Amit Joshi, a third-year engineering student, says, “I support the bike companies! Finally, I will be able to ride my bike above fourth gear!” He shows signs of relief.
Hiroyochi Suzuki, Head of Yamaha India, says, “We feel bad that our bikes are treated this way on such harsh driving conditions on roads in even urban areas of this country! Hiring those Bollywood stars for ads is turning out to be more expensive than building roads. So we would rather spend on building roads first; it will provide our customers a ‘true riding experience’.” Indeed, this new approach is helping them a lot. Their sales have increased by 15% since the announcement.
Car companies have joined the league as car drivers also have been regularly complaining about how bored they are of driving on the Mumbai–Pune expressway all the time. This should be some relief to them.
However, there is support for the dirt biking competition as well. Srinath Iyer, another fellow engineering student, is all for the government’s move: “Our city roads are in the worst possible condition. With so many holes, open drains, dirt, dust, leaves and other obstacles, they make an ideal track for dirt biking. I am with the government this time; I am eagerly waiting for the dirt biking event. I will definitely watch it!”
When asked, government officials replied, “This has been on our agenda for a long time. We didn’t bother about building better roads because we knew one day broken roads will come to good use: dirt biking. Now these bike companies are ruining everything!”
Supporting them, our very sporty Sports Minister Ajay Maken says, “The roads are tiny; most of them are torn apart due to the rains. This would make a really difficult circuit. Don’t forget the cows and dogs! We have designed a special penalty system around them. It’ll be more challenging than the F1 Monaco street race. And this time I will make sure I’m invited to the event, unlike what happened at the Buddha Circuit F1 race.”
Apparently, the following procedure is being discussed:
- A total of 20 racers, 10 from SC/ST category, 4 from OBC category, 4 from BC category and 2 spots are left open for General Classes.
- The selection committee will comprise 10 judges, who are yet to be finalized.
- To help facilitate the event occurring in 9 different cities, traffic will be blocked on regular basis for finalizing the track.
- The responsibility of organizing the event has been handed to none other than Suresh Kalmadi, especially because it is believed “dirt events require dirty people”.
Chulbul Pandey, a senior police inspector, said, “This is ridiculous. These bike companies have no sense. Today’s youth is the worst of its kind. Better roads will only make them get involved in rasher driving! Earlier, thanks to the horrible roads, we could easily catch the nuisance makers with our jeeps. Now we will have to update our vehicles!”
While Mayawati wants the winning trophy in the competition to be a statue of hers, Mamata Banerjee wants both parties—the bike companies and the government—to not do anything. Not a surprising move.
Lastly, when approached, PM Manmohan Singh shied away in his silent Toyota Prius saying nothing as usual.
News channels are leaving no opportunity aside, conducting show after show asking people their opinion. With the fate of our Great Indian Roads at crossroads, it would be fitting to revive the words of a great biker, fondly known as India’s Ghost Rider: “The country has lost two generations of young bikers: one couldn’t afford a bike, the next one couldn’t afford a… decent road!”
This article is by Satat Mishra, and has been edited by Priyanka Mehta. Both Satat and Priyanka are interning with NTMN in our 2012 Internship-cum-Training Program.