Those who would have been read the writings of famous Hindi writer Munshi Premchand could remember his famous story “ Pus ki Rat” in which the night of winter has been described in so lively way that while reading the story sometimes reader can feel the pain and agony of spending a night under the open sky with full blowing winds in its hammering and cruel form to shake the whole skeleton with every gust of wind .
When the news of the death of a children in a demolition drive from Railways in Shakurbasti first surfaced it was very much the story of Premchand revisited and the plight of homeless and shelter less people living in Delhi put a strong question mark before the urban policy and vision which Delhi is looking for.
The whole question of death of children in demolition drive has two aspects. One is related with the technical part of the question where Railways can claim to be performing their duty and it was never been intentional and it was mere unfortunate accident. Other one is broader question which require more concrete and specific answer about the policy of urbanization, city administration and taking care of those homeless and shelter less poor people who make large chunk of population and still live the life which negates all the toll claims of fast growing nation.
The poverty alleviation and stopping poor people from coming to big cities in search of food and shelter is a big policy decision which every government takes in its every budget and try to work on it although this broader aspect is very much related with this incident but it cannot be done immediately.
The most shocking part of this whole incident is the follow up of this incident which is more centered on political blame game and political point making rather than reaching to any solution to stop such kind of incidents in near future.
The unfortunate incident and its follow up with lot of politics again proves that our politicians are ready to work together even on humanitarian issues and never escape a single chance to jump into politics on every issue.
It is very tough to judge in this whole debate that whose negligence led this event to happen and ordinary people will never understand the technicalities of whose fault was that and who was suppose to do what?
Delhi government claims demolition drive was done by Railways which come under the union government and they have no role into it but on the other it was the incident which happened in Delhi and most people who don’t understand the technicalities will hold Delhi government responsible to this incident.
In most of the places in country we find that Railways property has been encroached and most of the places are being used by homeless and shelter less people who belong to groups who usually roam around from here to there and the efforts from Railways to take back its property happen in most places from time to time and it is neither illegal nor unadvisable but the insensitivity which was shown is really questionable. In the nights of winter it should have been avoided and if it was so necessary all the people would have been given the warning and timing would also have been in the daylight.
The problem of overcrowded Metro cities and particularly people who are homeless and shelter less are definitely happen to be a big problem for city administration as some of them fall into crime syndicate but these are issues which needs to be addressed collectively and we should change the habit to do politics on every subject and learn to work in consonance to each other on some important subject because ultimately every political party faces the same problem when they come to power and problems can be solved only if politicians start to value the sanctity of human life and give respect to them.