Since yore cities have been built around the centre of power supplemented by commercial activities. As on this day, it seems still to be true. In spite of democratic setups around the globe, particularly in India, the idea of development comes from a central command. It is not just central government; the same is true within a state. It’s interesting when citizens are empowered with adequate information through technologies, with a law ensuring our right to information.
People defending this stagnant mindset articulate that general population is not yet adequately literate about technologies or legal rights about information. They need assistance, advice and directions from the community who are well-informed. Again, these are the very people who declare themselves being the privileged ones.
Well, what is the solution? Will it be like disbanding the Planning Commission for Niti Aayog?
Not really. We would need the change of mindset. We need social reform, a reform that is in the line of liberal values of India, and a change that will only boost the democratic values.
Like information, basic amenities may be considered as rights for all citizens today. Let us not growl like a dirty bear of free market. Also, not like a beggar of socialist tradition. It’s right of citizens. Let’s stick to this basic principle.
Cities should no longer be geographically privileged. Cities should be equipped with technologies and amenities while country should make it a point that each portion of its geography should be the part of one or the other city. And then, let us shoot a challenge in the wide open with parameters like amenities and happiness as twin indicators of city’s performance. Let the best win.
NOTE: I shall continue to write about, and expand this thought in coming weeks.