Top critical review
Historically interesting, but conclusions are far from reality
8 November 2017
It's a well researched book. I can feel the author's sadness coming through at the present state Bombay is in. That said, the author's biases also shine forth quite brightly. For instance, the author rues at the 'slactivism' of current generation and calls it "apathy" - but an average middle class person has to work from 9am to 9pm to earn enough to support their family. Can such a person be expected to take out morchas or make multiple visits to the musty government offices just to show his or her concern for the city? Most politicians join politics after retirement. Or they are 'khandaani raees' or fruits of political dynasties. An average, working-class citizen WANTS to do something for the city, but the system we live in doesn't allow us that privilege. Not fair to label that as apathy or armchair activism.
The author also rues the fact that gated communities, high walls and cctvs are becoming the norm for complexes. Would the author feel the same if there was a robbery at his "unguarded" home? Or worse, a murder?
Fact is, the crowd in this city has gone from bad to worse due to the importance accorded to MONEY. The "poor", that the author asks us to sympathise with, wouldn't think twice before robbing a dying man of his wallet and mobile. That is the sad sea of humanity we swim in; and if gated communities protect us and our children, then I'm happy with that.