Is the Basant ‘Rath Yatra’ slowly and steadily taking the wind out of someone’s sail? Some are feeling nervous because of his popularity and the public support by his side. Others used to the police being messed, corrupt, used and abused by politicians are witnessing a ‘super cop’ who is in total control – quite interesting! Every day, new vehicles are rolling out of dealers outlets like babies out of labor rooms. The traffic mannerism in the city of temples is as worse as in other busy cities. The traffic sense and the driving ethics of people reveal their true character as a whole far more readily than their cultivated mannerisms and behaviour while walking. My neighbourhood Akhnoor Road is one of the worst areas of Jammu city in terms of traffic, notoriously famous for long and painstaking jams, especially during the monsoon of marriages. It’s very painful to watch ambulances carrying patients battling life, stuck in the middle, literally making people cry for a safe passage. A short journey of 2-4 kms may take 2 hours. Women commuters returning late from work and students from evening classes are the most vulnerable to such situations. One can take a lead from the prevailing ‘dadagiri’ of shopkeepers/ hawkers virtually selling products on footpaths leaving absolutely no space to move, let alone to walk freely. This contributes significantly to social crimes like eve teasing and bullying of customers. Any road adjoining any service station in the city is choked with unlawful and unauthorised parking. There are repairing shops at certain areas with insufficient space around them, leading to two wheelers getting repaired on roads, thereby obstructing the free flow of traffic and resulting in congestion. Similar is the case with shopping malls/ show rooms and banquets who have no arrangement of parking slots. Moreover, no staff is deputed to show the way. No one cares to share the responsibility of the troubles a commoner, despite being a disciplined citizen, faces whose life comes to a standstill because of all the mess on the city roads and roundabouts.
How sad does one feel about the unfortunate loss of innocent lives because of negligent and rash driving, and no fault of theirs? Public as usual blocks the road, sits on ‘dharna’, leading to protests – but nothing decisive comes out of it. Life goes on the same way with no change. Wrong entries, road rage, honking, blasting bullets and full volume blazing music in matadors was what we were supposed to live with, but just in weeks’ time, one can experience a sense of commitment in public as well as the police towards the goal which is unachieved so far. So my message to Sh Basant Rath is very simple and straight. Dear Sir, do not care for the fabricated FIRs, and the tantalising tweets and taunts. One had to take differently harsh steps to find a solution to such a mess. We may not always be rewarded for honesty, and being honest is not always being stupid. Keep rolling the wheels of your ‘Rath’.
Dr Vikas Jamwal
Kamdhenu Homz (Toph), Jammu.