Skip to main content

ramble - I

just saw this talk on TED. Its the usual evangelical white man's talk to other white men about the need for understanding a people as a people rather than a 'problem' or a 'situation'. its about the 'shadow city' as he calls the slums in developing world. its an interesting talk and an earnest attempt in the right direction. However, in their politics to humanize, they tend to absolve the other forces at work. earlier in his talk, he talks how these shadow cities are expanding and more and more people are trooping in, without questioning why is that the case. he talks of how the shadow cities lack basic amenities of life but all these cities are built on hope and freedom. true, but what is making the people uproot themselves culturally, socially, materially and move to inhuman filth-holes in hope of what? while everyone should be able to enjoy his rights, at the same time he need not be elsewhere, far from his home to enjoy those rights and freedom.
compound this with a geopolitical perspective in another TED talk and you see the shape of world we are headed to. with the current system, every third human will be a squatter in a city by next year. Don't you think we have passed the danger zone, with cities housing more people than it ever could. its about time, money made in cities goes to hinterlands where economic and social infrastructure building projects help rebuild lives the way that sustains and helps grow indigenous ways. instead of cursing biharis, help create opportunities in Bihar with the immense wealth that Mumbai generates. if mumbai dissolves as the lone beckon of hope in the process of creating million towns with equal opportunities, every one would be better off. (notice 'lone' .. need to decentralize) If rich cities keep on guarding their wealth against the underprivileged, this will undoubtedly bring red revolutions. developments to watch out for: bangkok v/s rest of Thailand, north-west china v/s CPC. these are the once i am a little aware of. let me know of any other such conflicts that are about to come to fruition.

the economies right now of big cities are oiled with the sweat of the people from these shadow cities. An alternative has to be established where a people (mass) is not reduced to cheap labor oiling excesses (of few). a strategy has to be found out where, the economic system is slowly transformed from the current one to a decentralised one where the big city is not the centre at all. this will only happen with democratic access to resources such as power, energy, infrastructure, water. current technologies do allow for decentralisation and tribalisation to take place towards smaller independent village/ town units...
energy sources such as oil which by their nature require centrality and spoke system (dont know the exact term.. essentially where the source is at one place and consumption at many different places.) only further increase preponderance of imperialism/nationalism.
a truly democratic source of energy such as solar energy will allow for decentralized and independent governed units.
we need more such technologies that enable decentralization and independence for smaller units of governance to see a better tomorrow. the biggest issue would be water. i am hopeful that science and technology will surely come up with a solution.

reduction in distance between cause and effect. the decentralization and small units will help reduction in distance between production and consumption and as such a people will know what efforts have gone into producing what. this appreciation is must if we wish earth to sustain life beyond this century. US fat sob changing cars after clunkers with borrowed federal moneys needs to know the tribal (probably thousands of miles away; who was uprooted from the land where continuous mining has led to his erasure of identity, depletion of natural resources, alteration of geography and consequent socio - economy that might have existed there) whose steel has gone into making the car (his steel because he stayed there.. its another matter that a abstract entity called nation appropriated that resource as its and decided that someone else is more worthy of the spoils than the one suffering.)
disclaimer: this is only a blog entry, rambling thoughts.. not a thesis.. don't mind inadequate reasoning backup. hmm.. though i do wish i could take this up more seriously to study in detail.


Popular posts from this blog

Reading India through 'Dictator's handbook'

What's the difference between a democracy and a dictatorship?
The book says, not much. India, agrees. Current political dispensation especially agrees vigorously.

"Soma" of hindutva and past glory + divided impoverished amnesiac masses + legitimised attack on individual rights + tremendous wealth shared among few = brave new world of oligarchical India.

Essentially, democracies/ dictatorships etc., are simply variants of the same power dynamic between the ruler, essentials, influentials and inter-changeables.

Interchangeables are the nominal selectorate - the individual voters who have nominal (or cosmetic) power to choose leader - most of us.
Influentials  are the real selectorate - the guys who really choose the leader. In US recently, the electoral college famously went against the popular vote and elected a clown as their president instead. In India, theoretically, the system is a bit better in terms of a wider base of influentials - it could be religious gurus, party…

I am a salmon

I am a salmon. It's been a decade away from my hometown, and yet my dreams refuse to relocate along with me. When sleep hasn't claimed me yet, but neither am I awake, you may find me in Nasik.
My senses fall back into their default states of Nasik when in-between. The space is of my home in Nasik, the sight is of the things around it. I might be hungry and thinking of eating a laddoo and my hands reach out for the steel dabba stacked on an elevated wooden cupboard stuck on the left wall of kitchen. In my mind's eye, I grope for the dabba momentarily as the search yields nothing - poof. the image disintegrates. I am snapped back to reality with a mild jolt. My mind reminds me of the layout in my own kitchen. There is no airborne shelf, there is no steel container, there is no laddoo. It says, go back to sleep. and I do.


I shifted 3.5k km for a less polluted and less dangerous city a year ago.
And all was good. I get to walk and how I love to walk. I am truly happi…

Why I repair my shoe

I have 3 shoes. One formal, One sport shoe and another a mix of the two. The last one is particularly awesome, cause of its uniqueness. It looks like a formal shoe, but is as comfortable and flexible as a sport shoe. I bought it for my first job in Mumbai. I was newly rich and was expected to behave like one. I found this gem of pure black leather in a Colaba Causeway showroom. Quite a find. But its been almost two years now and the shoe shows its age. For all its awesomeness, its quite a weak shoe, to give out so early. I have stitched it, got new laces, and strengthened its sole. It doesn't look shiny anymore cause the leather has suffered from a few hostile trespasses. I think, like a man, things too should be allowed to carry their scars. Shiny scar-less men are just so... irrelevant. 

Since childhood, I have been used to using things for long times. Clothes, equipments, shoes etc. I can't just throw things away cause they don't look as good anymore or they don't w…