> Tapan Kumar Chowdhury, 62, a retiree now working as an activist in the colony, said legalized status would be likely to improve sanitation and local health standards through installation of a true sewage system. But he remained skeptical about whether the election-year promises would be carried out, noting that politicians preferred to keep colonies vulnerable so that residents remained more beholden to them for even incremental improvements. “They have a vested interest in keeping us illegal and unauthorized,” he said, “so they can use us as a vote bank.”
>>It’s the trope of all tropes to say that a writer is “the writer for our time.” Still, if we were to define “our time” as a historical moment in which the country we live in is dropping bombs on people about whose lives we have the most abstracted and unnuanced ideas, and who have the most distorted notions of ours; or a time in which some of us are desperate simply for a job that would lead to the ability to purchase a few things that would make our kids happy and result in an uptick in self- and family esteem; or even just a time when a portion of the population occasionally feels scared out of its wits for reasons that are hard to name, or overcome with emotion when we see our children asleep, or happy when we risk revealing ourselves to someone and they respond with kindness — if we define “our time” in these ways, then George Saunders is the writer for our time.
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