Nero Fiddles while Rome Burns
I always love the passion Nipesh’s writing. Dear friend, you hit the mail on the head with this!
They say it was the first fight for the freedom of India, the sepoy mutiny of 1857, where the company was at the verge of loosing its colony. Soon after, the British realized that they can’t have such loose control over the native. Massive restructuring was done, huge chunks of Shahjahanabad was demolished and rebuilt, and almost every British city saw a new cut-through road called nai sadak and so as an imposing ghanta ghar. This haussmannization of Indian urban led to a new planning regime, the one where planning meant a set of controls, rules to keep the native population in control. This outlook where planning is synonymous to control, a guidelines approach, governs even today the development authorities and the academia equally. Masterplans were created in closed board rooms, rendering itself appropriate to the name, to master ‘we the people’s lives, to keep we the people in…
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