DailyPost 2264

Rudolf Giuliani, was virtually decorated by the epithet the Mayor of the World in 2001, when Time Magazine selected him as the person of the year, calling him a tower of strength. In the aftermath of 9/11, he and his municipal corporation showed to the world, what local self-governments can deliver. Before this acknowledgement, he was re-elected in 1993 on ”tough on crime platform” and is credited to be responsible for New York’s “civic clean up” between 1994 to 2001. What municipal administration can do is not the question, what it cannot do is the answer. It can make or mar a city. The leadership of such an cutting edge comprehensive organization demands, different traits than ones required by a run of the normal politician.

Mahadevpura, Epsilon et al has been the recent memory of what havoc Municipal Corporation can unleash on its citizens, floods can only be an outward manifestation of it. What about the world famous engineering expertise of first making potholes happen and then not able to fill it up, without a trace. Mumbai has history of having floods wherever water can make way and no change has taken place over the ages. We barely can think of Mayors being leaders, planners and executioners and this country. What is known that worshipful as a necessary adjective to the Mayor. Breaking big corporations for standard arguments and making them again for another set of standard arguments has become the order of the day. Delimitation is often plagued with political outcries.

Whether municipal corporations bring urban misery or ease of urban living is a question which is not difficult to answer. Man-made urban misery, with total unaccountability has been the order of the day. While this is reality of life, municipal corporations’ elections have become the apple of everyone’s eye. National level leaders are fielded to woo voters and national level election machines start working on a blitzkrieg mode. The media has done its level best to change world’s perception to non-real, vested interest stuff in cahoot with powers that be or vested interests, carrying the news / stories goalpost with themselves, and playing ball. The political parties descended to levels unknown going by the recent cases, and crime / corruption / jail do not entail any stigma whatsoever.

When elections become everything, then everything becomes elections. All elections have graduated to the level of a battle, and courtesy electronic media, there is nothing less than a national level. They will create a useless narrative till where the TV signals reach. Calibrated social media by vested interests’ stakeholders are running riot. What has the country to do with corporators elections in Delhi? How does it impact the nation? Political parties find every success good, bad or ugly a mandate on whatever good bad and ugly they do. Then elections would have become a forensic audit tool. Media’s only expertise today is in style elections. With municipal elections have nothing to offer to whatever city it is held and hype of elections of any big city becoming a national carnival, we are heading for an epithetical called Municipal Corporation of India, which is consistently and steadily pushing us into urban chaos.

Sanjay Sahay

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