18 January, 2021

Shine On, Crazy Diamond

Sleepy Guwahati turns boomtown, with money to burn and a 'with it' attitude

Anupam Nath
Shine On, Crazy Diamond
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
Just 10 years ago, it was a city under siege. Racked by insurgency and in the shadow of the gun, the legendary Pragjyotishpur or City of Eastern Light straddling the Brahmaputra had lost its sheen as the gateway to northeastern India. Militants, mostly belonging to the United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA), held it to ransom, extorting traders and creating bloody mayhem. Troops patrolled round the clock, business was dull and there was little nightlife to talk about.

No longer. Guwahati has endured a stormy decade-long militancy—exacerbated by insurgent bushfires—to rise Phoenix-like, from the ashes. The Northeast's economic hub is again flourishing, thanks to a real estate boom and frenetic consumerism. Fuelled by growing commerce and slush money, the city is living it up again. Glitzy one-stop shops, multi-cuisine eateries and spiffy pool parlours dot this once dreary and languorous city. People are splurging on weddings and parties. Fashion shows are a rage with the young. "Militancy is far from the urban people's mind now," says Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi. "It...
unsub

THIS ARTICLE IS PRICELESS...

To read this piece, and more such stories in India's most exciting and exacting magazine, plus get access to our 25-year archives goldmine, please subscribe.


In this article:

More from Nitin A. Gokhale


Latest Magazine

January 25, 2021
content

other articles from the issue

articles from the previous issue

Other magazine section