Some say that if you give a man a long enough rope, he will eventually hang himself. Others say that when you’re in a hole; stop digging. Given the stubbornness of our friend from a 2.5 world country, chances are he will be one of the first to hang himself in a hole. A truly horrible image that – but worry not fair readers; he can still be saved yet.
Scrolling through his latest rejoinder appears frighteningly like watching your neighbour’s child – in the other building across the road – assemble a shaky platform of poorly imagined arguments, test the strength of his rope of ignorance, throw it about his neck in an attempt to force his parents to say they are sorry for screaming at him and then, just as he is getting what he wants – HORROR. The platform is shaking, the legs are trembling, the noose is tightening, are his parents even watching? And then suddenly you can almost hear this crack that makes you want to scream STOP!!!
Continue reading Buses, Bad Ideas and Bambi
[This post is a response both to Aarti Sethi’s post on the BRT, as well as to Aman Sethi’s posts recently and this one earlier and as well as to some of the comments it generated.]
In 1970, Henri Lefebvre wrote: “the invasion of the automobile and the pressure of the automobile lobby have turned the car into a key object, parking into an obsession, traffic into a priority, harmful to urban and social life. The day is approaching when we will be forced to limit the rights and powers of the automobile. Naturally, this won’t be easy, and the fallout will be considerable” (The Urban Revolution, 19).
Talking about the BRT corridor in Delhi, its worth remembering many other urban clashes – Hausmann’s broad and open ways that opened up Paris in the mid 19th century, Robert Moses in New York, and Corbu’s (failed but still so real) plans for just about everywhere outside Europe. Hausmann’s boulevards were about a new kind of street for a new kind of urban formation: the boulevard was part of the birth of the industrial, capitalist city, the city of Baudelaire’s Paris and the “Eyes of the Poor” – the city of the current version of the modern that still shapes/haunts us today. Continue reading Cities, Cars and Buses: The Modern, the Ideological and the Urban
So for those of us who thought that frustrated, naive and aggressive car drivers are a caricature, Hey we at Kafila found one just for our readers. He is loud, aggressive and fuss-trated as they come. Read on …
The wonderful thing about blogging, I am told, is that it allows everyone to publish their opinions. At times however, forgive me for saying this, I wonder if everyone should. My most recent reason for this harsh indictment of the blogging world, is based on this recent post titled “This is what the fuss is about (you twit)”. The title stems from a spot of witty wordplay on one of my recent posts.
The “you twit”, I might hasten to add, is not my addition. it is the author’s impression of my arguments. While his post is reasonably, if somewhat naively, argued; his frequent abuse stems, perhaps, out of the need to get his blog read. Or maybe it is a style that is much appreciated by his readers. I will however, thank him for his incisive – if somewhat excessively enthusiastic – critique of my work.
Continue reading On dealing with fuss-tration
The sustained campaign by the elite press to jettison Delhi’s first mas transit bus system has been remarked upon and documented on Kafila. Today morning’s newspapers carries news of an accident in which 32-year old Poonam Sharma was killed as she tried crossing the road and was hit by an oncoming bus. Delhi’s record when it comes to road safety is abysmal and this is yet another instance of the the terrible and tragic fate that befalls many pedestrians every year on Delhi’s roads. What is interesting though is the way in which accidents on the BRT are reported compared to the reportage of other road fatalities. Here are some headlines from the recent past:
BRT Corridor Claims One More Life
BRT Delhi: Death Toll Continues, Pedestrians Blamed
Delhi BRT has it 10th Victim
BRT Claims another Life: Woman run over by Bus
Continue reading Of “Killer” Buses and Car Lobbies: The Coincidental Death of the BRT