This post is not there to rake up any controversies. Neither I am trying to be cynical in the moment of crisis. I am just trying to be plain pragmatic.
Despite my dislike for this place's crumbling, rather never-existent, civic infrastructure, and lack of breathing space, there is no iota of doubt that work culture and professionalism of the city is beyond compare. It is almost infectious.
No matter whoever walks into the city, with some initial resistance, one gradually moulds oneself with the environment. There is no other way. The competitive, and hardworking is the only one who would survive. If you are not already, you have to change yourself into one. Remember the movie Gaman
by Muzzarfar Ali(Is Shaher Mein Har Shaksha Pareshaan Sa Kyun Hai
Due to ample work opportunities, and a conducive work environment, it has been attracting the best available talent in its folds. That enhances the overall quality of the city. The average citizen is better educated, and a more responsible one. However, all this has also added to a strange phenomenon called the 'spirit of Mumbai'
Terms like - 'this is special about this city', ' they rise to occassion', 'it would never happen anywhere' have become the part of the local lingo. While most of it must be true, but at the same time it is plain ignorance to assume that this is exclusive to this city only.
Seriously, Mumbai needs to step out of this halo because of which it cannot see anything beyond itself. There is a huge country which exists beyond its boundaries which also has some degree of intelligence and existence. This vast hinterland is what feeding Mumbai its talent pool, and all other resources which Mumbai lacks of. Most of those Mumbaikars are not actually the sons of the soil.
Also we must remember that amongst those who are coming to Mumbai, all of them were not exactly dying of hunger at their homes. They have come there because this is the best place where they can perform at their best.
At the same time, those who are not in Mumbai are not dumb either. They are also social. They have faced more adversities through out their lives, than Mumbaikars have faced now. They have much less money. Still they strive hard against all the calamities & hardships.
For e.g. Cyclones, heat waves, rains, draught - each of them has ravaged Orissa. Still they survive, without basking in their little glories. Every year Brahmaputra creates havoc in Assam. Who bothers, and nobody complains. Imagine the situation of Kashmiris. See how doomed Gujarat is. Cyclones, earthquakes, floods, riots -what not? Still, they perform best in the country. And what about those fighters from Andaman & Nicobar, Tamil Nadu, & Pondichery? They literally rose from the dead.
Mr. Pritish Nandy, now everybody knows these statistics that Mumbai pays 40% of direct taxes, & 20% of indirect ones. But that does not necessarily mean Mumbai should be paid in same ratio. By same logic, should Ambanis be treated better than you since they pay more taxes? If Uttar Pradesh produces maximum milk, sugar, potatoes, rice, wheat, fruits, vegetables, then it doesn't mean all of these should stay there only.
You live in your happy world - Mumbai, and that's what you are bothered about. Tomorrow, every Indian will demand better facilities in line with his ability to pay taxes. Poor will be left to fend for themselves. Not withstanding the fact, that much of these poor, and not so poor had spent a lion shares of their income in educating their wards, and sending them to Mumbai to earn big bucks and pay taxes for your city. Had they had there own 'Mumbai' in there states, they wouldn't have come to your city in first place.
Mumbai doesn't need more money. It needs better management. Money is spent in creating a helipad at Chhagan Bhujbal's house. Did anyone ever question that in five years? Nope.
I think I have made my point. I salute the spirit which Mumbai has shown in the crisis. In the same breath, I salute the spirit shown by that young Sikh major who lost his life while saving the lives of people trapped in Upahaar cinema, or those bravehearts who survived Tsunami, and helped surviving others, or those never-say-die Gujaratis. I salute the spirit of our Armed Forces, the spirit, which is there in everyone amongst us.
Labels: Mumbai, Thoughts