[Reader-list] Fear and Loathing in Big Cities

radhikarajen at vsnl.net radhikarajen at vsnl.net
Tue Apr 8 18:51:59 IST 2008

My dear sister Fathima and her post was very thought provoking. But let us be honest to see the facts in the right perspective, is it not true that poor muslims are second grade citizens like all others in other faiths divided by castes. But the difference ends there, the poor in other faith do not resort to violence at the flimsy excuse if the pizza carrying vehicle touches their children playing on the roads, they are not out immediately in groups to demand money for the accident.They do not loot with mob power.Hard working individuals irrespective of their faith always see success in life inspite of bad systemic flaws of vote bank governance,that is how one can see yarn merchant Ambani and his next generation in wealth.But unfortunately, many muslims think that their zakath is only legal and not taxes a citizens have to pay, but they want "subsidy" even when the HOLY script says you travel with your honest hard earned money.
A system of governance which delivers good governance to ALL in society with fair and just form is the democracy, but do we have it in place. ?Citizens are  divided in to groups of castes, minorities and "mahorities and ultimately, a minority rules the citizens defying the oath of governance, with all fear, with all unfair means for the votes, unless all citizens irrespective of faith unite as a single society this game will go on, appeasing one section of citizens at the cost of other sections of the society.


----- Original Message -----
From: Shuddhabrata Sengupta <shuddha at sarai.net>
Date: Monday, April 7, 2008 6:53 pm
Subject: [Reader-list] Fear and Loathing in Big Cities
To: sarai list <reader-list at sarai.net>

> Dear Fatima, Naeem dear all,
> Thanks for your posts on pizza delivery and fear and loathing in 
> big  
> cities, and how New York and New Delhi, when it comes to the sharp 
> edge of exclusion, can seem like shadows of each other. I recently 
> saw something in the Delhi edition of the Indian Express that I 
> think  
> would be of interest to the ensuing discussion. Its about a wall. 
> No,  
> Its not in Palestine, but in South Delhi. I thought it would echo  
> (from a different angle) some of the thoughts being expressed in  
> Naeem and Fatima's posts.
> best
> Shuddha
> ---------------------------------------
> Great Wall of Kalkaji
> Preeti Jha, Indian Express
> Posted online: Saturday , April 05, 2008 at 11:51:20
> http://www.expressindia.com/latest-news/Great-Wall-of-Kalkaji/292736/
> New Delhi, April 04 Construction of a five-foot wall to divide a 
> slum  
> cluster from neighbouring middle-class colonies is wreaking havoc 
> in  
> south Delhi’s Kalkaji Extension.
> Standing in the remnants of her grocery store, Seema Sagar watches 
> as  
> a young boy jumps from one mound of debris to another, before  
> precariously balancing on a stray brick. All this to safely cross 
> the  
> stream of sewage that now floats outside her house.
> On Monday, bulldozers razed down more than 1,000 small shops and  
> homes to make way for a wall that will encircle all three camps in 
> the slum cluster: Bhumiheen, Nehru and Navjeevan. Four hundred 
> metres  
> of the proposed 2-km wall are already in place, under construction 
> by  
> the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) since December. “We are 
> acting  
> on an order from the High Court,” says DDA’s executive engineer K 
> K  
> Khanna.
> And the High Court was responding to a petition filed by Arsh 
> Avtaar  
> Singh, former president of Kohinoor Apartments’ Resident Welfare  
> Association, in May 2005. The petition sought a solution against  
> encroachment of roads and services by slum residents.
> ‘Block them out’
> Neighbouring middle-class colonies support Singh’s efforts. A flat-
> owner from nearby Konark Apartments, who does not want to be 
> named,  
> says: “All my life savings have been used to purchase this flat. 
> For  
> 22 years I have lived with the stink from open defecation, and  
> constant over-crowding from blocked roads.”
> Residents want slum dwellers to be relocated in ‘pukka’ housing. 
> “I  
> feel bad for them,” says Singh, whose own domestic help lives in  
> Bhumiheen Camp. “They should be given an alternative home 
> immediately.”
> But the DDA claims it needs time to relocate the slum dwellers. 
> “The  
> wall is a temporary arrangement to offer protection to flat 
> owners,”  
> Khanna says.
> In the interim, Daliwal thinks the wall should be built higher. 
> “It  
> should be at least eight foot high, and built either with bricks, 
> or  
> grills and mesh. There should also be fewer outlets.”
> ‘Livelihood gone’
> The camp’s residents, though, are fuming. “We were given no 
> warning,”  
> says Sagar. She claims to have bought her grocery shop for Rs 
> 20,000  
> rupees 13 years ago. “I make Rs 50 a day, through which I cook for 
> my  
> family. We have nothing to eat today without my shop.”
> Trying to salvage broken chairs and cutlery from his former  
> confectionery store, Izhar Ali asks, “What should I do to earn? 
> Can  
> the government give me an alternative?”
> As an MCD employee sprays mosquito repellent into stagnant water  
> forming pools around the newly homeless, Kamla Ujhain forlornly  
> watches her grandchildren eat in what used to be a bathroom. “We 
> knew  
> it would close our businesses,” says Maya Devi, peering outside 
> her  
> shop, now shrouded by bricks. “And what if there’s a fire?” asks  
> another shopkeeper, Naresh Kumar. “It will be much harder to 
> escape  
> if we are contained from all sides.”
> DDA’s Khanna, meanwhile, insists there will be several entry and 
> exit  
> points in the wall. “There are more than 17 gaps in the 400-metre  
> stretch built so far,” he says.
> DDA has a May 21 deadline for building the wall.
> Shuddhabrata Sengupta
> The Sarai Programme at CSDS
> Raqs Media Collective
> shuddha at sarai.net
> www.raqsmediacollective.net
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