Ahmedabad is India's seventh largest city--a six-hundred-year-old former textile town where Mahatma Gandhi launched his struggle against British rule--and a hotbed for communal violence. The city is known today for being Prime Minister Narendra Modi's stronghold, the model for a new, market-led vision of development and a harbinger of the changes sweeping through the new India.
In this intimate biography, Amrita Shah travels through time and a landscape of abandoned mills and urban beautification projects, stone monuments, and modernist architecture. She visits neighborhoods divided by sectarian violence and ghettos born on the outskirts of the city. Among the many people she meets are a young embroiderer from Asarwa-Chamanpura, the architect of the Riverfront project, a poet turned civil servant, a popular singing duo, and a well-heeled socialite.
This is the story of road maps and rivers, kings and kingmakers, merchants and savants; of Dalit laborers and female bootleggers, displaced Muslims, and a euphoric middle class. It is also the incredible story of hope and vulnerability at the heart of a metropolis.
Searing, illuminating, and beautifully written, Ahmedabad: A City in the World is essential reading for an insight into contemporary India.