No Taxis On The Road..!

No Taxis On The Road..!

Even as the golden beaches of Goa seduce me each morning as I holiday here, with their shimmering sands, sparkling blue seas and breakfast shacks, I look at groups sitting all over, tourists most of them, with troubled expressions; wondering how they can reach airport or railway station.

The taxis are on strike!

And why on strike? Because they don’t want speed governors to be fitted on their vehicles! I enquire a little more and find that the Supreme Court had made it mandatory last year for all tourist taxis to be fitted with these speed restrictors, to help reduce road accidents throughout the country. The Golden state of Goa, however, illegally passed a law giving taxis a six- month extension!

Now they want more ‘extensions,’ another laugh at the law! So, they’re on strike!

“Break the law!” shout thousands of taxi drivers, sitting together, playing cards, enjoying the local brew, and bonhomie.

“The Supreme Court says we can’t!” whimpers the Goa state government headed by the country’s former defense minister.

“You can!” grin the taxi drivers, “If you could last year, you can this year!”

And as locals are inconvenienced, people are irritated and the state looks at votes reducing in the next elections, there’s no doubt they’ll buckle, give in and laws will be broken all over again.

India has the unique situation of getting laws passed to please a certain section of the people, and same law not implemented to please another section, and whichever side has the numbers, wins!

Laws have been passed disallowing loudspeakers after ten in the night, but when a slum or a local community celebrates, the police turn a blind eye in the city of Mumbai, and if the same loudspeakers are played by the middle class or those who live in flats or bungalows, the police stoop down and make their arrests. The slums have the numbers and the votes, the others don’t.

Votes influence the implementation of laws here.

A laws was passed to make helmets compulsory for rider and pillion, but till date I have not seen the police arrest a single pillion rider. “Government said not to do so!” say the policemen.

Why would the government not implement something that would safeguard the lives of millions of pillion riders? I wonder, but know the answer.

Today, gangs roam the country harassing, lynching, those who raise cows. Murder is an offence, but the state looks the other way, because a majority community backs these mob killings.

I look out of my window, I see golden beaches, shimmering sands, and forlorn faces of people with no taxis to carry them to their destinations. “Don’t worry!” I chuckle, “The taxis will soon be on the road, and everything will be fine!”

The blue seas wink at me and I wink back at them..! (

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