MANUSHI in Witness Box

Special Court set up For Hearing Complaints of Rickshaw Owners and Pullers

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The experience of being subject to intense cross examination in the witness box for last several days in the Special Court set up by the High Court to hear individual complaints of rickshaw owners as well as testimonies of Manushi volunteers/staff has been both stressful as well as hilarious. Court scenes in Bollywood films are so much more interesting. By contrast, real courts are soul destroying.

Court procedures, language, modes of argument and fact finding remain ridiculously antiquated. It is as though we have taken a dharmic vow to stay loyal subjects of the British empire of Victorian vintage. Sometimes I wish we should invite the British back to come back for some years and update governance practices and dismantle colonial minded kaws in order to help us meet with challenges of today’s India.

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To Members of Task Force on Traffic Issues in Delhi

768626399Untitled-1 copyDear All,

You are well aware that this particular Task Force was constituted at the orders of the Delhi High Court with the specific purpose of working out a new policy that treats Non Motorized Vehicles (NMVs) as an integral part of road traffic in Delhi.  This order came in response to a petition filed by Manushi on 15th June 2007.  However, certain members have managed to completely side line the NMV issue and the need to create dedicated NMV tracks as mandated in the Delhi Master Plan 2021.  In fact, the entire energy of the Task Force is going into car parking policy with an emphasis on enhancing car parking fee and punitive measures for parking cars in “non-authorized” areas.

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