May 20, 2019

Mumbaikars wearing Black White will not Help

Traffic jam, pot holes, flooding, corruption, ageing bridges and overburdened public infrastructure, corrupt committees, hand in gloves government officials and police, list is not big, it is really big.

From yesterday onwards I have received more than seven template message urging me to show Solidarity with family of the ones who died or got injured at Elphinstone. I have no idea who started this. My experience and knowledge says this would be someone with marketing sense and may be even part of a Marketing or Advertising agency whose name would appear on subsequent day print media as the person who created this wonderful idea of connecting people for a common cause. He / She may also appear on a FM channel to give some gyaan to Mumbaikars.

Well with due regards to all, this exercise has zero value. Why? Let me explain.

How many Mumbaikars or anyone Pan India can name just one RTI activist or Social Activist who was killed because they had access to serious information against the corrupt or they had filed court cases, or filed FIR. Difficult isn’t it? If you can’t name one, then you need to read further.

As on date 65 RTI activist killed and over 400 assaulted from the time it came into force.

We like to light candles and be part of silent protests, these have no impact. They come and go like flop films of top rated film stars. If the seriousness is really there, then channelise your energy in the right direction.


Just the way there can’t be one doctor and one policeman for every citizen, there can’t be 100% execution of government policies. In spirit it is the responsibility of the government to implement the policies in such a way that it reaches the beneficiaries. We as citizens decide where to compel government, where to ignore and where to outrage in public.

Direct Benefit – We fight it out. Best example IT refund, etc.

Ignore – Best example RTI activists getting killed. Murder, rape etc in public place.

Outrage – Train accident, terror attack, corruption, etc.

While Direct benefit is fine. Why don’t we Mumbaikar not make lot of noise and consistently followup on crime and corruption. Why do we prefer to keep our eyes closed and look the other way? The answer is simple, if an act is not impacting me directly, why bother. With regard to outrage, that is our culture. We just need some hyper media guys to fan our frustration, plan an event and we take a detour after office hours to click photographs to post on social media to show – WE CARE. Try asking a Mumbaikar to raise their voice on corruption and result is evident. There are few success stories where small groups have come together and fought builders, BMC, etc for inaction but they are few and needs to multiply fast.

Typical habit of Mumbaikar

Typical Mumbaikar will stand in queue at places like railway station or any government office where there is a culture of queue but at Bus Shelters and suburban Railway Station platform no one is bothered to remain in queue. Once inside Bus and Local train, unwritten code of giving way to people who have to get down at next stop is culture. But once inside the bus or train and not bothering about the ones outside is OK. While Mumbaikars have no time for individuals in problem but they are always there in case of tragedy. Blind people are always helped by all. Preventing short distance passengers from getting down in Virar local is another typical culture. Running for window seat in local train is a unique culture that should be used for Olympic 100 meters athletes. We speak against the system only when there is an accident or media approaches for some sound bytes around budget.

One most irritating trait of Mumbaikars. They are  impatient and quick to break rules. Check any traffic jam. Bigger the car, bigger the drama. Check this video. Ones who portray as very qualified and are now outraging over Elphinstone foot over bridge collapse should answer this.

This is a a common scene in Mumbai. Why can’t we wait patiently. Why use wrong side and create more chaos on road.

What have we done to make complaint and follow up. How many time have we filed an RTI and followed up. How many times have we spoken to our family members and asked them to use Social Media to spread awareness about the sickening attitude of our society.

Let us come together and ensure that the laws are implemented just the way we care and follow up for our IT Refund. Will anyone ever forget following up for it? No. Then why on earth we have dual standard.

If outraging and screaming gives satisfaction to some and they feel REAL MARD, come out in  open and start using your PEN against Corruption and Deficiency in Service by government officers / department. Our Prime Minister will be more than happy to support your cause. Raise your voice against the paid media who decides the Topic for the Debates every evening. Why should we respond to their TRP driven hashtags? Some are openly against HINDUS and MODI. Rest are doing balancing act of bashing Hindus once, then minority. Why allow them to dictate terms. Let us demand all media houses and their top and middle management comes under RTI.

Have you ever thought why our news channels start outrage, announce verdict and want resignation at the drop of a hat? How many times have they apologised or resigned for airing misleading news? MODI government is aiming for the best. Let us chip in and highlight the flaws in the system wherever we can and most importantly follow up till we get results.

Symbolic Black and White will die it’s natural death. If at all someone is really serious on showing SOLIDARITY fight the system. If that is not your cup of tea then do these simple things and teach your kids.

Show patience in over crowded place. You may get late but it will surely not lead to stempede. While in traffic, follow lane discipline. While in city and in housing society, don’t ever use high beam light. Avoid honking as if you have to reach hospital in emergency. The size and brand of your vehicle is not the measure of your status, how you behave in public and what you do for the society is remembered.

So…… what’s your call. A symbolic Black and White or you wish to leave your footprints. Do share your inputs / experience and follow up if any, or you wish to take up any cause that will result in public convenience. I assure you company in your fight.

Jai Hind


About Swati Ojha Srivastava 13 Articles
#LivewithDignity is the belief in spirit and practice. Love to take corrupt and people supporting them head on. Managing Trustee - 1 Ka Dum Foundation