Prevent Mysore from going B'lore way

Prevent Mysore from going B'lore way

Pour your share of milk

The king had instructed all his citizens to put one cup of milk in the pond. To the surprise of the king there was only water. Every one was confident that others would put milk and their cheating will not make a difference. As we celebrate the world consumer day on March 15, it is worth reflecting on the moral of this story in the context of Mysore.

Mysore Grahakara Parishat has been in existence since 1989 and has served Mysoreans well. Every Mysorean has been benefited by its active participation in attempting to solve the myriads of civic problems. There must be at least more than 30,000 individuals who have been the direct beneficiaries of the advise and consultation they have been able to get from MGP.

Still why has MGP failed to get active members ? Is it because of our thinking that others with time to spare will take part and solve the problem? How many of us have reminded ourselves that let us not ask what Mysore can do for us, but what we can do for Mysore?  
Thanks to TV, we are witnessing the unfolding of the history in North Africa and the Middle East since the beginning of 2011. After the Jasmine revolt in Tunisia which ushered in democracy, lotus revolution dethroned Hosni Mubarak in Egypt.

Uprisings then spread to Yemen, Jordan, Bahrain, and since February 15 in Libya. India being a democratic country, where elections are held regularly we may feel that there is no lesson for us to learn from these revolts. Is it true?

Let us take the example of Mysore. We can change our rulers through election. But does it make any difference to the way we are governed? The choice is between Tweedledee and Tweedledum.

Our water problem is only getting worse by the day. Black outs and brown outs are even more common in this internet age. Mysore is drowned in garbage (only because the problem is worse in other cities, Mysore must have got the award as the cleanest city).

Traffic problems will start competing with Bangalore soon if we do not take action now. Travelling by autos is a nightmare. Parks are in bad shape. Even after 1800 food adulteration demonstrations by MGP activist C V Nagarja, there has been no appreciable improvement.

How have we tolerated the totally unjustified delay in the construction of K R S Road? In any democratically functioning city, it would have been done in less than 4 months and that too with minimum inconvenience to the citizens.

 Unfortunately in Mysore, we have quietly put up with such a delay as though we are a banana republic! According to my rough estimate the cost to Mysore from the delay of one year is more than Rs 20 crore based on incremental cost of petrol and time wasted in detouring. Does this shock any one to take action even now?

Unlike the Arab population, who could not tolerate any more the totalitarian rule of their dictators and were forced to revolt, we seem to be indifferent to get involved to solve our problems.

While Arabs can find fault with their corrupt and often dynastic rulers, we need to find fault with ourselves. We have abdicated our responsibility. In a democracy we are the rulers. We cannot go on blaming our leaders whom we could have easily removed if only we get involved.

MGP is truly a democratic and transparent institution where any active members can take up a project of their choosing. Executive committees of MGP have approached schools and colleges seeking active participation of students and teachers. They have approached general public through various projects like “Save Mysore”, distribution of cloth garbage bags, making presentations on JNNURM, publishing informative articles on civic problems, filing PILs in the courts, printing booklets on consumer protection etc. Still the interest of the public has been lukewarm to one of indifference.

MGP is holding its monthly meeting on March 13 prior to the world consumer day at 6/1 Vivekanada Road, Yadavagiri. Those who are interested to contribute to saving Mysore can attend the meeting. For more information call 2515150. Every one of us should start thinking that we can make a difference by our involvement. Irrespective of what others may do, we should decide to pour our share of ‘milk’ in the pond.  Only with such a positive thinking we can prevent Mysore from going the way of Bangalore.

Bhamy V Shenoy, Convener, MGP