Termites at the Core

It’s been a long time since I pondered upon the state of affair in India. Scams and scammers, available by plenty. Corrupt governance, rising cost of living, failing PSU(and I am not talking about Air India. Today I read it in the news that BSNL is on brink of exhausting it’s cash reserves by the end of the year, and will be a total lossmaking company owned by the Indian government.), constant threat to the security and high handed, blackmailing politics, has led the people to write off India as an unsuccessful country. I had hopes in it. I had hopes in the current government. The statement of the prime minister made me sad. He said that since there was a lack of clear majority for any single party to form the government, they had to make sacrifices. After all, he said, we can’t have elections every six months. The ill effects of these “sacrifices” are quite visible and open at this moment.

This country has termites at it’s core. Literally!! There is corruption everywhere. To fill the coffers of a select few, the basic rights of a human being are being taken away. Just few examples(and this list can go on and on) to prove how India is rotting deep within.

The Hill View

Our office has just recently moved to a new location in navi Mumbai, and the location has quite a good scenic beauty. We have a lake on the front, and hills(which turn green on the our back. The Dow chemicals plant  on the side looks good, especially since it had shut down. Our pantry faces the hills and we have enjoyed the beauty for quite some time now.

Now, a sudden change in the scenery has been itching into my eyes since a few weeks. The hill is being replace by air. Stone quarries have come up on the foot of the hills, and large portion of it has been excavated in very short time. The section has turned to gray, the colour of stone. At the pace the work is carried out, I am am afraid that by next year, there will be a plateau instead of the hill.

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Is there no impact in environment due o this large scale excavation?Are there any environmental clearances obtained before starting to destroy a hill!! As a colleague explained, the officials deal with the traders of the stone. Up to a certain height, the hill belongs to the government, and above that, the hill is sold for digging. If that is true, we will have no hills in Mumbai, in about 50-100 years(considering that India itself, as a country, exists at that time).

If this kind of excavations happen all over India, then combined with the Pakistani and Chinese incursions, we will have a new world map.

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Pakistan and china will have bigger territories to dictate upon, and sri lanka will be without a neighbor.

The Lake View

The lake is one beauty in front of our office. I make it a point to view out of the window once in a day to view the calm lake and relax my mind. It’s quite helpful, believe me. Especially since all the noise of the traffic is not heard from our fourth floor.

The picture shows the Thane-Belapur road, which is the lifeline of the industrial belt in this area. An earth moves can be seen digging out the road shoulder. This is not the first time that this work is being carried out. The road had already been dug about a month back. The second picture will show clear signs(not tell-tale signs, but clear signs) of the previous operation. Forget about paving it back to it’s original state, the dug up area has net even been leveled out. This is not a one off example. This happens all over Mumbai, and I guess, all over India(I am not sure if I can include Gujarat). Roads are dug up, then filled back after the work(usually laying down pipes) is completed. Then someone remembers something, and they are dug up again, this time, either damaging one pipe, or the underground phone lines, which too pass exactly through the same area. No one in the municipal corporation seem to know where the underground cables are laid, and this results in broken communication system. And no one seems to bother at all to lay down tar on the damaged section of the road. This happens all the time and people have got used to it. In a busy Mumbai life, no one seems to take notice. And the corrupt go on a free rampage.

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My Beautiful Vasai

Many times in this blog I have posted about how beautiful my place of birth and current residence is, and how it is being robbed of its natural beauty and space by a nexus comprising some ministers, members in the government, and few local goons.  And the development authority has chipped in with their contribution in destroying the environment.

trees

This was the structure of the area where I live. The circles(irregular shaped), on both sides of the road(parallel lines) are trees, not stones. There were trees all along the road from Bolinj village to our green belt. Suddenly one night, and emergency operation was done and next day morning we find this!!

no trees

This was done to facilitate the road widening project by the MMRDA(Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority). All it has managed to do is destroy a part of the beautiful green belt. That part, which was kind of a welcome gate to the villages. Now we have wide road from one end of Bolinj to Agashi, and other end of Bolinj to virar. Sad part is that Boling itself is a bottleneck. The widening project is hindered here due to lots of houses right near the road(as shown by small boxes inside the big box).  Whatever road is available for vehicles is occupied by the traffic nuisance, the auto rickshaw. And the authorities are unable to bring them under control.

And today I read that thousands of more trees are to be “relocates” to widen more roads in our region. I think we should kiss mother earth goodbye, till we have some time.

10 comments for “Termites at the Core

  1. February 16, 2011 at 5:37 pm

    Damn this is upsetting.

    • February 17, 2011 at 3:01 am

      But happening for real…..people in the city do not know the actual “growth” story in the villages nearby. Being in a village very near to a city has its advantages and disadvantages. Advantages are having a relaxed life away from the din of the city, while being able to utilise the benefits the city has to offer. Disadvantage is that very slowly, but surely, our lives are encroached upon.

  2. Sanjay D'souza
    February 17, 2011 at 8:04 am

    I think, we need EGYPT style revoluation in India or 2nd freedom fight, to free ourselves from this dirty politicians?

    But what is alternative options we have? New batch of same dirty politicos.

    • February 17, 2011 at 8:41 am

      I think we need good young generation(but none like the thakur’s son)to come into politics.
      And I think Congress should take this bold step and sit in opposition. Let BJP rule with the coalition. Then lets see how they manage.

      • Bikram Singh laishram
        February 17, 2011 at 11:53 am

        I think BJP should never come to power ever again unless they change their core ideologies i.e pro Hindu ideology. As far as the termite problems that the city faces due to development is a necessary evil. Its all for the greater good of the nation.

        • February 18, 2011 at 3:15 pm

          All for the greater good of the nation? Well that is quite unconventional and interesting. Would like to know more about the ideas behind the thought.

        • Madhu Pillai
          February 28, 2011 at 5:00 am

          I stongly agree that the BJP which is party which is so right of the
          centre and which has such a divisive ideology should never come to power again unless they are willing to be more inclusive and give up their
          Hindu fundamentalist outlook and looking to play the religious card.
          Even though some of the issues they take up are valid , they are at
          the core in line with the RSS thoughts .

    • Madhu Pillai
      February 17, 2011 at 11:40 am

      Whatever is said in the blog is true and is mighty upsetting . But I still think we are way way way too better off than a lot of other countries in the world . Most of all I cherish the freedoms that come with being a democracy . it is easy too easy to crib but it is only when u actually experience life in other systems that u do truly appreciate the things that we take for granted in our beloved country . take for instance the banana republics in Latin america , or the impoverished and strife torn nations in the whole of africa , except for S.A. none of them are even developing countries and S.A. too has its own set of problms , take South east asia — some of thm are bettr off economically but do they have the same freedom and freedom of press ? take the countries of the eastern bloc , or the countries which were once known as behind the IRON curtain . Our beloved India is much better off than all these ( inspite of the politicians – i must add ) But then again it is said — that a country gets the leaders that it deserves . That is we the people are as much to blame for the kind of leaders we elect. And artists and politicians too mirror the society that they live in . So if corruption is endemic it is because we as a people are too lenient towards it and are actually endorsing it in various ways — I ask you , do u not give a bribe or pay a commission to get things done easily — rather than stick to ur principles and take the harder way.

      • February 18, 2011 at 3:38 pm

        Your question is quite appropriate. Have I never bribed in my entire life? Well, I am not filled with pure milk either. Yes, there were times when I had to bribe. Bribery is another form of termite that has been hollowing out this nation since ages. I am as much a culprit as the person accepting the bribe. And I am not trying to justify it here. The topic has been already discussed in one of my previous posts.
        But tell me the name of one nation which doesn’t have this practice in some form or the other. From the might USA to the meek african countries, all have it in them. But does that mean we blow up our chances and turn our back to progress and become one of the banana republics. I read this term being used by one of the Indian citizens with reference to India, and I felt sad. We have still not turned in to banana republic. Even with some amount of bribery in superpowers of the world, they do not cease to be the developed nations. Meanwhile, we still cling to the tag of the developing nation, but never in sight of the final stage. Of course, I say again, I am not trying to justify bribery, and am ashamed that I am forced to follow it sometimes. But in India, the land of very few opportunities nowadays for a common man, the losses, far outweigh the self righteousness feeling that one gets, when we don’t compromise. And no one likes losses, especially when we are with limited opportunities and resources. Just see the our Prime Minister as an example.
        Secondly, would we like to have a political party driven by religious sentiments, rule the nation? Would that be good for the growth story of India? Will it not take us back to the level of those countries with iron curtains? Our current prime minister may have his hands tied up in many ways. But I will never question his integrity. Neither that of a certain Mrs. G, the daughter-in-law of India. Upon thinking deeply, we will understand the catch 22 situation, our prime minister is facing. Accepting defeat will show weakness in the party, which will be a final bow for it, and the reigns will go to a communal minded party. Staying in power will require support from coalition, which they give only if they are allowed to scam this country off it’s resources(that they do after coalition). It’s a very thin line that the Prime minister has to tread on, and the balance has to be maintained with better judgement.

        So next time we vote, vote with clear mind. And vote to the person who is the least of the evil. Or better, be the person to whom people will vote.

  3. Sanjay D'souza
    February 17, 2011 at 8:16 am

    It was really bad to learn that we are generating kind of INR 10,000 Crores EVERY SINGLE DAY, when crores have difficult time making both ends meet.

    Almost every single politician had assets worth 100 of crores, WOW where they got this money from? Surely it is ont their inheritence.

    Shame on us to have these people as our leaders. They are everywhere, even from village level to national level. WHAT A DEMOCRACY.

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