Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Out of sight, out of home
For the majority in Delhi, the Indian capital, new malls and hotels rising on the city's periphery are not signs of hope. They're indicators of eviction. The Guardian's Randeep Ramesh reports on how the city's supposed renewal plans are bulldozing the homes of the poor.
"The problem for Delhi is huge because 32% live in jhuggies (slums)," an activist says. "How can you just bulldoze. Where will they put all the millions of people? What about their rights?"
Still, the report continues, groups that can develop political swat can block demolitions: "Unlike the poor, powerful groups can mobilise to bring the government to heel. A recent attempt to seal thousands of illegal shops was halted by a coalition of traders who could vote the Congress party out of power in the Delhi municipality."
If squatters represent 1/3 of the population, how come their don't have political power? A serious question for the world's largest democracy.
[Thanks to e-tat for alerting me to the article]