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Tuesday, Aug 20, 2019

Anger, humour, questions as rain-hit Mumbai keeps ‘spirit of Mumbai’

Mumbai is no stranger to calamities and social media users say it is a distraction to talk about the spirit of Mumbai and not its failures.

mumbai Updated: Aug 31, 2017 14:28 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Commuters walk through rain waters along a local train after heavy rains lashed Mumbai on Tuesday.
Commuters walk through rain waters along a local train after heavy rains lashed Mumbai on Tuesday.(PTI Photo)

Mumbai has had enough of ‘spirit of Mumbai’, the term praised on social media and news headlines every time the city faces a natural disaster and gets back on its feet.

At least 12 people died and dozens were feared trapped when a building collapsed in the densely populated Bhendi Bazaar on Thursday, after days of heavy rain swamped the city. Tuesday’s downpour brought the city to its knees and was reminiscent of the heavy deluge on July 26, 2005 when a cloudburst had brought the megapolis to a complete standstill for two days.

Newspapers pointed out that the authorities made several mistakes in dealing with the flood: from not heeding the weather department’s warning to a safety advisory being issued late.

Mumbai has experienced unusually high rainfall in a few hours in the month of August in three of the last seven years, writes Hindustan Times columnist Smruti Koppikar. Each time the city gets back to its feet and gets over its anger.

“We did not remain angry, we did not demand accountability from those in charge of the city, we did not penalise them in elections,” she writes.

What gets trending is #spiritofmumbai. Social media users say it goes like this -- heavy rains, waterlogging/floods, reports of Mumbaikars helping each other and finally, people hailing the unbreakable ‘spirit of Mumbai’.

While many tweeted about the unflinching ‘never die spirit’ of Mumbai, others more critical of the municipal body’s failings say: “MumbaiSpirit is just becoming an excuse for the civic bodies and everyone else that we’ll bounce back irrespective of anything.”

“#MumbaiFloods have begun, tomorrow we’ll see the #MumbaiSpirit,” predicted a Twitter user Pramod Ananth 12 days before the August 29 rains.

Social media users debate: Is Mumbai tired of its spirit?

A taste of bitter truth?

Some fake accounts too had something to say:

First Published: Aug 31, 2017 14:27 IST

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