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Friday, November 5, 2010

Adarsh: How to publicly show anger with stickers on footpaths

The Adarsh expose’ has had a double effect on me. On the one hand, I feel satisfied because the duplicity of CSIC Dr Suresh Joshi and SIC Ramanand Tiwari lies exposed before the entire nation. We RTI activists don’t need to prove that they are cheats, frauds and liars. Things are out in the open.

But another thought makes me disgusted: every time Joshi or Tiwari sat across the table with an appellant seeking information on building projects or public spaces, these SICs were conducting fake hearings. How many thousand appellants got fake hearings in this way? How many times did these SICs knowingly let the Building Proposal or Urban Development PIO get away with lies? How many Adarsh-type buildings did these two SICs protect from citizens? How many RTI appellants lost their faith in RTI due to these SICs’ slippery behaviour?

Even complainants who attended the Lokshahi Din hearings held by Municipal Commissioner Jairaj Phatak must be feeling betrayed, especially in matters concerning Building Proposal Dept. There are so many wrongdoings that he must have known about, but kept feigning ignorance of.

This thought of us all being daily decieved -- does it fill you with rage? Or am I the only angry one here?

AN UNCOMFORTABLE QUESTION TO MAHARASHTRA: Will only an insult to Chhatrapati Shivaji arouse anger in the people of Maharashtra? Otherwise, they can be safely molested everyday without becoming really angry? What sort of people are we collectively?

PAPER STICKERS TO EXPRESS RAGE WITH AUTHORITIES: I am looking for a way of non-violently expressing anger. Look at these stickers about Ramanand Tiwari, Suresh Joshi, Jairaj Phatak, Ashok Chavan and Vilasrao Deshmukh:

It shows each person’s photo and says, “I stole your land in the name of war widows. Walk on my face. Spit on my face.”

Each sticker of about one-square-foot will cost five rupees apiece, I think.In a single day, one can unobtrusively stick hundreds of these in important pedestrian parts of the city, such as outside railway stations, pavements on Marine Drive, Chowpatty, Queen’s Road etc. And there they will stay for a week or two, making a constant statement.

What if one get picked up by the cops for doing this? What crime can one be charged with? It would be interesting to find out – certainly not obstructing pedestrians! After all, there are lakhs of hawkers and shopkeepers putting boxes etc. and occupying footpaths without inviting police action.

Still, police may eventually register an FIR somehow. If and when that happens, I think that we all will enjoy the irony: Mega-crore scamsters are still enjoying their positions, while a lone non-violent protestor is behind bars. Personally, I will happily allow that irony to emerge and become a reality. Who knows, I might not even seek bail.

What do you think? Do these stickers express what is in your mind? Would you like any changes? Would you like to join me?

Or does the sight of these stickers shock you and turn you off? And why is that? Is it that “woh bhi kissee ke baap aur patee hain?” And therefore, their good names should not be dishonoured on the street?

Come on, talk to me!



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