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Bangalore's Middle Class Apathy - Will crime, violations, corruption ever end?

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Below is an recent article on the EWS demolition by Dr. Sylvia Karpagam, who is a public health doctor and has been documenting the human rights violations at the EWS site in Ejipura.


http://www.countercurrents.org/karpagam250113.htm.

I am 100% in agreement with her.

We the citizens are to be blamed for corruption, crimes against women, violations, etc. Couple of months back, I had initiated a campaign called 'Bangalore Is Mine' ( https://www.facebook.com/bangaloreismine/info ). I wanted to drive for people awareness and ownership of isues. I had plans of creating 'community patrolling' teams, etc. However, due to poor response, I had to keep it in the back-burner and work with the existing welfare platforms (Praja, Save koramangala, etc).

My 1st blog on Praja was on the same.
http://praja.in/en/blog/bangalore-mine/2013/01/01/are-our-current-efforts-good-enough


Could we now work along those lines? Create ownership amonst people??? The real changes lies only when citizens become aware and start questioning.

 we can work on a strategy to be implemented and cascaded. It is not late.

Thanks
Vimal

P.S: Being a bangalorean, I must stay that most citizens are far less aggressive in approach compared to our fellow north Indians. Of course, there are pros and cons in this approach.


 

Comments

silkboard's picture

It is never late

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First of all, there is no rush, and it is never late.
 
Vimal sir, from what you have written, looks like your objective is "drive for people awareness and ownership of isues". How exactly you would create a campaign for driving this awareness and ownership would need some careful thinking. Many are trying, have tried etc, are those efforts working? If not, why?
 
Looks like many such campaigns end up blaming the so called middle class / urban voters etc (they are not interested, show apathy) and then move on to become yet another NGO. The thought you have put on table is definitely a good one, and objective is very valid. But the question is "how".
 
I don't have good answers myself. But from what I have personally seen through the Praja experiement so far, it would have to be a balanced combination of online and on-ground efforts.
 
Vimal sir, another question for you. Its related. You talked about existing welfare platforms, but what about joining existing political groupds to further this. Don't you think that the fact that we all keep out and look to create alternative forums could also be a problem? Why not join a party? Or the political start-ups like Lok Satta or AAP? Is that not an option, or a better thing to do? Activism is good, and needed, but is it being overdone today?
Bangalore is Mine's picture

@ Silkboard. On the onset,

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@ Silkboard. On the onset, thank you for the detailed response. I am in agreement with you. It is better to foray into the mainstream rather than be a watchdog.  I feel this is possible through 2 ways:

1.       Join a political party and work through social, welfare issues ( as suggested by you)

2.       Enroll into an existing program initiated by the government itself.

The 1st option is widely debated. This is chiefly because most of us are disillusioned by the apathy of the current political parties. Thus, new emerging parties like AAP show a ray of hope ( of course, some of us have reservations on its socialist approach, while country is moving towards capital). Thus, many now feel that taking the political route does make sense as it is the way to ‘ make a difference’. I would love to foray into the same.  I will keep my eyes open for it

Meanwhile, I also see the opportunity to foray into the 2nd option and ‘make a difference’. Here, I have enrolled into Civil Defence (CD) program. While the CD was initially initiated by the Central/ state  government as volunteering for disaster management program, it is now also being projected to enable citizens do area security and community policing (termed as ‘Area Suraksha Mitra’ ASM). Janagraha is also involved in this initiative.  I am currently enrolling my colleagues in this program.

The link for details is here. http://civildefence.areasm.org/Home

Going back to your suggestion of joining political groups, I would initially be skeptical of the same due to existing commitments. However working through the ASM, I/ one could slowly build up towards that.  

I strongly believe that students (above 18 yrs) need to enroll into this initiative as this will help building a positive character and responsibility.

My only disappointment with this government initiative is that of its limitation. Why not have ASM also monitor violations happening?... Violations like driving on footpath, shops on footpath, smoking in public places, etc. Basically all violations which  high court/ supreme court has ruling against. In a city where we have just 1: 1050 ratio for cops Vs citizens , these folks can help keep violations in check.  (Trust me, that ratio is highly unlikely to undergo a big change in future, if, left to itself)

I am sure if  several recommendations and effective pressure is given, the government could (in future) yield to give additional responsibilities to ASM. Thus, making way for citizen-government collaboration which would alter the way we look at local governance and law and order.

Vimal

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