Ask any self-respecting Indorean to locate the world capital, and chances are that he would unhesitatingly name Indore. It is a people passionately in love with their city. The citizens of Indore have just discovered one more reason to admire their beloved town.
People of Indore are still gushing about, with awe in their voice, about the city administration’s ongoing crusade against cattle mafia. The unprecedented blitzkrieg against mafia started about a month ago, when illegal cattle-breeders stabbed to death a 25-year-old municipal employee during a drive against stray cattle.
The murder took place in a crowded locality in broad daylight as armed thugs attacked municipal staff removing stray cattle. The stray cattle squad of Indore Municipal Corporation had gone to that area in response to citizens’ complaint to chief minister’s helpline.
“Madhya Pradesh is a faceless state, without a personality of its own. When we mention MP, it does not create an image that one may recognise easily, an image that is ingrained in our collective memory. But when we mention Punjab or Gujarat or Bengal, it immediately conjures up visions of those states, images that symbolise those states.”
— Rajendra Mathur, 31 October 1965
Eminent journalist Rajendra Mathur wrote these lines nine years after the state of MP was formed in 1956. The new born state initially suffered from an identity crisis.
The problem was accentuated by squabbles among rival politicians and warring pressure groups from different regions amalgamated into the newly-formed state. They were all jockeying for more shares in the power structure.
MP was a geographical oddity when it came into existence. Its boundaries have undergone changes thrice, enough to bewilder both its inhabitants and administrators. Before Independence, it was a fragmented entity. Continue reading “A Passage to Madhya Pradesh”
“You cannot trust people whose cuisine is so bad,” said French president Jacques Chirac, in a public put-down of his British neighbours.
The remark could as well have come from an Indorean about the neighbouring town of Bhopal. On the other hand many Bhopalis think that Indore’s national food is sev, which they tend to mix with everything that they eat.
Most Indoreans think Bhopal is a town of Babus, which they have to visit out of necessity to grease the palms and get their paperwork done. No blue-blooded Indorean ever thinks of spending a night in Bhopal. Their work done, they head back home, even if it is past midnight.
Bhopalis think Indore is a town of moneybags. One prides itself for natural beauty and vibrant art and culture scene and the other flaunts its Mini Mumbai status. Continue reading “A Tale of Two Cities”