Skip to main content

Our Politicians Who Rule The Roads

Adman Suhel Seth made an interesting observation the other day on a discussion that I was part of. "We fear our politicians while they should be fearing us." Obviously he was not referring to the gentle Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The subject was 26/11 and the first anniversary. The first anniversary demonstrated, as many commentators have amply pointed out; that the political class is now better protected and drives in sturdier SUVs and of course treats you like the very terrorist that its supposed to protect you from, were you to get in their way.

Yesterday I was racing to the Bangalore airport to make our evening flight back to Mumbai. We were on the last stretch. I turned around to see a white car with a howling siren honking ceaselessly. Surely we were not getting pulled over. Wrong, we were getting pushed over. Then the red light Ambasssador was alongside. In its wake, was a Volvo SUV, a XC 90 or therabouts I think. Prices start at Rs 45 lakh. Of course, the starched white politicians I could see seated comfortably within (forgive me if they were volunteers at Mother Teresa's) deserve no less.

Whose Roads Anyway ?

A policeman seated in the front left seat of the Ambassador car leaned out waving his finger threateningly. Our driver, fresh from a battle of words with a motorcyclist a few kilometres earlier, seemed raring to defy. He kept pace, both cars were now racing alongside. The policeman's finger kept going, finger waving. Now I was getting worried. One part of me wanted to cheer the driver on, the other part of me, was worried. What if these guys jumped out with guns and started firing ?

Fortunately, they did not (start firing ie) and we screeched into the terminal even as the motorcade veered left into another lane. Obviously, the reserved ones for VIPs. And then the sickening sight of the policemen genuflecting before them, rushing to clear the way. And then I lost sight and interest. I had a flight to catch.

This happens every other day in Mumbai city. Politicians, and I suspect, many others, routinely brush traffic aside like the roads were maternally willed to them. I've always wanted to force them aside and ask, "What gives you greater right over this road ? How is that these policemen whose salaries I pay for treat you like a lord and me like a serf." Isn't democracy is about it being the other way round." Maybe I will, force them aside one of these days. Remember you read it here first.

Comments

Roy said…
in India it seems that some are more equal than others. We have bred a culture of sycophancy which never seems to disappear
Naresh said…
hi,
Nice post. This is completely contradictory to the European countries where politicians are known to take the Metro to work. All this to avoid traffic jams!
This one wouldn't mind taking away a few to Heaven. What they don't seem to understand is driving as if devil may care, increases their chances of meeting a fatal accident. I remember the sad state of Sahib Singh Verma , the former chief minister of Delhi.
ms said…
hey man, cool it! we don't want to read about this dude who got shot at for not giving way to a sirening white ambassador! what about the traffic not parting like moses' sea when an ambulance wants way? i once was in such an ambulance, some car stopped to let us proceed, but before i could thank them, another idiot overtook it and suddenly, we had more than one patient in the van - 3 of us were thrown against the windscreen, two attendants in the rear were slammed against the steel cabinets, blood and broken bones all around.
Anonymous said…
Your blog is nice..keep it up..
Post your blog link in our web and get more web traffic free.
We are a web Journalist Group. We invite you to our group. Join with us.
For details mail us

biplabpal2000@gmail.com

bhaskarbanerjee03@gmail.com
monisha mehta said…
hey , nice blog , like it ,
won't be nice if i u can clickover to my blog page too ,
& post some suggestion

Popular posts from this blog

Why Did Aamir Khan Swing For Narmada ?

He is not the first celebrity to do so. But he’s turned out to be the most radical, activist Bollywood filmstar by far, all in day's time..at least as far as my memory serves me.

The reasons why he would back the Narmada Bachao Aandolan
could be several. Ranging from the fact that a cousin associated with the movement influenced him to the fact that he was in and out of the Kutch for six months whilst the shooting of Lagaan.

Lets assume all that contributed significantly. Still, why join the protestors in the manner he did ? Why become a face for the movement ? Knowing well there could be consequences that may not be the most desirable.

Dammed If You Do..

To his credit, he did not buckle to the mob frenzy that followed his signing up a few days ago. Instead, he calmly called the attention of all and sundry and asked if these were really the politicians and political parties they wanted to be led by ? He even accused the political parties of trying to bully him.

There are those who de…

The Gatecrashers Of New Delhi Airport

Am traveling again, this time I pass through the hallowed gates of Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International airport. If you want to showcase how Incredible India is, this is the classic one. And it makes me wonder whether the ownership really transferred into private hands. Anyway, the experience kicks off nice and early as I drive up the incline. A long traffic jam has developed. My driver alternately jams the accelerator and brakes to stay in one place. And its raining heavily.

The airport is packed with people, even more than Mumbai and Hyderabad airports, whose vast collections of crowds usually amaze me. Like all other airports in India, roughly 95% of the folks who visit the airport ain’t going anywhere. They are here to see off the other 5%, or is it 2% in New Delhi. Most of them travel very long distances.

Passengers like me are a hopeless minority. In every way possible. For a moment I thought I would give up and return, so challenging did the task of entering the terminal appear. T…

Why ISB Might Beat The IIMs

Im pretty sure these headlines are unintentional. I saw one this evening which said, "ISB declines to reveal boy's identity." Another one, "ISB is not revealing boy's identity, yet."

Im sure you had the same thoughts I would have had. Some heinous crime has been committed and an organisation that goes by the initials of ISB is refusing to give up the accused.

The Indian School of Business is in the news. A graduate student has bagged a $233,800 (Rs 1.04 crore) job. That beats the previous record set by the IIMs.

Recently, IIM Bangalore kicked up a fuss saying they didn't want to turn their placement season into a circus and their students into animals in a temporary zoo. Makes sense I guess. ISB has picked up from there. And refuses to part with the lucky chap's identity. That makes him lucky twice over. He earns the money and gets to keep it, since the Bhais won't find him easily.


Totally Biased

For various, totally biased reasons, I would like to …