Monday, August 09, 2010

Revenge of the auto commuters

Revenge of the auto commuters
Start online campaign asking Bangaloreans to stay off autos on August 12 to protest auto-drivers plying only to places of THEIR choice
Renuka Phadnis

Look out, the autojammers are arriving. Fed up of auto drivers refusing to take them where they want to go, Bangaloreans are striking back, in the same coin. They are joining an online forum to say no to autorickshaw drivers on August 12. Called ‘Meter Jam’ (, the website says, “Say No to Autos and Taxis on Aug 12. Because they say ‘No’ to you whenever you want them”. The website, which started on July 19, had 6,968 people as on Saturday and 271 tweets. The website was triggered by the fare hike on June 23.
BMS College student Devaiah Palanganda stumbled on it online while looking through Facebook and signed up for it.
Another college student, Rajesh, got to know of the initiative through his friend, who had put the website link on his Facebook page. He said,
“Autowallas overcharge, refuse to go our way, and hold the city to ransom through strikes. So why can’t we – for one day – refuse them? Pool cars, take buses. Show them they can’t take us for granted.” Rohit, techie, said, “I don’t like auto drivers. As a Bangalorean I find this basic necessity involves fighting so much. I would rather walk. I like the idea that it is we who are striking back”.
It is difficult to find out how many of the supporters for ‘Meter Jam’ are from Bangalore. But going by messages on Facebook and Twitter, Bangalore’s people are signing in.
Some tweets said, “Is Blr leading the way?”, “C’mon Mumbaikers..catch up; Bangalore is leading the registrations” and “Looks like bangalores gonna rock the show!!!” One tweet said “Bangalore needs to be in serious need for METER JAM. Love the spirit of Bangalore people, they’re participating too!”
“Everyone is holding the janta to ransom. How much more will we pay? It’s time to turn the tables. So on 12th August, shake your head and say ‘NO’ if an auto driver offers a ride!” says the Meter Jam website. Meanwhile, the group in Facebook has 3,715 people ‘liking’ it.
A comment on the Meter Jam website says “1 n half meter Saar.. Well, SXXXw you” and 12 august ko subah se shaam. Kardo inka “Meter Jam” !!!..... ‘Mat darr.. Jam karr’.


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