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   Now that the sheriff has changed... (December 20, 1990)

Now that the sheriff has changed, we may all relax and begin hating Bombay.

And I do not know about you, but I have my hate list ready. To start with, all the corporators, and I mean all the corporators, not the Shiv Sena members alone. All they do is sit in the corporation and politicise simple and stright forward civic issues. They have neither the dignity nor the competence to be called city fathers.

The only solution, I think, would be to ban party politicis in the corporation. People should be elected as individuals, not as party members, and if a candidate is a party member, he would have to first disassociate himself from the party for ten years before he can offer himself as candidate. Also, all members should be professionals, engineers, architects, doctors, teachers, who could professionally contribute to the city’s amenities, not mohalla politicians.

I also hate the police. The are about the most corrupt police force in the country, partly because Bombay being the richest city in the country, the bribes they get are bigger than anywhere else. The simple point is: If the police were not accepting bribes, the pavements would not be crowded with hawkers, who not only are occupying unauthorise place but selling smuggled goods. If five hawkers were arrested and seriously propecuted evey day, in a month all of them would take up some other profession.

And my hate list includes the suburban sections of the railways, which have been taking people for a ride…literally. In any other country, the would have been condemned as being unable to run the system and forced to hand over charge to a more competent private organisation.

And I hate the environmentalists. In stead of appreciating whatever few innovations the authorities or individuals come out with to make life a little more liveable and pleasant (such as Esselworld, for instance), they condemn and try to disrupt things. Left to them, Nariman Point would have still been under water.

And the telephone people. They dig up every road in the city to lay new connections, the person in front of whose house or office the pavement and half the road has been dug up for two years, does not get a telephone at the end of it. And they give out telephones as if they are handing out Padma Bhushans. The hate list continues, but I will end here for today. And thank you, Dr. Sethna, for allowing us to hate Bombay. I have been waiting two years to do so.

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