Ahmedabad; India's seventh-largest city, a six-hundred-year-old former textile town where Mahatma Gandhi launched his struggle against British rule and a hotbed for communal violence. The city is known today for being Prime Minister Narendra Modi's stronghold, the model for a new, market-led vision of development and a harbinger of the changes sweeping through the new India. In this intimate biography, Amrita Shah travels through time and a landscape of abandoned mills and urban beautification projects; stone monuments and modernist architecture. She visits neighbourhoods divided by sectarian violence and ghettos borne on the outskirts of the city. Among the many people she meets are a young embroiderer from Asarwa-Chamanpura, the architect of the Riverfront project, a poet-turned-civil servant, a popular singing duo and a well-heeled socialite. This is the story of roadmaps and rivers, kings and kingmakers, merchants and savants; of Dalit labourers and women bootleggers, displaced Muslims and a euphoric middle class. It is also the incredible story of hope and vulnerability at the heart of a metropolis.
Searing, illuminating, and beautifully written, Ahmedabad: A City in the World is essential reading for an insight into contemporary India.