What is the first name of Lucknow
Unknown megacities: Who knows where Lucknow is?
Actually, Lucknow should be at least as well known as Jakarta or Brasilia. The state of Uttar Pradesh, whose capital is Lucknow, has more inhabitants than Indonesia or Brazil. But Uttar Pradesh is just one Indian state that many Westerners are just as unfamiliar with as its poor, old capital.
When entering the 2.9 million metropolis, the visitor does not notice for a long time that he has reached Lucknow. The outskirts look so village-like. They are full of huts and brick houses for the newcomers. But they have brought cows and cattle from the country and live in Lucknow just like in the village. The only difference is that they do not do any field work during the day, but rather work as day laborers on construction sites, at the market or in small workshops. There is no water or electricity supply for them on the outskirts of the city. During the day the women queue in front of the few fountains.
At night everything is so dark as if the city didn't even exist here. This is also because Lucknow is growing so quickly on its fringes. In the last ten years alone - from 2001 to 2011 - the urban population rose by 25.8 percent, in the previous decade by as much as 32 percent. But all the new ones live on the outskirts of the city, where there is always a place for the old neighbor who finally dares to leave his village hut. But it is a leap from one misery to another. Uttar Pradesh is one of the poorest regions in the world, with almost half of the rural population suffering from malnutrition and illiteracy.
Only at the bus station does Lucknow feel like a big city
But even in a city like Lucknow, most people only live from hand to mouth. Because there are hardly any factories with permanent jobs. Not even the road to the airport is developed. Between motorcycles, tricycles and trucks, normal cars are almost a rarity. Lucknow has not yet grinded globalization through its mill. Instead, there is samosa fried in oil on every corner.
Even the city center only offers the usual Indian traffic chaos during the day. Because here too, when it gets dark, most of the streets have no lights and people go home. Only at the bus station that overflows at all times does Lucknow feel like a big city. In all its modesty, however, the new parade buildings of the Untouchables government from 2007 to 2012 are particularly striking. For the first time in the many thousand year old history of India, a party of the untouchable caste ruled here with an absolute majority in this not long time ago.
Mayawati was the name of the head of government who took her historical role very seriously and had monuments of herself and other heroes of her party erected in Lucknow. There were also parks with many stone elephants, the symbol of their party. It all seems a bit strangely strange and stiff in the dusty city. Mayawati therefore has thousands of critics. But the sand-colored buildings keep a tremendous promise that has never been kept in India: that of the caste liberation.
Yet it is not so far. Mayawati was voted out of office again in March of last year, also because she was considered corrupt. But one day Lucknow could become known all over the world for this: as the capital of the untouchables, who finally managed to give up their slavery.
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