Cities Have Developed Externally, But They Lack A Soul. Discrimination Is Proof.
What ‘vibes’ do these urban cities give?
It surely makes us a so-called decent living, getting us access to quick amenities and necessities, yet the philosophy of these urban cities does not offer us the iota of mental peace and social empathy. Why? Because the ‘design’ of these cities is inured with materialism spirit, dog-eat-dog competition and conspicuous consumerism.
The cities may be ‘modern engines of growth and development’, since it receives more urban planning, architects, funding and opportunities, built on the blood and sweat of the labourers with MBA s and poor education, too.
Administered by municipalities, operated by the politicians and thoughts by the entrepreneurs, on all strata, the urban living is not found only in the ambit of ‘cooperative housing societies based in the mindless principles of skyrocketing prices and rents, but also in the caste-based ghettos and poor conditions of poor public sanitation system (which cause more agony to women) with no space for queer.
The hype around modernity and infrastructure attracts potential labourers from the rural sector, mostly agriculturists, seeking a better sip for their income and future, amidst the cacophony of failing farm sector on which more than 65% of India’s population is, directly and indirectly, dependent upon. But, on massive migration, the doors of melancholy welcome all, irrespective of age, caste, creed, sexuality, etc.
Those privileged, yet casteist, are able to utilise their modern capital and send their offspring to the best schools, while the unprivileged ones — during this lockdown — ran pillar to post for smartphones so that their impoverished kids could manage to learn online.
Neither Gandhi nor Ambedkar saw this coming, especially when the architect of the Indian constitution hoped that cities would minimize the case of social apathy. Although on comparative grounds, cities do way better than tier-3 areas, the cultural wisdom of fraternity and equity reside in the system of ‘organised chaos’.
The chances of getting lynched in the rural side for eating beef is higher but in the cities, one can freely munch a beef platter.
The uncles and aunties in cities may appear modern but would not approve of chicken and fish in their housing societies. Live-in is legal but the privacy of these couples is subjected to CCTV. A single working woman or a divorced woman with a child often undergoes cities’ ‘ agnipariksha ‘, since safety and security are also always at a toss.
Behind closed doors of these residential societies, marital rape is a cultural norm. Cities may have people, noise and air pollution, anxieties or stress, but it has many immigrants (disguised as residents) who have not left their conventional mindset back in their rural lives.
Cities may have developed externally but they lack a soul; a mind of its inherent existence.
On their own, cities foundationally create, maintain, destroy and recreate opportunities for many, but they are intrinsically failing to nurture the nature of human behaviour.
Human life has been toned down to wage slavery in the cities, while the policies make the rich richer.
Private transportation is rampant, while the taxpayers travelling in overcrowded local trains without self-respect. Dating apps, without radical love. Communities, without safe space. Mental health finds no mention in the city’s budget, whereas the cognition of cities continues to live the lives of mere survivalism. Thus, cities manifest an iota of ‘disappointed idealism’.
Ending this article with a cynical question: Do cities make you live or simply make you exist?
This article was first published on YKA site.