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Monday, February 18, 2008


Maoists, tribals, naxalites - all seem to be a part of a different world. Often, most of us urban-dwellers who claim to be a part of the new India that shines. The India, we call free, liberal, globalised, democratic, secular (the most ambiguous of the lot), the India that claims to be worthy enough to no longer be counted as among the nations of the Third World, can't compete with issues such as deprivation, poverty, erosion of primitive tribes and suicides of farmers.
Like most awe-struck foreigners in Mumbai who take tours into the slums of Mumbai only to see thriving industries operating out of shanties, I too took the tour into India's hinterland. Jamshedpur in Jharkhand has been the centre for India's development plans. Steel forms the backbone of any kind of industrial development in the country. Yet, it doesn't find much of a mention in 'India Shining' reports as much as Mumbai, Bangalore, Delhi, Hyderabad and even Pune (there's not much mention of Chennai and Kolkata either, though there are quite a few MPs from these two cities). Even when Tata Steel took over Corus, Jamshedpur didn't get a mention but Mumbai's Taj Mahal Hotel did (it was where the deal was sealed by Ratan Tata).
Still, I wanted to be a part of this city. I wanted to be a part of a different culture.

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