The huge stink raised by the Indian press , the TV channels and the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) regarding the pat-down of Indian diplomats, Meera Shankar and Hardeep Puri, has not abated.
However, it has me wondering about the many ordinary passengers and travellers of Indian or South Asian descent who are subjected to similar humiliation and who silently and stoically bear it simply because they do not know whom to complain to and how to make their voices heard.
I admit to a stab of vicarious delight that our representatives are unwittingly made aware of the ground realities.
Am I alone in feeling this way?
Quote of the day:
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail. – Abraham Maslow
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!