29 November, 2020

Suffocatingly, Yours

Sure, we will suffer this year’s smog in suffocation. But, let me let out a big secret, there will be crop burning, smog, toxic air and deadly sickness next year too.

Suffocatingly, Yours

A video clip had gone viral recently, one which showed car after speeding car ramming into the one ahead of it in a terrible pile-up on Yamuna Expressway. It was an absolutely incredible story—not because several people had got injured or many others, including school-children in so-called school vans, could have died there. It was shocking because any sane person would not even venture out in that kind of smog. But the thick blanket of blinding smog did not deter the Delhi drivers from standing on their accelerator pedals and hurtling towards sure death. This, I thought, was a metaphor for modern, urban living and city planning. Our cities are dying a sure death, one way or the other. It could be pollution somewhere, filling up of water bodies somewhere else, illegal constructions all over or vector-borne diseases elsewhere. The reasons differ, but our planners and rulers are all driving blindly, taking us along with them towards sure disaster.

The best example is obviously Delhi, where there is no dearth of money, power or prestige. The only thing that the capital...



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