भारत के दो महानगरों राष्ट्रिय राजधानी दिल्ली और बम्बई को यूनेस्को द्वारा विश्व धरोहर की सूची में नामांकित करने की तैयारियां चल रही हैं, कुछ मित्रों ने दिल्ली या बम्बई की बहस शुरू कर दी है जो वास्तव में पूर्णत: अनर्गल बात है.
में दिल्ली बनाम बम्बई के पचड़े में पड़ने के बजाये ये सवाल पूछना चाहता हूँ के ऐसा क्यों है के 65,436,552 की कुल आबादी और 6,74,800 वर्ग किलोमीटर के कुल क्षेत्रफल वाले फ्रांस में 35 स्थान, नगर, इमारतें प्राकृतिक स्थल आदि ऐसे हैं जो विश्व धरोहर की सूची में शामिल किये गए हैं मगर इस सूची में भारत का नाम केवल 29 बार ही आता है.
जो सवाल पूछना ज़रूरी है वो यह के सिर्फ दिल्ली या/और बम्बई ही क्यों? जोधपुर, जयपुर, अजमेर, इंदौर, उज्जैन, भोपाल, बनारस, इलाहबाद, लखनऊ, पटना, वैशाली, हैदराबाद, विदिशा कालिंजर, मदुरै, कांचीपुरम कलकत्ता और मद्रास क्यों नहीं ?, आप ने नोट किया होगा के बम्बई कलकत्ता और मद्रास के नए नाम में इस्तेमाल नहीं कर रहा हूँ और दिल्ली को भी देहली नहीं लिखा है. यह जान बूझ कर किया जा रहा है दरअसल विरासत कहीं अतीत में जड़ हो गयी कोई चीज़ नहीं है और इसलिए नाम बदलने की समस्त परियोजनाएं विरासत से छेड़ छाड करने की निन्दनीय प्रवर्ति का ही हिस्सा हैं. Continue reading दिल्ली बनाम बम्बई
Guest post by MITU SENGUPTA
In a remarkable book about slumdwellers in Mumbai, Katherine Boo brings to light an India of “profound and juxtaposed inequality” – a country where more than a decade of steady economic growth has delivered shamefully little to the poorest and most vulnerable. But though indeed a thoroughgoing and perceptive indictment of post-liberalization India, the book fits into a troubling narrative about the roots of India’s poverty and squandered economic potential.
This is a beautifully written book. Through tight but supple prose, Boo offers an unsettling account of life in Annawadi, a slum near Mumbai’s international airport. In Boo’s words, this “single, unexceptional slum” sits beside a “sewage lake” so polluted that pigs and dogs resting in its shallows have “bellies stained in blue.” It is hidden by a wall that sports an advertisement for elegant floor tiles (“Beautiful Forevers” – and hence the title). There are heartrending accounts of rat-filled garbage sheds, impoverished migrants forced to eat rats, a girl covered by worm-filled boils (from rat bites), and a “vibrant teenager,” who kills herself (by drinking rat poison) when she can no longer bear what life has to offer.
Continue reading Review: ‘Behind the Beautiful Forevers’ by Katherine Boo
This release comes from the JAMIA TEACHERS’ SOLIDARITY ASSOCIATION
The Maharashtra ATS claims to have cracked the 13/7 blasts case. Its chief has revealed in a press conference that Indian Mujahideen was behind the Mumbai blasts. And yet, the Ministry of Home Affairs remains far from impressed—indeed, it appears rather irritated. And the press, also unusually, has been circumspect about his revelations. The ATS Chief says that he did not want to call a press conference. But the rumours about Naquee’s IB links were threatening the credibility of the ATS. Such were his compulsions when he launched into a monologue about the ‘breakthrough’ his team—under his guidance of course—had achieved.
Despite his loud proclamations however, there are few who are willing to buy the ATS’ arguments. Here are some issues for the ATS Chief to mull over: Continue reading Some Questions for the Maharashtra ATS Chief: JTSA
This guest post by MEENA MENON is an extract from her recently published book, Riots and after in Mumbai- Chronicles of Truth and Reconciliation
It was all in the eyes. Beneath the finely drawn brows, they were haunted and distant. For Naina Bane, the night of 8 January 1993 will remain a night of absolute terror. Her escape was miraculous as was her recovery. It took me several months and wrong leads before I met her finally at a family reunion in the suburbs. Dressed in a long mustard coloured ‘maxi’, her hair was drawn back tightly. I found it hard to recognize the same girl who was almost burnt alive on that fateful night in Gandhi chawl. Now 40, there is a faraway look about her and her eyes widen when I ask to speak to her. She got married in 1996 and lives outside Mumbai. Her 6-year-old son keeps her busy. Her husband worked for a mill which closed down, a typical story in Mumbai. He was a badli (temporary worker) and he lost his job. He now works as a watchman. Continue reading The Gandhi Chawl Incident: Meena Menon
Guest post by DILIP D’SOUZA
Starting today eighteen years ago, for much of December and January (and then March 12), Indian killed Indian on the streets of my city. Terror at its most elemental: I felt it then. I saw it then. Others told me about it then.
Some memories of those weeks, in no particular order but they all still make my hair stand on end.
Guest post by DILIP D’SOUZA
The anniversary began, for me, with a phone call. Someone I haven’t heard from in some years, mother of a soldier who died fighting for India in Kashmir. Her voice faltered several times during our conversation, and I could hear her tears. “Look at the tamasha,” she said, “over remembering the people who died on November 26 2008. Yet do we remember my son? Do we remember so many others” — and here she named several soldiers — “who died facing bullets on our border? Really do we remember people who died for no reason?”
“If we have a remembrance for one,” she said, “I want it for all. I want it for everyone who dies like this. Otherwise we wonder, what did our sons die for?” Continue reading Memories of another time: Dilip D’Souza
Part of a Series. See here.
In January of this year, I had taken a friend to Mumbai. One of the places we went to was Lower Parel – I wanted to show him what I could of the Mills. You could still see the Mills then, if not in the same form. The same compounds now housed small galleries and boutiques. There were advertisements for a ‘mills culture tour’, sold as something in between a bar hop and an art gallery cruise. I knew big clubs had opened here, as had malls. Phoenix Mills was Mumbai’s version of Delhi’s DLF Emporio – all the major global brands were there. Even here, however, I remember laughing and pointing out to him that some of Bombay’s stubborn egalitarianism remained. Armani was next to Addidas. Rohit Bal next to a paper store. Unlike in Delhi where no non-hyper-elite brand could get near DLF Emporio, in Bombay, even Armani couldn’t buy space away from Adiddas.
Continue reading Creative Destructions