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How come Indians are not wanting skyscrapers?


Mayawati's monuments may end up with as a losing propositon

Mayawati's monuments may become a losing propositon (Copyright and courtesy - Times of India, Ajit Ninan).

If skyscrapers were an index of success, wealth and power, then a trend is certainly visible. The balance of power is shifting to the East. Seven of the top 10 tallest buildings are in Asia—four in China, two in Malaysia, one in Taiwan. Just two are in the US, one of which is a 1974 building.

But it does not look as if India or Indians are unduly worried about failing on another parameter of global ranking. The lack of interest or even public debate on getting India on the tall building map could mean several things. One, we are not at the stage of economic growth where having the tallest building becomes something to think about. Two, there is no massive speculative real estate bubble in the country and cheap money is certainly not an issue. Three, the argumentative Indian does not need the prop of an icon of American culture to define India’s identity or its place in the world. Or it could just be that we are so sure that a fire in the tallest building will end in disaster with the fire engines that can reach all of 10 storeys stuck in a traffic jam caused by a broken-down cycle on the main road. Nope, we don’t even want to go that way. (via Reaching for the sky: How tall is my country – Columns – livemint.com).

Nice observation

The rich and the powerful want their 'infrastructure'! And that is 'progress' ... (Copyright and courtesy - Times of India, TN Ninan).

The rich and the powerful want their 'infrastructure'! And that is 'progress' ... (Copyright and courtesy - Times of India, Ajit Ninan).

When Vilasrao Deshmukh announced that he wanted Mumbai to be the next Shanghai, Indians hooted with laughter. He was never taken seriously after that. Nehru declared his disconnect with India after Tryst With Destiny speech – and his temples of modern India. Is it surprising that the most respected post-Independence leader is Sardar Patel.

While most of English speaking India moans about infrastructure, that the rich need, there is complete silence about what the poor in this country need. India’s poor don’t need monuments. And our rich and powerful are blind to this.

The poor are such a bother!

Monika Halan, (post linked and extracted above) finally cannot resist taking a swipe at the poor! The article ends in a scenario of a burning high rise, in which the rich residents are trapped, and the fire engines to save the rich, are thwarted because a poor man’s bicycle has disrupted the traffic!!

We must banish the poor! Off with their heads!!

  1. Galeo Rhinus
    May 21, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    I think when anyone – meaning anyone – claims to think what the “poor” want – I have a problem.

    This argument is premised on a false paradigm… the idea of a “collective” desire for wants and and needs of a certain “class” of people.

    Marx represented western solutions for western problems.

    India does face “western” problems – but the answers cannot certainly not be western.

    Advise: Please stop this class warfare about what the “rich and powerful” want and what the “poor” want.

    Understand that Indic polity was orthogonal to these divisions.

  2. May 22, 2010 at 7:46 am

    This argument is premised on a false paradigm… the idea of a “collective” desire for wants and and needs of a certain “class” of people.

    Are you suggesting that there is no ‘capture’ of the ‘establishment’ by the rich and powerful? Are you suggesting that all this ‘progress’ and ‘development’ of malls, airports, ports, highways are NOT done to make life easier for the rich?

    Are you saying the emergence of Government as the biggest landlord has nothing to do with impoverishment of the Indians? Are you saying that there is no collusion amongst the rich to ensure that law, policies and practices are crafted to suit the rich? Considering the ‘breaks’ that big housing projects get, do you believe that increasing homelessness of the poor have nothing to do with State policy?

    The poor are such a bother!

    Monika Halan, the writer of this post linked away, finally cannot resist taking a swipe at the poor! The article ends in a scenario of a burning high rise, in which the rich residents are trapped, and the fire engines to save the rich, are thwarted because a poor man’s bicycle has disrupted the traffic!! We must banish the poor!

    Marx represented western solutions for western problems.

    Marx simply created new forms of enslavement, when old forms of slavery became impractical. That is all.

    I can’t see Marx anywhere in my post!!

    India does face “western” problems – but the answers cannot certainly not be western.

    Which answer in this post are you referring to?

    class warfare about what the “rich and powerful” want and what the “poor” want.

    I am not talking of any class warfare.

    All I am pointing out is how the rich and powerful are subverting State policy for their own ends. At the expense of the poor!

    Are you saying that this ‘imbalance’ can only be viewed through a Marxist construct? In fact, Marx further went further and created a system, in which ONLY the rich and powerful would prosper – as we can see in China and Russia. Marx proposed the nationalization of slavery. Instead of private slavery, Marx proposed slavery by the State. Which is again the same thing. Tyranny by the rich and powerful!

    Indic polity was orthogonal to these divisions.

    Like the many sites in the Saraswati Basin and the Indus Valley show, monuments were marked by their absence. Where are the palace complexes in any of these sites? Indic polity ab initio did not allow such divisions!

    But now that we have them, these need to be identified. Which is what I have done!!

  3. Galeo Rhinus
    May 22, 2010 at 8:12 pm

    it is not the argument that is flawed – but the paradigm itself…

    bad polity… bad system… bad results…

    you can scream until you are blue in the face at the “rich” and the “powerful” – but all you are doing is echoing all the western “isms” that have done the same in the past… in fact – the entire rant has occurred over and over again in the west… the same story… the same arguments… the same story…

    …was hoping you would do something different…

  4. May 29, 2010 at 7:20 am

    I think when anyone – meaning anyone – claims to think what the “poor” want – I have a problem.

    Is it that you have problem with

    1. The ‘rich’ speaking for the ‘poor’?
    2. The ‘poor’ speaking for the poor?
    3. Or anyone speaking for the ‘poor’?

    So … what are your ideas on ‘handling’ this ‘bias’ in the system?

    In this post, there are no paradigms, arguments, ideology, Western ‘isms’ etc. This post is rather simple – there is a rather obnoxious behaviour pattern, which has been identified, flagged and attempts to sensitize the reader!

    bad polity… bad system… bad results…

    This is an accepted and given!

    So … do we not highlight issues with the current system! Are you saying that we should talk to the ‘rulers’ and mirror the ‘problems’ that they are causing?

    I think that there is an issue of purushartha – dharm is everyone’s business!

  5. Galeo Rhinus
    June 1, 2010 at 9:01 pm

    to “speak” for the “poor” is flawed – because whoever claims to be the voice – is essentially a demagogue… because there is nothing that is really meaningful in “speaking for” the poor… bluntly – only people who are pretending to do something for the poor will ever defend speaking for them…

    …what you are calling as “accepted and given” is actually not given… in fact “speaking” for the poor is given… because EVERYONE claims to do the same… you simply added yourself to the list…

    what you are saying is “accepted and given” is rarely given any space… might as well use the space that you own (this blog) to do something that others don’t… what others do is nothing but “speak for the poor”… perhaps you think you do that better than others 🙂 perhaps you do… but I’d rather you don’t 🙂
    your blog… your call…

  6. samadhyayi
    November 2, 2010 at 3:08 am

    local self government anyone. local self government.isnt anyone gonna talk about it

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