6. Colonialism and the New City

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Colonialism and the New City:

Colonialism and the New City By-Mr. Pyarelal

Colonialism and the New City:

Colonialism and the New City In the late eighteenth century, Calcutta, Bombay and Madras rose in importance as Presidency cities. They became the centers of British power in the different regions of India.

Bombay port in the eighteenth century The city of Bombay began to grow when the East India Company started using Bombay as its main port in western India.:

Bombay port in the eighteenth century The city of Bombay began to grow when the East India Company started using Bombay as its main port in western India.

Declined Old cities:

Declined Old cities At the same time, a host of smaller cities declined. Many towns manufacturing specialized goods declined due to a drop in the demand for what they produced. Old trading centre's and ports could not survive when the flow of trade moved to new centers. Similarly, earlier centers of regional power collapsed when local rulers were defeated by the British and new centers of administration emerged. This process is often described as de- urbanisation . Cities such as Machlipatnam , Surat and Seringapatam were deurbanized during the nineteenth century. By the early twentieth century, only 11 per cent of Indians were living in cities.

A view of Machlipatnam, 1672 Machlipatnam developed as an important port town in the seventeenth century. Its importance declined by the late eighteenth century as trade shifted to the new British ports of Bombay, Madras andCalcutta.:

A view of Machlipatnam , 1672 Machlipatnam developed as an important port town in the seventeenth century. Its importance declined by the late eighteenth century as trade shifted to the new British ports of Bombay, Madras andCalcutta .

The Story of Many Dilli :

The Story of Many Dilli Shahjahanbad

Character of the City::

Character of the City: Shahjahanabad was begun in 1639 and consisted of a fort-palace complex and the city adjoining it. Lal Qila or the Red Fort, made of red sandstone, contained the palace complex. To its west lay the Walled City with 14 gates. The main streets of Chandni Chowk and Faiz Bazaar were broad enough for royal processions to pass. A canal ran down the centre of Chandni Chowk . Set amidst densely packed mohallas and several dozen bazaars, the Jama Masjid was among the largest and grandest mosques in India. There was no place higher than this mosque within the city then.

Image of Shahjahanabad in the mid-nineteenth century, The Illustrated London News,16 January 1858 You can see the Red Fort on the left. Notice the walls that surround the city. Through the centre runs the main road of Chandni Chowk. Note also the river Jamuna is flowing near the Red Fort. Today it has shifted course. The place where the boat is about to embank is now known as Daryaganj (darya means river, ganj means mar:

Image of Shahjahanabad in the mid-nineteenth century, The Illustrated London News,16 January 1858 You can see the Red Fort on the left. Notice the walls that surround the city. Through the centre runs the main road of Chandni Chowk . Note also the river Jamuna is flowing near the Red Fort. Today it has shifted course. The place where the boat is about to embank is now known as Daryaganj ( darya means river, ganj means mar

Culture::

Culture: Delhi during Shah Jahan’s time was also an important centre of Sufi culture. It had several dargahs , khanqahs and idgahs . Open squares, winding lanes, quiet cul-desacs and water channels were the pride of Delhi’s residents.

The eastern gate of the Jama Masjid in Delhi, by Thomas Daniell, 1795 This is also the first mosque in India with minarets and full domes:

The eastern gate of the Jama Masjid in Delhi, by Thomas Daniell , 1795 This is also the first mosque in India with minarets and full domes

Social Disparities::

Social Disparities: There were sharp divisions between rich and poor. Havelis or mansions were interspersed with the far more numerous mud houses of the poor. The colourful world of poetry and dance was usually enjoyed only by men. Furthermore, celebrations and processions often led to serious conflicts.

The Making of New Delhi:

The Making of New Delhi In 1803, the British gained control of Delhi after defeating the Marathas. Since the capital of British India was Calcutta, the Mughal emperor was allowed to continue living in the palace complex in the Red Fort. The modern city as we know it today developed only after 1911 when Delhi became the capital of British India.

Demolishing a Past::

Demolishing a Past: Before 1857, developments in Delhi were somewhat different from those in other colonial cities. In Madras, Bombay or Calcutta, the living spaces of Indians and the British were sharply separated. Indians lived in the “black” areas, while the British lived in well- laidout “white” areas. In Delhi, especially in the first half of the nineteenth century, the British lived along with the wealthier Indians in the Walled City. The establishment of the Delhi College in 1792 led to a great intellectual flowering in the sciences as well as the humanities, largely in the Urdu language. Many refer to the period from 1830 to 1857 as a period of the Delhi renaissance. The British wanted Delhi to forget its Mughal past. The area around the Fort was completely cleared of gardens, pavilions and mosques. Mosques in particular were either destroyed, or put to other uses. No worship was allowed in the Jama Masjid for five years. One-third of the city was demolished, and its canals were filled up. In the 1870s, the western walls of Shahjahanabad were broken to establish the railway and to allow the city to expand beyond the walls. The Delhi College was turned into a school, and shut down in 1877.

Looking out from Jama Masjid, photograph by Felice Beato, 1858-59 Notice the buildings all around the Masjid. They were cleared after the Revolt of 1857.:

Looking out from Jama Masjid , photograph by Felice Beato , 1858-59 Notice the buildings all around the Masjid . They were cleared after the Revolt of 1857.

View from the Jama Masjid after the surrounding buildings were demolished:

View from the Jama Masjid after the surrounding buildings were demolished

Planning A New Capital:

Planning A New Capital

Symbolic Importance of Delhi::

Symbolic Importance of Delhi: The British were fully aware of the symbolic importance of Delhi. After the Revolt of 1857, many spectacular events were held there. In 1877, Viceroy Lytton organized a Durbar to acknowledge Queen Victoria as the Empress of India. During the Revolt, the British had realised that the Mughal emperor was still important to the people and they saw him as their leader. It was therefore important to celebrate British power with pomp and show in the city the Mughal emperors had earlier ruled, and the place which had turned into a rebel stronghold in 1857.

Change of the Capital::

Change of the Capital: In 1911, when King George V was crowned in England, a Durbar was held in Delhi to celebrate the occasion. The decision to shift the capital of India from Calcutta to Delhi was announced at this Durbar. New Delhi was constructed as a 10-square-mile city on Raisina Hill, south of the existing city. Two architects, Edward Lutyens and Herbert Baker, were called on to design New Delhi and its buildings. The government complex in New Delhi consisted of a two-mile avenue, Kingsway (now Raj path), that led to the Viceroy’s Palace (now Rashtrapati Bhavan), with the Secretariat buildings on either sides of the avenue.

The Coronation Durbar of King George V, 12 December, 1911 Over 100,000 Indian princes and British officers and soldiers gathered at the Durbar.:

The Coronation Durbar of King George V, 12 December, 1911 Over 100,000 Indian princes and British officers and soldiers gathered at the Durbar.

Fusion of Different Architecture::

Fusion of Different Architecture: The features of these government buildings were borrowed from different periods of India’s imperial history, but the overall look was Classical Greece (fifth century BCE). For instance, the central dome of the Viceroy’s Palace was copied from the Buddhist stupa at Sanchi , and the red sandstone and carved screens or jails were borrowed from Mughal architecture .

The Viceregal Palace (Rashtrapati Bhavan) atop Raisina Hill:

The Viceregal Palace ( Rashtrapati Bhavan ) atop Raisina Hill

New Theme of the New City::

New Theme of the New City: New Delhi took nearly 20 years to build. The idea was to build a city that was a stark contrast to Shahjahanabad . - There were to be no crowded mohallas , no mazes of narrow bylanes . In New Delhi, there were to be broad, straight streets lined with sprawling mansions set in the middle of large compounds. The new city also had to be a clean and healthy space. This meant that New Delhi had to have better water supply, sewage disposal and drainage facilities than the Old City. It had to be green, with trees and parks ensuring fresh air and adequate supply of oxygen.

Life in the time of Partition:

Life in the time of Partition The Partition of India in 1947 led to a massive transfer of populations on both sides of the new border. As a result, the population of Delhi swelled, the kinds of jobs people did changed, and the culture of the city became different.

Mass Migration::

Mass Migration: Days after Indian Independence and Partition, fierce rioting began. Thousands of people in Delhi were killed and their homes looted and burned. As streams of Muslims left Delhi for Pakistan, their place was taken by equally large numbers of Sikh and Hindu refugees from Pakistan. Refugees roamed the streets of Shahjahanabad , searching for empty homes to occupy. Over two-thirds of the Delhi Muslims migrated, almost 44,000 homes were abandoned.

Thousands stayed in the refugee camps set up in Delhi after Partition.:

Thousands stayed in the refugee camps set up in Delhi after Partition.

Settlement of Refugees::

Settlement of Refugees: At the same time, Delhi became a city of refugees. Nearly 500,000 people were added to Delhi’s population (which had a little over 800,000 people in 1951). Most of these migrants were from Punjab. They stayed in camps, schools, military barracks and gardens, hoping to build new homes. Some got the opportunity to occupy residences that had been vacated; others were housed in refugee colonies. New colonies such as Lajpat Nagar and Tilak Nagar came up at this time.

Need to Change Skills Set::

Need to Change Skills Set: The skills and occupations of the refugees were quite different from those of the people they replaced. Many of the Muslims who went to Pakistan were artisans, petty traders and labourers . The new migrants coming to Delhi were rural landlords, lawyers, teachers, traders and small shopkeepers. Partition changed their lives, and their occupations. They had to take up new jobs as hawkers, vendors, carpenters and ironsmiths. Many, however, prospered in their new businesses.

Inside the Old City:

Inside the Old City In the past, Mughal Delhi’s famed canals had brought not only fresh drinking water to homes, but also water for other domestic uses. This excellent system of water supply and drainage was neglected in the nineteenth century. The system of wells (or baolis ) also broke down, and channels to remove household waste (called effluents) were damaged. The broken-down canals could not serve the needs of this rapidly increasing population. At the end of the nineteenth century, the Shahjahani drains were closed and a new system of open surface drains was introduced.

A famous baoli near the shrine of Nizamuddin Auliya in Delhi:

A famous baoli near the shrine of Nizamuddin Auliya in Delhi

The Decline of Havelis:

The Decline of Havelis The Mughal aristocracy in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries lived in grand mansions called havelis . A haveli housed many families. On entering the haveli through a beautiful gateway, you reached an open courtyard, surrounded by public rooms meant for visitors and business, used exclusively by males. The inner courtyard with its pavilions and rooms was meant for the women of the household. Many of the Mughal amirs were unable to maintain these large establishments under conditions of British rule. Havelis therefore began to be subdivided and sold.

The colonial bungalow:

The colonial bungalow The colonial bungalow was quite different from the haveli . Meant for one nuclear family, it was a large single- storeyed structure with a pitched roof, and usually set in one or two acres of open ground. It had separate living and dining rooms and bedrooms, and a wide veranda running in the front, and sometimes on three sides. Kitchens, stables and servants’ quarters were in a separate space from the main house.

A colonial bungalow in New Delhi:

A colonial bungalow in New Delhi

New Plan of the Municipality:

New Plan of the Municipality The census of 1931 revealed that the walled city area was horribly crowded with as many as 90 persons per acre, while New Delhi had only about 3 persons per acre. The poor conditions in the Walled City, however, did not stop it from expanding. In 1888 an extension scheme called the Lahore Gate Improvement Scheme was planned by Robert Clarke for the Walled City residents. The idea was to draw residents away from the Old City to a new type of market square, around which shops would be built. Streets in this redevelopment strictly followed the grid pattern, and were of identical width, size and character. Land was divided into regular areas for the construction of neighbourhoods . The Delhi Improvement Trust was set up in 1936 , and it built areas like Daryaganj South for wealthy Indians. Houses were grouped around parks. Within the houses, space was divided according to new rules of privacy

A street in Old Delhi:

A street in Old Delhi

PowerPoint Presentation:

Presidency – For administrative purposes, colonial India was divided into three “Presidencies” (Bombay, Madras and Bengal), which developed from the East India Company’s “factories” (trading posts) at Surat , Madras and Calcutta. Urbanisation – The process by which more and more people begin to reside in towns and cities

PowerPoint Presentation:

Dargah – The tomb of a Sufi saint Khanqah – A sufi lodge, often used as a rest house for travellers and a place where people come to discuss spiritual matters, get the blessings of saints, and hear sufi music Idgah – An open prayer place of Muslims primarily meant for id prayers Cul-de-sac – Street with a dead end

PowerPoint Presentation:

Gulfaroshan – A festival of flowers Renaissance – Literally, rebirth of art and learning. It is a term often used to describe a time when there is great creative activity. Amir – A nobleman

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