Archive for the ‘Stupid Politicians’ Category

Reality Show: Terror Mumbai

I got home at around 10pm on Wednesday night. The television was blaring its usual cacophony of detergent operas and soppy suds. Then a relative called to tell us that ‘something big was happening’. We flipped through the channels in quick succession, passing a panel discussion on the consistency of chewing gum (or something that seemed to stretch on similarly), an 80s potboiler complete with gyrating Govinda hips and a tear-jerker selling the benefits of pension plans.

Then we landed on the news channel band. And there it stayed and hasn’t moved since.

The Day After: It’s Not Over As Yet

Mumbai awoke this morning (for those who did manage to sleep) to reports of commandos being dropped from helicopters onto the critical locations under attack. There was also a mention that the Taj Mahal hotel was secure but that’s something we heard around midnight yesterday too and it turned out to be a hasty (and inaccurate) wire, since there was still firing coming out from there. Several hostages from Nariman House were either rescued or managed to escape during the course of the night. The media, while hanging around desperately for soundbytes and real news manages to catch a glimpse at the most of the action and tries to piece some sense of it, often going in the wrong direction.

Later this morning, there was a sudden buzz that (more…)

Smooth Traffic & Funny Mails: Thank You, Mr.Thackeray

Raj Thackeray was arrested yesterday. Ho hum, so what else is new?

I woke up to the news channels airing footage shot hours ago, of the MNS chief being escorted into the police van at Ratnagiri and a few fancy-looking maps showing blinking dots in the areas of Borivili, Andheri, Dadar and Worli.

Violence has erupted in parts of the city.

…the TV anchor informed me over my breakfast. And..

MNS workers have been protesting the arrest. This comes in the light of the weekend attack on the railway examination centers to protest under-representation of Maharashtrians in the test.

I was still yawning, glued to the television as I was. And then I snapped the set shut, got ready and left for work.

The roads were not empty. They were the way a civilised, metropolitan city’s roads should be. Vehicles running at least 2 feet from each other in parallel lanes, a few stray pedestrians crossing only during the traffic signals, short signal wait-times, no undue honking. My normal 45-minute commute took all of 20 minutes. Thank you Mr.Thackeray for giving us one day of normal commuting.

People came into work. But of course. No, I’m not going to go on about the resilient spirit of Mumbaikers, our courage, our bravery etc. I’m no braver than the next person. All I am, is practical. Between floods, riots, bandhs, public transport strikes, communal clashes, infrastructure breakdowns and politico arrests, I have a job to do. And every day brings a new reason to not go to work. Yet, we do. That’s not courage, it’s just acceptance of the way things are.

From the last time this happened, I figured the media was just creating a hullaballoo as usual. No one who goes out in this city everyday really believes the news channels anymore (and certainly not a certain Dilli-based channel which thinks that Mumbai starts and ends at Churchgate and that Tardeo and Juhu are far-flung railway stations). Sure enough, come evening and I had a smooth commute back home as well. No, I did not spot any blood on the streets, no slapped-around taxi drivers, I did not get pelted with stones and the city seemed no scarder than usual.

If anything, the highlights of the day were how people chose to deal with the chaos. My Little Lord received the following email from HR:

Dear All

Due Unstable environment with regards to Raj Thackeray arrest, management has decided that all associates can leave by 4.00pm.

With Warm Regards,
HR Manager

Tue, Oct 21, 2008 at 4:11 PM

My colleagues were far more prompt and shot off the following (very convincing) mail:

There is a slight issue here at the Mumbai office. Due to some political issues there is absolute civil unrest and the city is at the brink of riots breaking out. The team will need to rush home. Im not sure if we’d be able to make it to the call today.

* So I’m jaded and cynical. Go read the full story here.

Ek Shivaji Triple..

Even in this century of the Stupid Politician, this piece of news takes the cake…or the “vadapav”.

Shiv Sena executive president Uddhav Thackeray took the lead when he proudly claimed his party’s decision to rename the humble vada-pav as Shiv vada-pav to be ahead in the race with Raj Thackeray. [link]

This takes politics to an amazing level of stupidity never ever seen my mankind.

First we had the shivaji beedi. Now the shivaji vadapav. Next will be shivaji chai.

What’s also disturbing is how these politicians pander to the name of Shivaji. For arguements sake, he was not even a God, prophet, holy man or god man. He was a king of a small group of people. Why is it necessary to elevate the stature of a person so that he somehow becomes an icon for regionalistic jingoism is beyond me.

So the next time you are the corner tapri….why not just order a Shivaji Triple…

Naushad Ali Road

Have you been to Naushad Ali road recently. No, no, not Mohammed Ali Road. Naushad Ali Road.

Chances are you have but never realized it.

In the stupid politician series this is another hallmark.

Residents are angry that the plan to rename Carter Road as Sangeet Samrat Naushad Ali Road was mooted by corporator Kavita Rodricks without consulting them. [link]

The erstwhile Carter Road that has for decades been one of the landmarks of Bombay, has been re-christened Sangeet Samrat Naushad Ali Road.

No offence to Naushad whose music was timeless and amazing, but was there a need to name this prominent road after him. And will changing the name really make any difference.

Did it make a difference to Warden Road or Hill Road? Bhulabhai Desai and Ramdas Naik would say NO.

Will someone tell Kavita Rodricks, Corporator, SP (stupid politician) that she has pushed the envelope of stupidity when it comes to politicians.

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