- Lost in Transition: A case of Delhi.    click here to open paper content45 kb
by    Kapadia, Kavas | kavas@vsnl.com   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
The paper presents the development dilemma of Delhi which in many ways is symbolic of a typical Indian city struggling to keep its historic identity in the face of urbanisation pressures.
Most Indian cities, like life in India have a dualistic -“schizoid”- character. Traditional values and systems struggle to survive in a struggle with global forces of change. Layer upon layer of distinctive culture in the time zone overlap, merge, interact and assimilate fusing into a continuum of inexplicable complexity.

Not many metros of the world escape the socio-cultural and economic asymmetrics brought about by global transformation. Cities with a historic past all the more so.

This historic city, capital of at least ten different dynasties at different times, finds itself in a state of turmoil today.
It is clearly a place held hostage by different interest groups. An unprecedented economic boom has revealed the unpleasant side of socio-cultural identity of this city. The cultural conditioning of the population makes this city one of the most difficult to manage and govern.

There are many reasons for the current state of affairs. One major factor that has contributed to the socio-economic inequality, and hence a plethora of cultural conflicts, has undoubtedly been the aspect of land. Land ownership, land pricing, land use and land planning.

In order to understand fully the transformation of a society from a docile “walled city” to “World city” it is essential to examine and understand the role played by the infusion of the western mode of planning introduced and superimposed on the existing walled, post-colonial and traditional mixed use city structure.

Delhi is a picture of dualistic character, the formal and the informal traditional and the modern, the natural and the man made, the poverty ridden and the affluence, the warmth of traditional neighbourhood and the aloofness of newer developments and the traditional tehzeeb (manners) against the new found arrogance that comes with wealth. The burgeoning population in fact provides for a perfect setting of anonymity for all anti social and criminal activity.

The proper attempts to evaluate the current scenario and raise some vital issues.
Historic,heritage,urbanisation,global city,lawlwssness,cultural conflicts,land mafia,urbanism.
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