter to join politics and later either of them could become a minister in Modi’s cabinet. When one of the reporters asked this question to  Advani why did your son or daughter become a politician? he strongly replied that he is against dynasty politics. Advani as a leader have passed his prime , he nurtured the dreams to become PM of India , hard luck when BJP lost to congress in 2009  and later  in 2014 when RSS was trying to project Modi as PM candidate Advani in very clear terms opposed  him  ,But ultimately RSS diktat finally came a cropper .

The change in Advani to project himself from a hardline hindutva leader to soft irked the RSS and the only mistake Mr Advani had committed in his long and successful political career was  his words of praise on Jinnah in Pakistan , which has really held Advani as a bad guy in the books of RSS, their after RSS had sidelined Advani to such an extent that he lost his say and prominence in the party. Once Advani was considered as the ultimate Voice in the party , Now things have come full circle that his blue-eyed disciple  Mr Modi has used everything under his command to side line his own guru who taught the tricks of the trade and party’s ideological moorings.  But as an individual, my  affinity  towards BJP and its ideology took birth when I found a bold and principled leader  like Advani . One thing is sure you cannot always reign like  a king , But Presidential post would have been the best gift Modi could have offered  to Advani when he is on the last leg of his political journey.

Three years of Modi govt

3years of ModiModi came to the national politics as one of prominent political personality who derives his strength from the earlier days as an RSS pracharak, Later became an undisputable leader for BJP in Gujarat,  ruled the state as  CM  for three consecutive terms. His rise to prominence in national politics was even more successful and illustrious in terms of carving out a biggest victory for BJP as a political alternative to congress. He is considered as the most effective campaigner for party, and also considered as powerful personality who repeatedly shown how to attract & address large gatherings in many parts of India with his effective oratory skills above all his penchant to sells dreams to the people of the nation, He promised  the people  to change the nation’s fate if he is elected to power  , His power slogans “Sab ka Saath sab ka Vikas “ roughly translates to being with everyone and development for all. Modi has completed three years in power, but still many of his promises still remain unfulfilled, but few areas in governance has seen some marked improvement compared to the previous governments. The expectation from this Govt is really huge, mammoth tasks to accomplish. But how far he is successful in fulfilling those promises is a million dollar question.

Corruption & red-tapism

We need to give thumbs up for the Modi government, that high-level corruption has reduced significantly, Because of the ultimate power, control vests in the hands of Mr. Modi. Highly centralized decision making,  absolute control over the governance & party leaves no room for his cabinet ministers to bypass. Right from planning to final roll out of schemes his signature is almost there in every decision govt takes. So in terms of control and direction, the PM scores high, which resulted in the corruption levels to come down. When previous UPA govt is marred with scams after scams, Govt under Modi is able to cultivate a neat and clean face in the eyes of the public.

Vision & agenda

I think Modi is successful in setting up a vision which sets everyone to appreciate him, He visualized& coined the initiatives like  Startup and Stand up India and Make in India which truly signifies the vision with a futuristic move to make India completely self-reliant and make our economy strong and vibrant. The idea to promote entrepreneurship and making India a manufacturing Hub are very much the right set of intiavies to take our nation to a force to reckon with.  However Modi promised to create two millions of jobs,  But ironically the the job losses are on an  alarmingly high rate, which might put the economy in  a state of paralysis.

Economy & Growth

GDP and others figures  shows a reason to be happy  , how ever  growth in agriculture is seeing steady decline with increasingly higher rate of farmer’s suicide. Informal sector economy is completely out of sorts and after demonetization   things have  only aggravated . The jury is still not out on demontisation, it seems to be that the benefit expected out of this drive  did  not yield results as predicted. But the successful  passage of GST bill in both houses is considered as shining one in its armory. There are disputable claims and doubts expressed on GDP figures and manner in which figures are arrived at. But generally the Modi is successful in creating an impression that he is honestly putting all his effort to take the country to growth trajectory.

Nationalism & unrest

I think ever since Modi came to power , the freedom of expression , voices of dissent are treated  with disdain,  stamped with the  tag of anti nationalist.  The culture of majortanism has taken control over the basic democratic principles of  tolerance , health discussions and deliberations. The self proclaimed vigilantism  on what to eat and wear became daily affairs in many of the BJP rules states. Modi so far is not successful in reining in those fringe groups who runs freely taking law on their hands. This approach of the govt has made  the minorities to feel  more insecure. The Kashmir issue has seen heightened tensions and deaths of locals after fighting with security personals. The Govt should have acted more responsibly in dealing with issues in Kashmir.

Foreign relations & forging ties

Modi is always in the news  while visiting foreign nations and  he is successful in forging some good relationship with foreign countries and continued to strengthen the relationship with USA  and other European countries . But on the flipside the relationship with china is certainly a reason to be worry for. As an amibitious and powerful nation in south Asia , Our relationship with close neigbours especially Srilanka& Nepal is not in best of it terms.


But overall if you take the last three years of Pm Modi , certainly this govt has done certain things right but  there are areas which need more to be done especially issues of   maintaining social harmony and Promoting consent in issues of national importance, Unilateral decision making without considering the views of opposition parties is not a good sign for healthy matured  democracy like Bharath.

Dark skin means failure?

dark girl 2



In the last 20 years globally the beauty market has grown by an average CAGR of 14.5% with annual growth rate range bound between 3% to 5.5%.Out of the total share, 72% has come from the mass segment and remaining 28% came from premium segment. Regions like north America, Latin America, and Asia pacific and western Europe contributed towards the major chunk of the sales, But sales of cosmetics have seen significant raise in the BRIC countries as well. The cosmetics brands globally spends huge sum of money to promote their products featuring favorite actresses and sports stars, Cosmetics brands is seeing phenomenal spike in their  earnings, which keeps them  throwing money on advertisements , As long as they believe their lies a  huge opportunity to make many of Women & man insecure about their look and skin colour, the market for their  products is still wide and large. Racial segregation based on skin, attributing success to people with more lighter skin are taboos getting more into the minds of the dark skinned people. So generally people with dark skinned complexion want to make their skin look lighter, or even getting to the skin tone of the white people. So the drive to make skin lighter is what drives the profits of these cosmetic manufacturing companies.

History is the major culprit

If you go back to the period of European colonialism , sowed the seeds of white supremacy over black, Those periods black skinned people were considered as only slaves  to the white dominating class, so structurally they  had treated black people as inferior in all aspects, given them fewer opportunities, employed them in farm fields followed by treatment which is inhuman in all respects.  This enslavement created the urge in their minds to raise from the lower position, The miscegenation is racial mixing of various social groups through sexual exploitation of white male slave owners resulted in mixed race individuals with more African & European ancestry. This is the most critical moment in history where supremacy for white skinned people over the black, The treatment they have meted out to their slaves, even light skinned people were given less strenuous jobs, and dark skinned people were given tough jobs. They started preference to white skin over the black skin. So the perception of success largely to lighter and white skinned people.

Beauty means white skin

Even though we are living in the 21st century with large scale advancement in technology and scientific progress, the stains of the past still is accepted as the trend for success, if you are white skinned your lifestyle, position and status in the society is almost guaranteed , that means naturally if you are white or light skinned your success ratio  is far higher than the black skinned people. This wrongly conceived narrative of success linked to skin color became the social norm. So for a cosmetic or beauty enhancement brands require just to brush up &  polish this old thinking, narrative to the best effect by converting them into sales.

The ingredients used in manufacturing skin bleaching cosmetics are harmful to the body and health. But the sad part of the story is the cosmetics industry globally thrives on the insecurity created in the minds of the people with a dark complexion. The psychological effect created by this false propaganda is to create heightened social insecurity, lack of self-esteem, low belief on their self-confidence. So high time we all need to be alert and believe that more than the external appearance, the real beauty lies in one’s heart, success is purely on ability and competency not to be judged by the color of your skin.  I think market forces wants you to think primitive, even though as a  human species we survived many onslaughts and came a cropper.


The Vanishing Black African Woman: Volume Two: A Compendium of the Global By Olumide, Yetunde Mercy

GLOBAL BEAUTY INDUSTRY TRENDS IN THE 21st CENTURY Aleksandra Łopaciuk Maria ,  Mirosław Łoboda Maria Curie-Sklodowska University, Poland

Is Modi invincible?

Image source :Economic timesSince 2014 Everything is going right in favor of Modi his rise to the top at 7 race course road in new Delhi is marked with shrewd political acumen and whipping the air with changes and ideas. Many detractors of Modi were hoping that 2017 assembly elections in UP would put a stop to Modi’s winning streak, but eventually when results have announced the magnitude of his victory is more than the party has hoped for. All the anti-Modi factions including the congress cannot even put up any show of resistance to Modi’s popularity The only debacle Modi faced was in Bihar after swiftly formed Maha GadaBandhan played the spoilsport in Modi’s victory ambition, Now in recently concluded  MCD elections in Delhi, they have defeated Kejriwal by hands down. The success of BJP in making huge inroads in northeastern states where the party had no roots or presence, The clout, aura Modi commands among the public is a testament to his victories one after the another. If we closely analyze the success of BJP, it is purely on account of his personality and mass appeal due to his clarion call for a New India.

What is going right for Modi?

Since Independence no political leader other than  Indira Gandhi commanded such a mass appeal like Modi, He clearly shows that he is in control of the ship and like the true dictator he commands absolute control over the party affairs and his cabinet.

The Modi truly likes to speak in large gatherings, and proven many times he is versatile orator , knows what to speak and how to speak , He perfectly uses newly coined terms like Digital India, start up India , sabkha saath sab ka Vikas, he always speaks positively about change he wish to make for India . He is equally adept at taking the mass crowd along with him even while taking potshots against the opposition he uses his skills to the best effect.

The reasons are many but let me put across certain positive factors   largely in favor of  Modi

  1. Modi always speak about dreams  and ideas to change India, and he is able to connect his dreams to common people’s  sentiment effectively
  2.  People of this nation were fed up with kind of politics which is been played by the opposition in the last two decades, so everyone is hoping for change and people really started to believe that changes they expected are slowly started to fructify.
  3. Modi effort to demonetise the currencies went largely in favor to him which in fact helped him to consider by the people as a decisive strong leader, who would root out corruption.
  4. In the last three years, the role of the opposition is been limited, Modi is, in fact, successful in keeping the opposition as divided house, even when cow vigilantes running amok, no party in the opposition could raise it as an issue.
  5. The charisma modi commands is the major xfactor which other leaders in the opposition cannot match up, or no body could be seen on the horizon to challenge his popular image.
  6.  Modi likes attending public rallies and most of the time he uses rallies as a platform for making new announcements or taking the opposition down.
  7.  His attire, style and energy also earned him as hardworking PM who works 24×7 with unmatched energy and enthusiasm.
  8.  Inspite of RSS and other fringe elements running freely by making controversial statements , people are not bothered much about  beef ban , cow vigilantism or Anti Romeo squad , people’s belief on Modi is strong with a lot of positivity.
  9.  Even though in last three years this govt has messed up a lot of things , but the narrative popularized by Modi is widely accepted by the masses.

So I think at present Modi is invisible and opposition has run out of Ideas to pose as countervailing force to his popularity. So in 2019 elections to counter Modi the usual secular approach, minority appeasement will not find any favor, the more they point Modi stronger he becomes, So only hope to counter Modi is building up an alternative narrative.


A Transgender Mom in Vicks social Marketing campaign.

We often get attracted towards a product or a brand through its marketing strategy and  How their products are advertised through visual media platforms.We see many advertisement campaigns in television on various products and out of that few advertisements catch the imagination of viewers which sticks to consumers mind for a longer period of time. But beyond promoting a product, brands and its companies have a social commitment to develop a better society, so social marketing in this context holds more importance and credibility to its viewers &, consumers.Like many, this particular social media marketing advertisement conceived by Vicks caught my attention so deep in my heart. The campaign by Vicks highlights the need to recognize the rights of a  transgender. Throughout the Ad, the message is very loud &clear the need for general acceptance of transgender community’s  rights for a decent dignified living. On the backdrop of the recent judgment By the apex court recognizes the transgender as a third gender, has given the transgender community a much-needed relief, after years of legal battle to ascertain their rights. But the society at large is not willing to accept this marginalized community to come to the mainstream. Still, the majority of us consider the sight of a Hijra as a bad omen, we don’t offer them any help or support while in trouble, So for many centuries, they were facing neglect, mistreatment & denial. The majority is still of the view that it is not possible or not acceptable to live as a transgender, In our great mythologies, we have few characters who possess the body of a male, but behaved and dressed like a woman. It is time at least that in the 21st century, society should behave responsibly by accepting them as one among us by treating them with respect & dignity.

Campaign By Vicks

Through this campaign by Vicks, depicts a transgender woman who adopted the girl child had the right maternal instinct to raise a kid exactly with the same care, warmth like other females, later when the kids grow up, she wants to become a lawyer who wants to fight for her mother’s right. The message through this campaign is well crafted with right intention, which I am sure would touch one’s heart whoever watches it. Now let us all accept the fact that we need to change our mindset for a common good of the society. Ms. Gauri Sawant the transgender women in the campaign epitomizes the Bold women who faced many odds in real life. She has shown instincts of a mother who can look after & raise a child like any other mother in this world.  She is currently associated with a trust “ Humsafar” meant for LGBTQ in Mumbai.

Youtube video link:

Great campaign with a powerful message.

Such campaigns should become more common in public sphere which sends out a strong message by educating and empowering the society, the privileges, and rights enjoyed by us are not ours alone. We cannot keep them away from their rights similar to what we enjoy in the society, it is our responsibility to make them grow with opportunities as we enjoy. Time has come to believe that they have the similar abilities & talents as we do. We cannot keep them always at brink just because they appear differently.I think corporates has a moral responsibility towards the society which is beyond the usual notion of promoting consumption of their products and deriving profits out of it. Beyond their usual business, initiatives on important social issues can be promoted using social marketing campaigns.Each one of us has a responsibility to change the way society behaves and for better tomorrow we have to think and act responsibly.

In the pursuit of happiness

Fancy-Pictures-Of-Happiness-768x614.jpgHappiness is scientifically defined as a mental or emotional state of well-being defined by positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to immense joy. According to Buddhist teaching, ultimate happiness can only be achieved if one disowns his or her craving for material pleasure, In 2012 world happiness report came into being which evaluates subjective wellbeing.  UN general assembly passed a resolution inviting member countries to measure their people’s wellness which could be further used as a guide to for the formulation effective public policies Among the world nations Bhutan is only nation which has officially accepted Gross national happiness as a measuring tool instead of Gross domestic product, unlike other nations. There are many debates happening across the globe whether the GDP is a  real tool to measure a country’s progress per se or many others factors need to be considered, let’s leave that to the experts to ponder upon.

Happiness is a sense of overall well-being of an individual or society at large where a lot of factors social & physiological comes into play. When this gets linked to an individual it might differ from people to people. Suppose if you ask this question to war-torn countries like Syria, Iraq or Palestinian they all want to see the conflict coming to an end,  they just waiting to start a new life from the rubbles.  In the happiness report published in 2017, Norway is the overall happiest country in the world followed by Denmark, Iceland, and Switzerland. In the report, the overall scores have been arrived by considering six main variables like Percapita GDP, social support, Healthy life expectancy, Freedom to make choices, generosity& trust against the imaginary or hypothetical nation called Dystopia. “Dystopia the world itself means imaginary nation in which everything is bad & worse”.  As per the report, top ranked nations like Norway or Denmark are considered as most developed countries based on Human development index, people in these countries are relatively happy compared to their counterparts living in developing nations In Asia & Africa.

Juxtaposing Happiness quotient in the context of Globalization

There are widely differing views on the globalization and how it has effectively transformed the living conditions in the poorer nations, Many pro-globalization champions widely held a view that globalization is inevitable, which could further help in the transnational cooperation in the larger context.How an economic activity favoring the rich improved ever since the onset of globalization and trade liberalization.  But the irony is that in the last decade or so the Global inequality has seen some decline, but compared to the progress achieved by few elites, the inequality has only risen and would going to continue unabated. The happiness in the globalized context is more tilted in favor of chasing wealth and material well-being, More than the half of the world population has only suffered more at the cost of the policies of richest few nations. The developed nations like United states of America always wants to control the affairs of other nations by asserting their supremacies through precipitating wars, exploiting the natural resource and also seeing the rate of increase in their goods crossing the borders of other nations their by earning more through export than in their own domestic market.

If we take a holistic view the developed nations are always in commanding positions to safeguard their own country’s interest. So happiness as quotient more often considered as a method to further their interests in material well-being. In the last decade or so global wars are mainly fought on the thirst for Oil, richer countries want to have enough stocks of oil to run their daily business. Now we are witnessing symptoms of reversing the statuesque and slowly going back to protectionist practices to safeguard the interest of people in their own nation due to increased competition from other nationalities.

True happiness is hard to achieve.

I think most of them won’t agree with me on the nature of happiness we are going to enjoy in the coming decade. True happiness is something which is beyond the mankind  reach , I am not saying that all should turn into spiritual beings , which is highly unlikely to be, because in the 21st century human being as most intelligent species are chasing one milestone  after the other in terms of  improving one’s own living standard by earning more than they used to be, jumping from one material comfort to other, because we keep innovating more on new technologies and equipment, reduce our physical effort by  depending  more on robots, Artificial intelligence  and planning for space odysseys  , our  desire keeps going up so do we continue chasing  for more,  In today’s world those who  faces acute health problems are the one who eats more, than who starves. In the process, we also keep neglecting the very important aspect of preservation of the natural resources. we once never thought that water would become such scarce resource, we were blessed with enough rivers and other water sources, but due to over-exploiting, we are nearing to a situation of acute water crisis which was once in abundance now becoming scarce.