Analysis

Where is the Public space? When train tracks become communal places.

While we all mourn the unnecessary death of 61 citizens on a railway track and Capt Amrinder Singh promising justice, one thing that will not be pointed out is the shrinking public spaces in India. Almost every City Centre is now completely devoid of any open ground which can be used by people – You and me to revel a little.
Empty plots and vacant government lands are the new cricket grounds, and for the less fortunate even these are pre-booked with those with resources.
Another point to note is that most of the dead are migrant workers from UP and Bihar.
For the dwellers of the urban slums and villages there is no place in city planning. During CWG games of Delhi (2010), entire migrant population was literally thrown out.
The populations, though a vote bank, hardly ever gets security or justice. With Aadhar now out of the window, the little legal cover and validity that this population had secured, is again lost.
So, when this lot stands on railway track to see fireworks and defeat of evil by good, they are not wrong. May be Navjot Singh Sandhu is right in saying that this was just a mishap, Railways too is right to call it a trespassing. Afterall how can we demand public spaces in India, we just pay taxes and just ‘Public’

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