Ringside viewhttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/ahmedabad/ringside-view-5/

Ringside view

If one happens to be around any railway station of the Western Railway,he or she cannot afford to feign ignorance about Dada,for Dada happens to be one of the most prominent trade union leaders in Western India.

Celebrating Dada’s b’day
If one happens to be around any railway station of the Western Railway,he or she cannot afford to feign ignorance about Dada,for Dada happens to be one of the most prominent trade union leaders in Western India. It’s J G Mahurkar that we are speaking about. Now,given to his stature,his platinum jubilee birthday celebration had to be a major fanfare and the promise did not go wrong. His fans organised special ‘pre-celebratory’ functions at Ahmedabad and Vadodara railway stations last Friday. They also organised a blood-donation camp where they tapped 144 units. But this was just a glimpse. On March 16,when he turns 75,similar camps will be held at Vadodara,Surat,Navsari,Mumbai Central and Church Gate railway stations. Mahurkar has proved himself to be a Dada(elder brother) for all those who had any problem in service or personal life. The grand celebrations are just a manifestation of their love and affection for him.

No less a ‘stunt’
DRIVING a vehicle in Ahmedabad is a feat,which only those who possess high skills are able to perform. The use of mobile phones while driving has just added one more aspect to these gems of drivers. In fact,the RTO authorities should reconsider parameters for driving-tests before issuing a licence. It would be only in the fitness of things,to subject all those appearing for a test,to talk on a mobile phone with one hand and drive the vehicle with the other! After all,driving in Ahmedabad has already become similar to living a little dangerously.

Sending a wrong signal
SOMETIMES,if signboards go wrong,even a traffic police can experience a tough time handling a situation. One such strange signboard was spotted on a by lane of Ahmedabad,which stood with a letter P. Now,by law,it either stands for ‘Parking’ or ‘No Parking’. But here,thanks to the ‘traffic sense’ of the traffic police,the board showed the sign P written over the cross! (Well,the poor traffic cops wanted to indicate ‘No Parking’,obviously). But,this board,instead of depicting ‘No Parking’ ended up giving permission to park! And to add to the chaos,a traffic cop – on duty to ensure there was no parking in the zone – stood just near the board and was seen whistling hard to stop people from parking in the area!

When suspicion replaces trust
“Earlier,” said Muhammad Moin,a prominent businessman in Ahmedabad,”whenever somebody saw a man with a beard and a cap,it evoked a sense of respect and feeling of trust.” Moin went on to narrate an incident some 10 years ago,when he went to the railway station to see off one of his friends,who was going to Mumbai. And unlike Moin,his friend had a beard and wore a cap. At the station,an old man with a red teeka on his forehead,approached them and said,”Bhai Saheb,my daughter is going to Mumbai Central where her husband will come to pick her up. This is the first time that she is travelling alone,will you please be kind enough to look after her during the journey?” “And my friend comforted the father not to worry at all,” Moin reminisced. But,such is the public perception now that a beard and a cap inevitably give rise to suspicion. Pondering upon this change,Moin said,”A vocal micro minority has become the voice of a vast silent majority and hijacked its every symbol.”

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A crash course,perhaps
M H SHAH is Law Secretary and RLA. Now,you must be wondering what’s RLA? Recently,a journalist too,wondered what RLA stood for and asked a senior Law Department official in Gandhinagar about the same. The official didn’t have the answer. So,he immediately telephoned two of his superiors,and lo,even they were unaware of the expanded version of RLA. Ultimately,the ‘RLA hunt’ reached the office of PS to the Law Secretary & RLA. The biggest surprise was waiting here: the PS reportedly replied that he would check it out and get back. Finally,the ‘hunt’ (of the journalist and the officials of the Law Department) ended with the PS finding out that RLA stood for ‘Remembrancer of Legal Affairs’. So,how about some orientation programme for the officials of the Department?

Robbed of ‘reward’
SURAT: THESE days,the cops at the Surat Crime Branch seem to be an unhappy lot,particularly due to the working style of the newly appointed Deputy Commissioner of Police Subhash Trivedi. After his appointment,Trivedi,with his staff,has raided 15 liquor dens in the city,but to his disappointment,have recovered only one or two bottles! This reminds one of the late DGP P K Datta,who had raided a spot in Ahmedabad after a tip-off,only to find one liquor bottle! Well,the story behind is that the lower rung cops pass on the information to the bootleggers before the raids,and the latter get enough time to shift the bottles. Now,with a strict taskmaster,the cops at the Crime Branch are ready to do anything for getting transferred to some other police station. Perhaps,they are feeling robbed of their ‘power’ and ‘reward’ and hence the disappointment.

Conservation,VMC style
VADODARA: THE Vadodara Municipal Corporation seems to be much concerned about the conservation of old monuments in the city. Recently,it stalled the extension of a Masjid,which was too close to the Panigate. At this point,one may question as to how those,who are concerned about monuments,have ignored the fact that Khanderao market – where the VMC has its headquarters – continues to portray a picture of neglect. But this hasn’t prevented the VMC from modifying several rooms of the headquarter building as per requirement.

CoC means no questions?
ELECTIONS or no elections,getting a straightforward,honest and unambiguous reply from a government official is always difficult. And now,with the implementation of the Model Code of Conduct,the ‘answering lot’ is certainly enjoying a siesta from the media. Not that every one likes the imposed silence,but then,it is finally the reporters who fall into a last minute fix. With the imposition,the officials these days have their single line answer ready for any and every query – sorry,can’t tell you anything as I am under CoC. One such incident had the reporter go round and round throughout the day to get just one quote. With all the ‘off the record’ information queued up for a story,just that one quote from a government official to authenticate the report,certainly got the reporter ‘off the patience’ by the end of the day.

A cup of tea to cool the heat’
“MOST of the time,big people get engaged in petty things…” smirked a police inspector of the Gorwa police station. The comment was regarding an incident last week,when two top officials from Reliance and Projects and Development India Limited (PDIL) were at loggerheads over an accident. According to police officials,there is a society at Gorwa,where six persons — either retired or are working in the top firms in the city — park their cars outside their bungalows. It so happened that a passing car in the society rammed into a parked car,which belonged to one retired Reliance general manager,thereby creating a dent on the bonnet. The fallout: the infuriated owner slapped his neighbour! Befuddled,the neighbour who heads a department at the PDIL,headed straight to the Gorwa police station. “… we will call both the parties in the evening,spend a little time over a cup of tea and would try to resolve the issue,” said the police inspector.

— Contributed by Debarati Basu,Gaurav Sharma,Hitarth Pandya,Kamal Saiyed,Parimal Dabhi,Shubhlakshmi Shukla,Tanvir A Siddiqui and Ujjwala Nayudu.