Public transportation in an era of neo-liberal privatization – the Delhi Metro
The narrative of ‘India rising’ has captured the imagination of many middle-class Indians. The desire to be validated on the global stage is palpable. In an attempt to channel and transform this desire into votes and support for the privatization of public enterprises, the incumbent political party BJP coined the slogan ‘India Shining’ during the 2004 general elections. A majority of the Indian electorate however confounded the confident pollsters by voting the BJP led coalition out of power. The recently concluded 2009 general elections continue the trend of citizens articulating real misgivings against the effects of neo-liberal globalization in India. For the first time in decades, an incumbent party – the Congress - was re-elected partly due to a number of initiatives aimed at sections of the population whose lot has worsened considerably under the neo-liberal regime.
Zaheer Baber is Professor of Sociology at the University of Toronto. He is the author of The Science of Empire: Scientific Knowledge, Civilization and Colonial Rule in India (1996), Secularism, Communalism and the Intellectuals (2005) and editor of Cyberasia (2006). He is a frequent contributor to The Times Literary Supplement.