I find a lot of similarities in them, they could be twins if they were not separated by this vast expanse of time.
I am not a political observer, I cannot keep track of politics most times, I have no interest whatsoever in politics. But even a layman can see the impending doom that our local Nero (Vilasrao Deshmukh) is bringing upon this city. My catty side observes that his son, is doing a better job than his Dad, atleast he is trying to act and his performance is tolerable.
Vilasrao, however is a different story altogether. If body language is an indicator then he appears to be lazy, uninterested, loves the perks of the job and has conveniently forgotten the duties that go along with it. On occasions he has appeared to be downright silly when he went with a begging bowl to Delhi but could not state reasons as to why he needed the money.
Forget Shanghai, we are not even close to Bangalore and Chennai. Even the cities like Hyderabad and Kolkatta are better managed now. The stink of garbage has become a way of life, some roads are not swept for weeks on end, potholes reign supreme on highways and street lights do not work on major highways. The builders can bribe anyone to buy a plot of land reserved for a playground or public amenity, the bribes go all the way up to the highest office I am told. The ministers openly make statements about selling off Shivaji Park , racecourse, salt pan land etc to reduce the debt burden in Maharashtra. Recently the papers labelled Maharashtra as a 'Failed State' - indeed a feather in the cap of Mr Deshmukh.
Nero played the fiddle while Rome burned, Vilasrao sits in movie award functions while Mumbai is being steadily destroyed.
Can we even imagine a person in office making statements about selling off India Gate grounds to realtors or the maidan in Kolkatta? It would cause a public outrage - though I am not even sure of that anymore. Is the public really empowered to protest or do we just turn a Nelson's eye to issues like Mithi River?
The financial capital, the motion pictures industry capital, the megacity, home to some of the fortune 500 business houses - thats a lot of power in one place. Why do they put up with this steady decline which accelerates every day?
My driver sums it up aptly, Andher Nagri, Chaupat Raja.