There’s only one purpose a billboard or hoarding serves; to be noticed!

It cannot be hidden! It has to be glaringly visible! Telling the world, ‘Here I am, look at me!’ And that is exactly what the ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY FEET BY ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY FEET giant illegal hoarding that crashed during the sudden sandstorm in Mumbai told thousands, ‘I know that the legal size for hoardings is only 40 feet by 40 feet! I may be nine times bigger, but nobody can catch me!’

Blatant, on your face illegality. The authorities did not take it down, but nature did, killing sixteen people and injuring seventy in the process.

This glaring tragic horror, reflects our Bharat of today.

The question being asked, “Why didn’t the municipality take it down, when it was so obvious?”

Apart from accusations of bribery that may soon surface, there’s a more important point we need to dwell on which is that many of our licencing and regulatory organisations seem to have become private armies of political parties and are not bothered scrutinising anything else.

In a housing society I know of, an insignificant member has made himself significant because he has got to know all the small-time workers in the municipality, uses those same workers to bully, extort and blackmail members in the society in which he lives in.

“You have encroached,” says the municipality.

“But everybody has enclosed their balcony!” says the harassed member.

“But we were told only about yours!” smiles the municipal officer, offering to settle the issue with a hefty bribe which I believe is shared between the said member and the concerned workers.

The municipality has become his private mercenary gang. 

Sounds familiar doesn’t it, quite similar to what is happening in our Bharat now, where like the giant billboard, newspaper headlines scream daily of the ED, IT and police allegedly sent at the bequest of politicians to bully, harass and coerce those opposing them.

As soon as they toe the line, cases vanish and prison sentences disappear.

Tainted politicians, numbering nearly twenty five percent of those standing for one particular party have crossed floors from the opposition, after cases were lifted.

But remember, the giant billboard crashed, crushing, killing and maiming innocent people.

And if you don’t wake up, with the sound of the horrific dust storm looming over us, the same is going to happen as rotten politicians who’ve crossed over, start ruling us. Just look at Karnataka, with hundreds of women raped by a politician who crossed over, even as police knew what was happening. Do you realise where this is all going to take us?

Let the ED, IT, police and municipality work independently again, and stop ever being put to use as a private, mercenary army to those in power, and we may yet save our beloved Bharat being crushed under another monstrous billboard crash..!

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