Anarchy in India

Before it had malls, a theme park and fancy housing compounds … Gurgaon was widely regarded as an economic wasteland. In 1979, the state of Haryana created Gurgaon by dividing a longstanding political district on the outskirts of New Delhi. One half would revolve around the city of Faridabad, which had an active municipal government, direct rail access to the capital, fertile farmland and a strong industrial base. The other half, Gurgaon, had rocky soil, no local government, no railway link and almost no industrial base.

As an economic competition, it seemed an unfair fight. And it has been: Gurgaon has won, easily. Faridabad has struggled to catch India’s modernization wave, while Gurgaon’s disadvantages turned out to be advantages, none more important, initially, than the absence of a districtwide government, which meant less red tape capable of choking development. …

Meanwhile, with Gurgaon’s understaffed police force outmatched by such a rapidly growing population, some law-and-order responsibilities have been delegated to the private sector. Nearly 12,000 private security guards work in Gurgaon, and many are pressed into directing traffic on major streets. …

Celý piroh. (CHT Jesse Walker.)


4 Responses to Anarchy in India

  1. bile June 11, 2011 at 4:50 pm #

    So… what exactly was the dysfunction created by “lack of planning?”

    The pollution? The water table? The “islands?” The article points out several issues that we’d all like to see fixed… but seems to imply they will be fixed by the same impotent government that they regularly point out as incapable of making things better.

  2. dennis June 11, 2011 at 8:06 pm #

    I’d be willing to wager that if India’s government does nothing, neither providing the services nor actively preventing them from being offered by other means, that city will be cleaner, more sanitary, and a far better place to live than anywhere in India, or possibly all of the Eastern Hemisphere. Hell, I’d bet it’ll be far and away the best place to live in all of the world with 20 years and little to no government interference.


  1. Anarchy in India-Economic Issue | Coffee At Joe's - June 9, 2011

    […] Roderick Long notes on his blog, the NYTimes has an interesting article upabout the Indian city of Gurgaon, which has […]

  2. Hail Neal Stephenson! *Snow Crash* Comes to Life // Eli Dourado - June 10, 2011

    […] Roderick Long, this New York Times article documents the fascinating case of Gurgaon, a quasi-anarchic city of […]

Leave a Reply

Powered by WordPress. Designed by WooThemes