Colossus: The Anatomy of Delhi

Neelanjan Sircar
Sanjoy Chakravorty
Cambridge University Press

The National Capital Region of Delhi is a diverse and unequal space. Its more than 30 million people are sharply differentiated by economic class, religion and caste, education, language, and migration status. Its 45,000 square kilometres is a tapestry of spaces – ghettoes, slums, enclaves, institutional areas, planned and unplanned and authorized and unauthorized colonies, forests and agricultural fields. In some ways it is a dynamic society aspiring to global city grandeur; in other ways it is a bastion of tradition, sectarianism and hierarchy. Colossus details these realities and paradoxes under three themes: social change, community and state, and inequality. From the material condition of the metropolis – its housing, services, crime and pollution – to its social organization – of who marries whom, who eats with whom, and who votes for whom – this book unpacks the complex reality of a metropolitan region that is emblematic of India’s aspirations and contradictions.

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