In dinon garche dakhan mein hai badi qadr-e- sukhan
Kaun jaaye ‘Zauq’ par Dilli ki galiyan chhod kar
(These days poetry commands great respect in the Deccan. But who, O Zauq, can leave the streets of Delhi).
—Zauq, the poet in the court of the last Mughal emperor, Bahadur Shah Zafar, while turning down a lucrative job in the Deccan
Right now, Delhi is certainly the most interesting city to be in India. In the city that has witnessed many battles down the centuries and where contemporary politics is played out at its best and worst, there is yet another election. This one, for the city-state, is being seen as a mini-referendum on the Narendra Modi government that in any case rules from New Delhi. The cast of characters in the fray makes it utterly fascinating, as do the ideological battlelines that some would see as between the haves and the have-nots. It’s a classical good versus evil type of battle from the point...