Friday, August 19, 2005

Miscommunication - The murderer in Mumbai

The whole city rotting under 8-10 feet deep flood water for almost 2-3 days wasn’t enough to open the eyes and ears of the authorities. In spite of clear indications to the root causes of these problems, I am almost certain that little would change in what is called the Town planning office and the associated agencies. Land mafia would continue to get plots and mangrove lands de-reserved for residential and commercial purposes – primarily to make money.

Another thing that comes to the defense of the authorities is the fact that rainfall caused floods in non metro and rural areas as well, where the reasons mentioned above hardly hold good. Places in Konkan were affected by the rains and reported heavy losses – life as well as property.

One of the things that stand out is the utter lack of communication from the authorities to people about the whole situation. Rumor mongers had a field day and that killed a lot of people in stampedes, when rumors of Tsunami were spread in the slums adjoining the Powai lake. On e of the things the authorities could put in place is a simple Disaster recovery and Business Continuity Plan for the city. A city like Mumbai needs it desperately to be able to keep moving in a business as usual manner and bring back peoples confidence in the system. Mumbai perhaps is the only place in India where people have tremendous faith in the public transport systems and use it to the core. If we falter in Mumbai, other places could never catch up on the path to progress.

Frustrated nation of a frustrated people..

Non functional systems, lack of infrastructure, slow pace of legal justice, unemployment, corruption etc. are things that dot the Indian landscape. There are spots of brilliance like the IT revolution, mobile communications, but these are far and few in between and their combined impact covers not more than a million people at the most.

The more I think of India as a nation, the more I feel cheated, Cheated by its politicians, cheated by the bureaucrats, cheated by the policies, last but not the least cheated by the people themselves. Each one of us tries to blame the other for things that are not per standards in and around our environment, but there is little movement from our own self to come out of our drawing rooms and do something about it.

Today stress levels are rising, there is a blame game going on between state governments, state and central governments, Industry and governments, politicians and bureaucrats and so on. People of the country are getting frustrated by the day and I have a feeling that change could come in thru’ an outburst of this frustration. If a Mohan Bhargav (Swades) could change the minds and beliefs of people in a small village, Is it really possible that not a single such Mohan Bhargav exists in each village across the country. The frustration is on the rise and people might just roll it up into a mass movement when the government ought to take notice and work beyond electoral benefits. I know this is wishful thinking and in a country like India it take a Mahatma Gandhi to galvanize people for a common cause. I wish there was a Mahatma every 30 years for this country to move ahead. I wish…