Urbanisation and Social Change in India
Routledge – 2013 – 224 pages
Series: Royal Asiatic Society Books
As urbanisation is rapidly changing the geographic and social landscape of India, issues of collective violence, urban poverty and discrimination becomes crucial factor in the redefinition of citizenship not only in legal terms, but also in a cultural and socio-economic dimension. While Indian cities are becoming the centres of a culture of exclusion against vulnerable social groups, a long-term perspective is essential to understand the patterns that shaped the space, politics, economy and culture of contemporary metropolises.
Using the case study of Ahmedabad, this book investigates the history of city and of its people over the twentieth century. It analyses the contrasting relationship between urban authorities and the inhabitants of Ahmedabad and examines instances of antagonism and negotiation – amongst people, groups and between the people and the public authority – that have continuously shaped, transformed and redefined life in the city.
This book offers an important tool to understanding the bigger context of the conflicts, the social and cultural issues that accompanied the broader process of urbanisation in contemporary India. It will be of interest to scholars of Urban History, studies of collective violence and South Asian Studies.
1. Introduction Part 1: Constructing a metropolis of the future, 1850s-1930s 2. Ahmedabad beyond the walls: early industrialisation and urban planning at the turn of the century 3. Between rural and urban: challenges and responses from a growing metropolis (1915-1930) Part 2: Emergence of the poor city: industries, slums, conflicts (1950s-1980s) 4. The geography of social change 5. How to create a slum 6. How to create a ghetto Part 3: Failing to become global (1990s-2000s) 7. Ahmedabad dying and resurging 8. Urbanisation in 21st India as a form of ‘routine violence’
Tommaso Bobbio is a Post-doctoral research Fellow in the Department of History at the University of Turin, Italy.