Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Amchi Mumbai or Apathy Mumbai?

My heart felt condolences to the families of all those who lost their lives in the Mumbai serial blasts. I wish all the injured a speedy recovery. Unlike news paper columnists who are urging Mumbaikars to take the attack in their stride and get on with their lives, I urge you not to forget this day, because you Mumbaikars are inadvertently responsible for this! It may be harsh at this time, but the (in?)famous Amchi Mumbai attitude needs a serious introspection.

Wasn't this attack the most expected? It’s the fourth newsworthy terror attack in Mumbai after 1993, Gateway of India and the Ghatkopar blasts. In the preceding months there has been a huge arms recovery in Aurangabad, a daylight attack on the RSS HQ in Nagpur and a rather surprisingly widespread admission by the police/intelligence that an attack was waiting to happen. Add to this the deadly attacks in the past year in Delhi, Ayodhya and Bangalore. Despite these overwhelming pointers to terrorist activity in the country, how can Mumbai allow an extremely coordinated attack in seven train stations at the busiest time of the day? For heaven sake, there may be atleast seven people involved. In counter-terrorism, that’s a crowd!

The two Mumbaikars directly responsible for maintaining law and order, the home ministers Shivraj Patil and R R Patil are a national disgrace to put it mildly. R R Patil was apparently more interested in Mumbai’s dance bars than in the terror cells that must have planned this attack. As for Shivraj Patil, the home minister who lost an election, I have said enough in the past! The other famous Mumbaikar, the nation’s agriculture minister Sharad Pawar spent the whole of last week at a cricket (ICC) meeting (yes, one whole week) when the nations media was giving a day-by-day account of the 20 Vidharba farmers who committed suicide in that same week!

My frustration about Mumbai is over the wider issue of Mumbaikar’s apparent apathy towards others. Rather curiously most of my Mumbai friends speak proudly of how Mumbai lets others live their own lives. Was this the reason why they let Shiv Sainiks ransack Mumbai the whole of last week? Why on hell does Bal Thackray’s wife need a statue and will any other city let people like Bal Thackray to be what they are? For all we know, yesterday’s attack may have happened only because the terrorists wanted to cache in on the chaos prevailing in the city. Will anyone of those affected Mumbaikars file a PIL demanding removal of Meenatai’s statues for causing public nuisance?

What about the floods caused by Monsoon? Didn’t Mumbai lose some 1000 lives the same time last year? How many have we lost this time and how many more before the season ends? Agreed it rains cats and dogs in Mumbai, but will you ever learn to cope with it? The Bishnoi community in Rajasthan has ensured that Salman Khan has spent atleast one night in Jail as a convict. I ask you Mumbaikar, if they can do that to him for killing a Chinkara, what have you done to bring justice to your fellow Mumbaikar who was runover by Salman Khan’s alcohol driven car? As for you forgiving the nation’s most popular terrorist ala Sanjay Dutt, I have no comment!

The Amchi Mumbai flat owner’s associations have ensured that Pakistan does not find a rental building to have its consulate. Why should they when Pakistan can get a government land worth several crores of tax payer’s money almost free? Ofcourse our beloved Mumbaikar, Lata Mangeshkar can stall a flyover construction simply because the flyover will spoil the view from her window!

If you are more interested in your own well being (besides Mahajan’s cocaine and Rakhi’s lips), you will apparently overlook a neighborhood cop’s son who went on to become “The Don” and that poor Muslim family next door, who blew 60 Mumbaikars to pieces that long forgotten afternoon at the Gateway of India. Reader’s digest last month rated Mumbai as the rudest of the 35 world cities they surveyed. Their criteria are probably flawed but the average Mumbaikar’s apathy may have very much contributed to that result.

And finally, this post was supposed to mourn and analyze the Mumbai blasts. Unfortunately I seem to be doing such analysis far too often. (Ayodhya, Bangalore, Delhi, London). God, please let this be the last time.


GuNs said...

Mirroring my thoughts. Well said. Time to wake up and smell the...blood.


Anonymous said...

wat u doin in US?
goto india and become president

WakeUpIndia said...

I agree it is APATHY but not of Marathi people. But APATHY of congres, BJP, Shivsena politicians. APATHY of outsiders. If GOVT does stop slums, illegal towers, illlegal constructionns, hawkers capturing footpaths, railway area. 2 storied slums. Have u seen these anywhere.
When people say don't allow outsiders to come to Mumbai and stay anywhere they like. You people say this is REGIONAL thinking. Now mumbai has gone out of control. SO thats why water flood. Pls reply your views on this BALA.

WakeUpIndia said...

One more ... KripaShankar Singh ( MLA , MUMBAI ) said just yesterday in assembly that - regularize slums which are constructed till 2004. I say - why 2004 , just pass the rule that any illegal constructed slums tilll 2010 will be regularized in advance, with ration cards and FREE electricity ( this is by default in slums )
Man there is no end to this. And congress or shivsena anyone comes this is going to continue.
Mumbai is opearting on drainage system built by British. Godd god - there was not % system then. or else Mumbai would have gone underwater by now.
In Mumbai - every work done by any govt agencies - only 25 % is spent towards work. 75 % goes to leaders, officers.
PLS REPLY your views - shall we still aloow slum constructions

WakeUpIndia said...

You are asking - why the hell there should be statue of Balasaheb Thackery's wife ???

I ask you why the hell you people construct temples of MGR, Rajnikant, Jaya Amma, Khushboo and other film people. Now imagine if Jaya Amma is on power and someone destorys her temple.
What kind of reactionn it will be. Just be truthful and tell me.

Balaji said... have covered a whole lot of issues that plague Mumbai. I was just commenting on some of the events concerning Mumbai in the last few months.

You may be right blaming the politicians. But few things I had mentioned like Salman Khan/Lata Mangeshkar etc point to greater social malaise. Besides as they say people get the government they deserve!

I see that you are looking at things from a Marathi perspective. Mumbai being home to people from many parts of the country may explain some of the problems. I had once blamed the Delhi sex crimes on the Punjabis and the UPwallahs!

But then we should treat Mumbai for what it is now than what Maharashtrians might like it to be. Anyway looking at Shiv Sena, even that Maharashtrian utopia cannot be so pretty.

I'm ignoring your comments about TN since that doesn't justify why Mumbai needs Meenatai's statues and the senseless weeklong violence which I belive may have facilitated the blasts last week.


WakeUpIndia said...

I agree with your views on Lata Mangeshkar, flyover construction. I have a big heart to accept the truth. You have to yet prove that.

Tell me if govt should drive out these UP, Bihari and most important Bangladeshi's staying is illegal slums. As on just 437 sq. km a population of 1.25 croes is going to sank Mumbai by it's own weight. What are your views on this. When replying do not use words like that doesn't matter, something can not be taken into account, dealing with ..... is out of question. Because you lose your creditability.

Also if you have no objection about Jaya, Rajnikant, MGR temples PLEASE DO NOT COMMENT on a statue of Meentail Thackrey.

I hope you may know that famous Raj Kumar dialogue. If not check with your hindi friends - Jo Shishe ke ghar me rahate hai, dusron ke ghar pe patthar feka nahi karte.

Balaji said...

oops!...again the us vs the rest argument?!

Firstly I don't know where are these supposed temples for Jayalalitha, MGR and Rajnikanth though I have lived in TN for over two decades! Please enlighten me. There was that crazy (and media blown) Kushboo temple though I wonder if its still there. (These days Kushboo may well be lynched if she goes to some parts of the state for making some unwanted remarks on chastity!)

Why should Mumbai or for that matter any part of India host Bangladeshi's? Its infact the same question I should ask you. What have Maharashtrians done to drive out these unwanted elements?

Having said that people from other parts of India should be welcome in Mumbai. Don't cities like Delhi, Bangalore and Chennai do the same. Chennai infact has had a siginificant Telugu population as far into the past I can see.

The crime in Mumbai is indeed a serious issue. Mumbai being the biggest city in India obviously will have bigger law and order issues. But thankfully Chennai doesn't have a significant underworld. And I bet a Tamil actor will not get away with possessing AK56 rifles and running over a bystander.

Anyway my article was not against Maharashtrians or a Tamilian's tirade against Mumbai. I was just wondering about the recent events in Mumbai and asking why things should not be better. Afterall Mumbai probably has lost more people to terror and crime than any other city in the country except perhaps Kashmir and the northeast.


GuNs said...

I say, f*** all statues on the streets except our REAL freedom fighters. And even those should be moved to public parks or other places where they do not obstruct traffic !

This regional argument is absolute shit. Dont for a second think that a Tamilian would have walked away looking at a Marathi blast victim thinking..."Aah, thats a Marathi, why do I care...let him die". It just wont happen. We are all Indian when adversity strikes. But what about other times?? Can't we cut out the bias at other times?

Balaji, very well written bro. Hats off to you. Wakeup, have got some great points yourself but I think your argument about Balaji not talking about Jaya etc. is biased. If you look at the post carefully, he's just talking about the current incidents where the riots happened. I am sure he would have similar views if the riots happened in Chennai over a Jaya statue !!

Peace, guys...lets do something constructive and use blogs to reduce the communal/regional divide that these terrorists are exploiting to the "T".


Anonymous said...

" Can't we cut out the bias at other times?"

No. The politicians will never let that happen. Why do you think more than 50 years after we attained independence, caste-based reservation is still an issue? It's amazing that our country is doing reasonably well despite the politicians.

GuNs said...

Anon : I agree with you. The politicians will never let it happen. I guess its only education that can help coz it is more difficult to polarize well educated people as compared to illiterates. Even now, the people in the slums are the first ones to be affected by political statements and violent protests.

I guess we, the working, educated middle class has to get our act together and be more proactive, the first step of that being more active in voting.

Its my wish to see India no longer being called a third world country. It wont happen as long as the people do not rise against the corrupt system and do something.

Maybe an uprising is in order !


Anonymous said...

Balaji: Amchi Mumbai or Apathy Mumbai?

Me: Apathy Mumbai.

cRaY3 said...

balaji, well written one...before the terror strikes, the cops in mumbai were busy offering security to rakhi sawant and keeping off dance bar girls...even now the cops havent made any critical finding regd the blasts...the main suspects have already fled india and are chilling in pakistan..there are reports of 50 LeT men residing in mumbai to carry out mass murder events...yet, the police here is busy shutting down cable operators and such...even last week there was a encounter where a terrorist was killed in know who gave info to the police abt this? the local residents...police didnt have a clue until that...such is the state of law and order in mumbai