Monday, 31 August 2009

Slum dogs millionaire

According to a report released by Praja, a Non-Government Organisation, Mumbai fares the worst among five Asian cities in key human development areas like life expectancy, GDP per capita and literacy.
It's behind Singapore, Hong Kong and Shanghai, and that's no big surprise. The fact that it ranks lower than Colombo, that capital of that tiny island nation of Sri Lanka, must rankle.
Or should it?
More than half the population of India's financial capital lives in slums. Every day, a few thousand get added to that population, not because this is the financial capital, but because showing your arse off while taking the morning dump is preferable to dying hungry back home.
There are at least two Indias, and Mumbai is probably the only city in the country where you can see both by just shifting your gaze.
Elsewhere, Nandan Nilekani, ex-CEO of Infosys, has been hired by the government so that every Indian can have an identity card. According to a wikipedia entry, one estimate to roll out the National ID to all Indians above 18 years of age is Rs. 150,000 crore (US$ 30.9 billion). For the first phase alone Rs. 100 crore (US$ 20.6 million) has been approved.
Huh?!
So now the farmhand in Other India is going to say, "Hey, now I don't have die of hunger. Or, hang myself. Or, go to Mumbai. I have a National Identity Card".
I wonder:
Is hindsight something that arseholes possess?

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