Sharing the name Chhatrapati Shivaji, the airport and train terminus have much in common: both were once the future

The imbalance so apparent between Mumbai's transport system and its airport seem sure to polarise political attitudes in the city even more sharply. The city's middle classes have become so enamoured of their privatised comforts, they are forgetting that great cities get their reputation not from the access-restricted pleasures they afford the few, but the public amenities that are available to all. The chasm between the elite and the working classes has long been the playground for populist politicians, here and elsewhere. But over the last few years, such divisions in Mumbai have literally been reinforced by concrete. Unless this changes, my city will lose the common ground on which to make common cause.

 Chhatrapati Shivaji airport, Terminal 2
Chhatrapati Shivaji airport, Terminal 2 © SOM

Naresh Fernandes is the editor of the blog His most recent book is City Adrift: A Short Biography of Bombay. He also writes about Bombay's rich history of jazz at