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He moves, they suffer!

Posted in View Point

Published on September 18, 2015 with No Comments

It’s not easy being a common man in India. Who better than an expatriate from India could have experienced, perhaps the common man of India who continues to experience the same day in day out. It turned out to be a day of reckoning for the residents of Chandigarh last Friday, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the beautiful city to inaugurate an international airport at Mohali, handover keys of flats to underprivileged, and attend the convocation ceremony at one of the premier medical institutes of India-And doing all that in four and a half hours. It was of little importance for the administration and the Prime Minister that the flats are still not habitable, and the airport so thrown open for aviation has not been able to lure even a single international flight. The airport has the greatest probability to joining the elite airports of India- 23 airports developed in seven years that remain un-operational-Each having consumed close to Rs 250 crores. All these airports are now being used by the VVIPs to fly their chartered planes. Airport Authority of India however, has been spending money on maintenance of these airports and is also bearing the wear and tear costs. That’s India!

Indian Traffic

Schools & colleges closed, examinations rescheduled, roads blocked and even the crematorium grounds declared out of bounds. That’s what the administration could do best to please a person who won an historic mandate by convincing the voters that they are electing him as the “pardan sewak”- the helper in chief and not as the “pardan mantri”-the Prime Minister. Taking a note from the earlier visit of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that had resulted in the death of a patient as the ambulance was made to take detours for posing security threat; the administration had this time published routes for ambulances but of little avail as those very roads witnessed traffic blockades for hours and hours.

Plight of Brigadier (retd) Devinder Singh, a Kargil veteran is unfathomable. He was denied entry into two cremation grounds in Chandigarh, with one of them closed and converted into parking lot for school buses that ferried paid “supporters” for the rally, the other being on the route where Modi had to travel to go back to the airport. Brigadier was forced to travel an extra 10 kilometres through choked streets to cremate his 24 year old son. Cops manning the barricades at the venue of the rally told people no cremations were being allowed there for “security reasons” and redirected hearses towards neighbouring town of Mohali in Punjab. That’s sensitivity of democracy!

Needless to say, the school were declared closed to make best use of school buses for free! Under “perceived security threat” leaders of Congress were picked up a night before the visit and were released only after Narendra Modi had left. A local television journalist’s 70 year old father was detained for allegedly being a Congress sympathiser who “could participate in a demonstration against the prime minister”. The journalist being the first one to raise questions on declaring the schools closed can’t be discounted for the ill-treatment meted out to his father. That’s democracy.

The prime minister did offer an apology, perhaps to warm certain hearts. In India an apology is as absurd as the event and when coming from a political leader should carry the feel of the absurd events. The sincerity of such an unprecedented gesture by Prime Minister Modi would only be effective, if incidents of such appalling nature are not repeated.


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