Saturday, February 02, 2008


I am back from a satisfying trip to Pune. Satisfying personally and professionally that is. "Socially" is a different matter.

People ask me, "So how is Pune"? Let's see; absolute anarchy in traffic- Law College road left my jaw open even when I was anticipating a slide into indiscipline. And this is not just "compared to the US". Any reasonable person should be appalled. The behaviour of people in traffic can only be compared to animals who rush mindlessly to occupy free space. There is absolutely no law and order that is enforced, either by traffic policemen, or by anyone's inner conscience. Clearly there are people like me or the readers of this blog, but also clearly their number seems way below the critical mass, if there is one.

Point number two; politicians and industrialists are running rampant over property and people. The amount of land which they have either explicitly or implicitly (in collusion with contractors, either amiably or by threatening) taken over is obscene. Nobody can stop them because we have not yet learnt to stoop to using their methods. And this is not just some remote story. Parts of Deccan which I have seen and wandered around in since a small kid have been blatantly destroyed and taken over. An acquaintance was told to lay off a meager piece of land because some political hack was interested. A prominent hospital here has been made an "offer"; we offer you a generous sum of money. Please vacate. If the money does not persuade you, we have a generous dose of goons and bullets behind it.

Now of course, people say, "It's not that bad. It's not really affecting us on a large scale directly". To which I have two things to say. Firstly, who is "us"? Secondly, read Martin Niemoller's poem



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