26th December 2004 was an unforgettable day for people living in many coastal cities in India . The powerful earthquake and the gigantic Tsunami waves which followed it shook several peaceful and sleepy towns out of their slumber, swept away several habitations from face of earth and in the process left painful memories of loss of near and dear ones for survivors. But human beings are just play things in the hands of nature so civilizations silently bear the sufferings arising out of such acts of devastation at the hands of the creator.
But how do we react to a Tsunami created in the national capital by politicians for the sake of publicity at the cost of public . Tsunami in a coastal city may be a something acceptable for natural compulsions but Tsunami in the land locked capital city of the country ? What does it mean ? Tsunami I am referring to here is a rally of human beings which is due to engulf the Capital city around the third anniversary of the original Tsunami .The occasion for rally is the celebrations for the empowerment of the Panchayati Raj institutions in the country . The proposed sweeping mega event which seems to owe its creation to brain waves originating in the ever creative mind of some ruling think tank is slated to hit the city on Christmas eve with a mega force . Train loads of members of panchayats and their families numbering more than 2.5 Lakhs are expected to descend on the city at the call of respected Prime Minister to participate in this celebration of transfer of democratic rights to grassroots level by virtue of a constitutional amendments several years back .
The persons in charge of the affairs started everything at a breakneck pace as if there was a fear that time was running out for the Govt. The first meeting was organized at a notice of barely 48 hours. Since it was impossible for senior officers of States (who have to send the participants) to attend the meeting at such short notice, so the Delhi based representatives of States were roped in along with Railways , Municipal Corporation and other agencies connected with logistic arrangements . Stunned by the sheer magnitude of the wasteful exercise Railways tried to plead for mercy citing the heavy cost of transportation (around 200 Crs.) , the heavy traffic movement due to vacations and paucity of resources and time. But the Juggernaut refused to stop it’s run. The pleadings of Health authorities about the possibility of causalities due to extreme weather conditions at the time of rally too could not impress the leader.
The citizens of Delhi have for years been at the receiving end, bearing brunt of the miseries and chaos in daily life which accompany such political gimmicks . Rallies organised in past have thrown life out of gear. People going to workplaces, children returning from schools , persons in need of medical treatment , women and disabled have repeatedly suffered in the past due to blockade of the traffic and hours and hours of traffic jams. Rallies have often created scenes of lawlessness and chaos. Public money worth Crores has gone down the drain, every time when such fancies have struck the minds of a political leader. However the anxiety to corner publicity at national stage always overcomes any sensitivity to sufferings of the public in the minds of politicians. Also, perhaps because most of the organizers have scant affection for the city and the city govt. burdened under it’s own contradictions, surviving at the mercy of central leadership is too meek to come to the rescue of the people.
Several years back the then political masters had decided that enough was enough. Henceforth Delhi would be a civilized place. So a rally ground was developed at the outskirts of the city in village of Burari. It was decided that all those coming for rally would disembark outside city limits at this rally ground, park the vehicles and do whatever they wanted in support of their cause at the vast open grounds there. This time too it was reminded by someone that Burai or even some neighboring town like Gurgaon would be a far better option for this kind of gathering. But politicians know their games well. A rally outside the city limits! Would that receive as good attention from media . Off course not. And a rally at Gurgaon ..would that not give far more mileage to the concerned State Govt. So heart of Delhi would remain the best choice and the human Tsunami would sweep us off our feet on the destined day. Get ready Delhiites.
Subsequently better sense seems to have prevailed. Rally is now Cancelled (14th Dec.2007 )