23 October, 2020

This Is My Charminar

How can I let politics liquidate my sense of belonging to this city?

Illustration by Sorit
This Is My Charminar

I came to live in Hyderabad in 1992, a few months after I returned from the London School of Economics (LSE). Economic reforms had just been unveiled in India. Perhaps no other city adapted itself so fully and quickly to the liberalised and globalised phase of the Indian economy as did Hyderabad. Today, you will find the icons of new economy dominating the city’s landscape. Interestingly, before that Hyderabad was quintessentially a comm­and economy city with a large num­ber of public sector ind­ustries and government R&D establishments around its core. Before that, it was a city that personified a feudal-aristocra­tic ambience with an unequal mix of high culture and gruesome backwardness. Hyderabad thus has the uncanny ability to reflect and own the essence and drift of the political economy of India. In many ways, it is a microcosm of our country.

My relationship with the city started in the early 1960s when I was a toddler. And my family’s bonds with it began even before it became the capital of the larger Telugu state, Andhra Pradesh....



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