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Uday Prakash

The Walls of Delhi by Uday Prakash, translated by Jason Grunebaum

September 2012, no. 344

Continuously inhabited since at least the sixth century, Delhi is fabled to be the city that was built seven times and razed to the ground seven times. Some believe the word Delhi comes from dehali or threshold, and the city is seen as the gateway to the Great Indian Gangetic plains. In 1912 the British moved their colonial seat of power from Calcutta to New Delhi, which also became the capital of independent India and celebrates its hundredth anniversary this year. It seems apt, then, in 2012, to read about the older Delhi that lies and lurks behind the shining veneer of India’s National Capital Territory, a Delhi that the rising Asian power seems eager to forget and obliterate.

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