Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Our preparations for Commonwealth Games - A cultural change needed

Recently some Government of India officials paid a visit to China and came back with the comments published in the newspapers, that it was not only a question of infrastructure but managing things well. For India is it a far cry, even though so much is being invested for the Commonwealth Games 2010? Look at citizens jumping red lights after 61 years of independence!!
The beautiful Metro and BRT infrastructure becoming large and sprawling spittoons with shoe sole marks up on the wall to add to the décor. Regimented discipline is what we abhor, but where is the evolved self discipline? Blue-line buses were always the heavy-weights around, and after a galloping record of upholding the 'killer' record, they have now chosen to block the traffic turning on to the left, which has no waiting scheduled by rules.
The jams in the capital are less because of infrastructure detours, but more because we have picked it up as a matter of right to overtake wherever possible, specially in crowded clusters. And then to add to our woes are the scooterists and motor-cyclists who wish to do the marathon or replicate 'Dhoom' on the crowded roads of Delhi. Lane-driving? Only a concept on paper. The traffic cops are stringently endeavouring to stop overspeeding on empty roads, but they would never be seen to ease out traffic on crowded and indisciplined roads, where bull-dozing is the state of the art technique to drive.
I would love to have opinions ventilated on this blog, so that we could DO something about our city not for the sake of the Commonwealth Games, which may well be regarded as a motive that has the support of the Government, but moreso for our own quality of lives....perhaps a cultural change required for we Delhiwallahs!


Abhishek said...

So very true indeed. I guess there much more work required from infrastructure front, as well as from the attitude of the Junta. As far as traffic is concerned, there needs to be some points that all of us need to justify -
1. Rushing to front in a Traffic jam makes things worse, can we let all vehicles pursue their normal route and hence reduce the chaos, frustration?
2. Justify the purchase of a car, if our daily route has alternate connectivity (At least the Metro),is taking our cars justified?
3. Even if we have to use a Car, Are we able justify acts of Road Rage, Speeding, abusing Traffic Rules?
Delhi has some of the best roads I have seen in any Indian metropolitan. We should atleast try to make the best of it!

Sania said...

I truly support the article... My first trip abroad to Germany made me realize how indisciplined we Indians are!! We need to learn not just the basic traffic sense but cleanliness etiquettes as well!

I dont know how much would this forum help, but as an Indian citizen I want to convey that India is our own country... we need to make it beautiful and presentable just as we do to ourselves!!
some basic things to do:
1. Use dustbins
2. Leave 5-10 minutes early rather than jumping red lights.
3. Respect other individuals
Its only these small things that we need to do... hope its not that big a task for you all..
I am a part of this cultural change and hope other readers join soon...

Noel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Noel said...

A cultural change is definitely needed, be it for commonwealth games or not. What baffles me more is that its the national capital of the world's largest democracy.
These traffic snarls, "dhoom" heroes, are perhaps not the cause but the effect or results of the socio economic structure that we have developed in these 61 years of our independence.
Whenever there is a crime committed our first target is the law keepers, be it the police or the paramilitary or the military. We don’t waste a moment to put the blame on them, accuse them of taking bribes, not being there active on their duty, being sloth, etc..etc..
As I write the news of Indian selectors getting paid from hereon pops up in the television. It’s done to make them accountable... for what???? To select a proper Indian team, a bunch of 14-15 people to represent India in a game. For which they would be getting 25lakhs a year. Great! These law keepers whose job is to risk their own life and protect ours don’t even earn that much in the whole career. However they are the most accountable public servants of the country.
How can we expect people to obey the law of the land when its most disobedient citizens are the Members of Parliament deciding the law of the land? Our great MP’s who didn’t even pass out from school decide whether India should sign the NDeal and we expect the common citizens not to jump signals? So who’s going to manage whom? Worst more we cannot relate a country that shoots its corrupt politicians with ours where one shoots corruption into the system.
The problem is far deeper that it apparently looks. Commonwealth Games would be a one time affair but what this country needs is a complete overhauling of its socio-economic structure. Unless that’s done we shall still be living on the same paradoxical society where the top 5 richest people on earth live in, which has more multimillionaires than any other country on earth still has more than 60% of the population living below the poverty line. It’s high time that these questions are asked by us to ourselves rather than to any bureaucrats. Until such time when we can answer these questions such obnoxious gimmick of prosperity through commonwealth games should be condemned and shunned. It would portray nothing but further dismal picture of our misery than showcase the prosperity that China has.

Rishi said...

Helpless is the word/state of mind one feels at the sunset everyday. Reasons? Well ... i hope most of the delhiites know wht the respons are.. The chaos cretaed by the traffic jams (one wishes if God could pass on one of its attributes to the Traffic Police.. that of being omnipresent)..the rampant killer lines (Just the other day i told my driver to be ware of these killer buses.. as he has come from Mumbai where he tells me the traffic is more but not such chaotic...) while telling him i was wondering how i was vouching for the roads of Delhi in a casual conversation with a group hailing from Bangalore & Mumbai.what a pity ....

Last week my Dad reminded me of my school days, when he used to come back from the office, full of energy and enthusiasm. we always wondered how does he managed to remain afresh..with ample amount of time to spend with us before having dinner.. and now when we have exchanged roles (somewhat) five out of six working days we only meet at the dinner table.(sixth day is saturday,when traffic is less compared to other week days )

Times they are a changing.....

Surprisingly, i have found a solution... and would you believe who helped me in finding it... Hold your breath... its a group of ants...(thanks, the pest control guys were a day late ).. there was this group of ants walking in a straight line .. they always do...We humans are a bit more civilized...arn't we?

In the morning i again told my driver... ( Bhaiya .. hum in cheentiyon se to samjhdaar hain...and he replied in affirmation)

Let us all learn a lesson..( even if it has to come from a group of ants ) we'll drive in our respective lanes and not change it un-necessarily.

I wonder who's gonna teach me the next lesson...

multimax said...

Dear Dhruv,
What I find, your question is about “Is Delhi becoming a nightmare” and in context with your blog “Our preparations for Commonwealth Games - A cultural change needed.” You also made a reference of about some of Government of India officials’ recent visit to China and coming with the comments published in the newspapers, that it was not only a question of infrastructure but managing things well.

At first I would like to say that it is a habit of mankind to criticizes every thing firstly without knowing what arrangements or handicaps actually exist there and secondly without suggesting any remedy to the problem if he finds some problem area. So, please don’t mind your blog also represents the criticism of one or the other person, agency, organization or the department of the Government of India without making any suggestion when who else can make concrete suggestions other than you being a specialist in Human Resource Management and also with educational background from a prestigious “Tata Institute of Social Sciences?” I think every person may be knowing about the story of their child hood school book when an artist pasted a picture on the crossing of his town with the request to the people to spot place of any shortcoming in the portrait and to his surprise he found his portrait totally obliterated. Finding this he made another portrait and mad a request for rectifying the mistake if some one finds in that. To that none came forward. SO, IF WE DO NOT HAVE ANY ANSWER TO A PERCEIVED PROBLEM (THAT MAY NOT BE FACTUALLY THERE DUE TO OUR IGNORANCE) WO DO NOT ALSO HAVE ANY RIGHT TO CRITICISE ANY PERSON WITHOUT ANY SOLID REASON.

I hope you would like to give a second thought to the blogged problems in the perspective of my answer to your question.

About a few Government officials going to China and suggesting management of things well, you will find that in their recommendation or comments nothing is there which can be categorized as extraordinary. Even an illiterate person knows that if you have decided to hold even a small function that needs managing things well. The commonwealth games, being such a big thing, every concerned person would have been contributing his might to make the event a grand success. If 36 years back Asiad’72 could be managed well in Delhi when facilities and funds were in short supply why Commonwealth Games could not be managed by India. In fact the Government officials just seek opportunities to make foreign trips with one or the other pretext just (1) to get some reprieve from their office routine, (2) to bring some latest sophisticated gadgets by getting precious gifts or at economic prices, and finally (3) to earn a good sum in the shape of foreign exchange over and above their salary on account of sumptuous daily allowance in foreign exchange. So, it becomes their responsibility at least to utter some thing to fill in the gap of the official files with some casually prepared document just to justify their foreign visit. By using the media they just try to befool the public on one hand and get more popularity on the other, as if they have invented some thing very unique. Unfortunately our media is not an investigative media and they just treat such critical remarks as hot news just to make their media run. Otherwise they could well have asked a very simple question from them that if they were so ignorant about such a small thing and have learnt and recommended a very trifling thing only after their visit to China, then how they were holding such responsible posts and burdening the exchequer? In fact, if such is the case such officials should have been terminated from their services without giving any opportunity to make any further lame excuses.

So far the Commonwealth Games 2010 are concerned, did any one of the said China visitors indicated any lack of management skills in the organizers of the Commonwealth Games? They have just created a controversy by misusing the media and would have further made their lives as hell by getting several queries from not only the media but also from the Ministers, authorities and the public.

About other problems, like citizens jumping red lights after 61 years of independence, beautiful Metro and BRT infrastructure becoming large and sprawling spittoons with shoe sole marks up on the wall, jams in the capital, etc., do we actually know that such types of problems are not persisting in China, who has held such a big event of Olympics, which is far big than Commonwealth Games, India is going to hold. If we see the very recent news item “Is China ready for the Olympics” dated 6 July 2008, when just a few days were left in the Olympics to take place, the BBC had hinted about “Beijing's notoriously smelly public toilets,” spitting being the most obvious example, and pollution fears, etc. Although it pointed out what arrangements were being made by the authorities, but the BBC was still skeptic about the pollution fears and the dangers for the Olympic participants. In spite of that we have seen that China has been able to accomplish the gigantic task with a thumping success. What socially bad habits if some people of a country have developed for centuries, cannot be eradicated over night. Now since the Olympics are over, the same thing will happen with the public toilets, as all the arrangements made by the China Governments were just for and up to the dates of event. So, before posing such problems we must also have to check what the authorities are doing to tackle such problems, or whether there actually exists any such problem, which we are perceiving, like management issues, etc.

As about jams, when our leaders, who are supposed to educate our public, prefer to organize jams by calling bandhs and rallies etc., from whom else we can expect self discipline. You must have noticed about the leaders, instead of their contribution for some constructive work, they even prefer to jam the parliamentary proceedings and wasting crores of public money. If the Public Works Department officials, instead of doing their genuine duties of constructing and repairing roads, streets, public drains for Monsoon water-logging clearance, are drafted just to demolish or seal private properties, from whom we can expect to get such works done? If due to corrupt practices of some officials illegalities in properties have been allowed to be done for the last more than 50 years, instead of identifying such corrupt officials and taking to task, the gullible public, who purchased the properties without having any such inkling about any irregularity, their properties were sealed or demolished. Instead of imposing fines, which people were ready to pay, it was preferred to demolish properties worth of billions.

All of the readers are educated and fully understand what they need to do. Most of the readers of this blog may themselves be self disciplined. But who will educate the semi-literate or illiterate public, who will not be able to go through this blog? In that event, the question arises whom this blog is for? If you expect every other person to do some thing, you should also have indicated what has been your contribution about this issue? Simply writing a blog cannot serve the purpose. Your suggestions on the issues to the concerned departments and Municipal Corporation of Delhi and New Delhi would be quite appreciative.

People Matter To Me said...

While thanking Abhishek, Sania, Noel and Rishi for their value adds I must recapture the comments of 'Multimax', for the exceptions that he/she has taken to my views on the pathetic conditions that we have been drawn so close to, in our city. First of all I think this person has a strong objection to my criticising the system. Comments are that it was easier to criticise than to be proactive. I must communicate that unless things are transparently and constructively criticised no proactive concerted measure is warranted. Secondly every proactive measure for a gargantuan task such as attempting to change the culture of Delhi needs a common forum and platform, where one could intellectually share the frustrations and come to a common understanding as to what would be the dimensions that need to be looked at. Thirdly my educational background and expertise has no bearing on the understanding of the common man's problem. Moreover, 'Multimax' should repose more faith and confidence in the efforts that the 'so called' qualified person was making and perhaps should have volunteered his/her expertise to help!

GVS said...

Dear HR Champions

Please have a look at the growing materialism in Delhi !

Added to the fire is the school drop outs, young children coming from highly illeterate states like Bihar, West Bengal, UP, MP, orissa.

Easy money earning for males is to gang up and commit petty crimes, step by step get to major acts. One can get fix to a killing a person for petty 500 rupees.

For females its very easy to stand in front of any mall/ hotel, thier flesh will sold, any number of times

Follwoing reports reveal the facts

Selected State-wise Number of Arrests of SIMI (Student Islamic Movement of India) Activists and Items Seized in India (2006 to 2008)

• Selected State-wise Number of Incidents Civilians and Security Personal Killed in Naxal Violence in India (2004 to 2008)

• Selected State-wise Number of Naxalite Killed Property Damaged and Weapons Looted in Naxal Violence in India (2004 to 2008)

• Selected State-wise Number of Naxalites Surrendered in India (2006 to 2008)

All these are facts AVAILABLE on the net.

What is missing in the entire sphere is the leadership in the social reforms.

Earlier Mr K R Narayanan exPresiedent of India, during Supreme Court of India Celebrations in 1989, said -"Cases are decided in casinos" This is the bottomline of our judiciary system

Crime goes hands in hands with our political wizards

The sacrifices of freedom strugglers have been buried by criminals and the genuine citizens have live in fear !

Group HR Manager

La Belle Dame said...

Dear Mr. Trivedy,

Its is certainly the most criminalised metros till the present day! As a woman or not so agressive man, Children who travel day and night on the Delhi roads, buses etc. and you'll be horrified how traumatic it is to travel in Delhi. There are numerous examples out of which I'd like to state a few out here:


1. Besides the Delhi Metro making lives easier and sophisticated for many of us, it continues to be a harrowing experience for women and girls. As it is for sure that the Indian men can't get enough of watching women (harrassing, touching and fancying about undressing them in public) from travelling in the Blue lines and Delhi Transport Corporation buses! Isn't that enough of it???? Or is that the female was born to be harrassed??

2. 'JUST FOR FUN' - whistling, leching, stalking or passing remarks at a girl or a woman on the streets?

Though this is just not all !

3. Most people here have no emotion or sanctity about the whole existence of occupying Delhi. Coming from different regions of India, we live here to earn money and just have FUN! (Mostly!!). Everyone, are merely the spectators of crime happening infront of them. Perhaps, pretend to be ignorant about the whole situation.

4. FRAUD - In the broadest sense, a fraud is a deception made for personal gain or to damage another individual. FRAUD IS A CRIME, and is also a civil law violation! Fraud in Delhi embodies the following -

§ Marriage fraud to obtain immigration benefits,
§ Bait and switch,
§ Confidence tricks,
§ False advertising,
§ Identity theft,
§ False billing,
§ Psychic and occult charlatanism,
§ Forgery of documents or signatures,
§ Taking money which is under your control, but not yours (embezzlement),
§ Health fraud, selling of products of spurious use, such as quack medicines,
§ Creation of false companies or "long firms"
§ False insurance claims,
§ Bankruptcy fraud,
§ Securities frauds such as pump and dump,
§ Taking payment for goods sold online, by mail or phone, such as tickets, with no intention of delivering them.
§ Policemen taking bribes at Traffic Signals, from beggars!
§ Placements selling children, men, women for slavery, commercial sexual exploitation within the country and internationally.

WE THE PEOPLE OF DELHI! - Its just for declaring that we belong to one of the fastest growing HEP! culture, strangely being a part and contributors to the CRIME IN THE CITY....

I mean no offense with what I have put here, rather, I take it as a wake-up call YET AGAIN!



Mahesh Bhatija said...

Very recently I have found that it is not only the traffic chaos creating trouble, it is the frustrated and complaining minds internally which brings the traffic indiscipline. Talking about myself, I am a decent driver in US God knows why am I following all the rules here, tell you the truth there is a logical reasoning behind it. Whereas in India even after 18 years I jump the lights, change lanes and am still complaining, what else do I need. In US I dare not to jump the red light, not because of tickets (called challan in India) but becuase of SAFETY, as other drivers are rarely driving defensively. Therefor we all have to comeout of the paradox of traffic chaos, which in effect is made by us. If we are relaxed, calm and have bit of serenity then traffic does not exist. Think of just the safety for others and yourself, and bring a bit of peace and relaxed breath before you get on the road for your destination.



Ajay said...

You have hit the nail on its head.
On the flip side, we Indians have tremendous capability and organisational skill. What I feel is lacking is the political will followed closely by our "chalta hai" attitude.
I used to point my finger at the two wheelers. I also believed that they took an oath akin to the Japanese Kamikaze pilots of World War II everyday they set out on the Delhi roads. But in the last few weeks I have had a rethink - where is the lane for the two wheelers? Buses and other heavy vehicles hog the left lane, cars on the other two. So I guess the two wheelers have to squeeze into the gaps between the cars and other 4 wheelers.
A good public system and less showing off by the masses with their latest acquisition will go a long way. But we do not have a bus system worth its name in the capital...tsk tsk. An integrated bus and Metro should help.
In Mumbai, taking a cab from Churchgate station to Nariman Point is a process of sharing by four people in a queue and they may not even know each other. They take the cab in a queue and cough up their share of the fare. Can it happen in Delhi?
What is painful is that the same guy who breaks the law in India follows it religious abroad. Fear of the law does work wonders. If our politicians stop trampling on the police and the bureaucrats give due respect to the uniformed lot, I do see a bright possibility of things improving. But we need to respect others and that is the bottom line.

Gaurav said...

Thankfully, the metro work is going fast; it has covered all the major parts in Delhi and NCR. In the process, roads in Delhi have taken a good thrashing by rain with huge construction trucks and daily traffic grilling on it.

However, it doesn’t excite me any bit if new flyovers, metro connectivity and a few natural gas vehicles are added to present India to the world in Commonwealth Games, 2010. On the contrary China did a fabulous job in improving overall infrastructure for Beijing Olympics, 2008, it was a complete facelift.

I read an article somewhere; the Indian government is pouring an estimated $37.5 billion into the city for it to be ready in time for the 2010 games. I pray to god, the amount such as this reaches to the right people through the right channel; otherwise we will be caught napping and bring shame to our country. We have exactly 22 months to go for Commonwealth Games and I hope we would make our country proud. Let’s come together and contribute in shaping up our ever loving city, Delhi, at our own level.