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North Indians take pride in violating law: Delhi Lt Governor
February 07, 2008 16:47 IST
As Raj Thackeray's anti-North Indian statements have snowballed into a major controversy, Delhi Lieutenant Governor Tejendra Khanna on Thursday raised eyebrows when he said the people of north and west India take pride in violating the law.
"In this region, the situation is such that commonly it is a matter of pride to violate the law. The behaviour pattern in South India is such that the people naturally stay within the limits of the law," he said while addressing a function to launch the Delhi Police's Traffic Patrol Scheme.
He remarked that there is much better compliance of law in South India and that too without any external pressure.
"It is a specialty of North and West India that the people feel a sense of honour and pride in violating the law and boasting that no action has been taken against them," Khanna said.
He added that as Lt Governor of the capital, he has decided that efforts will be made to ensure that the citizens of Delhi treat law with respect and have a sense of fear towards overstepping its limits.
"Fear does not mean that there will be any high-handedness. But if the people overstep the limits, then the law enforcement agencies should not remain mute spectators and will have to take effective action," Khanna said.
"In taking such action, as Lt Governor, I will be completely with you," he said.
"It is a cultural issue. Therefore, I said that people themselves should improve their behaviour so as to keep themselves within the limits of law. Being responsible citizens, they should have a feeling to do their duty. That's what I believe," Khanna said when asked about his comments.
The Lt Governor was recently in the eye of a storm over reportedly proposing that it be made mandatory for Delhi residents to carry photo ID cards and also revalidation of driving licences issued by other states.
He later stated that he had never said ID proof would be made mandatory and that his message had been misunderstood. On the issue of driving licences, he said the proposal was among several ideas being thought of to improve the traffic situation in the capital.
"In a recent meeting with traffic officials, we came to know that many major carriageways are either encroached by roadside vendors or illegal parking of vehicles. Now, we have decided to make the major carriageways completely free at any cost," Khanna said.
Referring to the problem of violation of traffic rules in the city, he said, "The Ambassador of Denmark, who met me two to four days before the arrival of Denmark Prime Minister, also spoke about the bad situation of traffic in the city and said the system can improve to a certain extent simply if the car drivers start driving in their lanes."
Khanna launched a motorcycle traffic patrol scheme for checking traffic violations such as overtaking from the left side, zig-zag driving and unauthorised parkings. He said 321 two-wheeler traffic controllers under the scheme will regulate commuters, beggars, hawkers and jay walkers to maintain discipline at bus stands and red lights.