Ahmedabad: A City in the World

Ahmedabad: A City in the World

Ahmedabad: A City in the World (Bloomsbury, 2015) looks at the experience of a highly entrepreneurial society in one of India's longest surviving cities. Ahmedabad in western India was founded in 1411 by Ahmed Shah of the Gujarat Sultanate. It was well-known as a trading entrepot and a producer of cotton textiles, a reputation it would build on to become the centre of the textile manufacturing industry. Mahatma Gandhi chose Ahmedabad as the base from which to launch himself into the freedom struggle and initiated many of his socio-cultural experiments, including in education (the Gujarat Vidyapith) and labour relations (the Majoor Mahajan), in this city. In the post Independence period however, the city would become better known as a site of endemic communal as well as of other forms of mass violence. The demise of the textile mills saw Ahmedabad remake itself as a centre for chemicals, pharmaceuticals, diamond polishing and medical tourism giving rise to a substantial middle class. The early decades of the present century have seen the city emerge as a showpiece of the socio-economic vision that catapulted Narendra Modi to the prime ministership in 2014. An exploration of this complex and fascinating city reveals the processes underpinning the ethos of contemporary India.

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