I am sure there will be taxis. I did, however, spot a couple of Mercedes, three SUVs, and several cars fitted with the red light on their roofs — all waiting for passengers who had just travelled with me. Kanpur treats the moneyed and the powerful quite well. The lesser mortals have to fend for themselves — including finding a transport even at the airport. Once upon a time there were mills, now there are malls. The malls stand like mirages on the mess that Kanpur is today.
Roads are stripped of asphalt, power-supply is erratic, almost all the industries that the city took pride in have shut down, crime rate is high, traffic is chaotic, pollution at its peak. But people no longer complain.
Denizens of darkness - The Hindu
They have long grown inured to hardships. Now they vote for the caste of the candidates. Anil, who is 53, has seen better days in Kanpur.
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His father, Mahadeo Khetan, started the bookshop in back then, Kanpur was the Manchester of the East and a citadel of the trade union movement. In fact, the Communist Party of India was born in this city, on December 26, For four terms until , Kanpur was represented in the Lok Sabha by a trade unionist, S. The printed-in-USSR books have long disappeared from its shelves: I managed to find a collection of Chekhov's stories back in Today if you take the IIT out of it, Kanpur will have nothing to boast of.
The presence of the Election Commission is being felt strongly in Uttar Pradesh — in the absence of political posters and banners. If you don't read the papers, you won't even know the state is going to elections.
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The walls are clean; no booths playing speeches or campaign songs. The most colourless elections the state has ever seen. Those who show their faces only during elections will have a tough time. I met Kumar at the Kanpur Press Club.
In , when I started my career as a journalist in the city, I had voted in the office-bearers' election. Kumar is now the secretary of the club, and every journalist walking in stops by to touch his feet: it's the Kanpur culture, to touch the feet of seniors. Since I am a visitor, I am served with tea. People like Kumar know Kanpur and its politics like the back of their hands. Yet, when I ask him what this year's chunavi mudda — election issue — was, he falls silent and starts thinking. The mills began to close at a time when a bigger movement was sweeping through Uttar Pradesh — the Bharatiya Janata Party-supported movement for the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya.
Denizens of darkness
It was to alter political agenda in the state for the next two decades, brushing aside the issue of closure of mills and the plight of workers rendered jobless. Today, it is too late: even workers laugh when they hear promises about restarting the mills.
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The response of people to the bats were very variable, some were indifferent as they occupied parts of the temple which were not used by the devotees, while others even noticed the decimation of bat population after temple renovation. With further probing they have even said that bats have moved to some other temple in the same locality. I was overall surprised that despite the noise and the stench of faeces, pilgrims and priests often did not mind the presence of the bats in the temples.
Denizens of Darkness
I couldn't help but be amazed by wealth that was unveiled to me in India, beauty of its temples and biodiversity that it protects is a cultural and economic asset. The rich nature of unique animals, giant bats hanging on the trees like huge fruits or flying in the sky like huge European birds of prey, showed me that cohabitation is possible with animals which are generally considered unwelcome. I hope that in the coming years the religious practices will be continued along with the continued existence of the bats, flying freely in and around these temples. Editorial Team.
Editor: Allwin Jesudasan. Associate editor: Rajkamal Goswami. Editorial Review: R. Ganesan, M. Soubadra Devy, T. Design and presentation: Kiran Salagame.
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