ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Politics of Demolition and Preservation in Rampur

The Case of Falling Walls

The city of Rampur with its rich architectural and cultural history lies in a state of deep neglect. Any plans for urban development and beautifi cation of the city should ensure its rich heritage is preserved and not lost due to ill-conceived policies and vacuous politics.

The city that merits immediate attention of the Uttar Pradesh Urban Development and Minority Affairs Minister Azam Khan is his own home town and constituency, Rampur. Alas, this has not been the case; instead we see newspaper headlines about Khan’s plans to demolish walls of the historic Rampur fort (Times News Network 2013). The erstwhile cultural centre of the city now lies in a deeply neglected condition and deserves conservation, not demolition. Any plans of “beautification” should be centred on preservation of the historic character of the city.

Rampur was the last Muslim-ruled princely state in the colonial United Provinces. Hamid Ali Khan (r.1889-1930) envisaged Rampur city centred not only on the royal fort but also the adjacent Jama Masjid and the flourishing ganj (markets). All of this deserves attention of the urban development minister. He may well take his cue from the rich history of his home town than from contemporary urban development plans, which only produce ghettoisation of Muslims on the periphery of Indian cities.

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