Friday, March 07, 2008

Stinking rich, literally!

As the media in India ritually (and nauseatingly) celebrates the presence of four Indians in the Forbes list of top eight global billionaires, another Forbes listing has passed without much notice. This one's about the world's filthiest cities and Bombay, with the seventh largest concentration of billionaires in the world, has ironically also been ranked as the seventh most dirty city in the world. Bombay, believe it or not, is worse off than Baghdad that has been bombed back to Stone Age. Delhi is 24th on the list of the dirtiest 25 cities. Calcutta, however, escaped this ignominy.

Can't help but wonder why these cities with overflowing coffers can't keep themselves clean. After all if more and more Indians are turning out to be billionaires, isn’t the government earning millions more in taxes? Obviously, it has to do with how the government and municipal authorities work. And more importantly, how we behave ourselves as citizens. The government's got to be obsessed with empowering the individual by affording him or her the basic services: safe drinking water, affordable healthcare, reliable electricity supply and education being top on that list. It is instead obsessed with the blasted nuclear deal!


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