India has no doubt one of the most craziest people in the world. Just a few days back one person walking on Pune roads saw two young men riding on a bike dropping a packet on the sides of the road. The bike apparently did not have a license plate. Cautious due to recent bomb blast modus operandi of the terrorist, he alerted the police. They in turn called the anti-terrorist squad(ATS). The story is normal till this point.
In most of the Hollywood movies we have seen this hundred times that one of the bad fellas or a cop fires gun and the crowd in the public place starts running around, scared to get killed. We never thought this is wrong. This is normal human reaction.
But here is what sets India apart from the rest of the world. When the Bomb Difusal guys arrived at the scene in Pune, instead of running away from the place to save their lives, there was a huge crowd to see how they guys defuse the bomb. Really… this is not a fantasy. People actually did not think twice before gathering at that place. Have you ever seen such people elsewhere?
However, as the mob expected the so called bomb turned out to be leftovers from some student’s kitchen.
I just came across the chronological list of bomb blasts in India on NDTV. I am just summarizing this table here adding columns for people killed and injured.
Now if you see the other news that hit us from Jodhpur was about the stampede in the temple. This whole messy management killed 147 people and 55 injured. The one before that was the Naina Devi Temple Stampede. In this a total of 162 people were killed.
This was not restricted to Temples. The infamous Sari Stampede in Lucknow killed 22 women.
Compare all this with the terrorist attacks and you will find that all that labor and intelligence, secrecy, funds behind the blasts are simply ineffective. Except for the Mumbai train blasts, none of the other instances have been close to the temple stampedes. Such is the state of discipline, crowd management in this country. Despite all this, people will still flock the temples on specific days putting huge pressure on administration.
So when such incidents marginalize the impact of terrorism in this country, I do not understand why these guys are spending so much of their energy in such useless stuff.
|September 27, 2008
|Blast in Delhi’s Mehrauli flower market killed 1 and injured 23.
|September 13, 2008
|Serial blasts in Delhi killed at least 24 people and injured more than 100.
|July 26, 2008
|Serial blasts in Ahmedabad killing at least 30 people and injuring more than 100.
|July 25, 2008
|Nine explosions in Bangalore create terror killing two people and injuring twelve.
|Eight serial blasts rock Jaipur in a span of 12 minutes leaving 65 dead and over 150 injured.
|Terrorist attack on CRPF camp in Rampur kills 8.
|2 killed in a blast inside Ajmer Sharif shrine during Ramadan.
|30 dead, 60 hurt in Hyderabad ‘terror’ strike.
|A bomb at Mecca mosque in Hyderabad kills 11 people.
|February 19, 2007
|Two bombs explode aboard a train bound from India to Pakistan, burning to death at least 66 passengers, most of them Pakistanis.
|30 dead and 100 hurt in twin blasts at a mosque in Malegaon.
|Seven bombs on Mumbai’s trains kill over 200 and injure 700 others.
|Twin bombings at a train station and a temple in Varanasi kill 20 people.
For past few days I am going to office by car rather than the company bus. More and more I travel by car, I have observed that the traffic jams in Pune are caused primarily by drivers driving on wrong side. On a 4 lane road, you are going at good pace as there are not many vehicles on your side and suddenly you find that one of the rash drivers from the oncoming side is driving on the wrong side without any provocation. I say "Hey! that’s my side you are driving on!" A typical Puneri answer you will get is "What’s the problem man? You have some much space further to your left! Why don’t you give us some space"
Am I responsible if there is so much traffic on your side, I say. I have every right to drive on my side of the road. I finally have started doing one thing. I just keep my side and stop in front of the errant driver’s vehicle. This causes lot of anger on their part but I keep my cool and do not abuse anyone or say anything. At least I am resisting and not letting these guys go. My wife says, why am I wasting my time on these people, but if no one resists, people will keep doing wrong things. Isn’t it?
This reminded me of something that we used to do when I was in school. Remember in our geometry box we have something called as divider? A small tool with two pointed needles? It was not just a tool for geography. We had wooden benches in those days. So this divider was used to divide our desktop in two halves and the bench partners would fight for their share of the desktop. I was not allowed to move my book on the other half of the desktop and I did not allow my partner to do that as well. You know… fighting for our own area was in our blood. I am sure this trend is still there in school children. Why not use that same spirit on the roads? Will this not better the situation? One of the foremost thing that needs to be implemented in Pune traffic is lane discipline. I am using my childhood learning to do my bit.
मराठी सारेगमपची सूत्रधार पल्लवी 40+ च्या गटामध्ये आजकाल परिक्षक असल्याप्रमाणे गाण्याबद्दल बोलते. कारण तिचा हुकमी एक्का “अमुक तमुक करता एकदा जोरदार टाळ्या झाल्या पाहिजेत” हा आजकाल आशा खाडिलकर यांनी पळवला आहे. 🙂
The first rule of traffic in India is “All vehicles will drive in the left side of the road.”
In Pune when this rule is not observed can we expect any other rule will be followed?
Last week my Puneri friend Mahesh, who is now in Delhi, visited the city. Someone in Delhi commented about the Puneri public breaking traffic signals.
Mahesh’s reply to that was in his classic style. He said, “You guys don’t understand. Democracy is in the roots of Puneri public. When the traffic signal is Red, a whole lot of people decide that it is not Red and other people accept it. You can’t find a better example of democracy in blood of people anywhere in the world.”
Well I never looked at it this way. Going forward, I am enjoying this democracy everyday now. What a stress-buster!