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Gandhinagar: Building National Identity in Postcolonial India

 
Ravi Kalia (Author)
Synopsis The culmination of Ravi Kalia’s trilogy on the formation of capital cities in postcolonial India, Gandhinagar joins the historian’s other two volumes, on Chandigarh and Bhubaneshwar, in tracing India’s efforts to establish its twentieth-century architectural identity. Kalia explains that Gandhinagar, the capital of Gujarat, became a battle-ground for the competing ideals that had surfaced during the building of Chandigarh and Bhubaneshwar. The mill owners of the neighboring city of Ahmedabad, backed by Indian architect and planer Balkrishna Doshi, wanted the American Louis Kahn to build Gandhinagar as a worthy rival to Le Corbusier’s Chandigharh. There was tremendous political pressure to make Gandhinagar a purely Indian enterprise, partly because the state of Gujarat was the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi. Within this context, Kalia explores the impact of modernist architecture on India and suggests that this style gained acceptance due to its minimalist design and unadorned spaces. Further, he explains how two competing versions of Indian history and ideology – Gandhi’s and Nehru’s employed modernism’s ideals for their own separate ends. Serving two masters, as Kalia illustrates, created constrictions and tensions evident in the building of Gandhinagar and in the careers of many Indian architects, including Doshi, Charles Correa, and Achyut Kanvinde. While this absorbing book will be of particular interest to urbanists, architects, urban historians, practitioners of architecture and planning, it will also appeal to the general reader with interest in Indian architecture and cities, and postcolonial developments in modern India.
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About the author

Ravi Kalia

Ravi Kalia is Professor of History, City College of the City University of New York. His books include Chandigarh: The Making of an Indian City (OIP, 1988), and Bhubaneshwar: From Temple Town to a Capital City (OUP, 1994).

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Bibliographic information

Title Gandhinagar: Building National Identity in Postcolonial India
Author Ravi Kalia
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2005
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 0195676084
length xiv+165p., Plates; Maps; Notes; Bibliography; Index; 25cm.
Subjects History