This is actually old news, but surfaced in today’s Dinamalar. Apparently the municipal corporation in Mumbai wants pet owners to clean up after them, as is done in major cities around the world; and Tavleen Singh, columnist for Indian Express, was not happy to be fined last year when her dog pooped on Marine Drive. (DNA link, which doesn’t work for me at the moment; Google cache of same).
The DNA article has some depressing quotes from the columnist who loses no opportunity to complain about poor sanitation in Mumbai and India (1, 2, 3). Why, she asks, is Mumbai’s corporation concerned about Marine Drive and not about the suburbs and the slums? Why, one could ask her, does she not choose to live in the suburbs or the slums?
She also makes the bizarre claim that the government supplies citizens with poop-scooping equipment in New York and Paris. Since she speaks with such authority, methinks she should go and live in New York for a while (Paris tends to be notoriously laissez-faire about this), and when she is fined there, she can try demanding equipment from the authorities (and also try not paying the fine in absence of such government-supplied equipment).
Around the same time, Mumbai Mirror had a story on littering, and quoted Tavleen Singh as saying: “People who spit on the road should be locked up. People who litter are criminals.” Would I rather step in someone’s spittle, a discarded plastic bag, or dog poo? I think the answer is “None of the above.”
Today’s Dinamalar says a concerned citizen filed a right-to-information request to find out whether Singh ever actually paid the fine. She didn’t. Maybe she won’t be asked to. She’s an important person, by virtue of her regular pontifications in an important newspaper.