The spirit of Mumbai is often described as indomitable, resilient and unwavering. It is the kind of spirit which does not break, even in the face of adversity. People who come to Mumbai in search of work are often crushed by the city’s rush but the wind is such that helps people rise up and face the world again. Its spirit is that of struggle but also fulfilment. Its spirit is that of soul-crushing despair but also hope.
However, the struggle that people in Mumbai have to face is regularly romanticised – sometimes to an extent that is problematic. For example, here is a video of female passengers literally hanging from a local train. A lot of people might call it inspiring…that people in Mumbai overcome all odds to go about their day. But it is actually not.
This is NOT the ‘spirit’ of anything! This is common people risking their lives everyday literally just to survive! pic.twitter.com/4oRMWJzPjm
— Cow Momma (@Cow__Momma) September 17, 2023
This is not inspiring. This is life-threatening and many people decided to call the city authorities out for their lack of providing the people of Mumbai with sufficient modes of commute. Here’s what they wrote:
This is a serious issue for every decision and policy maker, political personality. It needs to be seriously considered and worked upon.
The priority given to Motorists need to these majority commoners
— Bicycle Mayor of Hyderabad (@sselvan) September 18, 2023
This is mumbai, where house price is one of the most expensive in the world….witness the day to day struggle for commute in local train ….this is unacceptable https://t.co/KHHs1K6HQO
— TutanKhamun (@tarunosrm) September 17, 2023
Exactly. Stop glorifying human misery. https://t.co/z0vlpobWRW
— Monica Sharma (@Indian_ByChoice) September 17, 2023
This is nothing but the fight of Mumbaikars for Survival.
Local trains are immensely overcrowded and dangerous too. https://t.co/lI1gawGMBI
— LYNX (@BBBharatIND) September 17, 2023
Pathetic situation but instead of accepting that we need to improve our infrastructure, people will say it’s the spirit of mumbaikar 😳 https://t.co/2x2dCeeL2a
— Akshaya ତ୍ରୀପାଠୀ (@ca_akshaya_cisa) September 17, 2023
Mumbai Local Trains.
Lived there for 5 years & moved to B'lore. Grateful to Mumbai for teaching life-lessons early in career. Hardwork, Punctuality, etc. But, I'm sorry, can't think of going back. https://t.co/z5CWB72x8m
— Vishvas X ಆತ್ಮವಿಶ್ವಾಸ 👍 (@vishwas_rakho) September 17, 2023
Glorifying this act as some stupid spirit of some city is merely an indication of two things. First, the need for employment beyond perceived hubs, etc. Second, a social construct bereft of logic and common sense. https://t.co/ZNKYQfOr21
— Aninda Sardar (@anindasardar) September 17, 2023
EXACTLY!! And they end up normalizing the insane risk because they are forced into this every day. It’s either this or starvation.
— Mo (@Mob3One) September 17, 2023
I used to travel like this pre covid, now i get stuck stuck in traffic because lawmakers can’t figure out a way a way to build a metro faster until elections are near. Both scenarios are bad because of the “Spirit” that’s been romantisised and celebrated.
— Sidharth Sanjeev (@iamsidi23) September 17, 2023
Mumbai is one of the most densely populated cities in the world and as a result, it grapples with severe transportation issues like the infamous traffic jams and overcrowded local trains. The transport infrastructure of the city cannot support the rapidly rising urbanisation. The train network of the city is referred to as the lifeline of Mumbai and it already operates way more than its capacity.
Here’s what needs to be done. The government of Maharashtra needs to expand and modernize the city’s transport infrastructure. The number of trains and buses need to increase and people need to have access to metros. The city can also have a solid carpooling system to help reduce traffic jams.
Do you have alternative solutions in mind? Share with us!