Friday, July 31, 2009

New Era Crisis

Mumbai, meri jaan!

The Rasta Roko agitation by some parents and students (led by politicians) on Tuesday makes me think again about Mumbai Meri Jaan!

The issues that led to the traffic chaos are no doubt important. Parents are undoubtedly concerned about the future of their children. For instance, SSC students were missing their classes with the uncertainty element hanging in the air. How will they be able to cope with their exams if their curriculum is not completed?

The State Education Director, on the orders f the Supreme Court, has heard the school management as well as the aggrieved parents and his decision was awaited.

But the unrest among parents began to rise and with an opportune politician jumping into action, the fire caught on. The agitation was painted to be a spontaneous one. But look at what happened during the “show of strength”.

The students were made to shout slogans (which I am sure they have never done in their lives, other than watching on TV news bulletins!). Ask any one of them if they knew the meaning of any slogans “xxxx hai hai”.

You do not need a psychologist to tell you that this kind of ambience created for students would definitely impact their minds and general behaviour. I will not be surprised if some of the students would shout slogans against their parents if they do not get money for going to McDolands or for a pizza party!

Now that the school will open on Monday, another question that arises is – who will be responsible for the safety of the students. The management has been saying that the building is not safe. Some experts have already recommended demolition of the old building.

New Era parents hold City to ransom

The Rasta Roko agitation by some parents and politicians on the New Era school issue has disturbed traffic and caused a lot of inconvenience to people who are not concerned with either the school.

Even those who are concerned with the school and who live in South Mumbai have also been subjected to a day-long torture on the roads.

While on the one hand, the traffic jams swelled into various areas clogging the roads all over, it has thrown life out of gear on the other.

The questions that arise now are: whether the agitators or their political leaders have any business to hold the city to ransom in this manner? Is it right to subject children to such a treatment on the roads?

What are we trying to teach our children, the citizens of tomorrow? Stop traffic on any issue. We were thankful that the days of strikes and bands were over and that the city could breathe easy. But with this kind of a culture being perpetrated, we are not sure as what would happen tomorrow when the students who grow up in such a culture of agitations?

New Era School issue may demand attention. But is the Rasta Roko the only way out? Couldn’t the parents or leaders of the agitation have adopted other means like negotiations?

We read from newspapers that the Supreme Court has directed the State education Director to look into the issue. We also read in the papers that the Director of Education has heard the concerned parties. His was awaited. Why, why on earth then the parents and leaders did not wait for the decision to come out?

Mumbai deserves answers to these questions.