Yesterday Maharashtra Govt. announced new rules for issue of new permits for Taxi Drivers in Mumbai. It stipulated that only persons domicile in the state (i.e., living in the state for 15 years or more) and who can speak, read & write Marathi will be given permits.
The reaction – Media was all over it – the whole evening & night was spent by the media in explaining why this was a wrong move.
My first question – is media the decider on what is right and what is wrong? Or should media only act as a facilitator for spread the news & opinion?
Media has been simply irresponsible in reporting this move as anti-national, anti-Hindi. Let’s start at looking this with reasoning:
a. A Taxi Driver is a person who has to know the local area every well esp. the roads, localities, rules etc. for that he needs to be resident of that area for some time. Ok. 15years may be a long time but at least 2-3years are needed for this.
b. Again a Taxi Driver is a person who interacts with the local populace on day-to-day basis for everything, so he must know the local language. He must be able to speak and read the local language to interact. So what is wrong is asking a person who applies for a Taxi Driver Permit to know the local language? Is the Media expecting the local populace to learn the language of the Taxi Driver to take a ride in the Taxi?
I was watching Prannoy Roy on NDTV arguing that the law was wrong, probably for a person who sits in TV office & home, speaks English and does not think local languages are important, this move may look wrong. But to the local populace it makes sense that the people working there esp. those who interact with the public know the local language so that the service is accessible to all.
Ironically when people from other states come from to Hindi speaking states they are expected to know Hindi very well!!