‘ Sau-sau kooos gaon mein maa apne bachhon ko sulati hue kehti hain ki so jaaa bete nahin to gabbar aa jayega’ – famous lines from Sholay. So when an outsider from the state plans to come for job here in Meerut(Meerut is just max 2hr drive and about 70 kmfrom Delhi)) their is similar apprehension in his parents mind. When I came here I was advisd not to keep much money as it will be looted ( ha! Ha!) All they knew is just half truth.
After Metro Delhi and NCR real progress is here in meerut. Its just the image of the region that ruins all the good work done.Education, Hospitals, Malls, shopping arcades are all here. So why Meerut is feared. The issue is lack of administrative will, the bolbaala of babudom ( red tape). This lack leads to infrastructural deficiencies like power, roads. So inspite of having corporate offices, world class education institutions Meerut lacks manufacturing/production. Industries have moved out. So lack of real, skill full job opportunities to the local populace. This leads to law n order problems. In fact when private enterprises do come here they find it hard to do profitable and smooth business. ‘Free’ culture among the so-called VIP’s is a gruesome problem. Hurting ego of Babu has serious reprecussions. There is a live example of a Multiplex being sealed as one of the theatre manager failed to provide seats to a Commissioner who came to watch movie with his family. The Multiplex owner in his annoyance have once quoted to me that it was their mistake to have dared open first multiplex of region here. They will quit at frst opportunity. Although they survived after a legal battle, they have now outsourced their business.
I came to Meerut about 5 yrs ago. And it is a perfectly normal city. Although inflated egos are everywhere – fight or two at any small pretence. But each city has its characteristic and this can be Meerut’s beauty. What I see is deliberate attempt by the administration to exploit any growing business in the city ( behenjis’ bithday ‘chanda’ collection type activities, in fact somebody has said the Adminstration in Meerut is like an event-management company always looking out for sponsorships) and media’s indifference to the pollution-makers.
The first one is widely known phenomenon especially in Uttar Pradesh. Reflecting on media and society’s indifference lets see some examples:
- Subharti Group with medical college, hospitals and other avenues of higher education is a vast project. I am sure thet one day Meerut willl be known by Subharti. Now it is always in the news for wrong reasons pertaining to business rivalries and meek issues. When some accident occurs on the Highway newspaper carries ‘in-front of Subharti’. Its just that the importance of massive institution has not been realised by the denizens here.
- Another example is IIMT Group of Institutions. With over 15000 students there is a section in media out to ruin the image. Now IIMT has students coming from all over India. Wih these sheer no. internal problems are bound to happen. College also have every right to maintain discipline. Now everytime some case arise we have some Student Union leaders with their gang raising slogans in college premises and media (with its local correspondent) highlighting and glorifing these so called leaders. This publicity gives them motivation to disrupt proceddings at different colleges and so Meerut is always in the news for wrong reasons.
- Meeut in the distant past was plagued with communal tensions. It is sensitive now also. The local politicians tries to create this polarisations between Hindu and Muslims. Infact if you were to hear some speeches being made by these politicians in their election gatherings, especially at night, you may feel that you are in Pakistan not India. They try to instill fear in Muslims that if they will not come to power then Hindus will kill them ( i doubt whether this will be considered a violation of election code of conduct!). So inspite of influx from outsiders and higher education standards, mindset of a paticular section is not being allowed to change. So Meerut comes in news because of Operation Majnu ( a publicity stunt byMeerut police to beat-up couples in a much-famous Park name after The Gandhi).
Perhaps time have come for denizens to rise and give Meerut a chance to flourish.
Some time back, in my previous blog, I mentioned how Meerut was misunderstood as a crime city. And here I was yesterday paying my