mid day editorial: Are citizens doing the job of authorities?

Aug 10, 2018, 07:00 IST | mid-day correspondent

Two reports in this paper yesterday certainly point to this

mid day editorial: Are citizens doing the job of authorities?

When all else fails, just step in and do it yourself. Going by the recent developments in the city, this seems to be Mumbai's new mantra. Two reports in this paper yesterday certainly point to this.

A group of women in Kalyan took on a group of drug addicts populating their neighbourhood garden and threw them all out on Sunday. These addicts had been giving the locality sleepless nights for a whole month. And, predictably, the local police could not do a thing. Then there is the 20-year-old teacher who tracked down her stolen phone with the aid of a phone tool and even nabs the thief.

Why are citizens increasingly not relying on the city's so called 'protectors' and administrators? Why is it far more preferable to take on hardened drug addicts and thieves than wait for the police to do their job? A few weeks ago, there were reports in this paper about citizens paving footpaths and roads and filling potholes themselves instead of waiting for the civic body to get cracking. The interminable wait before any authority in the city can even take note of citizens' problems seems to have egged on the masses to get down and make their own lives easier. What this shows is that there are numerous woes that citizens can tackle on their own.

When there is seemingly a mind-boggling amount of red tape required to be cut through to get a single pothole filled or a road repaired, why should citizens not fill the few in front of their homes? The police explain away their insouciance saying they can't be everywhere at once. So, why should some well-meaning vigilantism not be a way to keep neighbourhoods safe? If the authorities don't know how to do their job, maybe it's time for citizens to show them how.

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