The examination programme announced by MNS chief Raj Thackeray for ticket seekers of his party for the upcoming BMC polls is something unheard of, as it is mainly left to the hapless lot of citizens to undergo various exams every day. People from the city have many questions to ask them as well.
Interestingly, citizens have never questioned the qualifications of their corporators, who are seen as people who deal in the gutter (drainage and garbage) and the meter (water supply). The corporators have it easy, as people hardly get any time to question whether they have undertaken their duties and responsibilities.
Now, Thackeray wants his corporators to have knowledge of the Bombay Municipal Act. He also expects them to know the duties of corporators, mayors and chiefs in the BMC, the 24 ward offices, the income of the corporation, correspondence through reminders, the functioning of the MMRDA, and details of the crucial Maharashtra Regional Town Planning Act.
The idea seems utopian, going by how the city was managed by people in the past. Former CM Vilasrao Deshmukh had once described the crucial Standing Committee of the civic body as an understanding committee, quite aptly at that. It is still not clear as to how contracts worth crores of rupees were passed within minutes, and without much discussion. The quality of civic works and efficiency of the civic administration on managing the city was never questioned in the past.
Here are some ideal questions that any political party should throw at its candidates: How did slums spring up overnight? Why are pavements occupied again and again by hawkers? Why are subways near CST and Churchgate full of hawkers during peak hours, when lakhs of commuters find it difficult to even walk safely?