a non-issue for this and other elections
one of those two houses (in the last two pictures) isn't located in an american suburb. it's in hyderabad, spread over a plot of 1,000 sq.yards. its neighbours on the right, left, across the street are also as big (or bigger).
why would anyone want to build an american style home in an indian city? because he/she can. it doesn't matter that the design chosen isn't suitable for all kinds of geographies. or for all kinds of infrastructural environments. a middle class american home in the middle of india- if you can't throw that kind of a tantrum, would you be considered upper class in india?
let's look at the scale of this architectural nakhra: the united states is three times as big as india, in terms of territorial size. in terms of population, india is three times, roughly, as big as the united states. an average indian home, given those constraints, shouldn't be bigger than 1/9th an american home. googling, i find that the average home size in the united states is 2330 sq.ft (2004). the hyderabad home in the picture is nearly 9 times the average american home!
that home is in a neighbourhood where mps and mlas were given cheap grants of land by the government. it's expensive- 6-7 acres in the neighbourhood could foot satyam's wage bill for a month.
i am not going to ask- how do people manage to build such big, expensive homes in india? i am more interested in this question- what are those kids (in the first two pictures) doing in this neighbourhood, where mps, mlas and other lawmakers live, if the nregs is such a big success in rural india?
they work in those big homes in the neigbourhood. sparsely inhabited, big homes- because a lot of the owners' kids live, study or work abroad. so why do the owners still live in such big homes? taking care of such large places- isn't that a big problem? cleaning them, keeping every kind of fixture, wiring, plumbing etc., in working order. they can afford to live there because the kids are cheap. you build such big homes in india because you know you can depend on those kids to keep them in running order. because you know you can depend on programmes like the nregs etc., to keep the supply going.