Friday, April 21, 2006

The more things change...

It seems like nothing is Delhi is the same from day to day.

(That said, the opposite is also true: some things have been the same for millenia and will never change.)

This morning, I passed a sweets and namkeen store on the way to work, the same store I pass every morning, situated at a T-stop between Qutab Minar, South Delhi, and Mehrauli-Gurgaon Road.

This evening, less than ten hours later, it was gone.

The press has been all over this story (most recently, I enjoyed a photo essay in City Limits about a slum colony razed to make way for an overpass to prepare the city for the Commonwealth Games). But though we've seen pictures of bandhs, women beating their breasts at the ruins of their former lives, the (Indian) press has yet to fully explain just how rapidly India is changing.

It's a common refrain in the Western press (ahem, Tommy Friedmann) that India and China are moving at a hyper pace. But one doesn't see the buildings broken in the span of the day; readers certainly don't follow the fortunes of those displaced by this development. How will the government and people respond to these challenges? Where do we go from here?

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