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By Sujit Chakraborty, Edited By Adam Rizvi, The India Observer: Vasundhara for UNESCO Award as Cleanest Indian City?
I am so proud today! Just guess why….
I am so proud that there is not a spec of dust on the streets of Vasundhara, my hole up in Ghaziabad under Adityanath Bhogi’s Uttar Pradesh.
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There has been no rain, but the leaves on the trees are glittering green. I am so proud!
Vasundhara has been declared tobacco free and all the street side paan shops have been demolished. I am so proud!
And proud I am that all the public urinals, which had either all been shut earlier or would smell like a factory of hydrochloric acid, are now fragrant with a rare variety of eau de parfum.
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The Municipal Corporation’s sprinklers have taken the “particulate matters” down from ambient air. Proud indeed I am.
No one is allowed to honk, excepting that police vehicles can hoot incessantly.
In fact, I would not have noticed all this, had it not been for a lone Additional-Deputy Commissioner of Police.
On the way to buy my booze, I was shamefully ignorant of the beauty that Vasundhara has become, had it not been the ADCP passing by.
He must have been on an important errand, because for just one single officer, six other police vehicles had been pressed into service to make an impressive cavalcade.
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In fact that is when I had found some time in hand to watch and understand: all the vehicles at the Buddh Chowk traffic intersection had been stopped for 10 minutes for his highness to deign to pass by us lesser mortals.
Thank you ADCP Saab for giving me my rare Eureka moment!
And I am grateful, ADCP Saab, because this ‘haltage’ actually gave me time to pause and look at my once sad and sulking but now Vasundhara’s sudden smiling facelift.
That is when I realised that the slums had been ‘sanitized’… nay, what the military espionage term is…’neutralised’. Not a man or his woman or their kids were poor any more.
If poor they had been, I would surely have seen them in the same slum that I have passed by every one of the 4,015 days on my way to the booze shop for the past 11 years. But they were not there… oops, the slum was not there.
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So if the slum was not there that means the people must have moved out elsewhere, so that means they could have afforded to have moved, so that means they had come into money, so that means they must have found great new jobs, so that means the promise made in 2014 of 10 crore jobs had come true and the people had moved to some Promised land far away from my Vasundhara!
And the sprawling garbage dump, where every day the small black plastic garbage bag had found some job for those slummers processing garbage, had vanished too!
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On my way back from buying the booze, again there was a traffic ‘haltage’ at Buddh Chowk, but no one was honking, as if everyone had internalised that they would have to very, very patiently stand in silence, just as they are supposed to do when the national flag is hoisted and the national anthem is played by the military band.
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Suddenly, the blare of police sirens broke out… the ADCP was on his way back on the return route… he had been going up and down for the past few days, talking on his mobile phone inside his AC SUV, just to make sure that Vasundhara has come into the Unesco stature.
Sanitized. Eau de parfum-ed. An urban bliss, sans slums and sans and its slummers. And then I got the news from a battery-rick driver stranded next to mine….
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The scum of the earth would be coming three days later to inaugurate something or the other in my benighted Vasundhara. So the slums must go. Urinals eau de parfum-ed. Particulate matter cleaned by water sprinkling.
And Vasundhara will remain in the UNESCO’S list till October 15, when the one-man-slum in an Armani chooridaar-suit, sporting Cartier Panthere sunglasses, with a a Fulgor Nocturnus pen by Tibaldi tucked inside the front pocket of his jacket, has left after the glorious inauguration of a petty Metro Rail station connecting my Vasundhara to Meerut!
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Thank you ADCP Saab for giving my first ever insight into the Welfare State of Uttar Pradesh.
What else can a Bhartiya scum show after having been bulldozed by I.N.D.I.A!
Curated and Compiled by Humra Kidwai
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