By Howard Spodek

In the twentieth century, Ahmedabad used to be India's "shock city." It used to be where the place the various nation's most crucial advancements happened first and with the best intensity—from Gandhi's political and exertions organizing, in the course of the progress 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 kingdom, for greater and for worse. Howard Spodek describes the hobbies that swept town, telling their tale throughout the careers of the boys and ladies who led them.


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Construction of the first college in the eastern sector was under consideration. The western part of the city, across the Sabarmati, held 675,000 people within the city limits and another 700,000 in the urbanized area beyond them. The large numbers outside the city limits reflected the inability of city planning and provision of services to keep up with the population growth. Private builders constructed their luxury apartment complexes illegally, providing their own septic tanks and bore wells—often with construction materials that did not meet official code standards—years before the city managed to create its plan for more systematic development.

The city was increasing in population and expanding in area as the textile industry opened new opportunities for employment and entrepreneurship. Its business leaders were serious about their industry, and they tended it carefully. Its prosperity, and the willingness of some of the entrepreneurs to encourage newcomers, offered upward mobility, especially to young men of the Vania castes. Cultural opportunities expanded within the clubs of the elites and the movie theaters of the masses. In many ways, however, many of the older elites looked comfortably backward, or at least were unwilling to accept the more edgy challenges of the future.

Indd 29 2/18/11 10:34:29 AM  The Gandhian Era The dependency was mutual. After Ranchhodlal’s death in 1898, the municipality functioned poorly. 28 This was done in 1910. In 1915, coincidentally the year of Gandhi’s arrival, the right of election of the municipality was restored, with an appointive municipal commissioner presiding. Of the twenty-seven municipal councilors, thirteen were nominated by the government, twenty-two were elected in wardwide elections, four were elected by a special constituency of the educated classes, and one was appointed by the Millowners Association.

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