Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Tavleen Singh wants Marine Drive to go to the dogs

This is actually old news, but surfaced in today's Dinamalar. Apparently the municipal corporation in Mumbai wants pet owners to clean up after them, as is done in major cities around the world; and Tavleen Singh, columnist for Indian Express, was not happy to be fined last year when her dog pooped on Marine Drive. (DNA link, which doesn't work for me at the moment; Google cache of same).

The DNA article has some depressing quotes from the columnist who loses no opportunity to complain about poor sanitation in Mumbai and India (1, 2, 3). Why, she asks, is Mumbai's corporation concerned about Marine Drive and not about the suburbs and the slums? Why, one could ask her, does she not choose to live in the suburbs or the slums?

She also makes the bizarre claim that the government supplies citizens with poop-scooping equipment in New York and Paris. Since she speaks with such authority, methinks she should go and live in New York for a while (Paris tends to be notoriously laissez-faire about this), and when she is fined there, she can try demanding equipment from the authorities (and also try not paying the fine in absence of such government-supplied equipment).

Around the same time, Mumbai Mirror had a story on littering, and quoted Tavleen Singh as saying: "People who spit on the road should be locked up. People who litter are criminals." Would I rather step in someone's spittle, a discarded plastic bag, or dog poo? I think the answer is "None of the above."

Today's Dinamalar says a concerned citizen filed a right-to-information request to find out whether Singh ever actually paid the fine. She didn't. Maybe she won't be asked to. She's an important person, by virtue of her regular pontifications in an important newspaper.


km said...

Come on. She just took the Hypocratic Oath.

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Tabula Rasa said...

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Anonymous said...

Man, what a whiny person that columnist is!!

Sunil Mukhi said...

I find Tavleen Singh's defiance of authorities rather embarrassing, not to mention setting a poor example. One would expect a little more humility and less memsahib-ness from a journalist.

I recall her own account of a confrontation with the French customs authorities (it was in her column in the Indian Express, many years ago). Apparently she tried to get a tax rebate while leaving CDG airport in Paris on her way home, but didn't have all the required documents. When the customs officer objected, she used a four-letter word. Apparently they then pounced on her and threatened to put her in jail for abusing a customs officer! And her defence was that she had said "F*** it" rather than "F*** you" (i.e. she admitted the four-letter word but claims the stupid French had misunderstood whom it was addressed to). They kept her confined in the airport until she nearly missed her flight, and then let her go. Now that she's said good things about the French on the dog-poop issue, could they be induced to take her back? Along with her dog??

The venomous outpourings of this charming lady about Sonia Gandhi will be the subject of my blog another time.