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Pollution as Political Expression?

October 19, 2010

I’ve lived in India for over 15 years, and watched the nation become phenomenally filthy. As someone whose job it is to document efforts to make Indian localities cleaner, I’ve developed a fascination with waste.

Garbage often appears to have been discarded indiscriminately. The nation has reached a point at which trash is so ubiquitous that it apparently goes unnoticed, as in this photo.

Roadside litter jeopardizes children's health

Roadside litter is common in localities that don't provide waste collection services

Garbage accumulates even in places that one would expect to be kept clean out of respect or pride, like around the base of flagpoles of this state’s main political parties. Near my house, I find the flagpoles of the AIADMK and DMK parties surrounded by rubbish. This leads me to wonder, Is this a form of public expression, of disapproval of elected leaders’ utter disregard for public sanitation? Or is it just random litter?

Waste around the AIADMK party's flagpole

Waste around the AIADMK party's flagpole

political flagpoles surrounded by trash in Tamil Nadu

Political flagpoles surrounded by trash in Tamil Nadu

DMK party flagpole

DMK party flagpole

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One Comment leave one →
  1. November 3, 2010 6:38 pm

    Hello. Great job. I did not expect this on a Wednesday. This is a great story. Thanks!

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