My Delhi Manifesto
Delhi has been the seat of power no matter how back in time you go. From the mythological Indrapastha built on the ashes of the Khandav Van to the Lutyens dream built in sandstone.
Every attempt to take the capital away has failed and the Mughals came back to Delhi, so did the Raj after a short lived fling with Kolkata. Even today Tughlaq is mocked for his attempt to take the capital to Daulatabad, as he thought that the fledgling sultanate he was trying to protect would be safer there. But the fears of Tughlaq were not wrong for soon Tamerlane came with his hordes and ransacked the city for eight days.
But Delhi survived, and continues to grow and has outlived Tamerlane and the later looter Nadir Shah and it was in Delhi where the sunset for Raj began on 15th August 1947. Today Delhi has grown bigger than most cities in world it boasts of one of the best Metro rail in the world but somewhere its cries to save the city are being ignored. The citizens of Delhi are busy adding another floor to their vertical towers from Rohini to Rajokri. The city of gardens has gone to become the city of ghettos and plunderers. Unfortunately these plunderers are not coming from the trans Himalayan Grasslands but are our own citizens. They come in all shapes and sizes the pot bellied politicians claiming to represent the hungry masses to the auto rickshaw drivers who leave the meter home, and then we have every car owner whose claim to fame is direct access to nothing less than 10 Janpath, totally bypassing 7 RCR like every body else.
The city of Delhi cries daily under its crumbling infrastructure and growing pile of daily refuge that we simply through out of our home, and then claim the city is dirty. We have sucked the water table dry and converted Yamuna one of the holiest rivers in the country to world’s largest open sewer, whose stench competes with the stink the dirty deals in the corridors of that temple of democracy called parliament emits.
But are the citizens of Delhi totally apathetic towards the plight of their city? I guess not as the large number of youngsters who came out of their homes to face the water cannons and lathicharge by the very policemen who are paid to protect citizens like Nirbhaya. Yes Nirbhaya united our collective consciousness from the gated heavens of Gurgaon to the ghettos celebrating Gandhi family across Delhi came out on roads to demand JUSTICE.
I think that is what I want in my Delhi Manifesto. Justice. Yes plain simple Justice. For one of the biggest reason for all the malaise prevalent in our society is because in our country Justice is not only delayed it is also justice denied. The fast track court in Nirbhaya’s case has shown that if there is a public and political will Justice can be delivered at a pace that the SMS generation is used to. I think we need to have a retirement age for politicians, after which they should not be able to hold any position of power. This will force them to live like a common man without the blanket of black cats, whose sole purpose seems to be to protect the black deeds of the Men in White.
It was George Bernard Shaw who said “ It is not the severity of punishment, it is the surety of punishment that makes people comply with law”. Here in India we have neither surety nor severity of punishment, thus making everybody bold enough to say “ Dekh lenge”
Once we have multiple courts who deliver justice at a speed then suddenly there will be a mass movement to report the bribes, as the law abiding citizen will know that he will not have to go to courts for next 20 years. The biggest flaw in our justice system is no sense of urgency or closure. Every case should have a timeline by which it should be decided. E.g if it is a murder case say 1 year, if it is a case of traffic violation it should be settled in 2 hearing max. Also cases involving Politicians and bureaucrats should be given priority and they should be stripped of their power while the case is sub-judice. Once the surety of punishment comes into the mind suddenly we will see an increased compliance with the law of the land. That illegal building will be bulldozed before it add another floor, that red light that we jump will gain respect as the constable will think many times before pocketing that crumbled Gandhi.
So this is my manifesto a fast track, SLA and time line based Justice and court system, which will not only make Delhi a better city but also its residents better citizens.