Ans. During the Revolt, the British had realised that the Mughal emperor was still important to the people and they saw him as their leader. It was therefore important to celebrate British power with pomp and show in the city the Mughal emperors had earlier ruled, and the place which had turned into a rebel stronghold in 1857.
Ans. At the end of the nineteenth century, the Shahjahani drains were closed and a new system of open surface drains was introduced. This system too was soon overburdened, and many of the wealthier inhabitants complained about the stench from roadside privies and overflowing open drains. The Delhi Municipal Committee was unwilling to spend money on a good drainage system.
Ans. The Mughal aristocracy in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries lived in grand mansions called havelis. A haveli housed many families. On entering the haveli through a beautiful gateway, you reached an open courtyard, surrounded by public rooms meant for visitors and business, used exclusively by males. The inner courtyard with its pavilions and rooms was meant for the women of the household. Rooms in the havelis had multiple uses, and very little by way of furniture.
Ans. Before 1857, developments in Delhi were somewhat different from those in other colonial cities. In Madras, Bombay or Calcutta, the living spaces of Indians and the British were sharply separated. Indians lived in the “black” areas, while the British lived in well-laid out “white” areas. In Delhi, especially in the first half of the nineteenth century, the British lived along with the wealthier Indians in the Walled City. The British learned to enjoy Urdu/Persian culture and poetry and participated in local festivals.
Ans. During the Revolt of 1857, the rebels gathered in the city, and persuaded Bahadur Shah to become the leader of the uprising. Delhi remained under rebel control for four months. When the British regained the city, they embarked on a campaign of revenge and plunder. To prevent another rebellion, the British exiled Bahadur Shah to Burma (now Myanmar), dismantled his court, razed several of the palaces, closed down gardens and built barracks for troops in their place.
Ans. In 1888 an extension scheme called the Lahore Gate Improvement Scheme was planned by Robert Clarke for the Walled City residents. The idea was to draw residents away from the Old City to a new type of market square, around which shops would be built. Streets in this redevelopment strictly followed the grid pattern, and were of identical width, size and character. Land was divided into regular areas for the construction of neighbourhoods. Clarkegunj, as the development was called, remained incomplete and did not help to decongest the Old City.
Ans. A host of smaller cities declined.
i. Many towns manufacturing specialized goods declined due to a drop in the demand for what they produced.
ii. Old trading centres and ports could not survive when the flow of trade moved to new centres.
iii. Similarly, earlier centres of regional power collapsed when local rulers were defeated by the British and new centres of administration emerged.
Ans. In the late eighteenth century, Calcutta, Bombay and Madras rose in importance as Presidency cities. They became the centres of British power in the different regions of India. At the same time, a host of smaller cities declined. Many towns manufacturing specialized goods declined due to a drop in the demand for what they produced. Old trading centres and ports could not survive when the flow of trade moved to new centres. Similarly, earlier centres of regional power collapsed when local rulers were defeated by the British and new centres of administration emerged. This process is often described as de-urbanisation.
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