Friday, March 14, 2008

Shatranj Ke Khiladi

Felt an uneasy parallel developing with the classic Satyajit Ray movie as I heard Praful Patel talk about how the government is helpless, the existing airports will have to be shut. Nothing personal, but the government was hoodwinked into entering an innocent-looking trade-agreement. Now they must stand by it and sacrifice the public good if it comes to that. Meanwhile, the BIAL has graciously allowed the ousted Royals (VIPs, actors, ministers and friends of Mr.Patel) the use of HAL airport so they may retain their lifetsyle without the hassle of going all the way to Devanahalli.

I could almost imagine Amjad Khan speaking (as the last emperor of Avadh) as I read Mr.Patel's comment. Those eyes begging for sympathy, the bravado in a voice trying to be authoritative even as he takes off the Royal Crown in acknowledgement of the fact that the East India Company had pulled the rug from under his feet. "Gee, the Company traders brought such goodies, how could I turn them away and upset them?"
He never saw it coming...

What takes the cake is the new request by the government cadres themselevs to delay opening the airport by just enough weeks that elections pass. Once a new set of leeches latch on to power, the public can rant as much as they want, the ministerial bums will stay warm for five long years. Five long years of hardship and endurance for both the Indian people and anyone unlucky enough to land here without access to connecting helicopters. Five long years. Enough for everyone to get used to traveling that way, enough for India to move back 20 years, long enough for the airport becoming the least of our worries.

The Bangalore government is not new at making a mockery of infrastructure. We boast of the world's ONLY flyover that has a traffic signal on top!! This, after some erudite monkey stopped all traffic for 2 years to build a flyover no one would use. No one lost his job after that one. I doubt anyone will learn from the airport fiasco.

The most probable lesson the Government might learn? Add an "Infrastructure Cess" to everyone's Income Taxes...

There's an absolutely delightful and balanced comment on this situation on the Business Standard website.

1 comment:

Just Like That said...

Well written.