An East Delhi Citizen's Blog

general riff about politics, education, media, society, cricket..

Archive for the tag “Delhi”

Our journey from being a sought after tenant to a landlord

Seems quite incredible that it has been more than three decades since we moved into Delhi to live.

In seventies, Delhi was very welcoming to Bengalis and Tamils (actually anyone from South of Vindhyas). We were model tenants. We paid our rents on time, had a reputation for never creating ruckus and vacated the premises on the expiry of the contract if asked to.

Stereotypes are dangerous. However, it can safely be said that we profited hugely from our stereotypical “meek and submissive” image. We never had trouble finding a house to rent.

Times have changed. Delhi of thirty years back was dominantly Punjabi by nature. And many Bengalis and most South Indians were first-generation settlers; mostly seeking out “safe” ghettos like Karol Bagh.

Memories of those days came rushing back today. We went and rented out our apartment in Dwarka. Thereby, becoming “landlords” for the first time in our lives. To compound the irony, we rented out to a Punjabi family, on the recommendation of our next door tenants. And, guess who the “landlord” of the next door apartment is? It is a Tamilian family.

In Delhi, finally, the meek may not have inherited the earth, but have staked out a claim to a shared space.

Happy housewarming, Mr Arora.

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Why voting Congress is a mistake

Harini Calamur in PoV has gone public with her preferences in this election: Why I am voting Congress.

I follow Harini; you should too. Thoughtful, multifaceted and open. More power to her voice and people like her. Even though, in this case, Harini, I totally disagree 🙂
My disagreement is not with your freedom of choice or even the choice itself. That’s your democratic right. I will even concede that given the poor choices we have in this election among all the parties and individuals asking for our votes, Congress can seem as good or as bad as others. But, I differ with your stated reason. Using Manmohan Singh as a sort of tie-breaker between BJP and Congress; just because he is an eminent economist? Come on! Why did the Americans elect a lawyer, then?
Harini, Manmohan Singh was good as a finance minister under Rao because he did not have to worry about the political fallout of his decisions. Rao did it for him. Also, it can be argued that he was always a reluctant reformist, as could be expected from a career bureaucrat who was steeped in Nehruvian socialism.

Let’s look at the so called dream team: Manmohan, PC and Montek. Brainy guys with oodles of experience. Yet, what is the legacy they are leaving behind? What have they built? Are they leaving us in any better shape to face the challenges of poor roads, water scarcity (Supreme Court just sent a ultimatum to the government to get its act together), law and order (20-30% of the country is in Naxalite hands), electricity, sanitation… I can’t remember any initiative of the government in the last five years. Were all of these stalled by the recalcitrant allies?

A prime minister is a CEO. He has to articulate a vision, get a team together and energise the team around the shared vision and execute on the vision.
Manmohan/ Congress’ vision: What was that?
Manmohan/ Congress’ team: Ramadoss: fighting with Venugopal, Raja: poor in even elementary arithmetic, Arjun Singh: diluting higher education standards.. Shivraj Patil: how can we sack him, he is so loyal?
Execution: With the team above, what do you expect? As Buffet says, “it is only in low tide, you can find out who is swimming naked”.
So, Harini, I am sorry. When I vote in Delhi, I will not vote for Congress.

Blogs that promote understanding

Just a very short post, more like a plug if you will for a couple of blogs I discovered recently.

Both are in the online edition of Hindustantimes.com. One has been around for a while while the other is just 2 posts old. 

The first one, by Mayank Austen Soofi (reminds you of Amar Akbar Anthony, except that unlike in the movie, this is the same person!) explores interesting aspects of Delhi; its landmarks and people. Been surfing through some past posts and they are just plain brilliant, ranging in topic from Route No 620 to experiences in the walled city. Look out for The Delhiwallah Blog under HT Blogs. Mayank’s great strength is his ability to relate to the subject and broach the most “taboo” topics in a non-threatening manner.

The other one, only 2 posts old but holding out great promise is the one by Zia Haq. Representing the educated, urban Muslim view, this is trying to stimulate a debate about the place of Muslims in Indian society. No holds barred, reasoned and very importantly, not apologetic. Follow this one. It is called, They call me Muslim.

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