Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Corrupt system, corrupt society

66 die in Delhi house collapse. Does anybody care?

On Monday night a five-storey illegally constructed residential building in east Delhi came crashing down like a house of cards. By Tuesday, the death toll had mounted to 66.

The disaster occurred in the congested, filthy trans-Yamuna area of India's national capital. The parliamentary constituency of East Delhi is represented by Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit's son, Sandeep Dikshit, of the Congress.

Most residents are immigrants, a majority from Bihar. East Delhi 'colonies', which are large, sprawling urban slums with poor sanitation, near non-existent civic amenities, prolonged power cuts, poor water supply, offer cheap accommodation. Vast stretches of east Delhi have become a ghetto with over-flowing open drains, piles of festering garbage and potholed roads, for immigrants.

The building that collapsed stood a short distance from the 'world class' CWG Games Village. Lakshmi Nagar, and not the tinsel-and-glitter CWG facilities, presents the true face of Delhi.

Sheila Dikshit has washed her hands of any responsibility and slyly passed on the buck to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi where the BJP has a majority. What is not mentioned is that councillors have no executive authority which is vested with the Commissioner who reports to the Lt-Governor of Delhi.

MCD is a den of vice where corrupt babus and venal 'engineers' rule the roast. It's a babu-engineer-land mafia-developer-politician nexus at work. They are a law unto themselves. MCD exemplifies the cash-and-carry culture of Delhi.

But political parties are not free of blame either. Before elections, politicians promise to 'regularise' unauthorised colonies. The Congress, which for long has flourished on 'jhuggi-jhonpri' votes in Delhi, has mastered the art of 'regularising' unauthorised colonies. So its promise carries greater weight.

Before last year's Assembly election, Sheila Dikshit had promised to 'regularise' 1,200 of Delhi's 1,600 unauthorised colonies with illegally constructed buildings violating basic norms required for MCD sanction. The so-called 'Residents Welfare Associations' of these unauthorised colonies were given 'provisional certificates'. After the election, which the Congress won, the list was trimmed to 622.

Every time questions are asked as to why action is not being initiated against unauthorised colonies with illegal buildings, a counter-question is posed: Where will the residents go? That's a neat trick. Grab land, build houses which are death traps, rent them out to immigrants looking for cheap accommodation or sell floors to those looking for cheap housing or benami property, and voila, nobody can touch you.

Human life in India has no value attached to it. Nobody will be held accountable for these terrible deaths. To use a cliche, no heads will roll.

Those who pretend concern over corruption would do well to ponder over this: The loot at the top -- 2G Spectrum scam, Adarsh Housing Society scam, CWG scam -- symbolise the rotten icing on a rotten cake. As a nation, as a society, we are thoroughly corrupt. Or else the sprawling slums of east Delhi, which are loftily described as 'colonies', would not have existed.


vergis said...

Fully Agree. We as a race look like a failure. Trying to look at shortcuts, choosing the wrong route instead of a good solution.
We are a selfish non sharing race.

vergis said...

Fully Agree. We are a selfish , non caring society.

JayKumar said...

In the midst of all corruption and allegation against congress and BJP, the only man who is interested in development and development of people is Gujarat CM Mr. Modi.

He has taken him to a great height among mass of this country that he will be a role model for development. The Road show which his team has organized across the country for 2011 Vibrant Gujarat has proved that he is marketing manager of Gujarat Pvt Ltd.,

Overwhelming response he got in Mumbai where hotel authorities was made to allocate separate conference room where business from different quarters listened to his speech. Even this man made a impressive approach among Tamil Nadu business man with jam packed conference room. His meeting with Krishna Iyer and in response Krishna Iyer writing article in Hindustan Times praising him for his development work shows that the Judiciary quarter which always hated him is now ready to embrace him. Even he is planning his road show in Delhi, Kolkatta and many other cities to attract investment.

My question is why can't rest other minister from Lok Sabah or RS do this kind of work? Why CM of other state come out and do speak for development.?

Still how long minister want to ruin this country is what running in countryman's mind?

M. Patil said...

Kanchan da,

There tapes and trscripts circulating on the web about the connections between Nira Nadia and Barkha Dutt and Nira and Vir Singhvi.

NDTV did not deny that Bukha spoke to Nira, buts call the conclusions defamatory.

Has Vir say something about his conversations with Nira. They are far more damning.

: http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/ndtv-on-defamatory-remarks-against-barkha-dutt-67210?cp


Yogi said...

true sir,
but interestingly you can compare it with the number of passengers of IC 814 ...how much "value" was given to/ paid for them ?

and how much value is given to the residents of this "colonie" ...

Yogi said...

Govt in India cares only for its FACE to show within and without ---
and in every govt deptt... paisa feko tamasa dekho..

Siddhartha said...

Most of the communities in India (such as Bengali), are succumbed in ‘Culture of Poverty’(Oscar Lewis), irrespective of class or economic strata, lives in pavement or apartment. Nobody is at all ashamed of the deep-rooted corruption, decaying general quality of life, worst Politico-administrative system, weak mother language, continuous absorption of common social space (mental as well as physical, both). We are becoming fathers & mothers only by self-procreation, mindlessly & blindfold. Simply depriving their(the children) fundamental rights of a decent, caring society, fearless & dignified living. Do not ever look for any other positive alternative behaviour (values) to perform human way of parenthood, i.e. deliberately co-parenting of those children those are born out of ignorance, extreme poverty. It seems that all of us are being driven only by the very animal instinct. If the Bengali people ever be able to bring that genuine freedom (from vicious cycle of ‘poverty’) in their own life/attitude, involve themselves in ‘Production of Space’ (Henri Lefebvre), at least initiate a movement by heart, decent & dedicated Politics will definitely come up. – Siddhartha Bandyopadhyay, 16/4, Girish Banerjee Lane, Howrah-711101.