OFF THE RECORD on Kamala Mill Fire -Part 2
Yesterday in true sense I felt the powers of social media. Who does not liked to be praised, fought over for? I had a humbling experience when I was told by many noted personalities belonging to various fields of our society, that my writeup on Kamala Mill Fire yesterday was itself spreading like wild fire. People actually copy-pasted my whatsapp message (I send my write up’s to selected people on their whastapp numbers everyday) and re-sent it to their contacts, groups whoever they could reach not only in Mumbai, Maharashtra, India but as far as the USA. Many thanks to them!! I think, I was the first journalist yesterday in whole wide world who put out some facts, some real hard-hitting facts. But admist the praises showered upon me, two calls did the work of getting me back to the ground. One was from noted economist & owner of the largest publication Kalnirnay, Mr. Jayraj Salgaonkar (sir) & the other from (my “kaka” I know him since I was a kid) PRO to Uddhav Thackrey, Mr. Harshal Pradhan. Mind you the calls were purely out of love & affection they have towards me & the experience these both carry. Experience in the sense, they have seen many go up in a short span of time, but they equally fall down at the same speed if they don’t “LISTEN” to advice of well-wishers. I have promised them to listen. They felt the language I used yesterday was very brash & rude. I agreed to it immediately and promised to strike a balance henceforth.
One very small story before I begin my analysis. I need to tell you this to make you understand the current situation–Everyone knows where is Qutb Minar. Now I’m told by a learned person that in the early 70’s every common visitor was allowed till the 2nd floor of the Minar to take a view from inside. Then one day one person committed suicide from the 2nd floor from the Minar. Then the authorities stopped general people entry on the 2nd. Now people were allowed till the 1st floor. Then one day, in a school picnic day, there was a stampede and some students died in that particular stampede. Authorities closed the viewing of Minar forever then. Now they have built a fence around the Minar and no one is allowed to come near the Minar. Isn’t this ridiculous? Instead of addressing the safety concerns our authorities just closed down the thing. Public safety is a must which every autocrat must address…We are the tax payers, if you have forgotten sir’s…We have a right to be everywhere and yes, it should be safe.
Now coming back to the fire & the aftermath, it is seen that many things are conveniently getting “managed”. Did not read any comment from the GOWANI’s (owners of Kamala Mill) anywhere nor from retired IPS K.K. Pathak (except Mumbai Mirror) whose son is a partner at one of the pubs that was on fire. Yug, the son of retired IPS officer KK Pathak, the bureaucrat claims that he is a minor partner– I fail to understand this concept when I read the paper…What is a minor partner? Partner is a partner. Let him be a 1% shareholder or a 50% shareholder. It does not compensate for being “left out” of investigation. By the way it is more than 24 hours, not a single arrest is made so far by the Mumbai Police.
Secondly, social media went berserk when CM Devendra Fadnavis reached the spot. Many were heard asking questions where was the CM when just a week ago when 11 workers died in a snack making factory in Andheri due to fire again. CM did not even bother to tweet about the incident. Here the PM tweeted, RaGa tweeted yesterday….Just because they were workers who had died at the factory, din’t it require equal attention & emotional outburst? In my views, it did so. But mind you friends, after last 3 to 4 instances, I have come to a conclusion–there is an absolute threat to our life every single minute for people living in the city of dreams– it does not matter if you are millionaire or a beggar on the street. High time the state functionary take a note of this & pull up the socks.
“तुलसी ने कहा :तुलसी हाय गरीब की कभी ना खाली जाय ,बिना साँस के चाम से लोह भस्म हो जाए”.
Well, many media houses yesterday stormed on their respective channels to show the “losses” the fire caused, but my dear friends, I want to ask these media barons one question—where were you when you shared the same premise of Kamala Mills and people came to you complaining about the illegalities? Had you people acted then, might be, we could have averted such a dreadful incident yesterday. Now it is a ticking bomb in town area (South Mumbai) where many newspapers have claimed plots for their printing business and have easily built huge complexes on those plots–by greasing the palms of bureaucrats & at Mantralaya they have managed to keep a floor or two for themselves and rented out the whole building, letting the management earn rentals in crores per annum. Mind you, there are restaurants too in these buildings with full fledged kitchens/canteen. A leading newspaper of our nation, I think it is number 1 today, they say since years they just pay rentals of Rs. 1 per month per sq.ft.. for which their lease has expired since ages & the ongoing market rate is somewhere around Rs. 200 per sq.feet. No one bothers to read the agreement at the BMC nor anyone plans to extend the lease at market rates. This nexus of media, bureaucrats & autocrats is absolutely dangerous for the society.
One of leading journalists of our state & my friend, Kiran Tare’s Facebook message was interesting. Posting it here as it is, “14 people died at the inferno at Mumbai’s 1 Above pub and the two other surrounding pubs. My source, a regular visitor at 1 Above, says the pub owners were planning to launch another pub at BKC in association with a prominent Shiv Sena leader from Bandra. Time to seek explanation!” Just pick up any channel and find out who visited the site yesterday from the Sena who lives in Bandra. Time for some introspection, young man. By the way, I saw due to this incident moral policing went berserk. Women partying at this hour (post mid-night) …My god!! guys please take a break. Also now what happens to the 24 hour eating joints that the Govt plans to pass? Does it stop for a while?
The Mills of Mumbai are not belonging or getting into the fad of multiplexes & towers by mere blessings of say Shiv Sena or Congress. It is not like that. People from various parties be it NCP have also had powers to rule here for decades. Mere sons of mill workers have turned into politicians & successfully running many ventures just by living here and working for the development of mill owners. It will be wrong to say that yesterday’s fire was the responsibility of the Shiv Sena-BJP ruled BMC. Yes, the down level officers at the ward level are indeed responsible along with touts/agents and the architects of builders who start their projects by offering mouth watering profits to the owners of the premises by going the back door way. Then once the blood is tasted, the owner never returns back to his roots. So it is the architects/planners/agents & the officers at down level who are the main culprits.
Oh! By the way (it is a rumour) last heard there are many “influential” people queuing up outside the Singhvi’s & Gowani’s household in order to help them from saving them from the brunt of politicians & cops. Time to cough up some serious money Singhvi’s & Gowani’s. By the way friends, people in Mumbai /India will come and go..Tomorrow is 31st…Don’t let your spirits down..Cheer up & party hard..For the rest of us (sensitive one’s) we will say a quiet prayer for the deceased before we ring in the new year…
Till then, Wishing you all a Very Happy New Year in Advance,
Let’s catch up soon,