I was in a rickshaw, whose driver was hell bent on breaking all the traffic rules that he possibly could. Being the citizen I am, I reproved his behaviour. I brought to his notice the traffic police man standing at the busy junction. ” Uska kya? Woh to pachhaas rupyah main bikaon hain” What about him, he can be paid off in 50 Rupees. I explain to the rickshaw driver that at that instance the traffic police man was only doing his job. He should be complied with and respected.
I have always had a lot of respect for people in uniform. They do a thankless job. They do it inspite of the attitude of people towards them. The very people for whom they do the thankless job. I have been repeatedly made aware that I live in an over populated city, which remains safe setting standards in the world. It was a proud moment for me to tell a friend visiting from UK last month, that 2 am would be safe to get back home. I was really not worried. I think that faith speaks volumes of the privileges I enjoy in Mumbai. Some people find it hard to comprehend my respect for the uniformed personnel.
The biggest bone of contention is the bribery. There was a co-blogger who had mentioned that a world of bribery is the other system in the world which we have adopted since it functions much more efficiently than the first *. A similar observation has been made in Maximum City, Mumbai lost and found by Suketu Mehta.
I have not only stayed in Mumbai the last few months, I have also done a course, volunteered my time to Non governmental Organisations. Point being made is that I have lived here. The more time I have spent here the more I have realised the order in the anarchy. I am in awe.
Eve of Independence Day. I was stranded on Delhi airport for over 3 hours due to unavailability of taxis. I was thrilled about being in the Capital. It was a huge moment for me. In my 30 years this was a first and I was enjoying it. There was police all over the place, trying to co-ordinate traffic, get people help, conveyance and keeping us safe. Having evidenced fights at the drop of a hat, I was very impressed with the order maintained at Delhi Airport. The only people not being civil were the passengers and their families who not only showed absolute lack of civility to other people but also huge amount of disrespect to uniformed personnel who were just doing their job. A little cooperation could have saved hours.
While we were being silent spectators, one apparently educated and affluent individual almost raised his hands on a police officer. All the police officer said to this individual was, ” yahan pe mat rokiye, aap sara traffic block kar denge” Don’t stop here, you will block the entire traffic I still didn’t get the reason for such an anger out burst. The police was just doing their job.
The reason I write this post is not because I am unaware of all the unacceptable doings of people in uniform or authority. I am writing this post as I am ashamed to admit that for whatever reason the so called educated affluent and righteous citizens of my country are no better.
* I haven’t been able to locate the blog post which I am referring to. Once I do, I shall post a link.