The world according to … Annaji Ambalamma

Somehow, India’s capital has got to work. As Kannada writer and former employee Annaji Ambalamma describes in her collection of essays, That Happened in Delhi: A Separated Life, over the five decades of independence the city has almost single-handedly stood on top of the world. As Ambalamma says, the city fathers made the most of the abundance of sultry hours in summer and the worst of the winter nights. Even this feat seems temporary, as any glance at what is happening across the rest of the country might suggest. In a new article for the New York Times, Indian columnist and political analyst Suman K Jha argues that what the same bureaucracy can’t build, it seems to want to maintain. Tall buildings, wide roads, monsoon streets and new metro rails and bus lines are frequent targets for slum dwellers and low-wage workers alike. In an effort to improve the quality of life in the country’s huge capital, the city government is raising expectations that are beginning to fall short. “For the first time in history, politicians from different parties have all signed on the dotted line, pledging to get the people of Delhi the services they need, which is quite a legacy for them to keep close,” Jha writes.

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