Naples is the birthplace of the pizza. As a first-time visitor, I was honour-bound to drop by the legendary Michael’s, even if it meant standing in a long queue in the rain. But Naples is not just a getaway ….These days, it is in the news for something more unsavoury — the Eco-mafia, a term coined by Legambiente, an Italian environmentalist association, way back in 1994 to describe the criminalisation of the business of waste. The Italian Senate is investigating the cluster of cancer cases near Naples which may have been caused by criminal syndicates setting illicit waste heaps on fire, thus spewing toxic emissions. Toxic wastes was a hot and very alive issue when I was in Naples in November this year. Street protests were breaking out, and activists stormed conference halls.
My column for The Asian Age and Deccan Chronicle about Neapolitans taking to the streets against corruption, collusion and criminal syndicates behind the toxic waste crisis and the lessons it holds out for India and many other countries.