Lineages of Housing Question in Colonial Delhi


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Lineages of the Housing Question in Colonial Delhi, 1920–1940s

The shift of the Imperial capital to Delhi in 1911 led to a rapid rise in the value of house property and rent. In turn, these escalations led to calls for the provision of housing through mechanisms that curbed the excesses of the market. Unlike in industrial cities, however, neither from below (as a consolidated political constituency that struggled for rights) nor from above (as an administrative problem) was the working class placed at the heart of Delhi's housing question. This paper tracks the more variegated 'lineages’ of the housing question in caste struggles, Gandhian ideals, rent control, state employment and sanitation discourse.

Anish Vanaik teaches history at Jindal Global Law School. He completed his MPhil at JNU and his DPhil at University of Oxford. His areas of interest include urban history, and histories of caricature. He is currently working on a book based on his doctoral work about property in colonial Delhi. Along with a colleague at Purdue University he is also working on a research project on editorial cartoons about the Black Lives Matter movement.

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Image: The Hindustan Times, 02/05/1933, British Library Asia, Pacific & Africa SM 27


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