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Title: "Dehlviyat: The Making and Un-making of Delhi's Indo-Muslim Urban Culture, c. 1750 - 1900"
Advisors: Prakash, Gyan
Contributors: History Department
Keywords: Culture
Subjects: History
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: This dissertation is a socio-cultural history of Delhi from the mid eighteenth to the early twentieth century. It traces how the city came to have a distinctive identity as a center that was simultaneously both Muslim and cosmopolitan, and considers how, and to what effect, this city identity was challenged from the late nineteenth century onwards. The dissertation analyzes Delhi's cosmopolitan Muslim culture under the rubric of Dehlviyat, and outlines its emergence against the backdrop of the disintegrating Mughal Empire, and the development of regional polities and cultures in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The first three chapters identify three axes around which Delhi's distinctive identity or Dehlviyat congealed. Chapter One is about the role of memorialization in the making of Dehlviyat, wherein the remembrance of Delhi's past as a revered center of sufi Islam and as the capital city of numerous Muslim emperors fed a city based identity from the eighteenth to the nineteenth century. Chapter Two looks at the connection between the Mughal Emperor and Delhi city, and considers how the imperial establishment sustained Delhi's cosmopolitan Muslim culture until the time it existed. Chapter Three looks at Delhi's cosmopolitan urbanity, its shehriyat (inhering in features such as the near universal craze for Urdu poetry at Delhi and for hobbies such as pigeon keeping etc.) as yet another feature of Dehlvi distinctiveness or Dehlviyat. The last chapter of the dissertation pertains to the unraveling of Dehlviyat. It talks about how faultlines of class and religion, internal to Dehlviyat, were widened in the altered political climate of late nineteenth century Delhi when nationalisms of both anti-colonial and sectarian varieties began to put pressure upon a city based patriotism. The study concludes by pointing to possible connections between more local Indo-Muslim urban patriotisms and twentieth century nationalisms in South Asia. Even as, form the late nineteenth century, wider identities of nation and community began to put local identities such as "Dehlviyat" into the shade, aspects of local patriotisms such as Dehlviyat were drawn upon to bolster both the more inclusive and exclusive imaginings of the nation in twentieth century South Asia.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:History

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