In continuation to my last week’s deliberation, I feel that I should be quite clear about my intent. Why not? People today pose more problems rather than solutions.
I strongly believe that cities cannot exist in good health, and at the same time, can offer rightful contribution to a nation if we leave some geography in a country that is not a part of a city. In early times, it was power and commerce that were coupled together in driving a civilisation; so, was the evolution of a city.
When I mention power, I invariably refer to the law and order, safety, and above all, a conducive atmosphere to carry out trade and commerce. Such an ambience leads to better civil life, and unleashes a flurry of creative activities; and we say civilisation prospers. It’s one step ahead in the mystery of evolution of humans.
Now, the basic parameters have changed. The privilege is not granted to a few; or in other words, a few cannot take the privileges for granted. In democratic paradigm, the basic amenities are no longer privileges. They are rather rights. Prosperity can vary across demography; but the rights to those basic entitlements must remain universal. And, in the current context, these are drinking water, availability of basic healthcare, physical and digital communication infrastructure, feasibility of working and doing business for a living, opportunity of being heard, and safety.
While India strives to be a global player after her economic revival through last two decades, the above opportunities must be available for every Indian. Splitting each state in several cities and treating them as similar political, social and economic entities will be a good way.
Of course, one cannot engineer a city (in this new paradigm) with a big stretch of natural habitat like what a highly industrialised city offers. The definition of rural areas, small towns and large industrial corridors will need rethinking, and a new model of city may be developed that is more inclusive in terms of varied ethnicity, specific economic advantages of the region, and existing natural habitats. This is where Information Technology will play in full in integrating various socio-economic goals of the local population.