The Dark Contradiction Amid G20 Aspirations

The Dark Contradiction Amid G20 Aspirations
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Impact of G20 Summit on Marginalized Communities: Mass Demolitions in Delhi Highlight India’s Housing Crisis

As the world’s attention turns to New Delhi for the G20 summit, an alarming and stark reality unfolds in the city’s streets. The Indian government’s mass demolition drive in marginalized neighborhoods. This has left thousands of residents homeless and desperate. While Delhi aspires to showcase itself as a modern superpower. And a voice for impoverished nations on the global stage, accusations have arisen that it is concealing one of its most entrenched and enduring problems.  This is a problem of poverty and housing insecurity.

The Mass Demolitions Due To G20


The bulldozers and government officials arrived at dawn. Tearing down rows of shanties as bewildered residents watched their homes reduced to rubble. For decades, these communities had lived on decrepit pavements. These were next to open sewage drains and in unauthorized neighborhoods. The government justified these demolitions by labeling the structures as “illegal”. Claiming it intends to rehome some of the affected residents. However, activists argue that the timing suggests a different motive – a “beautification” project aimed at ridding the city of its slums. This is to clearly impress foreign dignitaries attending the G20 summit.

Hidden Poverty in a Global Spotlight By G20

The Indian government’s ambition to portray India as a leader of the Global South clashes with the harsh reality of homelessness and eviction faced by its own citizens. The demolitions are seen as an attempt to hide the visible signs of poverty from foreign delegates. While Delhi may attract tremendous business, it is also a city of glaring disparities, where millionaires live in proximity to homeless families. The demolitions underscore the government’s unwillingness to confront the issue of homelessness and housing insecurity head-on.

The Cruelty of Demolitions

The demolitions are not a new tactic; authorities have previously employed them ahead of international events, such as the Commonwealth Games in 2010. In each instance, the most vulnerable, those residing in unauthorized settlements, have borne a disproportionate impact. Many consider the government’s approach of targeting these impoverished families as cruel, given that they lack legal alternatives for housing due to the city’s shortage of affordable options.

A Cry for Dignity

The residents who lost their homes in these demolitions find themselves homeless and hungry, enduring harsh conditions under tarpaulin sheets. With no assistance forthcoming, they beg for food and face the dangers of living in makeshift settlements. Children struggle with their education, and families are left in dire straits.


India’s aspiration to lead the Global South and project itself as a modern superpower should not come at the expense of its most vulnerable citizens. While India seeks to address global challenges on the world stage, it must also address the pressing issues of homelessness and housing insecurity within its borders. Fundamental rights to life and dignity must apply to all, regardless of their economic status. The demolitions serve as a stark reminder that progress should not be measured solely in global accolades but also in the well-being of its own people.

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