The second Meter Jam organized on the 12th of October, 2010, did not quite take off in its offline avatar.
The harried office-goers blithely ignored all entreaties to boycott the rude auto and taxi drivers.
Social activism needs to be planned and there seemed to be no plan B.
The commuters seemed to ask the question: “Yes, we know that the rickshaw and taxi pliers are cheats, rude and ill-mannered and have no or little consideration for their customer’s needs. But tell us why should we punish ourselves to punish them? Are we masochistic? Can you provide us some alternative mode of transportation? Do you think that reaching late to work is going to be excused by our superiors when we say we took the bus so that Meter Jam could be a resounding success?”
The only sliver was the Mulund drive which saw a dozen vehicles put into use for car-pooling. Now, that’s a plan!
Social activism that ignores the ground realities will be a dodo!
Lest, you think I am being harsh on the organizers, let me tell you that I have no liking for the rickshaw drivers’ autocratic ways.
I have suffered doctored meters, have been refused several times and have resorted to verbal abuse and complaints to book erring drivers.
But to expect just altruistic motives to win the day is unreal!
India is no utopia!