Thursday, August 19

People who came to Delhi

A friend of mine had once remarked that Delhi is run by three or four groups and the aim should be to quickly fit into one of them. He was talking about social success. Traveling on the metro one can see faces of people from different age groups and communities who have made this city their home.

This set me thinking - much like the 7 cities of Delhi, several groups people have come to this city in waves and this makes living here an interesting experience.

I can think of some :

1. The pre 1911ers - These are people who lived in the villages - Mehrauli, Humayunpur, Chirag Dilli, Nizamuddin and also in Purani Dilli. Mostly they were separated from each other - each community managing their own affairs.

2. The Capital Magnets - New Delhi's foundation stone was laid in 1911 and it took twenty years to build it. During this time many groups moved in - government officials, contractors and construction workers. The first settled in civil lines, they second took up housing in the expanding new city while the third went to places like Karol Bagh.

3. Partition's Children - In the first decade of Independence the population of the city doubled with refugees coming in from Pakistan. They have become the most vocal and visible group. They gave the city its familiar Punjabi character distinct from the predominant groups of that time - baniyas, muslims, rajputs and jats. They started the roadside - patri - shops selling items and cheap rates to other refugees who could not afford to buy from the shops in Connaught Place. We can see offshoots of these roadside shops in Lajpat Nagar and Sarojini Nagar.

4. Sarkari babus - we needed them to run the the new independent country. Areas like Lodi Colony and R K Puram were developed to create housing colonies for these families.

5. B & B - biharis and later the bangladeshis who provide the work force to the city now. Most of the city after the 80's have been built by the former and the houses are run today by the later.

Of course in the last decade we have people coming in to work in the IT industry. And students have been coming to the city various colleges for decades. Just that they are now coming from remote corners of the country.

Any other faces that you can recognize in the metro ?

1 comment:

Life@60 said...

How about Mallus and other south Indians ? Don't they count at all ?