Radio Jockey Malishka Mendosa’s video for a local radio channel mocked the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) ways in tackling monsoon. She has been sent a notice for breeding mosquitos in her home by the BMC. The video has been borrowed from a catchy Marathi song and plays around the topic of Mumbai’s infamous potholes. RJ Malishka’s video is a funny take on Mumbai’s old problems of bad roads and water logging. In the video “Mumbai tula BMC var bharosa nai ka” which means, ‘Mumbai, Don’t you have faith on BMC’ she spoke about how ill-maintained roads and highways are a major problem for daily commuters.
How Shiv Sena reacted to the video
The Shiv Sena leaders also reacted bitterly with a leader of its Youth Wing, Sena corporator from Prabhadevi, Samadhan Sarvankar, also demanded the Municipal Corporation leader Ajoy Mehta to file a 500 crore-defamation suit against the FM channel for targeting BMC as reported by the Hindustan Times.
Sarvankar has been quoted saying “The song did not name the Shiv Sena directly, but it hurts us that Mumbai’s and the BMC’s image is unnecessarily taking a hit. The two main highways of Mumbai don’t come under the BMC and it is not responsible for Mumbai’s traffic or the functioning of its railways.” Sarvankar has also alleged that the video has shaken the confidence of hundreds of BMC employees who toil hard to keep the roads and highways free from water-logging during the monsoon season.
This video was posted on the local radio channel’s Facebook page and RJ Malishka ran into legal trouble regarding it. The Yuva Sena alleged that she was defaming the BMC by blaming them for shortcomings in an aspect of the city which does not fall under their jurisdiction.
Mosquito breeding notice
However, the BMC later has sent her a notice, but for a completely different reason altogether. Under section 381 B of the Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act, she has been charged for allowing collection of standing or flowing water near her house which are breeding grounds for mosquitos. According to the officials, the breeding of Aedes mosquitoes was found in the RJ’s sixth floor flat at Sunrise Appartments in Pali Naka in a clay bowl kept outside the door and indoor breeding was found in plant pots, as reported by the Free Press Journal.
Sharad Ughade, ward office of Bandra, said, “We had carried out a routine inspection in Bandra on Tuesday when the notice was issued.” Civic officials however have said that they did not know the house belonged to the RJ’s mother Lily Mendosa. The BMC can take legal action against owners for breeding mosquitoes and if Lily faces prosecution, she may have to pay a penalty ranging from Rs 2000 to Rs 10000.
Comeback and support
However, the RJ who has in the middle of a public battle with the BMC has given a rather cheeky comeback with a tweet on Thursday. She said that she is ready with six more songs. She also wrote, “I am a rapper now. Also a breeder apparently.” She has also received solidarity from activists like Sailesh Gandhi and Dolphy D’souza.
The FM channel has also released a video where they discuss how support for RJ Malishka has been pouring from all corners.
Mirror Now’s anchor Faye D’Souza has come out in support of RJ Malishka and has aptly summarised the sentiments of Mumbaikars. She called out at the inability of BMC to provide good roads and point of contention was how Shiv Sena pounced upon the RJ’s video.
The Logical Indian take
Earlier this week, Paranjoy Guha Thakurta resigned as the editor of Economic and Political Weekly after receiving a defamation notice from the Adani group for a story criticizing the government. Even the Hindustan Times had to take down an article on India’s policy regarding China.
The Logical Indian community urges its readers to think twice about how BMC and Shiv Sena is losing their sleep over the RJ’s video about poor condition of roads. Also, two days right after the video was released, a “routine” check of the RJ’s house led her to receive a notice on mosquito breeding. All of this culminates to one inference, are we losing the right to criticise the government, in a democratic set up?