08 May, 2021

Democracy On Shopshelves

Brands empower us to choose, be it products or politicians. And to kill the unfit.

Sanjoy Ghosh
Democracy On Shopshelves
From the roof of the apartment building I stay in, in the Delhi suburb of Gurgaon, you can see the mall lights glittering. Massive brand logos shimmer in neon; giant screens hung outside the malls spew music videos and commercials at the gathered throngs; and the sound of horns being blared by frustrated drivers caught in traffic snarls in front of the plazas waft through the still night air for miles. If you turn your back on the malls, across the barren field behind the building, next to the Delhi-Jaipur highway rises a striking behemoth of a building, the world's largest single-site call center, owned by Convergys.

In Calcutta, even on weeknights, the restaurants in the five-stars are choc-a-bloc. And the number of restaurants all over the city must have quadrupled in the last four years. What you see outside discotheque Tantra any midnight isn't very different from what you would see in Times Square. And this in a city over which a smog of gloom appeared to have been getting thicker by the decade ever since the mid-1960s. It's almost like at the turn of the millennium,...

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