There is a term in English – whine. It is a senseless, irrational white noise that grabs your attention and keeps you off more important stuff. Whiners are attention seekers who employ it as a strategy. The upperclass, elite, cool cats – or whatever they call themselves in Delhi – are masters of the art. In a metropolis of nearly ten million, you would hardly hear other voices. Just a few dominate all discussion, all perspectives, all city planning – without any value addition.
The restaurant sector, when it comes to the retail segment, are the whiners. They have gained a disproportionate share of the noise space through their own media reach and their paid lobby. They think their interior design is beautifying the city. Characteristically, most of them who can never think beyond the ‘multi-cuisine’ menu are equally limiting in their vision for the city too. So, they collectively whine:
- Our poor, deprived staff on our own payroll would wither and die if you don’t pay service tax because we refuse to pay them anyway
- CP car free? E-rickshaws, walking? We only walk when we go abroad, here? Ewww.
- Rooftops banned because one caved in a few got injured? This is an attack on civil liberty, freedom and a violation of constitution to say the least.
A few reminders to the whiners:
- Chandni chowk is still be the market for most heavy shopping. No one goes in cars. And, most shoppers are women in finery that many have mentioned in their regressive posts
- The world is going car free both for decongestion and eco and citizen responsibility perspectives. How many global cities have our elite boycotted for having car free zones?? A city is not owned by car owners. This is the future. If you can’t get out of the car, get out of the city. Delhi is embracing future.
- Public policy does not need every single person’s permission. There is something called greater good. Take it, there is no leave it.
- My only concern is let’s say an accident happens. People get hurt or die. As was in the Uphar cinema case, court slaps a compensation. How many restaurant owners have thought of that and have funds set aside?
It’s time restaurant owners thought creatively, thought beyond their own profits, came out to own the city and its public spaces. There are enough ideas on how to keep public spaces clean, safe, well-lit and turn them into all the things we love abroad. Stop whining or just get out. You would only create space for a more aware lot to come in.