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

A+| A| A-

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.

Dear Reader,

To continue reading, become a subscriber.

Explore our attractive subscription offers.

Click here


To gain instant access to this article (download).

INR 59

(Readers in India)

$ 6

(Readers outside India)

Published On : 20th Jan, 2024

Support Us

Your Support will ensure EPW’s financial viability and sustainability.

The EPW produces independent and public-spirited scholarship and analyses of contemporary affairs every week. EPW is one of the few publications that keep alive the spirit of intellectual inquiry in the Indian media.

Often described as a publication with a “social conscience,” EPW has never shied away from taking strong editorial positions. Our publication is free from political pressure, or commercial interests. Our editorial independence is our pride.

We rely on your support to continue the endeavour of highlighting the challenges faced by the disadvantaged, writings from the margins, and scholarship on the most pertinent issues that concern contemporary Indian society.

Every contribution is valuable for our future.