Ah! How can anyone not love that drive up Chamundi Hill late at night. And the view from atop, which is a sight to behold as our city shines beneath us reminding us how lucky we are… Well, from now on we will not have this reminder as the district administration has banned all entry up Chamundi Hill after 10 pm up till 5 am. It’s unfortunate. But we have brought it upon ourselves.
First, why did the administration ban entry? Well, it seems while some enjoy the glorious view and the cool breeze caressing their face, others are just busy caressing each other in full public view. Also some others open up a ‘Car-o-bar’ and play loud music and dance. But this has been the case for decades. So what’s changed? The Policing style has changed.
Earlier, the Police did a fine job of patrolling and making sure everyone on the Hill behaved if they wanted to continue enjoying the Hill late at night. Now they are not. The problem is people these days take the Police patrol casually. Earlier, if anyone saw a jeep headlight, even if it was not Police Garuda vehicle, they would become respectful and straighten up. Now they prepare themselves to ‘negotiate.’
Just because the Police and the administration cannot effectively regulate and patrol the Hill does not mean you ban entry. Why must a whole population be deprived the joys of a night drive because of a few bad citizens? Instead punish and levy heavy fines effectively and people will behave.
Also the reason for which the administration wants to ban entry to the Hill happens every day at numerous parks in and around the city. No person in his right mind would dare enter Curzon Park and Kuppanna Park after dark… unless you want to get high or are already high. In fact, Parks in residential areas are “hot beds” of lovers…literally. So should we ban entry to Parks after sunset?
Now, while banning entry to the Hill after 10 pm, may be the administration can also ban people from building ugly and illegal structures along the way to the Hill. Ban the stores selling fake Mysore Silk sarees and sandalwood items, ban tourists from treating the foothill area as changing area in the morning and a lunch area in the afternoon. These things have to be banned or else the whole Hill will be a mess like the area around Mysore Palace.
While we are disappointed that we cannot go up the Hill whenever we want, we Mysureans have brought this upon ourselves with our bad behaviour. In fact, we Indians do not know how to enjoy nature, let alone respect it.
Even the morning walkers up Chamundi Hill, who claim to love “nature,” play loud music at 5.30 am on their phone instead of just enjoying the chirping of birds and the breeze; nature’s music. Even the pilgrims who come to the abode of Goddess Chamundeshwari, whose blessings they seek, don’t think twice before dirtying her abode as they throw everything from sanitary napkins to plastic bottles.
When it comes to nature we have complete disregard and disrespect. See how we behave in National Parks. We don’t keep distance from the wild animals; in fact we behave like animals by making wild gestures and sounds to get their attention. We get out of our cars to take pictures when numerous hoardings along the road have told us that it’s unsafe to do so. We feed wild animals when we have been specifically told not to.
We just don’t know how to respect the law, love nature or adore God. So a frustrated district administration and Police force, which is short staffed, cannot deal with an irresponsible citizenry and so ban orders seems like the best solution. But it’s an unfair solution. It’s a case of “just because you have a cold cut off the nose” kind of solution because people will find a place to enter the Hill.
Now, we wonder how effective this ban will be because since two years there is a ban that does not allow vehicles up the Hill after 11 pm. But that was ineffective. So how effective will this new ban be? But for now, it’s very unfair that just because the Police can’t be efficient in patrolling the Hill and dealing with a few bad people, a whole population is deprived of one of the most beautiful views of nature.
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