There’s a mild festive spirit in Chennai; Christmas is au fair and there are enough Christians here to make it merry.
India needs to start rationalising its public holidays; as a secular nation it should only allow the “national holidays” whereas religious ones should be opt-in or state sanctioned. So Eid, Diwali and Christmas should be celebrated on a state by state level.
However I wanted to also wanted to highlight the poor job that India (a trait it shares with the East and South ex Japan) in conserving, curating and maintaining architectural sites (also need to do something about strays kitties & doggos).
One may argue that such matters are “first world problems” but I am a big fan of the broken glass theory, where appearances make a huge difference to the state of society.
I once heard a theory that the reason colonial and Mughal sites were so decrepit in India was because they were seen as “foreign” and it was a strategy of disrepair.
That’s why I’m so vehemently against the Babri Masjid destruction or renaming cities and languages. Disrupting continuous tradition in favour of some ancient tradition (imagined or not) is never a good idea. Even if Hindutva wanted to make a temple they should have simply cleared the Masjid and installed idols there; nothing would have been more insulting or effective. To reduce the site to rubble is as inane as what the Israeli did in East Jerusalem when they razed the Maghrebi Quarter. It’s telling that the Hebrew language or culinary tradition hasn’t really taken off in the same way as Arabic (the best hummus in Israel is found in Jaffa).
I’ll end on the shocking level of inhumanity displayed in Naya Pakistan.
So apparently there's been an 'anti-encroachment' drive in Lahore and the settlements or 'katchi abaadis' around the Emporium Mall, of which there were quite a few, have been uprooted.
The photographer (Ali Awais) reported that these families had nowhere to go in the cold. pic.twitter.com/uisykuYRgu
— Haris (@bandaydaputtar) December 24, 2018
PostNote: I didn’t know that Higginbotham’s (the pic I snapped above) is India’s Oldest Bookstore. It was born the same year as the Babi Faith (precursor to the Bahá’í Faith). Seem like 1844 was a busy year for British machinations haha 🙂