Monday, August 07, 2006
I should’ve written about this a long time ago. Its not ‘newsy’ anymore, but because it still makes me angry to drive past the DGP’s office in Chennai, I’m going to put it down.
In a traffic island in the middle of the road stands the tall statue of thespian Sivaji Ganesan. With its unveiling on July 21st, Karunanidhi has ticked off another item from his long list of (slightly dubious) poll promises.
The location of the statue was contested in court because it violated the Tamil Nadu government’s own undertaking before the Supreme Court that they would not erect any structure (temporary or permanent) that would obstruct movement of traffic. The Madras High court directed the state government to seek the SC’s permission on the location of the statue, but declined to stay its unveiling.
And then in the most brazen display of the governments contempt for the common mans problems and violating their own undertaking, they conducted the unveiling ceremony right there in the middle of the road, blocking off traffic on the arterial Kamaraj Salai while office leaving traffic was forced through the parallel but much much narrower road that runs just along the beach.
I tried to speak to a few people who were crawling along in traffic and was disgusted to find that people just don’t feel angry. Silently like lambs being led to the slaughter they negotiated their way, crawling along where they would’ve been zipping down the beach road. Yet, stop and ask them a question and the responses ranged from… ‘no… it is ok’ to ‘the traffic is not that bad’ to people just walking away! Rudely!
The meek shall not inherit the earth if they get stuck in traffic.
And today two policemen stand guard in front of and behind the statue. Surely, in a city where a serious robbery can take place in the chief ministers own neighbourhood, and the police to public ratio gets more disproportionate all the time, police resources can be put to better use than guarding dead heroes.
Posted by Alaphia Zoyab at Monday, August 07, 2006