Time was when December 6 brought fear and tension with memories of the after effects of the demiolition of the Babri Masjid still fresh in the minds of Mumbaikars. Eighteen years after the event, it is evident that we have grown up and away from the issue. More important, we have seen through the unscrupulous ploys of political parties that would like to see nothing better than communities at each other’s throats.
Actually, yesterday was dreaded because of the expected influx of hundreds of thousands of people coming in to celebrate the birthday of Babasaheb Ambedkar, the man who wrote our Constitution, an acknowledged intellectual giant for all time and a social reformer who fought the evils of caste from debating platforms. That Mumbaikars have grown to dread his birthday because of the detritus left by hundreds of thousands converging on a single beach in the city, is not his fault.
This year, however, it looks as if the authorities have finally got it right. Coming into the city in the morning was a breeze, and returning wasn’t too bad, if you avoided Shivaji Park.
And the numbers seemed lower. Looks as if Dr Ambedkar’s followers have finally figured out that Mumbai is not really a big deal!