Delhi has been tormented, destroyed and then developed through the ages. Few cities in the world can parallel the number of times the city was built and then destroyed or looted. Interestingly, Delhi is also a city that somehow manages to retain its ruins – holding on to something of the era preceding each plundering.
Rukn-al-Din-Firoz’s Kilokhri to the ruins of Khilji or those of Tuglaq or Lodis or Mughals or the Suris…we have them all. And then we have these wonderful structures of the British in Lutyen’s Delhi where the crumbling bureaucratic institutions are trying to resurrect themselves to relevance and modernity. Not to ignore the small contributions of the Khuranas and the Dixits amidst those towering ones of Shreedharan and the structures created during the Asian Games of 1982 and the 2010 Commonwealth Games. Now whats been attempted is unique. We are raising a stink! With dirt and filth beginning to pile up on Delhi’s streets – its a 2015 version of destruction of a metropolis. And what happened in the spring was just a dress rehearsal.
Irony is that a NRD, Non Resident Delhite, gave us a slogan Swachh Bharat (Clean India) and it resonated with the people of Delhi like it did elsewhere. But he is either busy wanting to outdo Nehru on the global stage or is entangled in electioneering. Irony No.2 is that Delhi, incidentally, is still being ruled by a party whose symbol is a broom! But our guy in-charge is busy raising a stink about everything but the stink itself. He continues to be obsessed with either the LG or the Delhi Police – two things he has no control over (constitutionally).
But true to the spirit of the city – the Festivities begin! As we leave it to the future generations to figure out if they’d want to preserve this shit!