Saturday, July 07, 2012

Kiran Nagarkar on Mumbai

Mumbai has deteriorated beyond repair. We are not in a desperate state - we are much worse than that. The housing situation is insane. I don't think i can afford a hut in Mumbai today. There is no notion of infrastructure, resulting in monu- mental disaster.
Real estate developers build higher and higher sky-scrapers which come with readymade slums, for who will do the washing and cleaning for the rich? The city is divided between people who have water and those who don't. This was one of India's leading cities. Now, we are not at the bottom of the pile but well below the bottom.
When the British ruled us, their laws made sense. They were here to exploit us. They built chawls for mill workers where 40 families shared four bathrooms. But people continued to live this way well after, chawls may be a dying institution but the living conditions of the poor haven't changed much - this is precisely why chawls are so important while writing the Bombay novel.


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