ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Needed: A Street Fight

Countries around the world are promoting bicycle riding, but Indian leaders continue to pursuecar-centric policies.

While visiting the Netherlands at the end of June, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted a photograph of himself sitting on a bicycle that his Dutch counterpart Mark Rutte had gifted him. It was a deceptive image, because, just like previous Indian governments, Modis Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) regime has paid little attention to the common mans modes of travel, such as cycling and walking, in an era when many big cities in the world are laying more cycle tracks, discouraging cars, and encouraging public transport and walking.

A week after Modi appeared on the bicycle, the BJP-ruled Uttar Pradesh government reinforced the hollowness of the image by declaring that it would demolish cycle tracks in the state because it claimed, contradictorily, that they were both unused and caused congestion. The previous government, of the Samajwadi Party, which has the bicycle as its election symbol, had built these tracks. Apparently, our Prime Minister did not learn much from his contact with the head of the worlds most bicycle-friendly nation.

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Published On : 20th Jan, 2024

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