Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Gandhi, Bihar and Mumbai

Rahul Gandhi suddenly realized the injustice in Mumbai. Isn't it such a wonderful coincidence that this epiphany came just before the Bihar elections?

This proves just one thing, that sending poor people to Mumbai has always been and will be the agenda of winning governments in that sorry state. Instead of giving impetus to industrialization which will create jobs for poor illiterate labourers, Congress feels it right to make people think that immigration to Mumbai is the solution to the hapless land's problem.

Lets face it, Mumbai is a city which reeling under the weight of its huge population. Add to this the inefficient infrastructure (world record passenger/hr/km density of the Churchgate Virar local, largest slum in Asia, 2 hours traffic jam between to signals placed a kilometre apart etc etc are not the things which we should be proud of, even if we rattle them off to others proudly). It is a city which cannot tolerate more. It is better if we do not discuss the security against terrorist threats. Under such circumstances putting a man in the city with no money, no place to sleep, no fixed job (the man is not a tax payer) is not a good idea after all.

The city which gives India more than 70% of the tax money certainly deserves more. The central government owes good shelter, good security and better overall standard of living to the people of this city which is probably the face of India in the outside world. If it cannot provide that to people coming to Mumbai, it should ask them to wait until these facilities are provided.

Beating up poor, helpless men is not and will never be the solution. The problem in Mumbai is grave and unique one faced by our country which is relatively young. The solution cannot be found by rattling lines from the constitution. Such unique problems demand a unique, 'never thought of before' solution. I have realized this problem after I started studying in Surat. Life in other cities is much more easy and it reflects in the fact that average age of Mumbaikar's is one of the lowest in the country. The stress caused by poor facilities ultimately kills people living in Mumbai. What we need is the urgent improvement in facilities or otherwise a moratorium or a strict protocol on migrating to Mumbai. If you cannot give them a good life here, do not bring them here to create chaos (and also a vote bank in the hapless state).

I am deeply saddened by this attitude of the ruling party towards my city. When it comes to eating the political pie, everyone recognizes the injustice the Thackeray's (little brother, cousin brother and uncle) do to migrants. But no one ever realizes the injustice done to Mumbai by the centre.