A letter written on behalf of the people who wanted to write this but had neither the means nor the platform
Tarushikha Sarvesh | February 2, 2016
We are neither left nor right, not even anywhere in the centre. We do not have any party of our own. We do not have a fixed status. Our position is dubious in the society. Economically we don't even exist. We are not even embellished with luxurious castes. We are the people from nowhere. We do not belong anywhere. We are found everywhere within the boundaries – porous or rigid – of the Indian state.
In the previous government we were given RTE and RTI, thinking that we already had the prerequisites to use them. We lost faith in democracy and political parties. We invested faith in you. We do not know in which category we fall – majority or minority. We could not even vote for you as we do not have voter IDs. Our vote didn't count in your victory but our sentiments did. They said you knew magic. We firmly believe in magic. We have been going to the yogis, mazars, and babas. They said you are bigger than them with real resources and power.
Previous government said, “Humara haath aam aadmi ke sath”. You said, “Sabka saath sabka vikas”. Where do we figure in that “aam aadmi” and in that “sabka”?
Who are we? We are the nomads – of various classes, castes, religions, regions and also of the categories which are not yet defined or understood. How will you link us to your big banks? When elites become nomads they are called global citizens. What about us? At least make us your citizen. Bestow upon us the Indian citizenship rights in real sense.
Sometimes when you promise to give us houses you always think of the city's margins for us. You fear hurting your upper class brethren by placing us next to them in main city centres. Your land is also costly inside the city, why would you spare it for us. You throw us to the outer margins of the cities and put it in your record files that you fulfilled your promise. We end up spending all our earnings in travelling to and fro. Our livelihoods are dependent on the main city centres but you give us shelter in the outskirts. Is there any bullet train or bullet carpool plan for us?
If you are throwing us to the outer spaces please ask the shop owners, contractors, rickshaw users, auto rickshaw users, trolley users, transporters, builders, and everyone else who uses city facilities to increase our wages. Can you make it compulsory? They also don't have much as they fight with us for one rupee. You believe in privatisation and individual efforts but have you ever thought of the consequences of such an approach for people like us. We don't even have proper address and identity. Nobody will even keep us as their drivers. You are our sarkar, Saheb. You have to think about us.
One request – while making the cities smart this time, please think of us. Don't push us further to the periphery. Accommodate us within the main city areas. We will not embarrass you. We promise. We will dress up well whenever some enquiry commission is set up.
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