By Howard Spodek
In the 20 th century, Ahmedabad used to be India's "shock city." It was once where the place the various nation's most crucial advancements happened first and with the best intensity—from Gandhi's political and exertions organizing, during the development of fabric, chemical, and pharmaceutical industries, to globalization and the sectarian violence that marked the flip of the hot century. occasions that occurred there resonated in the course of the nation, for greater and for worse. Howard Spodek describes the activities that swept the town, telling their tale during the careers of the lads and ladies who led them.(2012)
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Additional info for Ahmedabad: Shock City of Twentieth-Century India
What about Bombay, 300 miles south of Ahmedabad—the commercial capital of India, the political capital of western India under British rule, a major port city on the Arabian Sea? Although not in Gujarat, Bombay was home to many Gujaratis, many of them businessmen, some of them wealthy enough to fund Gandhi’s projects. But Bombay was too cosmopolitan, too sophisticated, too professionalized for the ascetic Gandhi. When he had first returned from London in 1891, he had attempted to establish his law practice in Bombay—and failed.
Gandhi’s campaigns, not only for national independence, but also for unionization, against caste discrimination, and for local culture, resonated with similar campaigns by others around the globe. The multinational agreements of the industrialists, and their advocacy for Western education and technology in the mid-twentieth century were also symptomatic of globalization everywhere. indd 15 2/18/11 10:34:28 AM Ahmedabad to a globalizing economy, coupled with disastrous failures in intergroup relations, made Ahmedabad once again a shock city to the world.
When the government sought to introduce piped water and an underground sewage system to the city, Ranchhodlal supported these improvements, and they were generally implemented, despite the opposition of the elected commissioners and the scorn and public abuse of the citizens. A historian of Ahmedabad covering this period, Kenneth Gillion, points out Ranchhodlal’s heroic efforts for the health and progress of the city, but concludes that “Ripon’s local selfgovernment scheme was ultimately a failure in Ahmedabad.
Ahmedabad: Shock City of Twentieth-Century India by Howard Spodek