Terming today’s urban reality an apartheid city, activist Harsh Mander said the perpetuation of caste, class and the neoliberal ‘greed is good’ motto, have made the ‘middle class’ one of the most uncaring communities the world over. He was speaking at the City Scripts Urban Writing Festival organised by Indian Institute of Human Settlement.
“The lived experience of urban poverty is more brutal than that of rural poverty as the people experiencing it are more isolated and uprooted,” he said. “What adds to the brutality is the over-monetisation of the homeless urban life. Even nature’s call, bath, blankets-on-hire for the night, food everything is monetised. Most of these things are taken for granted in a village community space. A homeless man in Mumbai once said that he fears the mirror, if it will ask for money to show my reflection,”