MAXIMUM CITY - Rescue Bombay by Narendra Nair
Images of Hemant Karkare donning what turned out to be ineffective headgear and bulletproof vest, preparatory to heading out to confront the terrorists at the Cama hospital, filled us with quiet pride. Smiling grimly, his body language indicated the confidence to go into the thick of battle and appreciation of the dangers ahead. Little did we know he would be gunned down minutes later. In consequence, those images have now become among the most heart-rending in recent memory. The BJP, the Senas and fanatic Hindu outfits who hailed him as a hero when hunting down Muslim terror outfits called him a traitor and other vicious names when he caught Hindus engaged in similar acts. The prospect of such brazenly bigoted people getting control of the country in the next election is scary in the extreme. So, before we sink once more into our standard attitude of apathy, there is one thing we must do. Urgently. Rescue Bombay city, the only international city we have in this country.
Bombay was, like the United States of America, made by migrants and achieved its international status on that account. Right now, Mumbai is one big slum; a narrow parochial identity has been forced upon it. Attempts to reduce it to just another linguistic region, where even vehicle number-plates are illegally and dangerously in Marathi — think how hard they are to decipher quickly in a hit and-run — are to belittle the history of this great city and to negate the contribution of its vast migrant army. It is the commercial capital of India, not just of Maharashtra alone. The city should therefore without delay be centrally administered, as many have suggested. The best Indian brains should be requisitioned to run this city and any political interference should be resisted and rebuffed as emphatically as possible. The prima donna Union home minister Shivraj Patil quit, inanely declaring, “It is a great burden off my shoulders”. Wrong. It is a great burden off our shoulders. As for Maharashtra’s comic — and thankfully former — deputy chief minister R R Patil, he casually ignored multiple warnings of terrorist attacks. When the warnings came true, he called the murder of innocents nothing more than a minor event inevitable to any big city. For that remark alone he should be ostracised. As for Bombay, let us hope that narrow-minded linguistic fanaticism will not hasten the obituary of what was once a great city.
3M cant miss the YOU-BLOODY-GHATIS-CANT-RULE-BOMBAY attitude in this editorial! There is no denying that the city is going to the dogs... but this anti-marathi manoos attitude is going to add to the problems... 3M considers this viewpoint as much parochial as the self-appointed-guardians-of-Marathi-asmita!