A Joint Enterprise
Indian Elites and the Making of British Bombay
Publication Year: 2011
Chopra shows how the European and Indian engineers, architects, and artists worked with each other to design a city—its infrastructure, architecture, public sculpture—that was literally constructed by Indian laborers and craftsmen. Beyond the built environment, Indian philanthropists entered into partnerships with the colonial regime to found and finance institutions for the general public. Too often thought to be the product of the singular vision of a founding colonial regime, British Bombay is revealed by Chopra as an expression of native traditions meshing in complex ways with European ideas of urban planning and progress.
The result, she argues, was the creation of a new shared landscape for Bombay’s citizens that ensured that neither the colonial government nor the native elite could entirely control the city’s future.
Published by: University of Minnesota Press
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...refer to non-Europeans, the latter term coming to play as nationalist themes resonate more strongly in the narrative. The choice of the term “native” needs some explanation, as Raymond Williams in Keywords (1983) shows that it can be used both pejoratively and in a positive sense. As Williams points out, “It was particularly common as a term for ‘non-Europeans’ in the period of colonialism ...
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...ing fountain, a structure that might draw little attention to itself except that it was paid for by a well-known nineteenth-century philanthropist from Bom-bay (Figure I.1). The Gothic fountain’s sculptural features reveal the connection between Britain and its empire. Each side of the basin has a triangular pedi-ment. The sculpted visage of Sir Cowasji Jehangir Readymoney, the fountain’s ...
1 A Joint Enterprise
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...men of Bombay proposed a scheme to the government that would cost over two hundred thousand rupees, a huge sum in those days. The scheme consisted of the building of a wharf and basin at the Cooly Bunder (dock) for the landing of grain, and the extension of this wharf as far as the Bori Bunder for the land-ing of cotton or any other merchandise. In their letter the merchants added,...
2 Anglo-Indian Architecture and the Meaning of Its Styles
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...the British Empire focus on the question, how was empire represented in its architecture? Buildings and architectural style were of particular importance in the Victorian era because, as the architectural historian Mark Crinson notes, “to build was to create meaning”—yet the meanings ascribed to style were contested.1The meaning of architectural style and the appropriate style for empire ...
3 The Biography of an Unknown Native Engineer
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...bay, native engineers are either ignored or summarily dispatched because they are not seen to be the originator of ideas but, rather, functionaries who carried out orders.1 But is this all they were? Macaulay’s Minute (1835) articulated the aim to create through missionary education “a class of interpreters between us and the millions whom we govern—a class of persons Indian in blood and ...
4 Dividing Practices in Bombay’s Hospitals and Lunatic Asylums
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...ary 1870, praised the philanthropy of the British government, setting this “vir-tue” in contrast with the native manner of exhibiting charity:A Native rájá or nawáb, if of a charitable disposition, will feed thousands of Bráhmans or faquirs with dainties, build fine temples or superb mosques, or will do some other acts of a like nature. But, the British government ...
5 An Unforeseen Landscape of Contradictions
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...joint enterprise was extremely successful and the colonial government achieved its aims in directing the native elite to collaborate in the creation of public institutions and an urban vision of Bombay that the former desired. However, as demonstrated in chapter 4, local donors did not simply respond to the ob-jectives of the government but brought their own agendas and cultural rules ...
6 Of Gods and Mortal Heroes: Conundrums of the Secular Landscape of Colonial Bombay
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...the city was modernized and a new secular public landscape was created—the joint public realm that was made up of public buildings and open spaces. The Gothic Revival architectural style signified the consensus between native phi-lanthropists and colonial oﬃcials on the need for and the aims underlying the new public landscape for all of Bombay’s citizens. In contrast, various groups ...
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...my doctoral advisor, when he suggested that I lay my dissertation aside for a year and then ask someone who had written a book to read it. After that year, I turned to my friend Lisa Pollard. She agreed without hesitation and then of-fered a startling insight: it could result in two books. I thank Lisa not only for reading my dissertation but for this advice, which is directly responsible for the ...
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Page Count: 344
Publication Year: 2011