29 July, 2021

Delhicide Once More

The Games frenzy is strangling the capital’s frame and soul

Illustration by Sorit
Delhicide Once More

Periodically, Delhi dies. There have been seven Delhis, so there are as many abandoned remains of past cities strewn between the Jamuna and Qutub. Now another, vaster by far, is adding to the debris as Delhi is ripped apart in an orgy of redevelopment. Usually, the cause of Delhi’s death has been the overweening ambition of a conqueror who spurns the old to build a new city to proclaim his personal glory. But Delhi’s latest demise comes from no such search for immortality. The agent of destruction is no masterful individual but a grey, invisible tribe of officials, unidentified and unidentifiable, hidden from view as they proceed with their covert labours. They are an unremarkable band but yet an army to match Nadir Shah’s in wreaking havoc and destruction. And when we consider that all this is done in the name of Delhi itself, and that its residents are endlessly acquiescent in their own unhappy fate, it looks more like a case of suicide than yet another murder of the city.

The Commonwealth Games are at the root of it...

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