Monthly Meeting

We meet every 3rd Sunday from 11 AM to 1.30 PM at Upper Ashankur Hall , Holy Family Church , Andheri East.
Meet us there to join us!

Monday, April 7, 2008

This ‘mobocracy’ is quite enough,

Citizens are
frustrated with the
mob mentality of
local political
parties and ठुग्स

Ashutosh Shukla
Tired of the apathy by the city police and politicians towards the mob mentality of various political parties, citizens from different parts of the city got together and pledged to vote out any party
that uses, what they call “mob-ocracy” instead of democracy to justify their thoughts and feelings. The Sunday meeting in Andheri which was organized by 12 NGOs — including AGNI, Bombay Catholic
Sabha, CitiSpace, H West Ward Citizen’s Trust among others — was attended by over a thousand Mumbaikars who then participated in a peace march to Andheri police station. The meeting comes in the
wake of the recent mob attacks led by political parties and other groups. The most recent one was a demonstration led by hawkers of Linking Road, where AGNI activist James John was beaten up by MNS leader Raj Thackeray’s supporters when he filmed them destroying public property. Speaking at the event, DM Sukhthan, chief secretary, said: “It is extremely sad and shameful when people trying
to help enforce law are beaten up. Some people trying to carve out a constituency for themselves are indulging in this sort of violence and the police are supporting them.” What disturbed activists even more was what they believed to be inaction on the part of the law enforcers — instead of enforcing the law, police limited their role to spectators. The activists plan to give a signed charter of demands
to the police commissioner, chief minister, deputy chief minister, heads of all political parties and public representatives. The attendees also demanded that senior citizens’ helpdesk be installed at every police station, to be headed by a nodal officer at the additional commissioner office level. Cautioning against the slow decline of the rule of law, theatre personality Alyque Padamsee said: “If people have a problem with policies of the state government, they should burn the chief minister’s car. Why do they touch taxis, schools, colleges, and trains?” Bringing Amitabh Bachchan into the picture, Padamsee said, “How does it matter which state he’s helping? He is helping Indians after all.” At the meeting it was discussed that residents need to address the root of the problem — political parties — and vote them out. One way to tackle this, said the activists is to improve coordination with the community and the police to avoid penetration of those parties with vested local interest. Sumaira Abdulali of
Aawaz foundation said: “Such groups that operate as a mafia need to be broken. The police is the first line of defence in our existing system. What do we do if we do not get help from them? It is time we form our group to fight them.” Citizens’ corporator, Adolf D’Souza said, “We try to oppose such mob mentality, and we get beaten up while the culprits go unpunished.” Residents, many of whom had come from as far as Vashi to attend the meeting, concurred with the views of the NGOs. Suhas Wavik, a Vashi resident said, “We need something like this to get ourselves heard.” Daphne Sardinha
from Bandra concurred. “They should implement the demand we have put forward. That should help us,” she said.

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