Where the government agencies failed, common Mumbaikars and private groups such as Lord
Ganesha pandals and gurudwaras came forward to help the needy during the heavy Mumbai rains which inundated a large part of the Maximum City.
But it is perhaps for the first time that Mumbaikars showed signs of disillusionment with the 'spirit of Mumbai'. They vented their anger against the government, particularly the Shiv Sena-BJP-ruled Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC). They held the BMC responsible for the ordeal they had to go through.
And rightly so. The Mumbaikars made comparisons between the deluge which the city suffered yesterday and on July 26, 2005 when the Congress government of Vilasrao Deshmukh was in power in Maharashtra. They are peeved over the fact that the Mumbai infrastructure, particularly the drainage system, has hardly improved in these 12 years.
Mumbai residents mocked the 'spirit of Mumbai'. They feel that the government of the day invokes it to deflect the people's exasperation. It is used as a facade to hide their governance failures.
Fed up with the invocation, Smita Deshmukh wrote on Facebook: "Hope no one starts the spirit of Mumbai blah blah. Truth is that none of us have any other appealing option. Each passing year, it is the goodness of ordinary people that compels us to remain positive. Today was one such day."
She also said, "Has anyone seen or heard from dearest (Shiv Sena supremo) Uddhav Thackeray since yesterday?"Smita's sentiments were echoed by another local Vidya Prabhu, who wrote, "Thank you for saying this. Too many people continue to romanticise this annual struggle by calling it 'laudable resilience'. As if anybody has a choice."
Shreemi Verma got highly agitated over the government's inefficiency. "The BMC and the governments use this phrase (spirit of Mumbai) to detract from their callousness. Literally nothing has changed in the city's infrastructure since then (July 26, 2005)."
She was seconded by Saniya Saxena, whio said: "A lot is being said about the fighting spirit of Mumbai. But we have never been given a choice. We have no choice but to go to work, use the railways and public transport to get to work and use the roads that were just patched up. This is not the spirit of Mumbai people. This is a failure on the part of the government."
Mona Sinha Varma agreed. She wrote: "People who are responsible for certain things never take responsibilities as their duty. They never take decisions on time. And after the debacle, blame game starts. Often people holding lower posts are blamed."
Taking a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi's bullet train plans, Yogesh Pawar said, "What Mumbai needs is not bullet train, but bullet drainage system."
Someone shared a joke. "Me: Are you ok? How are you managing the water/food/power situation? Friend (in Houston): I am a Mumbaikar."Though the Mumbaikars have silently tolerated all the inconveniences, they are in no mood to bear the invocation of the 'spirit of Mumbai'. They have called the bluff. Now they would only hope that the Shiv Sena and BJP, which have been governing the BMC since 1996, act promptly.