India Uncut

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Friday, July 22, 2005

Red light for traffic cops

Ravikiran Rao writes in:
Remember when Georgia abolished its traffic police because they were too corrupt? If you missed the story, in 2004, the President of Georgia dismissed all its traffic police officers. There was absolutely no impact on the accident rate, (naturally, because the police were not doing the job at all.) Then he replaced them all with freshly recruited officers. The situation has apparently improved a lot there.

Now Ukraine is doing the same. [Link in the original.]
Here's an International Herald Tribune story on the reforms in Georgia, and another one by the New York Times. The second link is via a post by Reuben Abraham on the subject a few months ago.

Imagine if this happened in India, and all traffic cops got sacked. You could have this scene at a signal:
(Pot-bellied policeman stops car)
Driver: What happened, why have you stopped me? Here, see my license. (Tries to hand over license with 100 rupee note in it.)
Cop: No, I don't need to see your license. (Starts sniffling.)
Driver: Hey, what happened, why're you crying?
Cop: I got fired. All the traffic policemen got sacked today. The chief minister says that he doesn't want Mumbai to be like Shanghai any more, but like Gurjaani. (Starts sobbing.)
Driver: What? Gujarat?
Cop: No, Gurjaani. It's a city in some place called Georgia. Now I'm out of a job, and I have three wives and one... I mean, one wife and three children to feed. (Starts wailing.)
Driver: Oh my goodness. So what will you do now? Why are you still at this traffic signal?
Cop: Well, I have to think of an alternative profession now, and a traffic signal is the only habitat I know. Do you have any old saris? (Starts clapping and saying, "De na Raju, main tere shaadi pe naachegi" in a hoarse voice.)
Yeah, wouldn't I love to see that day?
amit varma, 1:27 AM| write to me | permalink | homepage

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