Indian Cities Today: Cultural Desert of Tomorrow?

Akshay Chavan writes

Indian cities attempt to ape all the bad things about their western counterparts but none of their good things. What is striking about Indian cities is complete lack of public libraries or public parks. Unlike in the west, those who cannot afford to buy books have no access to them, and those can afford, do not want to buy books. Do we want to raise a generation which if completely cut off from books and literature? If want to ape the mall culture of the west, why can’t we ape its public library culture too? What about museums or art galleries?

In the west, every small town worth its salt has a museum, or a local cultural centre which services as a meeting point of the local community. These community centers serve a incubators of talent. A place where neighbors can meet, organize plays, listen to music etc. Do our cities have any such community cultural centers? Perhaps, museums and art galleries are very high brow but what about basic study centers, where children from socially disadvantaged backgrounds can come to study as they don’t get the right environment to study. We wish to have shopping malls like London and New York, then why don’t we want public parks like Hyde Park in London or Central Park in New York.

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