Saturday at the Movies: Bollywood Bicycle Boogie’s back

Take a break. It’s the weekend. And even if you have seen some of these before, let’s invite you to take your head out of that fat report and come with Navdeep Asija and me to the movies in India, the Bollywood Bicycle Boogie. The idea behind World Streets has from the beginning been to seek out and share universal lessons, from specific times and different places but which, with a bit of thought, can open up our eyes, ears and hearts to many things, including with a bit of luck to ourselves and our own limitations and quirks. For today’s musing Navdeep brought us a packet of Bollywood films for your weekend viewing pleasure. Let me turn over the word to Navdeep so that he can explain it for himself.

* Click here for 3 minutes of cycling pleasure

This is an unusual post of mine, but I hope you will appreciate it. As we all know, unholistic planning and policies have just not influenced and reduced the bicycle usage and cycling culture across the country but also forced Bollywood to chance their onscreen mode of transportation. Happy riders of yesteryear are the road crash victims of Today.

In Punjab today, while 12 of every hundred people own bicycle, only 2 people own a car. Saddest part in Punjab is, cycle ownership is there but not ridership. This is due the reasons well known to all of us. Facilitation and early licensing to one more car is going to put life of 12 cycle users and many pedestrian at risk — and government claim it as achievement.

Anyways, I made this collection of Bollywood songs, being picturised or written on theme “Cycle and Cycling”.

Today’s cyclists in India are the people with” no voice” and have almost no influence over the policy makers, road construction agencies and we need to be the voice of them. See, in this era of transition for both transport planner and Bollywood, if we can do something to revive the cycling culture on our roads and Bollywood, it will be really great gift to humanity I believe.

Enjoy listening and this collection might help to remind our policy makers to think about the need of those who matters most to our society;

Navdeep Asija, Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi.

Navdeep’s three favorites:

Dil Mera Ek Aas Ka Panchi – Aas Ka Panchi (1961) –

Main Chali Main Chali – Saira Banu – Padosan (1968) –

Bhawre Ne Khilaya Phool- Prem Rog (1982) –

(In case you are interested my very favorite is the wonderfully ruckus “Ek din Lahore ki Thandi Sadak Par” (Sagaayi) (1951) which you can handily call up at

If you want more, ask Navdeep at navdeep.asija (at)

About the author:

Navdeep AsijaNavdeep Asija writes: “Pursuing my doctorate studies with Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi. My area of specialization is Safe Road Infrastructure Design especially in context to developing nations. The biased attitude of policy makers towards motor transport has turned our roads social-economic activities centric roads into a death traps. Aim of life through constructive studies is to be the voice of those who matters most, the people who actually create our economy.”

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Editor’s note: And before you shift into fifth and allow yourself to start to think anything along the lines of “Oh how quaint those Indians are”,  keep in mind that given the special qualities of Bollywood this is far too cheap a shot. Beyond that the simple truth is that no matter where we are on the planet we all have our Bollywood – it’s just that in our case we are blind to it.

Eric Britton
9, rue Gabillot, 69003 Lyon France

Bio: Trained as a development economist, Eric Britton is a public entrepreneur specializing in the field of sustainability and social justice. Professor of Sustainable Development, Economy and Democracy at the Institut Supérieur de Gestion (Paris), he is also MD of EcoPlan Association, an independent advisory network providing strategic counsel for government and business on policy and decision issues involving complex systems, social-technical change and sustainable development. Founding editor of World Streets, his latest work focuses on the subject of equity, economy and efficiency in city transport and public space, and helping governments to ask the right questions and in the process, find practical solutions to urgent climate, mobility, life quality and job creation issues. Currently working on an open collaborative project, “BETTER CHOICES: Bringing Sustainable Transportation to Smaller Asian Cities” . More at: * This article is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 licence.

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