For the past few weeks I have noticed a new trend on Bangalore roads-- Kannada number-plates. This is a new high in patriotism.
Far as I knew, it was illegal to have regional script, calligraphy, hieroglyphics and fine print on number-plates. In fact people were made to fork over 500 bucks to change even the color code for "security" reasons, about 3-4 years ago! Same goes for darkly-tinted glasses, driving perpetually on high-beam, lane-cutting and eye-level disco brake-lights. All of these rules are being flouted with increasing impunity on the streets of Bangalore. Traffic cops are too busy lolling about at tea-shops to pull-over anyone for such "patriotic" crimes. Earlier it was just the rowdy call-center cabbies, today I saw high end cars such as a Hyundai Verna and Santro (see pic) with illegible number-plates!
The transport authorities made it clear that the provision of rule-50, sub-rule-2 and proviso-D of Central Motor Vehicle Rules, 1989, specifically states that letters on vehicle number plate should be in English and numerals in Arabic. The Government of India in a notification (No.SO. 444E dated June 12, 1989) issued under Section-41 (6) of the Motor Vehicle Act , 1988, also made these rules mandatory.
Probably this is what goes on inside the "logical" brains of our administrators, when they condone such violations: now that even courts and governments have been directed to conduct all business in regional languages (tamil in chennai, marathi in maharashtra, hindi in UP... and so on), your doomed struggle for justice begins with the license-plate of the hitting car. If you cannot even read the license-plate, you don't deserve justice anyway.
Breaking the law has been a "status symbol" for a while now. That it is also equals patriotism and regional pride, is something I wasn't prepared for.
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