Monday, August 2, 2010

Somethings not so CoolKata

Every big city in the world has things about it , which are indeed shameful and a scar on the soul of the city. In the words of Travis Bickle from the 1976 Scorsese classic 'Taxi Driver' - "All the animals come out at night - whores, skunk pussies, buggers, queens, fairies, dopers, junkies, sick, venal. Someday a real rain will come and wash all this scum off the streets". Find this pertinent to the goings on in the "City of joy" as well , at least in some regards !

For all the talk about being the culture capital, the erudite 'bhadralok', the cosmopolitan outlook, the city with unparalleled sport fanaticism - is also the city where road accidents are a rule more than an exception; a life or even lives are sniffed out in a split second. And what do we do about it - NOTHING !

Read this gut wrenching tale of personal loss, and how it fails to change us. This is just one example, but hardly a day goes by without a similar incident. It defies reason as to how the dastardly commission system in the bus syndicate has survived hundreds if not thousands of accidents. Several appeals such as these letters to the editor, have failed to espouse the state transport ministry to take up this cause.

The most horrific incident that comes to mind immediately is the mindless killing of 20 people in April of 2008 when the entire bus (route #217B) sank into the Bagjola canal on VIP Road. There is a lot of noise immediately after an incident of this magnitude, a lot of media coverage, citizen protest but eventually we move on with life and so does the transport system; which by now has a life of its own. The only people who cannot move on are the ones directly affected by a tragedy such as this !

It understandably is the government's job to keep its citizens safe and out of harm's way, but the question is are we ourselves not responsible for not relentlessly raising a campaign, and make enough noise till the government is forced to change the rules of the game ?

Now that we are sitting at the edge of the biggest political change in the state of West Bengal, let us see what the much promised change is going to bring with it. Hope the light at the end of the tunnel is not that of an oncoming train !

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