As ‘beautiful’ as it gets!

Shared by Nidhi Singh nee Batra-PRIA

We were talking of territorialities in our last entry – and the epitome of that was in the article of today’s Hindustan Times: ‘Slums take sheen out of high-rises in Sector 54’

Inside the article you would find the following sentences, amongst other stench generating proactive sentences against the urban poor:

Amid swanky building touching the skies are rows and rows of grubby shanties…

The air stinks of disease and poverty…

Just behind ‘Summit’ — a shining beautiful high-rise building — one can see the mushrooming slum area…

“A few days back, an empty bottle of liquor was thrown at our building. We were shocked and scared as the bottle could have damaged the vehicles parked near the boundary walls,” said Sudesh Pathak, a resident of the area….

To read more click here

All of this makes you question about the ‘Right to Dignity’ that we are fighting for – middleclass/ the rich are so quick in ridiculing the poor.  Poverty is not a choice, rather to end poverty IS !

Air doesn’t stink of poverty – It just gushes the guilt out of the ‘privileged’ who would like to close their eyes to those who are ‘unprivileged’.

As far as I remember – Cities were meant for ‘people’ and not for vehicles– that the rich suddenly now become scared of an empty bottle near the parking lot- least it might harm a vehicle- not to miss the rich do not really mind throwing empty beer bottles out of their cars when they indulge in all the episodes of drinking and driving. It’s amazing how the ‘poor’ are less of a citizen of this city in comparison to imported vehicles of the rich!

Who defines beautiful?! Why is a ‘swanky’ new building more beautiful than the struggle of the impoverished! Who knows this building might just have an illegal past, forced eviction of dwellers on the land, could have series of bribes passed for its foundation – but even then just because it now sits all tall and glamourous- it becomes beautiful that is losing its beauty because of the grubby shackles!

Instead of ridiculing poverty, had some action been taken towards ‘ENDING IT’, the whole world would have been a beautiful place to live in – and not just the swanky glass buildings!


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3 thoughts on “As ‘beautiful’ as it gets!

  1. Anonymous May 2, 2012 at 4:41 am Reply

    After reading this article, i guess there is a need to change the thought process…we always tend to look poverty as ugly, stinking and even as a threat….but one thing you mentioned very well is “Poverty is not a choice, rather to end poverty IS “…..there is a need to make people aware that gated communities and rich cocoons is never a solution……

  2. terraurban May 2, 2012 at 6:17 am Reply

    I couldnt agree more- it all about the thought process, and to have a leading newspaper even promote this non-inclusive thought process is of a sheer amazement!

    • Manoj Rai May 2, 2012 at 10:43 am Reply

      I am not surprised to see this article in Hindustan times. This pen is flowing with winds and whims of few but most visible and more powerful faces. But as a nation we must ponder on these issues. Our government boasts about few billionaires (how many- in 100’s or 1000’s?) in India. So, the whole world is puzzled about ‘emerging India’. But our government in particular and society in general do not discuss about strengths and contributions of millions of ‘emerged’ poor and excluded Indians. They live in slums or slum type structures.
      Who will acknowledge their roles and sacrifices in making swanky buildings liveable in many Gurgaons of this country? What about their rights and entitlements to lead a decent life, which many people in urban apartments are happily leading? And finally who will ask for sensitivity of ever growing media power in this country?

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