“Aadi” fervour has a price

On most weekends this past month, hysterical fervour gripped many localities for “Aadi” religious festivities, culminating in loud and disturbing finale on Sunday.

In many instances, these streetside temples that are nothing more than convenient encroachments for local politicians took away police resources from other important tasks. Far from enforcing traffic rules, the police became complicit in the violation of these rules in most cases.

This politico-religious engagement of the Police is reflected in the incident reported by the Times of India, in which an accident lay in his car, with no attention from anyone, including a police vehicle that passed the scene early on Sunday.

If any proof were needed that the traffic system in Chennai is disintegrating, this is it. An earlier instance of systemic neglect is the one that I had mentioned in Egmore, see this post.

We have to conclude with a great deal of frustration that as more vehicles are added to the Police fleet, including gratis Hyundai Accent patrol cars, new-fangled motorcycles and radios are given to more personnel, the less attention the citizen gets from the men in uniform, who are at their smartest only when travelling in VVIP convoys, holding up traffic.

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