‘City of Gold’, ‘Urbs Prima in Indis’, ‘Maximum City’: no Indian metropolis has captivated the public imagination quite like Mumbai. It is a city always on the move. Driven by multiple impulses, it has been the site for a Buddhist ethos, a safe haven for refugees from Persia, a hub of maritime trade and a melting pot of European and Eastern influences. Virtually anything one could want was available in Bombay. The 20th century saw Bombay becoming Mumbai and stepping into a new millennium. Mumbai was now a ground for freedom movement, riots, but also modernity. What gives the city life are those who live and work in it. At #BombayThenMumbaiNow, historian Jim Masselos discusses what Bombay that was like in the 20th century, his experiences in the city and whether it has managed to retain its identity or has lost it like any other large metropolis.
Please note: The Zoom link will be shared a couple of hours before the talk
About the speaker:
For over five decades, Jim Masselos has brought to life with skill and empathy Bombay’s hidden histories. His experiences of living and moving around Bombay as a student had attuned him to thinking about the nature of city space, the way localities operated and how they defined or expressed identity. It did not take long for him to appreciate the logic of these elements, and how to use them to analyze the operation of city structures and patterns of living. An Honorary Associate in the History Department of the University of Sydney, he has written extensively on South Asian history and culture. His books and essays have traversed an extraordinarily diverse range of subjects, from the actions of the city’s elites to the struggles of its most humble denizens. His pioneering research has opened up new perspectives and inspired those who have followed in his wake.