The Mumbai edition TOI today was not a surprise. Apprently 40ft. human pyramids at various govinda congregations in Mumbai flouting SC diktat . Brazen ? Not all! Mumbaikar, arguably the most civilized Indian, in everyday life breaks all rules and nobody raises an eyebrow.
Helmet – Everyday one sees bikers not only without helmets, they ride on the wrong side of the road darting angry glances at disciplined drivers. Also often during festivities one sees unruly bikers with even 4 riders. Yesterday I saw a whole entourage of bikers at Bandra Kurla , three on each bike and not with helmet. No news on who they were protecting. Definitely not the law of the land. Two wheelers are not just for 2 any more. Transport dept. please take note.
Traffic Signals – Drivers, not only bikers, just cannot wait when a signal shows red. Many do not even slow down cocking as nook at those waiting diligently for green. The cake goes to drivers mercilessly honking behind a car who insist on waiting at a red signal! Quiet pathetic to see bikers breaking these rules with kids sitting on the fuel tanks . That child will never obey a traffic signal- papa never did.
Loudspeakers –Every Govinda gathering at Hill road Bandra west flouted the permitted decibel level. They had earth shaking loudspeakers and not one of the attendees looked like Hill road residents. The police had blocked off entry to the road from Bandra station side right at Lucky restaurant and stood guard for all the lawbreakers. Hey, is that not the opposite of their job profile?
While I happened to only tour Bandra last evening, I am sure this is the case at all such events in Mumbai. I had once been invited to a Maharashtra day celebration at Kalachowkie/ Lalbaug organized by a national political party. The noise level at which hot Bollywood numbers were being played was astounding. Easily higher than 3 times the allowed level but not one among those present even realized this abject disrespect of law.
The police constabulary, clearly ignorant (and at times illiterate?) especially need to be seized of the situation. Call the control room to complain against noise pollution on Ganesh Chatthurthi, new year or a Maulvi from handing out loud sermons on streets. The official may well tell you that Commissioner has allowed it for today. Hello sir, is the commissioner above the Supreme court, high court combine? Once after getting such a reply, I asked the then Mumbai Commissioner Javid Ahmed if he had actually allowed such transgression of SC/ HC orders. In minutes the speakers went silent.
I for one would love to see how the courts plan to tackle obvious contempt as reported by the Times of India. Will the police on duty be taken to task? Will the organizers be fined / jailed ? Will be a while. Till then happy flouting gentlemen, for citizens – real victims, care little.
C Anand Velayudhan is Special correspondent – India for an American Television Channel ‘