Sometime ago I posted a picture of these families on the Blog. Yesterday I landed back in Mumbai and realized they had dissapeared overnight. Herded out of the city like cattle.
They were families that emigrated into Mumbai from Bihar. As labourers to build the very highways and flyovers that they built their homes under. Homes ? A few clothes strung up under plastic sheet scavanged form the garbage dumps. If that.
And after they were no longer needed, they just stayed on. Thousands of migrant labour looking for more work in the City Of Dreams.
But now they were becoming a burden on the city. A traffic menace. An eye sore to the thousands of Banker, VC’s and foreign investors that arrive in Mumbai, cheque books loaded, to invest in the New Indian Economy.
Of course the roads need to be cleared of the slums. Of course the highways need cheap labour to build them. Of course we have to put our best foot forward to our foreign saviours.
Of course the new slums breed discontent. Of course, like any other refugee camps in the world, they breed crime. Of course these people have no hope in the New Indian Economy.
So get rid of them. For they will provoke people to wonder about the social cost of the New Indian Economy. And who needs that ? Certainly not while Corporations are booking heavy profits. Certainly not while the Indian Economy has become a world wide buzz word.
Who cares about these masses anyway ? There’s plenty of time to think about them after we all get rich. We are compassionate people, certainly, but in good time.