Monday, November 07, 2005

Next Step Backward

Our “apostle of poor “ Medhaji once again is on the war path. Bad boy Mr. Vilasrao declared war against the illegal slums and Medhaji jumped into the fray once again. What to do? She wanted peace and at this age want to go to the Himalayas and spend the rest of her life in solitude. But the poor creature is dragged into the fighting path by the social imbalance and the cruelty towards poor, rivers and you name it. If she leave the scene who is there to save the poor? Mr. Deshmukh’s bad boys will raze their shanties and they will once again be homeless.

Who am I kidding with? Myself. Poor me. What a joke these slum demolitions become. Our International Airport desperately need the space and the Airport Authority of India (AAI) have enough space. The only problem is that some encroachers, read Slum Lords, have illegally built shanties and now thousands of poor immigrants and sons-of-soil resides there. Without rehabilitating them, no new development is possible.

Camera pan to Bandra. To the banks of Mahim Creek. A few years back it was full of mangroves, and nothing else. Today, the west of Mahim’s side is full of shanties. No one saw this? Now they also can claim that they reside there for the last 5 years and fall in this pre-2000 category. They can show the records too. In India making fake documents are like making sandwiches. Easy, available everywhere.

So our poor Medhaji is there to fight for the slum dwellers. And some of the activists told the media that they “will oppose the move to demolish the building. If there’s repercussions, so be it”. Now we can see lathi-charges, close-ups of demolished slums and weeping women, and the omni present local MLA. His dirty smile filling the TV screen. One such MLA stopped the demolition drive of his own CM in Kurla.

So there is a lot of saviors for the poor “aam aadmi”. Now tell me who is there for the city? We envision our city to be the next shanghai. Yes. But how? There are thousands of people coming to Mumbai everyday. If they all decided to erect a shanty at ever available inch, how can we be Shanghai? Leave Shanghai, how can we be Mumbai? Yes this problem has a humane face. True. But did you ever thought of the plight of those who, Every day, commutes from Virar to church gate & back? The un-potable water they drink? Do you want to save these slums at the expense of them? The money and land which the city desperately needs is stuck. And petty political games of some small time goons have stopped bigger plans. Medha Patkar, your intentions are very clear. As recently declared, you too wanted to join the politics. Why? If you are a good activist, why should you join politics? Is it the money or power that politics offer?

Oh yeah. I forgot. India needs leaders like you. The efficient, effervescent leaders who can take the nation to next step. Next step Backward.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey how are you? I was searching the net and looking for sites involoving xango. I am currently unsure if your site is exactly what I'm for, but I have to admit, it caught my interest. I'm glad I stopped by. Great post! Thanks for your time!