On Matters That Matter

The man who removes a mountain begins by carrying away small stones

Powerless In The Capital

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The first hour or so when the showers hit the capital yesterday was blissful. The showers brought no warning of the hell that followed in New Delhi. I was fortunate to have escaped the chaos on the roads relatively easily, but reaching home was no relief.

There was no power in and around my locality for roughly 16 hours; from evening yesterday to this morning. There was heavy police deployment outside the BSES complaint centre as angry residents from all over had gathered there. The complaint room was locked, the phones were dead since evening and the linesmen were out fixing one complaint after the other. Some areas knew there was no chance for them tonight, as trees had fallen in their vicinity taking the cables down. The power situation has been terrible this summer; at least this time there was an understandable reason.

In my small hometown in Himachal Pradesh everybody has power and there are very few power trips. In the capital everybody is on a power trip and the load distribution is very uneven. This is the power centre of the country and the use and abuse of power is a daily event that can be observed in colonies, homes, offices and roads. There is hustle and bustle on the treadmill for status. Addresses, cars and visiting cards are not utilitarian; they are much more than that.

Power gives you access to everything in the capital; you can have anything you want delivered to your home. The newspapers even give you the numbers of high-profile call girls, you can order a selection. The papers also carry the news of some prostitution racket or the other that has been busted. The ads run side by side. Lest you get me wrong, I clarify that I don’t have a problem with these numbers being available in the papers; this is appreciable reader service that anyone of us may require.

You don’t have to be rational if you have power. You can shove your irrationality without explanation down anybody’s throat. You can even make others apologise for your mistakes. The power of a position robs people of any sense of right or wrong, the logic is simple: my way or the highway. The fight can even be on the claim that my Guru is more enlightened than yours. It does get quite scary to be powerless in the national capital.

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Written by Deepan Joshi

August 22, 2009 at 7:34 pm

Posted in Here and Now

Tagged with , , ,

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