Sunday, November 1, 2020
Home Opinions The anatomy of a farce; the Odd Even plan of Delhi

The anatomy of a farce; the Odd Even plan of Delhi

A man suffering from severe cold and sore throat went to a doctor. The doctor had a hard look at him, checked his vitals and prescribed a ten day course of medicines, some tests to eliminate suspicions related to other complications, asked him to stay away from spicy, oily food; especially the one which is difficult to digest, stay away from alcohol & smoking, avoid crowded places and take it easy. The doctor also advised him to avoid getting wet, for a few days, if possible.

The longish list of advice & prescription set the man thinking. The tests & medicines would cost more than Rs. 3500 or as much as two bottles of scotch & he was scared at the thought of spending so much hard earned money on some stupid medicines. A friend who was famous for his bar-be-que and a beautiful wife had planned a party that evening itself. Another event, a picnic with activities like camping, river rafting and bonfire was planned by his company during the coming weekend which he could not miss.  About the smoking, well, he too wanted to quit and had been trying for last ten years, unsuccessfully.

Faced with such odds, the man decided to take the doctor’s advice in a phased manner. He would work on one advice in phase one and later, when circumstances permitted, keep on adding more.

In the first phase, he decided that he would not take bath for next 15 days. Depending upon the results of this trial, he would decide to continue it or add further components of the prescription or advice.

Well, he did just that. He stopped taking bath, from that day onwards. But he continued going to parties, drank to his heart’s content, ate anything his taste buds found liked, danced away to glory and off course did not discontinue smoking. In fact, fortified by the thought that his no bath policy could not only cure him but probably give him immunity from common cold or flu, his indulgence increased in severity.

After a week he tweeted, “The no bath policy implemented successfully. Saves environment, saves time in the morning. Happy to play my role in saving the earth.”  He also got few hundred retweets too from kids who were scared of the wet, cold showers.

Same week, his wife left him due to the stink he was having around him.

He tweeted again, “Phenomenal success of No Bath policy. Saving environment, saving time, saving cost of living. Proud to be a NoBath-ian.”

The relevant part of story ends here. What happened to him; whether his condition improved (a common flu can get cured in a week) or worsened or he died of pneumonia, whether his wife came back or he was excommunicated from society due to stink is not relevant to the issue at hand.

The man would be remembered for conceptualization and successful implementation of the ‘No Bath Policy’ even if he died as he ignored the crucial part of the medical prescription.

Because this is exactly how the Odd Even formulae for Delhi was envisaged, planned, implemented, promoted and finally gloated upon.

The problem was pollution; with the major contributors, in descending order of contribution being dust, either emanating from construction activity or agricultural residue from neighbouring states, pollutants discharged by industries, power plants, vehicular emissions from heavy transport vehicles crossing Delhi and local vehicular emissions from two wheelers and four wheelers, private and public.

Delhi government chose to attack the factor which contributed less than 5% of total pollution, much like the imaginary man above chose the easy option of not taking bath.

What the Delhi government faced was a problem that needed an integrated plan, including detailed studies on road design & space allocation for public transport & private vehicles, integrated traffic plans incorporating Metro, BRTS, road transport & last mile connectivity, detailed discussions with stake holders, huge resources in terms of finances and people, lot of hard work in creating an executable plan with a credible communication strategy to take people on board, coordination with other agencies including central government, neighbouring states, local municipal bodies and finally, political will to implement few unpopular initiatives.

Phew!

When going gets tough, the tough appear on television.

In the face of such insurmountable challenges, Delhi government acted decisively and chose to let the public do the hard work, make sacrifices & spend money while it went happily to TV instead, as usual, like the imaginary man above, who chose to go to the parties so that he could eat, drink and dance to his heart’s content instead of taking medicines & staying in bed.

And the car owning male in Delhi became the new minority, with no rights whatsoever.

He could not use his car as it is one of his ‘men’s those days’, he could not travel with his wife as her exemption would vanish due to his presence, he was treated as an imposter in public transport, like a new prisoner in a jail, he was fleeced by autos, paid surge pricing on Ola & Uber and royally ignored by the government.

And the success of the plan was declared on day one!

Since the pollution did not come down, it was not even planned for or expected to, the success was measured instead on adherence to the odd even plan.

Assume your wife beats you; occasionally, frequently or at least with a certain specific frequency. Now you make a plan to change that. The plan goes like this; every time your wife beats you, you would think about your imaginary girlfriend, just to spite her, even if only in your own thoughts.

Now if you measure success of your plan on ratio of number of times you thought about your girlfriend to number of times your wife beat you, you would find an achievement of over 100%. Off course, the beatings do not come down, like pollution in Delhi.

In the bargain, the gains for Delhi were temporary, the loss irrecoverable.

Many people got affected by the plan.

Road users (exempted) had pleasant rides or drives as travelling times got reduced, public transport regulars cribbed about the new specie (male car owner of Delhi) encroaching their constricted space,  Kejriwal gained visibility, he (or his back) was on air or television almost every two minutes, media gained advertisements worth crores of rupess from the Rs 526 crore war-chest, the agency handling Delhi govt advertisement budget got its hefty commissions (and possibly rumoured kickbacks too), Aam Aadmi Party members gained temporary employment for offering rosebuds to road users, auto & taxi operators earned lot of moolah by doing almost double the rides.

But Delhi lost.

It was a unique, rare situation where Courts were strict, public was primed for harsh measures, government had the political strength, media was supportive. If the government wanted, it could have done wonders.

But government chose a farce instead of governance.

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

Mahesh Jagga
Optimist, Right winger, Political student trapped in Business suit. Follow me at @maheshjagga

Related Articles

Trending now

Who is Farhan Zuberi, now booked for threatening to behead people for insulting Islam: Here is his connection to AMU, AIMIM and anti-CAA violence

Farhan Zuberi is also an office-bearer of Asaduddin Owaisi's AIMIM. he is currently the in-charge of the party's youth wing in Western Uttar Pradesh.

Mend ways, or ‘Ram Naam Satya’ journey will begin: Yogi Adityanath cautions those who change religious identity to trap women, vows law against Love...

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Saturday issued a stern warning to the miscreants indulging in love jihad by concealing their identities and entrapping girls and women in their relationship.

‘Osama bin Laden is less reprehensible than Trump,’ claims ‘rational atheist’ Sam Harris who once described the terrorist as a ‘moral hero in a...

Sam Harris claimed in his podcast Making Sense that Osama bin Laden is a less reprehensible person than Donald Trump.

IFCN certified fact-checking website throws a Hindu girl to wolves in Bangladesh in case where she went missing after alleged ‘insult’ to Prophet Muhammad:...

Despite being well aware that lives of Hindus are threatened in Bangladesh, newschecker.in has given way for Tithy's harassment.

The Second Republic: Why Narendra Modi drawing a comparison between Somnath Temple and Ram Mandir on Rashtriya Ekta Diwas is significant

The birth anniversary of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel on the 31st of October is commemorated as the Rashtriya Ekta Diwas.

Hindu girl, who was suspended from Bangladesh university for ‘insulting’ Prophet Muhammad, has been missing for 6 days: Here is what happened

Hindu girl Tithy Sarkar goes missing in Bangladesh after allegedly making comments that insulted Prophet Muhammad and Islam

Recently Popular

Tauseef, who was harassing and forcing Nikita to convert to Islam, decided to kill her after watching web series ‘Mirzapur’: Report

During the interrogation, the accused Tauseef confessed to the police officials that he was inspired by the character of 'Munna' in the Mirzapur webseries.

As Pakistan minister admits role in Pulwama attack, Rajdeep Sardesai rushes to his rescue, allows him to ‘clarify’, attack India instead, NDTV follows suit

India Today and NDTV come together to rescue Pakistan minister Fawad Chaudhry after he admitted Terroristan's role in Pulwama attack

Russia: Teenager shot dead after he shouts ‘Allahu Akbar’ and stabs police officer

On Friday, a 16-year-old terrorist was shot dead by police in the Muslim-dominated region of Tatarstan in Russia.

AMU student leader Farhan Zuberi calls for the beheading of those who insult Islam, justifies his statement on Live TV

Amidst the terror attacks in France and global call of Muslims to boycott French products over the Charlie Hebdo row AMU student Farhan Zuberi justifies beheading of individuals who dares to dishonour Prophet Muhammad

The Print columnist Zainab Sikander Siddiqui wants Charlie Hebdo to have the “guts” to mock the Holocaust if it wants to publish cartoons on...

Zainab Sikander Siddiqui ruled that Charlie Hebdo cartoons mocking other religions are not offensive, only cartoons on Islam are offensive

Hindu girl, who was suspended from Bangladesh university for ‘insulting’ Prophet Muhammad, has been missing for 6 days: Here is what happened

Hindu girl Tithy Sarkar goes missing in Bangladesh after allegedly making comments that insulted Prophet Muhammad and Islam
- Advertisement -

Activist producer-director files complaint against all news channels with NBSA over ‘media trial’ in Sushant Singh Rajput death case

The complaint alleges that all news channels have indulged in media trial in the Sushant Singh Rajput death case in last 4 months

Maharashtra minister Jitendra Awhad, NCP corporator Ashraf Shanu Pathan and other NCP leaders organise protest against France in Mumbra

Senior leaders of the NCP, which is part of the ruling alliance in Maharashtra, have come out openly in protests against France

Kerala: Minor Dalit girl who self-immolated after raped by a DYFI member succumbs to burn injuries

The 16-year-old Dalit victim girl had set herself on fire by pouring kerosene after DYFI member Manu Manoj had raped her

Radical Muslim social media users trend hashtags in support Raza Academy after the radical organisation received severe backlash for its anti-France campaign

Raza Academy had launched a campaign against France, asking Islamic countries to issue Fatwa against French for 'Islamophobia'

Muslims hold placards with picture of French President with a footprint over his face during anti-France protest near the French consulate in Kolkata

Apart from Kolkata, Muslims in various other cities have joined their religious counterparts worldwide to protest against France

Kamal Nath calls me a dog, yes, I will attack the person who wants to harm the public: Jyotiraditya Scindia opens front against Kamal...

The by-poll is considered as an opportunity for Jyotiraditya Scindia to emerge as a formidable leader in the BJP camp.

Sadiya Anwar Shaikh, who was arrested for links with ISIS, was de-radicalised twice in the past: NIA charge-sheet

Sadiya Anwar Shaikh was de-radicalised twice in the past by intelligence agencies for radical comments on social media

Kashmir is integral to India’s civilisational heritage, given its Hindu and Buddhist history: Excerpt from ‘A New Idea Of India: Individual Rights In A...

A New Idea Of India: Individual Rights In A Civilisational State is written by Harsh Madhusudan and Rajeev Mantri.

The muffled voices of Hyderabad: Unaccounted reports of mass genocide of local Hindus under the Nizam

One of the largest princely states within the Indian union was Hyderabad, a Hindu-majority region ruled by a Muslim Nizam.

“I would have done the same”, says poet Munawwar Rana supporting the beheading of French teacher Samuel Paty by an Islamic terrorist

Munawwar Rana claimed honour killing has been allowed for thousands of years so beheading for blasphemy should be allowed

Connect with us

245,563FansLike
472,289FollowersFollow
19,600SubscribersSubscribe