Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Jaan jaye par shaan na jaye; modern day Nero-giri

Had anyone taken a MMS of Arun Patnaik - Joint Commissioner of Mumbai Police's conduct after the Mumbai blasts, it would have been more iconic and symptomatic of police apathy than this accompanying photograph. During times of crisis, precisely when swift police action is of utmost importance, these guys are busy, protecting of all things, their own clothes from getting wet.

According to an CNN-IBN eyewitness account, Patnaik wouldn't get down from his official car and inspect the scene of the blasts, till a umbrella was provided to him. This wasn't the only insensitive thing this chap did in the day. Gaurav, who did an amazing job with his timeline, wrote that Patnaik was busy playing the blame game on Television immediately after the blasts.

On CNBC, Patnaik was quick to shirk off blame saying security in trains is the responsibility of Railway Police. This when the first priority should have been getting as much information, forensic as well as otherwise, possible from the crime scene.

I didn't know whether to laugh or cry at this insane display of arrogance, insensitivity and vanity amidst such a major tragedy. The citizen journalist's eyewitness account on CNN-IBN spoke about how ordinary people who were themselves victims of the blasts were helping each other spontaneously and in contrast this JCP was warming his arse.

I would like to specially thank the Mahim Zone ACP Desai and his team. He was very active in the whole operation, although he is very aged but still actively got involved in the rescue operation.

I would also like to mention Arun Patnaik - Joint Commissioner of Mumbai Police. He didn't get down from his official car, till a umbrella was provided to him.

Local boys from the area did a good service of maintaining the traffic. I waited till the bomb squad arrived, and then a police tape was put around the blast area.

This reminded me of two similar and equally disgusting instances of authority figures who were fiddling while cities burnt around them.

First, the person in the accompanying photograph, K Kumaraswamy - JCP Vadodara who during Gujarat floods in 2005 who should enter record books for ensuring that his pants didn't get wet in waist deep waters.

Second of course was Brownie. FEMA chief Michael Brown was busy discussing his wardrobe during the crisis caused by Hurricane Katrina.

"My eyes must certainly be deceiving me. You look fabulous and I'm not talking the makeup," writes Cindy Taylor, FEMA's deputy director of public affairs to Brown on 7:10 a.m. local time on Aug. 29.

"I got it at Nordstroms," Brown writes back. "Are you proud of me? Can I quit now? Can I go home?" An hour later, Brown adds: "If you'll look at my lovely FEMA attire, you'll really vomit. I am a fashion god."

What are these people high on? Asli tidik bharte na hey asla vachlyavar... Shapath!