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Smruti Koppikar

Smruti Koppikar is an award-winning Mumbai-based journalist and currently the Founder Editor of Question of Cities, an online journal on cities and ecology.

Articles by Smruti Koppikar

Maharashtra votes 2024: Dynasties abound, but who speaks for the Maharashtrian?

Pawars, Patils, Deshmukhs, Shindes, Chavans, Bhonsles, Thackerays, Khadses, Ranes, Deoras, Gaikwads and more have their younger generation in the political fray

Sunetra Pawar, Praful Patel, Ajit Pawar, Eknath Shinde and Devendra Fadnavis at a political rally. Shiv Sena founder Balasaheb Thackeray's portrait is seen at the back. (HT)
Updated on May 03, 2024 11:28 AM IST

Maharashtra votes 2024: For state choking on pollution, eco-governance only cure

Most of the cases in Maharashtra were violations under environmental laws such as the polluting cement ready-mix plants and construction sites

Polluting fumes emitted by industries in Mahul, Chembur. (Photo by Vijayanand Gupta/Hindustan Times) (Vijayanand Gupta/HT Photo)
Updated on May 02, 2024 02:04 PM IST

Maharashtra votes 2024: How co-ops, RDBs became lynchpins of state politics

The state has nearly 22,000 agricultural credit societies, which are the bedrock of the cooperatives network, offering short-term agricultural credit to farmers

Swabhimani Shetkari Sanghatana activists pour milk at the memorial of Maharashtra's first chief minister late YB Chavan during a protest to demand direct <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>5 subsidy per litre.(PTI Photo)
Published on May 01, 2024 11:17 AM IST

Maharashtra votes 2024: Why is the state losing big projects to Gujarat?

The finance sector has shown a preference, natural or politically nudged, towards the Gujarat International Finance Tec-City, or GIFT City, near Ahmedabad

So far, Maharashtra has ridden on its old reputation as the preferred address for Foreign Direct Investment and location of industries and services. (Shutterstock)
Updated on Apr 30, 2024 06:00 PM IST

Maharashtra votes 2024: How urbanisation hinders the idea of a sustainable city

Slums are the strongest symbol of the failure of urban development plans and policies, and Maharashtra has the largest number of tenements in India

Kurla in Mumbai is densely packed with slums. HT Photo by Raju Shinde
Updated on Apr 29, 2024 11:06 AM IST

Maharashtra votes 2024: Why do the powerful Marathas want to be tagged backward?

The last few years of pro-reservation agitations by the Maratha community have taken people within and outside Maharashtra by surprise

Marathas march in Pune. HT photo Raju Shinde
Published on Apr 27, 2024 11:16 AM IST

Maharashtra votes 2024: Why unemployment dogs governments past and present

The focus on urban jobs will not help ease the situation in the state because 60 percent of all those employed continue to work in rural areas

Job seekers register at a job fair in Chinchwad. (Danish Siddiqui / REUTERS)
Updated on Apr 26, 2024 11:51 AM IST

Maharashtra votes 2024: Farmers across state plough through pain of bleak future

The past three years have witnessed worst-ever droughts and floods in the state, one following the other that point to a vital shift in the monsoon pattern

A grape farmer in Maharashtra's Nashik district. HT Photo Raju Shinde
Updated on Apr 26, 2024 09:43 AM IST

Lockdown is painful but may be Mumbai’s best chance at tackling Coronavirus

If Mumbai is completely locked down, it will resemble a ghost town not unlike Wuhan from where photographs and videos were shared in late January.

If Mumbai is completely locked down, it will resemble a ghost town not unlike Wuhan from where photographs and videos were shared in late January.(Vijayanand Gupta/HT Photo)
Updated on Mar 19, 2020 04:30 PM IST
Hindustan Times | By, Mumbai

Epidemic of fear and panic about CoVID-19

Whether a city manages to ride out an epidemic with minimum loss depends partly on its good fortunes, partly on its administrators who manage information and health networks, and partly on its citizens

Cities, after all, are potential hotbeds of epidemics given their large populations, public transit systems, and uncontrollable person-to-person interactions.(Pratik Chorge/HT Photo)
Updated on Mar 11, 2020 11:47 PM IST
Hindustan Times | By, Mumbai

Mumbai’s story: Vicious riot and elusive justice

In Delhi, policemen were either mute spectators or predators as mobs wreaked havoc and violence on innocent citizens.

Police stand guard in a riot affected area following clashes in northeast part Delhi(REUTERS)
Updated on Mar 05, 2020 01:03 AM IST
Hindustan Times | By

Communal riot and inter-ethnic tapestry of cities

A city is never the same after a communal riot or pogrom; it does not completely heal, it does not go back to being quite the tapestry it used to be

There was violence from both sides but reports show that the scale, intensity and viciousness against Muslims were spine-chilling.(HT Photo)
Published on Feb 27, 2020 12:13 AM IST
Hindustan Times | By

The malice in making protests and protesters invisible

The city police attempted this with Mumbai Bagh too in a way citing traffic impediments and bringing pressure to bear on the women sitting-in, slapping notices and FIRs on them and volunteers, profiling protesters and visitors.

Updated on Feb 20, 2020 01:32 AM IST
Hindustan Times | By, Mumbai

A Mumbai cabbie and Kejriwal’s free pass to hate ideology | Opinion

The AAP did not take on the BJP ideologically; Kejriwal did not substantively disagree on Shaheen Bagh protests or CAA-NRC.

Kejrwal who advocated full statehood for Delhi had voted with the BJP to nullify Article 370(HT FILE)
Updated on Feb 13, 2020 09:34 AM IST
Hindustan Times | By

Civic budget talk: Coastal Road a misplaced priority?

Pavements do not get prioritised in the BMC’s tasks lists perhaps because its movers-and-shakers do not use them

Municipal commissioner Praveen Pardeshi set aside Rs 2,000 crore in the budget for Coastal Road(HT FILE)
Updated on Feb 05, 2020 11:10 PM IST

Shiv Bhojan could be game-changer if Uddhav is watchful

The Shiv Bhojan is as basic a meal as can be — a serving of chapatis, a vegetable, some rice and dal for Rs10 per thali or lunch-plate

Thackeray’s government was able to start the Shiv Bhojan programme within two months(HT FILE)
Updated on Jan 29, 2020 11:50 PM IST
Hindustan Times | By

How to redefine nightlife in a city that never sleeps

Mumbai, at its heart, is a commercial city; its rhythms do not cease at night and never will.

Malls, restaurants, commercial establishments in gated communities and non-residential areas will be allowed to stay open all night to boost local economy(HT Photo)
Updated on Jan 23, 2020 12:03 AM IST
Hindustan Times | By

Mumbai Police must refine the art of policing

The sensitivity that the force showed towards protestors needs to be extended towards women and children too

Once spoken of as the Scotland Yard of the East, Mumbai Police now faces new and different policing challenges.(HT FILE)
Published on Jan 16, 2020 12:03 AM IST

Make no mistake, Mumbai is mostly political and non-silent

Silence speaks volumes, silence is political too.

People protest against CAA-NRC at Shivaji Chowk, Vashi on Wednesday.(Hindustan Times)
Updated on Jan 09, 2020 12:07 AM IST
Hindustan Times | By, Mumbai

2020 brings hope that Indians will reclaim a composite nation

It’s a year that carries hope and aspirations of millions – hope for a gentler and more just future, aspiration to be any kind of an Indian that one wishes to be with freedom and joy.

The resistance to the CAA-NRC in the months to come would need to be sustained beyond the predictable protest-fatigue(HT File)
Updated on Jan 02, 2020 12:04 AM IST
Hindustan Times | By

2019: When city streets became protest sites

The urban space turned into a site of spontaneous and electrifying protests against governments.

Hong Kong witnessed massive protests this year(HT File)
Published on Dec 26, 2019 12:29 AM IST
Hindustan Times | By

De-citizenisation by CAA-NRC drills through India’s soul

The purpose of CAA-NRC is ostensibly to weed out illegal immigrants from three neighbouring countries but implicitly threatens Indian Muslims as well as all Indians who do not possess documents of their ancestry here.

Protests against CAA and NRC have broken out across several parts of India.
Updated on Dec 19, 2019 07:24 PM IST
Hindustan Times | By

Gender equality: Global concern, Mumbai’s ignominy

Despite anecdotal signals of women breaching barriers and breaking ceilings in several domains, the bias exists.

Efforts need to be made to foster gender equality in Mumbai.(HT Photo)
Updated on Dec 12, 2019 12:41 AM IST
Hindustan Times | By

Dear parties, ignore women and urban voters, face NOTA

Three trends among many in the electoral basket stand out because their significances go well beyond this election.

The continued abysmal percentage of women in the political fray is disappointing.(HT File)
Updated on Dec 05, 2019 01:16 AM IST
Hindustan Times | By

Some takeaways from Maharashtra government formation

The shenanigans are confusing, but there are some takeaways.

Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray is set to be sworn in as the CM on Thursday.
Updated on Nov 28, 2019 03:24 AM IST
Hindustan Times | By

Uddhav’s ambition, Gandhi’s dilemma, and Pawar’s pattern

The question is if Sonia Gandhi can trust Pawar enough to not throw the Congress under the bus in the months ahead if this government becomes a reality

President of NCP Sharad Pawar and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray(Pratik Chorge/HT FILE Photo)
Updated on Nov 21, 2019 06:35 AM IST
Hindustan Times | By

Why Mumbai can’t honestly say ‘Let’s move on’

In the new-normal Mumbai, religion has come to play a greater part than it did in civic and personal matters

Police personnel deployed outside the mosque at Bandra ahead of the Supreme Court's historic verdict on the Ayodhya land case.(HT PHOTO)
Updated on Nov 13, 2019 11:13 PM IST
Hindustan Times | By

Mumbai Story: From sea unto sea?

The city’s geography and future is being threatened by rising sea levels as an outcome of global warming

Flooding along with unseasonal storms are a clear indication of the impact of climate change in Mumbai.(HT Photo)
Updated on Nov 07, 2019 12:09 AM IST
Hindustan Times | By

The meaning of the 2019 mandate

The BJP-Sena divided the state’s 288 constituencies between themselves, went to voters with their record of the last five years, and asked to be re-elected.

Updated on Oct 31, 2019 12:49 AM IST
Hindustan Times | By, Mumbai

Why Mumbai’s voter disinterest is a disgrace

Mumbai did not acquit itself with honour this Assembly election; south Mumbai even less so. The average voter turnout in the city this Monday was a dull 50.5% – about 10.6% lower than Maharashtra’s average and about 1.5% lower than the city’s turnout five years ago.

Voters queue up to cast their votes at a school in Ghansoli in Navi Mumbai.(Hindustan Times)
Updated on Oct 24, 2019 12:08 AM IST
Hindustan Times | By
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