Sunday, October 19, 2008

Smoking Ban #1

Government of Delhi has banned smoking and if you are caught smoking a fine of Rs 200 will be imposed on you. I wasn't very serious about the ban until yesterday when the shopkeeper denied me a matchbox for lighting a smoke. After a bit persuasion he gave me the matchbox and told me to go away from the shop and light the cigarette.

"चालान कट रहें है भैया" ["Chalaan kat rahen hai bhaiya"]

I went and lit up my cigarette in the side and sat back in my car and went away. Now I was beginning to feel the pressure of the ban.

It is really sad now that government has banned smoking in public places, without actually building up structure, such as a smoking zone in the city. When I see our government's policies and rules, I feel as if they have been made by people having half knowledge and half baked ideas much like the character of Balram Halwai in the The White Tiger [A book by Aravind Adiga, that has won the man booker prize]. In the story, the character of Balram Halwai is that of a poor person who manages to get the work of a driver. Once his master asks him a few questions and on listening to his replies, the master (Ashok) says, this is what India is about, Half Baked ideas.
Balram was an illiterate person, but unfortunately our policy makers are literate.