27 December 2005

Something about Mumbai!

I realised having named this blog MumbaiJamming I am not writing much about the city and am rather concentrating on my travels! But that is not completely true because actually the travels out of city are an essential feature of the life of this city.Though the municipal limits of the city are just Dahisar on the western line and Mulund on the Central line, the actual limits of this megapolis extend far beyond geographically. It would be a difficult task to pinpoint the exact geograhic boundary but Surat, Ahmedabad and numerous cities in between show tremendous influence of Mumbai and their economic activity as well as sociocultural psyche is deeply associated with that of Mumbai and vice versa. Similarly Pune, Nashik and to some extent Goa also have this connection with Mumbai. Mumbai has been a power house which is pulling along majority of Maharahstra, Gujarat, Goa and some parts of Karnataka as an economic and financial juggernaut. The same is true of Delhi in pulling along the northern states but unfortunately the same cannot be said of Calcutta (Kolkata). That may be one of the reasons of economic impoverishment of the eastern states. South india is ofcourse remarkable self dependant with each capital city, viz Hyderabad, Chennai, and Bangalore, and Kochi being metropolises in thier own right. I guess there is a lesson in this. We have to develop more medium sized (and more manageable) cities, otherwise the megapolises will just flounder under the weight of immigrants from less fortunate neighbouring cities, towns and rural areas.

1 comment:

anidg said...

Yes I completely agree with you that we need more manageable cities rather than chaotic megapolises. It is very true that Kolkata has not been able to do what Mumbai and Delhi have done to their respective regions. This is certainly one of the reasons why the eastern states are economically backward. But I guess since the last few years there has been some positive changes atleast in the two eastern states of Orissa and West Bengal. Bhubaneshwar has grown as a city and so has Kolkata. Being a resident of Kolkata I can myself feel the changes that are occuring since the past two-three years. The development of New Town (Rajarhat) and investments by Mitsubishi, Salim Group and some others have definitely helped the state as well as the city to slowly shed its image of a poor business destination. Proposed investments by Posco and the development of the Paradip port has I believe made some impact on the economy of Orissa. The end of the Laloo-Rabri raj in Bihar definitely is a positive development. It remains to be seen though on how much Nitish Kumar can really do. But my biggest disappointment is with the way the central governments in the past and the people of India have treated the north-eastern states. I believe we have terribly ignored them in every way possible. If we had paid even a quarter of attention of what we do to Kashmir, we probably could have gained a lot. The amount of alienation that people of north-eastern states have with the rest of India is extremely scary. I can only hope that things will improve in the future. Though unfortunately chances of that look very slim.