Q. 9

Find out the history of the town you live in or any town nearby. Check when and how it grew, and how it has changed over the years. You could look at the history of the bazaars, the buildings, culture institutions and settlements.

Answer :

I am Shivaji Dhawle. I am living in Mumbai (previously called Bombay). I am giving the brief history and stages of its development below:

Architecture in Bombay:


(a) Joining of islands: Bombay was initially seven islands. As the population grew, the island were joined to create more space and gradually changed into one big city. Bombay was the commercial capital of colonial India. As the premier part on the western coast it was the centre of international trade.


As the Bombay’s economy grew, from the mid-nineteenth century there was a need to expand railways and shipping and develop the administrative structure. Many new buildings were constructed at this time. These buildings reflected the culture and confidence of the rulers.


(b) As a trade centre: By the end of the nineteenth century, half the imports and exports of India passed through Bombay. One important item of this trade was opium that the East India Company exported to China. Indian merchants and middlemen supplied and participated in this trade and they helped integrate.


(c) Style of Architecture of Buildings: The architectural style was usually European. This impartation of European style reflected the imperial vision in several ways. First, it expressed the British desire to create a familiar landscape in an alien country and thus to feel at home in the colony. Second, the British felt that European styles would best symbolize their superiority, authority and power.


Initially, these building were at odds with the traditional Indian buildings. Gradually, Indians too got used to European architecture and made it their own. The British in turn adapted some Indian styles to suit their needs.


(d) Another style that was extensively used with the new-Gothic, characterized by high-pitched roofs, pointed arches and detailed decoration. The Gothic style had its roots in buildings; especially churches build in northern Europe during the medieval period. Indians gave money for some of these buildings. The University Hall was made with money donated by Sir Cowasjee Jehangir, a rich Parsi merchant.


Or


● I am S. Karunanidhi. I am living at Chennai (previously called Madras). A brief history of it and stages of development are given below:


(a) Coming of the English on East coast: The Company had first set up its trading activities in the well-established port of Surat on the west coast. Subsequently the search for textiles brought British merchants to the east coast.


(b) Purchase of the land for the city of Madras: In 1639, they constructed a trading post in Madraspatam. This settlement was locally known as Cheenapattanam. The Company had purchased the right of settlement from local Telugu lords, the Nayaks of Kalahasti, who were eager to support trading activity in the region.


(c) Fortification of Madras and its results: Rivalry (1746-63) with the French East India Company led the British to fortify Madras and give their representatives increased political and administrative function. With the defeat of the French in 1761, Madras become more secure and began to grow into an important commercial town. It was here that the superiority of the British and the subordinate position of the Indian merchants was most apparent.


(d) White Town within Madras: Fort St. George became the nucleus of the White Town where most of the Europeans live. Walls and bastions made this a distinct enclave. Colour and religion determined who was allowed to live with the fort. The Company did not permit any marriages with Indians. Other than the English, the Dutch and Portuguese were allowed to stay here because they were European and Christians. The administrative and the judicial system also favoured the while population.


(e) Black Town with Madras: The Black town developed onside the Fort. It was laid out in straight lines, characteristics of colonial towns. It was, however demolished in the mid-1700s and the area was cleared for a security zone around the Fort. A new Black town developed further to the north. This housed weaver, artisans, middlemen and interpreters who played vital role in the Company’s trade.


(f) Collection of taxation and information: For a long while they were suspicious of census operations and believed that enquiries were being conducted to impose new taxes. Upper caste people were also unwilling to give any information regarding the women of their household. Women were supposed to remain secluded within the interior of the household and not subjected to public Gaza or public enquiry.


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