The colossal uprooting and spatial dislocation caused due to the partition of the Indian subcontinent in 1947 has been a subject of scrutiny and debate for almost six decades now. The unmitigated suffering caused due to the communal violence unleashed in many cities, towns and villages remains etched in the memories of migrants even today. While many cities were damaged in the ensuing violence, the newly created nation states of India and Pakistan competed with each other in projecting the image of benefactor ‘parens patrie’ as they formulated policies on relief and rehabilitation to accommodate almost twelve million displaced populace. In this context, my paper focuses on the dislocation and resettlement of the North West Frontier Refugees in Faridabad city (35 km south-west of Delhi).
Nehru, the first Prime Minister of India was inspired by the socialist pattern of planning wherein Faridabad became the nursery to experiment the ideas of ‘mixed planning’. With regard to the residential layout, Clarence Perry’s ‘neighbourhood unit’ was deployed and the sleepy town gradually transformed into a flourishing industrial city. This paper will explore the role of the state in envisaging an ideal citizen by applying the non indigenous modes of planning. The focus will be on the implantation of the ideas which influenced urban planning in Faridabad and trace the mutations which occurred on this landscape in a post colonial context.
Rachna Mehra is currently teaching as Assistant Professor in History (School of Undergraduate Studies) in Ambedkar Univeristy Delhi. She completed her PhD from Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi in 2014. Her areas of research include Gender and Partition of India, Refugee Rehabilitation and Urban History of Small Towns and Cities. Her M.Phil research focused on the complex relationship between gender and state through the implementation of Recovery of Abducted Persons' Act of 1949. In her doctoral thesis on Faridabad, she has located the imperatives of planning through the rehabilitation policies of an urban settlement near Delhi.
This is the seventy ninth in a series of Urban Workshops planned by the Centre de Sciences Humaines (CSH), New Delhi and Centre for Policy Research (CPR). These workshops seek to provoke public discussion on issues relating to the development of the city and try to address all its facets including its administration, culture, economy, society and politics. For further information, please contact: Christine Ithurbide at firstname.lastname@example.org, Partha Mukhopadhyay at email@example.com or Marie-Hélène Zerah at firstname.lastname@example.org