22 June, 2021

An R-Day Wish

If demolishing buildings, pucca and kutcha, is so easy and throwing the poor around is routine, why does Garstin Bastion (GB) Road exist?

An R-Day Wish

Every year, when tanks roll down Rajpath and jets fly past Raisina Hill on January 26, there is a heightened state of collective anxiety in the national capital over security. Are the Very Important Persons safe, have the city’s borders been sealed, will there be another attack on the people? And for those who get goosebumps watching men marching and machines trained at enemies, real or imaginary, no threat can deter their annual pilgrimage of patriotism. I hope all of them are safe—all those who are forced by pride and profession to brave the cold. But I can’t say so about the Republic’s invisible people whose security is nobody’s concern; rather their very existence remains within the realm of deniability. Just a few miles from Rajpath or the Supreme Court or Parliament and a few hundred metres from the nearest police station, women and children are sold in the open for half an hour or more. Swati Maliwal, who chairs the Delhi Commission for Women, tells us that it is a Rs 1,200-crore business and it is primarily run by two senior Delhi politicians...

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