Monday 22 March 2010

My Beloved Delhi

There is already a whole lot of furore over decorating Delhi so that she is able to receive some 2 million foreign tourists and 4.5 million domestic ones, during the 12 d-days in October 2010. The development for the Games has also threatened many people off their livelihood. Success of the Commonwealth Games will add stars to Delhi's bid to host the Olympics. The successful hosting of the Hockey World Cup in Delhi has added sense of confidence about hosting the games. 

I intend to come up with a few observations about the 1st Delhi Tourism Conclave held between 18-19 March 2010. A few applauds and some thumbs down!

Delhi Rejoices:
- The city is home to 200 monuments, has heritage linked to Harappan, neolithic/paleolithic era. This  will get a huge uplift during the Games. Historic charm of the city is likely to be highlighted
- The traditional shopping hubs of Delhi such as Janpath etc have registered a makeover already. The planners intend to make the city more walkable / cycle-able
- The stadia's developed to host the games will act as schools for imbibing sports culture in the city
- Chances of a bomb blast (at least till the bidding for Olympics) in the city is grim, as the security forces are up in arms 24x7
- Educating notorious Delhiites through the means of mass communication (advertisements / banners / leaflets) on behavioural aspects will come closer to the games
- Aiming at making Delhi the Asian capital of sports, challenging Malaysia!
- Delhi's spirit in the Metro is unmatchable!
- Development of infrastructure is just so amazing!
- Its getting greener with Delhiites involvement in planting saplings, campaings like nanhi chaa

Delhi Thumbs Down:
- The policy makers say cannot afford a blast in the city, at least till the bidding for Olympics. Sadly I am obliged to write are we (the Delhiites) not considered while thinking about such policy initiatives. Are we not equally important for the policy makers as the foreign tourists. Perhaps Not!
- Price hike!
- Bogey Cops, though they are working on how to bug pleasantly
- Making the city cycle-able sounds fun. But what about those sick lads who would bug me while on road?
- Crooky auto/taxi drivers
- Ms. Madhu Purnima Kishwar, Professor, Centre for the Study of Developing Societies pointed out harshly that a city which does not treat its citizen's properly is not worthy of tourism. Why is the government trying to give a plastic make-over to the city by throwing the vendors / rickshaw pullers out. Isn't it possible to let the poor play an integral part of development directed at the reception of Commonwealth Games. Aren't we paving way for a restless society by sidelining them. Why is that the policy makers believe that covering the river Yamuna will spare us the stink of sewage poured into the holy river. 

Can tourism help reviving the historic charms of Delhi, the city ranked 1 in overall quality of life as outlined in The Liveability Index 2010 by CII and Institute of Competitiveness. I love my city due to the fact that I am born and bought up here. I commend and salute the spirit of the city, where people get together and fight wrongs like Jessica Lal's Murder, Priyadarshini Mattoo Rape or Nitish Katara's case. These cases have revived confidence in the judicial system, and has conveyed to the powerful that they cannot override the civic framework. I know where to go to get what. 

At the same time I also get saddened that the fast paced life here can anytime come to halt. We keep reading the the city isn't safe, but nothing concrete comes up. The only guidelines the policymakers think of would be coming closer to the games, so that the effect of the campaign does not withers away. 

Author's Note: The development plan for the city is disgusting! Its great to have the Commonwealth Games here, but it should not come as a burden to those who have been living in the city.

PS: Delhiites will observe holiday on the first and the last day during the games. Colleges and Schools will remain closed for 12 Days.

PPS: Which is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of Delhi? For me its not the Metro, its the plight of the river Yamuna. The river which helped saving the empire by shielding the city's landmark Red fort.


  1. Great post Ms. Kapoor... delhi is beautiful, but nothing is being done to preserve it beauty..

  2. Hi. great research and well written post. there r few instances in d blog which i throughly enjoyed,bringing up Delhi's united stand in the issues like Jessica Lal's Murder, Priyadarshini Mattoo Rape or Nitish Katara. discussing abt the plights of Delhiites coz of CWG is also applauding.rightly said that "we not equally important for the policy makers as the foreign tourists".

    However I doubt that notorious Delhiites will ever learn basic etiquettes only through advertisements / banners and leaflets.

  3. One thing I would love to highlight here is the fact that the govt. should also make an attempt to improve Delhi's image in the eyes of its own people and foreigners (people who do not belong to Delhi). In my experience, whoever I asked - what is one thing that comes to your mind when you think of Delhi- responded that 'Delhi is not safe'. Thus, a campaign is also required to rekindle the confidence of people in the city.

    We want Delhi to rank amongst leading cities in the world for all good reasons, but we also not want Delhi to replace leading cities in the world when it comes to weak arrangements for the safety and the security of its people.

  4. Nice write-up. But Dilli is fast becoming from capital to crime capital. Things need to improve.

  5. very nice post.. i am not sure about the sports capital of asia but this CWG surely turn delhi into concrete jungle, with the record of maximum no of flyover a city can accommodate


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