Sunday, March 15, 2009

Capital Punishment

When it comes to being DOC, the capital city goes all the way to make sure there is no other contender. From dirty, violent politics to crude behavior, the city has gained a notorious name for itself, which refuses to be shaken off by the decent minority folks living in the city, who actually love the place (although maybe not really the people who co-inhabitate it!). The grapevine has it that things have sunk to such an extent that girls are now reluctant to marry guys from the city. And that the women in the city are praying for some reason to leave the place. So lets take a tour of the city and find out what is wrong with this beautiful city.

The biggest, and most obvious, problem is that it looks almost like all the criminals and goons of the malayali world have moved to the city to do what they do best, under the pretext of politics. As a result, the number of scumbags, thieves, and rowdies outnumber the civil and law abiding citizens, and the amount of negativity in the air is tremendous and depressing.

The situation is so bad that even the police force is now stunted and weakened, thanks to our "politicians" who support these criminals. So any murderer and thief, who has a local committee member or khadi-clad party worker to appear for his sake in front of the cops, has an assured escape - without any FIR or records. Over the years, this trend has become so big that today police stations are attacked and police are beaten up in case they dare to utter anything related to the word justice or law.

This politician-criminal nexus has spilt over to the streets as well, and the average guy you see in the city is emboldened by a similar notion. That results in a heightened level of aggression. You dare not challenge a roughian on the road, violating traffic rules and putting your and every other persons life in danger. Lest he abuses you and is ready to even slap the odd traffic cop who inadvertently is still in the scene. So dont get overtly upset by lane-jumping motorists, or the majority of drivers who park their vehicles wherever they want, even if it is the middle of the road, or the rampaging KSRTC driver (remember he is wearing khaki too), or the saffron-flag flaunting autorickshaw guy (beware!). No questions to be asked.

The spill doesnt end there. It has been there long enough to rot the education system in the capital, with even schools now being transformed to power hubs of party politics, with all the student wings of these parties forming their youth outfit crap. There is no focus on the education or the syllabus. The state board itself is rotting, and no match to CBSE or ICSE.

As a result, there is a growing number of unemployed youth since majority of these students ultimately find it difficult to match up to the quality and standards of students from other cities and states. The smarter ones leave the state itself for higher education, and usually never want to return. But this is exactly the need of the politicians, so that they have a greater workforce, ready to throw stones and chant slogans.

Which then leads to the stunted growth of the city and state since no industry or even agriculture thrives under these circumstances, with no constructive human workforce or healthy environment. The odd factory or institution that still manages to brave the government red tape and unfavorable state of affairs ultimately faces the challenges of a corrupt system and political parties out to suck their blood in the name of funds and crazy systems such as "nokku kooli".

Ultimately the city is left behind with nothing really, except a lot of ugly posters, frightful arches, and unsightly flexboards of politicians and parties (apparently the city corporation has supposedly banned all these, but obviously lost their balls since its their own party and leaders flouting the law) and daily demonstrations and marches. Of course, there is the 10 meter underpass and the widest road in the city (since decades, which is just a 4 lane road of around 2kilometers), and the Vizhinjam port (under discussion and "study" since 1974), the first technopark since 1994 (the first one with labour union as well, marking its own path to downfall), an international airport (only namesake, at least, so far), and many such bloated images to hide under

Well, it is time to make it known that the people of the city dont really care about all the trash and stink our politicians (what undignified clowns, really!) and their bloody workers are so obsessed with. We just want a clean and civil city which allows us to work in peace, earn our livelihood, educate our children for a better tomorrow, and enjoy the peace and beauty God has given us.

Let us make sure we vote. And make sure we vote only for the educated, civilized, dignified and competent people, who would really want to imrpove the state. If we dont have them, let the educated people get ready to enter politics and take reigns.


Anonymous said...

gorgeous! i love this bit. it is so so true! omg! yeah, lots of wannabe newly rich all over town showing "aggression"

rags to riches coz they sold their real estate and still retaining their backwardness.

highly politicized and cultureless.

this is the trivandrum of 2010.

Anonymous said...

as you said, lets hope shashi tharoor gets a seat..already some goondas have arranged protest marches against him getting a seat!

Anonymous said...

Things would change when we start voting for people and not for the parties. go for the right candidate and doesnt matter which party she/he belongs to and we will see things changing.

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Unknown said...

This article sums up all my sentiments about my beloved city. I am recently in Trivandrum and I am so deeply pained to see the "backwardness" and the petty mindedness of it's inhabitants. Nearly 70%of my school mates have left the city for better places & betterlifestyles. Rudeness & arrogance are the normal norms of behaviour for the average Trivandrumite.You cannot drive via the main MG road betwween 10:00 am to 4:00 pm as it is besieged by political activists. The British council library which was our favourite jaunt in our college days fpr thirst for knowledge is closed and gone : and the govt: libraries are in tatters. Trivandrum can boast of the worse roads for any capital city in India. Not a single day passes by without being taunted by "PIRIVUKAR" out to extract your money, I was even warned of dire consequences for giving Rs 100 only as "pirivu" for a social organisation. Peolpe who have an option to leave this wretched city are lucky souls; but ageing parents and family ties keep bringing people like me to suffer the hardships in silence !

silverine said...

The civil society in Ktka is finally beginning to raise its voice against the violation of civil liberties that has been taking place since last year. Hope the people of Trivandrum will do the same and wrest their city from the goons.

Anonymous said...

I can only sympathise with Madhavan and the culprits are our criminal politicians and their monkey brigades. What prevents politicians from changing their mindset? The greatest criminals are the people of Kerala who are not ready to vote. This includes an IAS Officer also and he has proudly declared that in a TV show. All the political parties put together has 60% followers. 40% are out of their folds. If this 40%come out to exercise their franchise once in 5 years the whole thing will change. Let us silently work to elect an independent candidate in every constituency in the coming Lok Sabha election and thereby kick out all political candidates. Nothing will happen to India if that happens. However, politicians will learn a lesson or two and will learn to behave and do something good for the country. The 40% who do not bother to cast their votes must come out this time to vote after finding out a reasonable independent candidate, who is going to rule us for the next five years from Delhi. If we are not to unite to save this country that will be the biggest crime, we are doing to our children in the years to come.

Anonymous said...
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phoenix said...
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Anonymous said...

Thanx Manoj for highlighting that post. I feel quite ashamed at reading such comments. and we call this " athithi devo bhava".

Ealier the Auto guys in Calicut used to be known for their best behaviour, but even there when i went last time i met some nasty fellows for the first time in my life. This is how culture spreads.

By the way Arun, i really quite did not understand why you had to specifically mention "dark complexioned" and " Backward Class". I dont think skin colour or class determines one's behaviour.

Anonymous said...

@Menon - I wasn't stereotyping. I was talking about a particular case, and in this case all of this was true. He looked and behaved like a typical slumdog.

Anonymous said...

@Menon...When you give unbridled power, special status and protection via reservation to people it does go to their heads!

Arun Mathew said...
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Arun Mathew said...
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Arun Mathew said...
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Anonymous said...

This is called Trivandrum Rising! :-P

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Trivandrum will never rise unless it sheds its very very conservative nature or culture. The natives here are generally very backward in their thinking compared to other parts of Kerala like Ernakulam. This post is indeed very very realistic and that is what I like about it.

scorpiogenius said...

But there is a mistake..

The situation you've elaborated MC, is applicable to all major politico-administrative hubs, not just to Trivandrum. One mustn't be stereotypical about one place just because it has unfortunately become the capital of Gods, correction Dogs own country.

Just tell me, is organized crime and political goon-ism just engrossed within Tvm? Look at other state capitals like Chennai and Blore... Forget the glitz, but the law and order situation is worse than that of Tvm. Our National capital Delhi is frightening if you look at what goes on there.

The fact that Tvm has produced more educated and socially responsible youth itself is a testimony. Look at the netizens; Which place represents our state on the net as vastly as Tvm?? Eg:

If you start looking at negatives we can see only negatives MC. the politicians have cruelly neglected the needs of the city, leading to its developmental handicaps. Being the breeding ground for politics and an experimental platform for the political violence Trivandrum suffered seriously.

Believing to stereotypes could be utterly misleading and ignorant. Tell me about the image of Kerala outside Valayar border...and Indians in middle east.. Are they all true?

There couldnt be a generalization about tvm especially since it is such a mix of all the 14 districts of Kerala + the south TN folks.. I love the city like you do, so lets save it from the politicos...

MC said...

@ maverick - i agree that its the ruthless and uncultured politicians that spoil our state. its the rot that they create that eats into the society, whether its the aggression or the crime.

@ kuttappan - i think the candidacy of mr.tharoor will mark a great milestone in indian politics, especially in kerala, and will inspire more younger and talented people to get into governance. let us give such candidates a resounding victory!

@ menon - absolutely.

@ sam - the outsider that you mentioned, has anyone who voted for him ever wondered where he disappeared after the elections? has he done even an ounce of good for the city or state, except probably for bringing us more shame?

@ madhavan - you summed it up well. the real life experience in trivandrum is utterly disappointing for cultured people, thanks to our politicians and their goons. that said, it is time for us to take over and oust the scums.

@ silverine - absolutely agree. it is time that the real people showed their might, not just the political and criminal workers who claim to be the "mass" even when they have just 100 people.

@ anonymous - i really appreciate one point in your comment - to ensure that only independents win from every constituency. that would really derail the system in which the present bunch of thugs and looters work. but i am not sure how it would impact the governance on a larger note, for example, defence and foreign policies. but definitely something along that line is needed.

@ arun - ultimately the arrogance and criminal mentality of our people are beyond color and caste, but it is simply a fallout of too much politicism.

@ manoj - i agree and can totally relate to that foreigner lady's dejected feeling. they usually come with such an open and friendly mind and yet get tormented and terrified by our lungi mongering thieves. the cops are so useless nowadays thanks to our master politicians!!

@ smash the REDS - unfortunately the majority of the people are still stuck in the political rot. our success will depend on getting them out of it by bringing more educated and focused leaders.

@ sujith - couldnt agree with you more, the rot is maximum in trivandrum. no two thoughts about it.

@ scorpiogenius - i appreciate your thinking and comments brother. but i dont think i have seen the kind of arrogance and absolute disregard and contempt for law and the system anywhere else in Kerala or in any other capital city such as mumbai, bangalore, chennai or hyderabad. but the situation in trivandrum is really at a low and it is shameful indeed. add to it the existing system of politics, bandhs, pirivus, and silencing of the police.

but i agree that we have to save ourselves and the state from the current set of politicians and their parties. candidates like shashi tharoor will bring us closer to that reality.

Anonymous said...

If there is one major city in Kerala that loves to disobey the law, it is Trivandrum.

Compare Kochi and Trivandrum:

Helmet Rule/Seat belts/On the phone when driving
Tvm - No way!
Kochi - get yourself a ticket

Drunk Driving
Tvm - you can cruise on Kowdiar Rajpath without ever having to worry about being caught
Kochi - those who drink have appointed drivers or their wives do the driving. You would find checks every few 100 metres and no exaggeration this. No escape.

Parking & One-ways

In Tvm you can literally park anywhere be it bus bays or even alongside a roundabout. In Tvm, you may also not be able to park in an actual PARKING ZONE if a rally or demonstration is taking place or if a local MLA is riding thru. Rules change every hour of the day. One ways - you can go either way. Roundabouts are not meant for going around rather going thru.

Traffic signals
There are just a handful of signals in the capital and most of them are non-functional. But, how many of you have seen vehicles stop patiently at the famous traffic lights in Kowdiar. Or for that matter, have you seen police cars jumping the lights at Pattom where the Traffic police station is located?!!

There is a difference. The Comm.of Police Manoj Abraham, he never cared about politicians. Wish he continued here but was quick to be transferred.

Quite sometime back, a certain organisation called the FRAT which claims to represent the 'residents' of Trivandrum actually demonstrated against the Helmet rule!!! Now, if that is the mentality of those who are supposed to lead us, how about the average native?

Anonymous said...

After reading a lot of posts starting from 2005 in this blog which used to be written by more than one person and then towards the latest posts which are all by a single person, I observe some really amusing things.

A lot, a hell lot of people who are avid users of internet firmly believe that they are the decision makers in this new shrinking world, which I find as absurdity and real stupidity. The post where you decided Oommen Chandy as the preferred CM based on total of some 150 odd votes clearly indicates the blog and the commenters follow the pattern of lame and same old hollow and egoistic arguments holding no grounds of reality, for the sake of them and nothing substantial.

And about almost every supposed to be forward thinking person's nemesis. The Left. When the mighty American president talks in same tone, no one tend to think. The truth is that more than 30 small and big recessions have passed in the 300 years of capitalistic economic process (that's one per decade!). Mind you, I 'm talking only in the damn economic terms, as it's the only buzzword.

The concern shown by you in the posts is not actually genuine[sic]. It's the same old wine in new bottle, the pure negativism which you use to show yourself standing in a safe and clean platform and looking down on the filth and dirt below. Your posts are just showing off! The genuineness is clearly missing man. I am not against this blog because you want your ego to be boosted by the paeans the fellow "countrymen" sing for you. So keep writing. ATB!

But can't help saying it. The blog sucks, big time!

MC said...

@ sujith - spot on! very true comparisons. i also had a lot of respect for the FRAT, which began on a very positive and progressive note, but unfortunately later i read about their activities with disappointment.

@ maya - and yet, you read the posts from 2005? now thats a beginning for you.

ofcourse, please live and let live.

Anonymous said...

Lol, but Maya, the COMMIES haven't learned to blog yet :-)

Annemarie said...

LOL! Ms Maya thinks that people actually care what she thinks! :-)

Anonymous said...

Maya, in a certain way you are right. People blog on topics like this to vent their frustration and massage their ego's. But world over blogs have started changing the way thinking is influenced. A classic example in India was the use of blogging and sites like tweeter during the recent mumbai blasts. This led to the massive change in the way the govt responded. I can tell you that today people who matter, people who make decisions are reading blogs and getting influenced by the popular thoughts( or perceptions).Also you should know that the so called millenial kids ( the gex X and Gen Y) rely very heavily on blogs, but most of the time we are ruled or managed by the baby boomers. Things would change ,and has already started as you can see from what is happening through blogs. This is a slow cultural evolution and may take time till we have more millenial kids taking over the managemenet of day to day affairs ( with no insult to the babyboomers).I can give you countless other examples of how blogs have influenced thinking and changed life's so i dont think you should generalise that blogs " sucks". You have every right of expression here, and i am sure you can also constructively add value to the popular sentiments which on day may make the change we all look forward to.


abhishek said...


No worries...several of the original writers are still around. I still read this blog, because I have yet to find another place on the Internet where people ask so sincerely for change in Kerala.

Maya, even if we don't agree on idealogies or the need for idealogy in governance, surely you do not disagree that law and order are critical to leading a happy and prosperous life?

If it seems wrong to single out Kerala from India on the lack of law and order, then why are we always the first to single ourselves out for being the most literate society? Or the state with the highest living standards? If we highlight our high standards, we should hold ourselves up to those very standards. Or else admit we're full of bull.

"And about almost every supposed to be forward thinking person's nemesis. The Left. When the mighty American president talks in same tone, no one tend to think. The truth is that more than 30 small and big recessions have passed in the 300 years of capitalistic economic process (that's one per decade!). Mind you, I 'm talking only in the damn economic terms, as it's the only buzzword."

Economics is no buzzword. Amartya Sen would beg to disagree and so would a whole host of other thinkers whose opinions you might be inclined to respect.

Recessions are part and parcel of business cycles, a phenomenon that isn't confined to capitalist economies. Ask Cuba, Venezuela and ...(I'm grasping for countries where leftist regimes still exist, because they've been so thoroughly disproved).

Anonymous said...

I didn't say "The" blog sucks. It's a powerful medium as Menon pointed out and I agree. I felt and still feel "This" blog sucks. I regret for misleading you.

Which world are you living in, when you say that the leftist ideals are not present in the limelight? Almost whole of Latin America, the new entrant being El Salvador, Kevin Rudd of Australia belonging to centrist-leftist party there, Labour in UK are all supporters or practitioners of leftist ideals. When one says left ideals, please don't misunderstand them with left extremism or communism. Even the supporters of Obama were called the "angry left" during the elections. The whole of Europe follows leftist ideals which translates to the government's major role in state activities. When states become laid back, you see the kind of revolts that happened in Greece or the strike in France by the working class (note that Sarkozy is a conservative!). The protectionism, almost every government is speaking about in the current scenario indicates how much the economics too believe in leftist ideals.

The growth that everyone was seeing for past 10-15 years was because of the mistakes that were being accumulated as everyone tend to forget the basics of running businesses and not realizing the fact that common people makes the basic building block of any business. The promotion of reckless spending and even reckless lending in form of loans and credits made an aura which mislead everyone to believe in the magic wand of capitalism, for a short period of time (10-15 years where some generations formed their opinions too!!). So when a normal person's spending habit is changed, the whole economy gets affected. Simple!

Leftist ideals are a way of life that goes beyond economics. It's not confined only to economics; it goes beyond that to liberalized thought process, seeing and practicing equality irrespective of gender, colour, caste or religion or any other classifications and many more reformist processes. It's only that it's followed wrongly in many places, but the basic elements remains the same.

When you write something so serious, the practice also matters. Blabbering for 3-4 years since the blog was started does not make a movement. You should act on ground. The element of negativism just gives you a round of applause from a few like minded souls and it doesn't make a single of change. Staying outside a region and pointing fingers at the wrongs there is pure cowardice and meaningless banter. That's all I meant when I said "this" blog sucks.

Sankar said...

@ maya - "That's all I meant when I said "this" blog sucks."

there are other words and sentences..such as.."no point just talking about this, but we need to do something contructively on ground"

but you and i know such action on ground takes a movement,as you rightly said, especialy when the kind of change we are envisaging is a mammoth task. and i personally feel this blog is building up the spirit in the right direction.

Unknown said...

As Maya rightly said " we should act on ground ", and this is the RIGHT TIME to do it, as our nation goes to polls again; and this is the ONLY TIME we poor souls really matter for the self seeking thankless politicians.Like the Obama slogan it's time for a CHANGE. We have suffered enough at the hands of unscrouplous politicians & corrupt beaurocrats and ENOUGH is ENOUGH ! I appreciate the efforts of NGO's like " Jaago Re ", "Rise Up India" etc in this regard to weed out criminalised/ wantom elements , irrespective of their political parties, from getting power

Anonymous said...

@maya - Left indeed!!!

but there is a sea of difference between the left in those other countries you mentioned and the left here in kerala or lets w.bengal. one is progressive and modern, the other is extreme, selfish and backward. also, the latter is full of hypocrites and opportunists. they are not genuinely interested in progress of their land. they are interested in their own party and personal interests as can be seen from the way the parties top rung are running away from the law and in many cases even their own children. if the so-called left in kerala would spend half the amount they spend on banners, flags, protests, posters, violence and every other shady thing, this country would have been a better place.

summary: the leftists in india are just a bunch of pests who can't even score a half-century and they live like maggots who cling on to the leftovers to feast.

abhishek said...

"When you write something so serious, the practice also matters. Blabbering for 3-4 years since the blog was started does not make a movement. You should act on ground. The element of negativism just gives you a round of applause from a few like minded souls and it doesn't make a single of change."

We didn't say we have a movement here. This is just a blog. But you can help us make it a movement by voting for candidates that promise law and order and hold them accountable for it. It is MC's choice to endorse Shashi Tharoor here. But I am sure he will also agree that part of voting for him also means holding him accountable for his performance in office. Let's say he does get elected to office. You can hold him accountable by writing him a letter and publishing it publicly here.

"Staying outside a region and pointing fingers at the wrongs there is pure cowardice and meaningless banter."

So all it would take for our criticisms to be more than cowardice and banter would be for us to move to the state. So your personal problems lie with the critic, not with his/her criticism. I cannot take you seriously then. I think you are paying lip service to your words then.

"It's only that it's followed wrongly in many places, but the basic elements remains the same."

Surely, the fact that it's followed "wrongly" tells you something about the kind of leaders it draws. Don't you see the irony between your words and the fact that the majority of left-leaning nations also supress their free presses and alternative ideologies. Here's the irony: if India were a commmunist state by default, it would be a single-party state. It's only because India is a democracy that people are free to discuss, debate and choose communism among other socio-economic paths. Democracy is a political choice. Communism is an economic choice. Don't confuse the two. A strong democracy provides the qualities you mentioned: equality irrespective of gender, colour, caste or religion, irrespective of whether its run by a left-leaning or another ideology.

Dhanush | ധനുഷ് said...

There is an article in Last Week's Mathrubhumi Illustrated Weekily, by N.M Peerson(Son of N K Madhavan - ousted communist leader) about what happened to the Left in Russia and what is being followed in Kerala.

I felt that sums up, to what is happening to Left in India. It will help in this discussion abt Left, Right and Center :)

Pitiful said...

MC has written a wonderful article here. You actually sound like you write from out there on the road. There are many questions asked here which relate to and are a result of the conservative nature of Ananthapuri.

1. Why is Trv the worst shopping or retail city in Kerala? It is far behind even places like Palakkad. Even the latest stretches in trivandrum have scary shopping options like fancy store, chappal store, umbrella store, veg restaurant, "HOTEL" Five Star etc
2. Why are there no good restaurants? But every 3 storied building is a 4 star - atleast :))
3. Why is there no life for the family after 7pm?
4. Why are there no good looking women on the streets?
5. Why are there no places for the youth to go to, other than of course bars?
6. Why are the "clubs" not as posh or polished as those in Kottayam, Ernakulam etc? Sailing, Yacht, Lotus to name a few.
7. Why is Trivandrum's urbanisation limited to Kowdiar in the North, Paruthipara, Ulloor, Karamana etc? Urban here means not geographical boundaries but good shopping, residential areas ...... not villages on the highway hosting mobile tea shops and fancy stores...
8. Why are there no other employers other than Technopark?
9. WHy ve no industries come to Trivandrum in decades?
10. Why are the people so narrow minded?
11. Why is the Malayalam in Trv so horrid and the worst-sounding full of swear words?

To be continued ...

Usha said...

i was born n brought up in Tvm, n had spent the 1st twenty years of my life there.. and when I really got to move away from there, I never really turned back or thought of returning to live there ever. I love the place, I find the language funny n pep, I've looked on awestruck at those protest processions in front of the then secratariat, read those banners, sympathised with some, threw my hands up in disgust at some, and really enjoyed most of my life there.. but now when i think of the place, its the people that come to my mind.. n i suddenly feel very put off..

and you've rightly said that part, most of my women friends from Tvm air the very same view whereas the guy friends think otherwise. I feel I led a comparatively suffocated life there wrt mobility and safety, which I realised only after moving out of there.

Ayurveda Forums said...

This is such a good article. What can you say? I read statistics about the capital punishment and 75% of last year deaths (or shall we call that murders?) happened in China, then followed by Russia and USA. Are we trying to get a good rank here in Kerala????

kochuthresiamma p .j said...

i beg to differ. kochin is much worse on all counts except perhaps the posters. with much less infrstructure tvm manages traffic better that kochi, except of course, when there is mosquito management, tvm is way ahead of kochin.
AND, travelling in auto is a PLEASURE in tvm-am talking of the behaviour of the drivers. They charge you by the metre!!!!!!!! can you dream of such a thing in kochin? they dont get abusive.

true, it hasnit "developed' like kochin in terms of infrastructure development, malls and shopping facilities. But, coming here from kochin two years backand living in the capital, i find life much easier. not ideal but i contest you first sentence.

workhard said...

Hi.. they all the same.. in the name of politics and business. these crimes have increased n folds.. in the entire country...


Anonymous said...

Excellent post. Thanks for sharing.

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