From India Together: a news piece on slum residents in Golibar fighting back against forcible displacement by developers from Mumbai.
The ongoing battle between these Golibar residents, who have refused to move out of the ruins of their homes, and the builder – Shivalik Ventures – epitomises the struggle of the urban poor to be recognised, with dignity, as a vital cog in the city’s economy. It is a demand for Mumbai’s elite to acknowledge the poor’s need for spaces in a city where, according to the Human Development Report compiled by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation and the UNDP, one in every two residents of the city lives in a slum.
What happened to the Sabarmati Express on 27 February 2002 will always be a blot on the nation’s conscience. It deserves fair but harsh retribution. There can be no arguing that. What is being argued is whether this was a horrific upsurge of mob anger or a premeditated conspiracy. That there was a conspiracy afoot in Gujarat those years is undoubtable. But as this story shows, it was a conspiracy of a different kind. It was a conspiracy designed to rent the fabric of this country: a conspiracy by State machinery to blacken one community’s name. And declare them the enemy.