February 19, 2005

Kids after the cutoff

My article on slum demolitions on India Together: read it via this link. This is also a plug for India Together. A fine effort (not just because they publish me) that deserves your support.

6 comments:

jammy said...

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Ullekh said...

Hi Dilip,

Congrats for reaons obvious.

Dilip D'Souza said...

Thanks Ullekh! You're very kind.

Crenshaw said...

Dilip:

I wouldn’t know about previous cut-off dates, but to my knowledge, Jan 1, 1995 was determined on a ‘go-forward’ / prospective basis when the previous saffron government was formed in Maharashtra.

People were warned at that time that subsequent slum developments would be subject to demolition. Those who disregarded that warning must now bear the consequences.

Indians need to start developing respect for the law and institutions. People need to learn that they can’t walk in, usurp public land, pilfer electricity and water and expect everyone else to stand by, watch, and applaud (and pay higher local levies and utility charges as a result of pilferage).

You have argued that ‘middle and upper class housing routinely flout developmental regulations’. We could go on forever pointing fingers at each other, however, there has to be a start if the law is to be enforced, and these slum demolitions were just that.

PS: Ironically, I live in Toronto, where we have had a similar debate raging about homeless people making their way into a public square. Needless to say, we in Toronto now have regulations in place, that allow for them to be evicted by force!

Crenshaw said...

Dilip – reading thru my comments again, and am a little concerned that they may come across as being snide. I certainly don’t mean to be.

I do enjoy reading your blogs, thanks for that!

Dilip D'Souza said...

Crenshaw,

With every cutoff date, slumdwellers have been "warned" as you say.

Of course we must develop a respect for the law. It's a wonder to me that this need for respect comes up only in regard to demolishing slums.

Actually, I have two other suggestions on how to tackle the problem of slums.

One, why not have a cutoff date for births in Bombay? Let's declare that all babies born here after Jan 1 2000 are illegal. Going by the relative contributions to population growth of immigration and births, this is the far more efficient way to control population growth -- and therefore, slums.

Two, why not declare all job-creation in Bombay illegal? That way, nobody will come into the city looking for jobs, and therefore there will eventually be no more slums.

Who's going to support me here?

Please don't worry, you've never been snide! I appreciate your thoughts.