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Acknowledgements:

This essay has been more than anything, a huge learning curve for me. This essay is based mainly on wandering through the area, testimonies of the people from Girangaon and some from people who used to live in Girangaon.

First of all I want to thank Sarai for giving me the fellowship. Without the fellowship, it would have been difficult if not possible for me to learn all the things I did.

I want to thank Manasi Rachh for arranging interviews with Kaajal Keria, who used to live in the area before moving out. Her input has been invaluable.

I also want to thank Deepti Mulgund, Beena Nambiar and Manasi Rachh for sitting with

me on endless discussions and more so through never ending bouts of confusion, despair and diffidence. Manasi and Beena have also been dragged all over town for the research. From posing as architecture students and getting into derelict mills (thanks to Beena) and taking illegal photos to getting access to working mills and going on chawl terraces (thanks to Manasi), I have seen more than I did in the first two months of trying to research by myself.

Through the writing (or the lack of on most days), editing, reading and inputs on literature review, Deepti has been an invaluable support.

The attempt has been to try and ignite imagination about the history of the mills and their place in Bombay’s past, present and future.

Above all I make some sense.

Textile Dreams

Wandering and wondering in Girangaon

By Ramya Swayamprakash, Supported by Sarai-CSDS.

Contents:

Preface: Walking though

4

Reintroducing Girangaon

6

Textile Dreams

13

Bibliography

25

Walking through…

My proposal to Sarai read “My aim to make this paper a ‘walk’ through the life the mill life in Mumbai, its contemporary challenges and the life of the city in general. The paper would be a combination of collective memory, interviews, walks and above all dreams- to make it truly reflective of the city”. About two days after submitting the proposal, I came across One Hundred Years, One Hundred Stories by Neera Adarkar and Meena Menon. And then I was sure I did not have a point. And when I did get the fellowship, I was most surprised and terrified. What was my point?

And then I came across Shekhar Krishnan’s article in Art India (April 2005) where he talks of the city’s vast industrial heritage and the discourses built around it. Continuing in the same way he says, “Creating of new public spaces from the city’s industrial heritage means also creating a public imagination for the city which recovers the active presence of work and technology in our everyday lives, and challenges the commonly-accepted vision of manufacturing inevitably giving way to services”.

I wondered if this could be my take off point. And so my focus shifted from oral history to trying to create the public imagination that Krishnan talks about. I have meandered a lot in my attempts. I still don’t know if I make any sense.

The story of the mills is not a new one, nor is it an un-researched subject. Though the history of the mills themselves and their role in the shaping of the city, its identity, its spaces and most importantly its economy was not well known earlier, the coming of One Hundred Years One Hundred Stories changed all that. Through thorough interviews and solid historical introduction written by Prof. Raj Chandavarkar the book provides an excellent perspective on the mills of Bombay. The mills of Bombay are so much more than lands for redevelopment; their role in shaping the city has long been forgotten. It might be right to say that it does not really form a part of public consciousness anymore. Unlike Darryl D’Monte’s Ripping the Fabric: The Decline of Mumbai and its Mills which provides a complete perspective (along with case studies) of how the mills of Bombay slowly faded out of public memory as manufacturing centers but remain ( read painted as) as the only impediments in the transformation of Bombay into a global city. Ripping the Fabric helped me get an idea about the industry dynamics with special reference to the cotton textile mills and the industrial history of Bombay.

So armed with a sort of an idea about the mill lands and their history, I set out on my project. Let me try and explain what I have been up to in the past few months and what I am trying to achieve through this paper.

As can be seen from the preceding paragraphs, I can stake no claim about being an authority about the mills of Bombay.

Quite the opposite, in fact. I have spent no more than a few months researching about the mills, walking around the area, sweet talking my way into the mills, trying to absorb all the sights and sounds and try and stitch together the many fragments and come up with a narrative. I have let myself be led by circumstances; my only planned thoughts were to land in the area and walk. I have often walked, in the same day, from a thriving chawl and a working mill (there aren’t many left now of course) to the hastily dismantled mill compounds which have only bare craters to show for themselves. People I met often wondered why I wanted to know more about the mills, as if enough had not been written or done, what was I planning to accomplish? Was I going to stop the Big Bazaar from coming up on the ground that now houses a chawl near Indian United Mills 1? As my guide and tremendously helpful help, Mr. Rajendra Powar told me on one of these trips, “We helped build this city. But Bombay is no longer for the poor.”

I was helped up bamboo ladders onto chawl roofs which commanded a 360 degree view

of Girangaon with the Sheraton behind me and the entire mill district in front of me. And

although the reverse migration in the aftermath of the strike has taken its toll on the chawls transforming them into co-operative housing societies where aspiring class dreams of breaking into the 'new' middle class. What results, then, is a set of informal set of observations, a series of first impressions and second thoughts loosely arranged around

a few broad ideas. I have tried to take a slightly different track; trying to understand for myself how individual changes are being shaped and integrated in the mill area and the city on the whole. At times, I am sure, ignorance has conspired to make me ignorant to the obvious but receptive to the specious. Mistakes can in their way, be as revealing as epiphanies, even a wrong impression may say as much about a right one. And wide eyes are, if nothing else, quite open.

Reintroducing Girangaon

An introduction by way of history, sociology and a little bit of emotion:

The civil war in the US and the resultant change in British policy led to the rapid growth of textile mills in Bombay. The earliest mills were started in the 19 th century and by 1975, the mills employed some 250,000 workers. The mill precinct, Girangaon or ‘ village of the mills’ stretches for over a thousand acres from Byculla to Dadar and Mahalaxmi to Elphinstone road i.e. the central part of the city. Girangaon was, for a hundred years, the heart of this city, driving its economy and providing it with the rich diverse flavor that makes Bombay so fashionably cosmopolitan. To understand its importance it would be interesting to note that two major arterial roads of the city, three different local railway lines with nine local railway stations, four major public hospitals are in Girangaon. Along with many educational, community cultural and social institutions along with small and medium sized “maidans” with “vyayamshalas” (gymnasia) and community halls Girangaon grew into its own. And so did Bombay. Initially, the labour came from Konkan, and later when the network of railways spread to the ghat areas of Maharashtra, people from Pune, Satara and Kolhapur started migrating for jobs. In order to accommodate the migrant workers, the mill owners and the Bombay Improvement Trust, built five to six storeyed one-room tenements as industrial housing, or the chawls.

Since most workers came from afar and lived not more than fifteen minutes away from their place of work, their involvement in their communities was strong. Girangaon also houses Bombay’s laregest Ganesh pandal- Lalbaug cha Raja. And this is where traditional Maharashtrian festivals are celebrated with gusto. Strikes were not new in Girangaon, in fact even before any trade union had been established, the first general strike took place in 1919 when for 18 days, 1,50,000 workers demanded higher wages. Throughout the early part of the 20 th century, strikes were regular feature. It is only with the passing of the Bombay Industrial Relations Act, 1946 that striking work became illegal. Although the Textile Strike of 1982 is blamed for their decline, trouble had started brewing a long time back. The textile strike was just that last nail in the coffin.

It was the Cotton Textile Control order of 1948 which laid the foundation for the end. The order subsidized khadi and handloom executed through it and imposed a freeze on the composite mills ( the kinds where there is spinning and weaving done, the ones in Bombay), differential excise on all cloth, except handloom, and yarn, except hank yarn (which is used by the handloom sector). Although it introdued a license system for the power-looms, it fif not impose a limit on capacity- a loophole used by the powerloom owners to the hilt. The 1985 textile policy removed the restrictions on loomage and spindlage in the composite mills.

The mill owners themselves did not modernize machinery , funds from textile were used to invest in other industries. During the strike itself, production was outsourced to the powerlooms in the ‘powerloom’ towns like Bhiwandi. The strike itself was never called off but in 1983, another thirteen sick mills were nationalized. Faced with the new

liberalized and open economy which demanded greater economies of scale in order to ensure survival and doddering machines that had stopped crying for repairs a long time back the mills owners decided to try and buy out the workers in these mills by offering Voluntary Retirement Scheme. When the workers did not accede to their demands easily, they regularly resorted to stoppage of wages for months, starving the workers into submission. After the Backbay fiasco in 1975 and imposition of FSI of 1.33 on 1977

redevelopment in South

for Bandra-Kurla were being redeveloped. But between these two stood the mill district.

Bombay was nearly impossible. This was also the time plans

The Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction (BIFR) and the mills looked at the land and real estate of the mills as assets to be disposed of to either pay the dues or if possible resurrect the mill 1 . The alternative use of mill land therefore became a matter of land use planning governed by the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act (MRTP Act) 1966.The act requires that every city prepare a development plan (DP). The DP sanctioned in 1967 had zoned the land of textile mills for the purposes of “textile mills” implying that it cannot be used for any other purpose. Preparation of the revised DP of Mumbai began in 1977. The draft plan was ready by 1985. Though signs of the decline of the textile industry were evident by then, planners did not see it as the inevitable. The land use of textile mills was retained without any change. Naturally, planning proposals in the surrounding region did not take into account the possibility of recycling mill land for other uses. Consequently, the need for additional land for open spaces or infrastructure was not taken into account. By the time the state was ready to finalise the Development Control Rules (DCR) in 1991, the closure of textile mills had become imminent.

Mill owners realized they were sitting on a landmine which was just 20 minutes away from Nariman Point and less than half an hour away from the upcoming Bandra Kurla Complex.

The golden formula was the Development Control Regulation 58 which permitted the sick or closed cotton mills (subject to a layout approved by the municipal commissioner) to use to the existing or newly built up areas for the same cotton textile mills and related uses, for diversified industrial uses or for commercial purposes. However, if open land – whether already existing or resulting from the demolition of the existing structure – was to be developed, total open land had to be divided into roughly three equal parts. Part one for public housing, part two for local government to develop public open spaces and part three for the mill to exploit commercially. 6 If the total area being shared was larger than 5 ha, 50 per cent of MHADA’s entitlement was to be used for the housing of public sector undertakings. For the two-thirds that was to be surrendered for public housing and open spaces, the mill owner was to be compensated by transferable development rights (TDR) that is using (or selling) development rights, which were due on the surrendered land in the suburbs of Mumbai. This formula permitted alternative uses of mill land after obtaining permission to close, subject to the payment of VRS benefits to workers. However, this did not offer any opportunity for jobs to the thousands of workers who were rendered jobless.

1 D’Monte, Darryl, Ripping the Fabric: The Decline of Mumbai and Its Mills, (New Delhi: Oxford University Press 2002).

Immediately after 1991 there was a boom in the real estate market and nine private mills having a total area of 54 ha sought permission for redevelopment. However, land underneath the existing structure if retained was not to be shared. Three mills – Modern, Matulya and Swadeshi – did develop under this formula, surrendering the requisite land shares. Some mills converted the existing structures to different commercial uses without demolition. Many chose to wait for a favourable change in the DCR. As a result, contrary to general belief that two-thirds of the lands would have been available for MHADA and BMC only 8 per cent and 7 per cent became available to these agencies.

The problem with DCR was that it applied to the individual plot instead in the absence of an overall integrated plan which would also take into account the ability of the existing public infrastructure. To overcome this, the Charles Correa committee was constituted to prepare an integrated plan. Till such time as its report came out DCR 58 was to be held by the BMC. Since the group could only access the NTC mills, being denied access to the private mills, it submitted an interim report in 1996. The report mentioned Bombay’s heritage movement and moved onto to talk about industrial renewal the world over especially Lancashire.

The government never took any decision on the Correa study group’s report. Mills approached the courts against the stay of granting permission and the government removed the stay.

The real estate boom was never to bust, but unexpectedly it did and worried mill owners lobbied with the government for a modification of DCR 58. The state obliged and thus removed “land becoming open on demolition” from the ambit of the sharing formula and allowed the use of development rights of the open space to be used on the land retained by the mill. This revision reduced land available for public housing and open space to less than 5 per cent each. The modified regulations had some positive points too. Instead of sharing 50 per cent of MHADA land for PSU housing, it was to be now used for mill workers’ housing. Existing chawls on the mill land had to be redeveloped with minimum area of 225 sq ft per unit. To ensure that the proceeds of land development were used for payment of dues an escrow mechanism was made mandatory and a committee under a high court judge was constituted to supervise the entire process. However since the land available to MHADA and BMC had dramatically shrunk, some of these changes turned out to be illusory.

The PIL

In 2005, the BEAG filed a PIL to protest the modification to DCR 58. The Bombay High Court upheld the original order. But the Supreme Court in a judgment on March 7 th upheld the 2001 modification of the Rule. The Bombay High Court has recently has recently halted any further sale of mill lands till the issue of 23 heritage structures is resolved. The matter awaits a hearing in the Supreme Court. The courts have ruled that a list of these heritage structures must be submitted by June 2006. Though redevelopment is inevitable, the attempt to preserve some part of the vast industrial history of the city.

Girangaon and the battle for Bombay:

The battle for Bombay was an emotional one. One that was fought significantly on the playground of Girangaon. The British had organized their provinces into unwieldy provinces that had little in terms of geographical or even cultural similarities as they felt that a linguistic division would strengthen the regional-national consciousness and thus, the hostility towards the center. The Bombay State was an excellent example of this;long before the post independence debate about the reorganization of the provinces along linguistic lines Gandhi and his ilk had agreed on the linguistic reorganization of the provinces given India's abundant diversity since 1920.

Language and the issue of identity sometimes defies all logic. As history chronicles, language has been a major factor in the states' reorganization movements in post independence India. Language was seen as an important tool through which the ordinary citizen could involve himself/herself in administrative and social spheres. Interestingly those fought most vehemently in these movements stood to gain precious little directly from the entire course of events- their involvement was mostly keeping in mind the generations to come and the opportunities that their 'new' state would open.

Bombay's distinct presence even in the political sphere was evident in the fact that the Bombay Pradesh Congress Committee (BPCC) had a separate identity despite the presence of the Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) and the Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee (GPCC). This also pointed to the ambiguity in the status of the future of Bombay. The BPCC had an important place in the Congress hierarchy. Trade and commerce in the city was dominated by Gujaratis while the Maharashtrians were mainly involved in the blue and white collar jobs. With the coming of Gandhi into Indian Politics, the participation of Gujaratis in the Congress increased and with it their contribution to the party kitty. This was accompanied with the Congress's interests in keeping the industrialists happy. Even Maharashtrian politicians like S.K.Patil who dominated politics during these times identified the profits of keeping the Gujarati lobby happy.

For the Gujarati businessmen the demands of the Samyukta Maharashtra Movement as a threat to their hegemony; even inside the Congress the Gujarati faction did not want to give any quarter to the Maharashtrians and wanted to maintain its dominance over the old Bombay State or the new one.

Historical Precedents 2 :

Until 1884, half of Bombay's population spoke Marathi as its mother tongue, but after that the numbers began to decline. As the numbers declined, the ascent of Gujaratis in trade and commerce went ahead astronomically which made the Maharashtrians insecure. Although they still constituted nearly half the population in the city (48% or 1,400,000 to

2 Based on ‘From Neighborhood to Nation’, an introductory essay by, Raj Chandavarkar in One Hundred Years, One Hundred Voices by Neera Adarkar and Meena Menon (Calcutta: Seagull Books, 2004)

be precise) and the Gujaratis constituted a mere 18% of the population (520,000), their interests were represented strongly by the MPCC and not the Gujarati dominated BPCC.

In June 1947, the Dar committee was appointed to look into the reorganization of states; after going through 700 witnesses and 1000 written memoranda it came out against the concept itself. Interestingly the committee described Maharashtrians as being aggressive, feudal, backward by nature. It also called a 'Poona mentality 3 as being particularly terrible. The committee emphatically stated that Maharashtrians had no claim over the city whatsoever- an approach bitterly resented by the people of Maharashtra.

Dissatisfaction with the report led to the formation of the famous J.V.P (Jawaharlal Nehru, Vallabhbhai Patel and Pattabhi Sitarammiyya) committee. It was expected that the question of Bombay would be dealt with in all fairness by this committee as Sitarammiyya was known to be supporter of linguistic states. But except the demands for a separate Andhra Pradesh ( sans Madras) , those of Maharashtra and Karnataka were rejected. Patel went on to argue (on the floor of the house) that since Bombay was a multi-lingual city which had been built with the help of many communities especially keeping in mind those of the Gujaratis it would not be fair to decide the future of the city on the basis of numbers alone. And thus the issue of Bombay was shelved for a while.

Then events in Andhra Pradesh took a turn for the worse and Nehru had to accede to their demands, and Andhra Pradesh was born. This also strengthened the movement in Maharashtra. In December 1953, the States Reorganization Committee (SRC) was set up under the chairmanship of Justice Fazl Ali gave their report in 1955. The committee recommended the linguistic division of Hyderabad, Bombay and CP-Berar. With regard to Bombay, the committee recommended a bilingual state which included Saurashtra (part of CP-Berar) but excluded Vidharbha and Belgaum-Karwar. The committee justified this by saying that Bombay was not only a Marathi-speaking area and giving only to Maharashtra and not Gujarat would be detrimental to the city's growth. With regard to Belgaum- Karwar (which were Marathi speaking dominated areas), the committee believed that since these areas had economic links with Karnataka their inclusion to Maharashtra could not be justified. In case of Vidharbha which again was a Marathi speaking area, it was said that the inclusion to Maharashtra would undermine the importance of Nagpur city.

The recommendations of the report sparked off opposition like Nehru, who was at the time at the peak of his popularity and hence expected to sail through with the bilingual state, had not imagined. Huge rallies took place to oppose this state. The spontaneous, continuous and unprecedented anger and opposition that erupted sent the center in a tizzy. Barely a month after the tabling of the SRC report it came up with a new proposal which envisaged three states- a City State of Bombay, Maharashtra (which included Vidharbha and whose center was to be Nagpur) and Gujarat (which would included Saurashtra). The City State of Bombay would be administered independently. This proposal sparked off a

3 According to Adarkar and Menon this could be related to the fact that Gandhi was assassinated by a Poona Brahman.

greater opposition- the main phase of the agitation- the demand for Bombay to remain a part of Maharashtra. The sense of injustice felt by the Maharashtrians was further intensified by the recommendations of the committee.

The Bombay Congressmen did little beyond mere voicing of dissent against the High Command. The infighting made it almost impossible for them to come across strongly on any side. The constant fabrication by Congressmen led to the formation of the Samyukta Maharashtra Kriti Samiti (SMKP)

The Congressmen came up with the first committee on the issue- the Samyukta Maharashtra Kriti Samiti (SMKS). Unable to completely defy the High Command, the SMKP was able to do little and its inactivity and inability to garner other political forces, led to its dormancy. Seizing the initiative in 1949, Senapati Bapat formed the Samyukta Maharashtra Mahamandal which explicitly wanted the creation of a separate Maharashtra.

With the tabling of the SRC report the Congress led SMKP woke up and after much debate made a demand for a linguistic state of Maharashtra in August 1954. In November 1955, the SMKS was formed under the leadership of Prabhodhankar Thackeray, S.M. Josh, Acharya Atre, S.A. Dange etc. The SMKS led the Samyukta Maharashtra Movement. The movement itself received most of support from Girangaon- the workers associated mill owners and industrialists with Gujaratis and feared that Bombay would be swung in the industrialists' favor if it were centrally administered. A centrally administered Bombay would no longer be the working class Bombay they knew.

The Movement itself:

The class approach of the movement set it apart from other linguistic movements. For those demanding the new state, India's sovereignty and democracy which were supreme could only be complemented through linguistic awareness. Maharashtra itself had a working class base and was cosmopolitan- it housed the maximum number of minorities in terms of sects, religions and professions. And hence the demand was not just for a Marathi speaking Maharashtra but a Maharashtra that could provide opportunities for the working class. The movement itself was not a chauvinistic movement aimed at removing all non-Marathi speaking people from the state but it was more the against the rich industrialists who had captured the resources of urban and rural Maharashtra and rendered it impoverished. If Bombay was not to belong to Maharashtra, not only would the state lose its biggest asset but also the rich non-Maharashtrians would have unhindered access to the city which housed the resources of the state.

Congressmen like S.K.Patil and Morarji Desai indicated that a Maharashtra that included Bombay was nothing short of a delusion. Their pique statements only added fuel to the fire as the Maharashtrians felt even more victimized. In January 1956, two months after announcing the three state formula, Nehru announced that the center would take over Bombay. This sent the city into a rage mode, there was a fresh wave of violence and the police went into overdrive in order to manage the commotion. The then chief minister Morarji Desai justified the indiscriminate killing of people by the police (including

children from Girangaon) by saying that the number of causalities and injured was not commensurate to the number of bullets fired hence the police had in fact exercised restraint!

According to the Samiti, when on May 31 st , 1956, Nehru visited the city for the AICC meeting and was greeted but a motley crowd of about 50,000 (contrary to the government figure of 500) waving black flags. Despite sloganeering and constant presence of Satyagrahis who were lathi charged, Nehru ridiculed the Satyagrahis which led to the Samiti going to Delhi (the workers collected Rs. 75,000 to finance this expedition) to protest. In August 1956, the Congress High Command partially succumbed to pressure and announced larger bilingual state which would include Saurashtra, Kutch and all the Marathi speaking areas of Bombay State (the proposal was hastily pushed through parliament. This proposal in turn led to a spate of violence demanding a separate Gujarat left 24 dead. Interestingly Morarji Desai went on a fast to end the violence!

In the elections of 1956, the all party Samiti was on the verge of breakup unable to sink differences on electoral differences. But it managed to pull through, and although it lost the majority to the Congress by a slim difference of four seats, it was a major setback for the Congress for if present day Maharashtra existed, the Samiti would have won!

In four successive by-elections after December 1957, including two in Bombay, the Samiti emerged victorious. Despite being disorganized as compared to the Congress, the Samiti was more than able to give the Congress a run for its money. The congress began to squirm. At the same time, Chief Minister Chavan was having trouble managing his cabinet which consisted of people from two linguistic groups and rethinking about the contours of the state began. This was also the time of the zenith of the anti-communist paranoia of the Congress and it was willing to do anything to the seemingly unstoppable communists. The communists were fast gaining ground in Girangaon thanks to the Samiti and its trade union. Thus the MPCC and the GPCC vied with each other in an attempt to look more anti-communist. Indira Gandhi who had by now become the president of the party was one of the main reasons Bombay was given to Maharashtra.

On 4 th December 1959, the Congress Working committee met and decided to bifurcate the bilingual state of Bombay. With certain budgetary concessions for the state of Gujarat in the years to come the negotiations for a separately state of Maharashtra were complete (although Nehru still wanted it to be called Bombay and its name was subsequently changed to Maharashtra). Comrade Dange's suggestion that Maharashtra be born on Labor Day was also granted and thus Maharashtra was born on 1 st May, 1960.

Textile Dreams…

The Mills have long been shut and the once vibrant industry has already beaten a retreat.

Playing the then and now game is fun; where once chimneys stood, today there are super luxury apartments that aim to give you a taste of the good life without the hassles of having to travel the length of the city to get to work! It is a complete win-win situation; though it has only one precondition, you need to be rich and you need to want to live above the rest of the area that surrounds the high walls of your compound. It is a price a lot of people are willing to pay.

With Bombay, the air is rife with possibilities unlike any other city, even if it means the possibility of floods. You can smell it when your train starts getting closer to the city, or when your plane circles the city for a good half hour till it gets clearance to land. It is always there. Bombay was built on hopes, dreams and above all possibilities. The conduits to realize these though were different at different points in time. From the dockers, to the mill workers to the service sector today, they all remain indomitable cogs in the wheel of possibility.

And yet, where do the winds of possibility blow from? From its industrial graveyards? Or its commercial failures? Or all the poor who live in unimaginable conditions with a dream to make it big? After all what is Bombay (or any city for that matter) without the hopes and aspirations of the people who make it? Bombay is also a city of dreamers; we seldom believe in life size, it all has to be king size, even our stupidities.

As the mills shut, the power looms spun extra hard and the mills were never missed, except in irony. With the coming of “second” generation reforms post 1991, Bombay’s commerce compass shifted toward the realtors. A boom was long overdue. And thus began the climb to be the costliest city in the world.

Mired in “industrial woes”, one of the many protagonists of this act, the mill owners realized that their decadent lands stood on a gold mine. And thus began movement towards the sale of the lands. As it gathered momentum, there was a small loophole; the land did not always belong to them. As a document 4 released by social activist Shailesh Gandhi revealed: the lease on lands has long expired or whose lease rents are pathetically small. Thus many mill owners were in fact not owners at all, but illegal occupiers or anadhikrut kajbedar, Marathi for unauthorized occupants. The document further showed that some of the leases like Simplex had in fact expired in 1983. The icing on the cake is this though: the lessees were given the land only specific purposes that were mentioned in the contract. For instance in the case of Khatau, the land can be used for residential purposes- meaning the staff and workers not outsiders who have added no value to the mill. So then, why are we pleading for a mere one-third when it all belongs to us? Why do we pay to be exploited at Phoenix High Street when until 2003, the ownership had not

4 The facts in the following couple of paragraphs are based on, and in some cases from ‘Ripping the Fabric:

The Decline of Mumbai and its Mills’, Darryl D’Monte, Oxford University Press, 2002.

been legally changed to the 999 year lease- in fact, the deed itself had not been finalized till the 1940s.

This though, was the second loophole; the first was that the only way they could sell the land was if the Board for Industrial and Financial Reconstruction deemed their mills indeed beyond repair and if they could prove that by the sale of some part of their mill land they could generate enough money to restart the mill. And thus began the great Bombay property boom and the greater Bombay rush to sell off these lands.

But then came a road block, the not-so-liked environmentalists and activists (as always) objected citing frivolous reasons such as the lack of public spaces. A long drawn court battle ensued where the activists objected to the amendment to the Development Control Rules made in 2001 which enabled ‘owners’ to have control of the built up land and made it mandatory only to sell the open space in the area (According to the Development Control Rules, the Mill owners- in this case it was the NTC that wanted to put its lands up for sale- would get only a third of the land to sell; the other two thirds would go for public spaces and low cost housing) in the three way arrangement. While the Bombay High Court agreed with the activists, the Supreme Court of India thought nothing wrong in what the owners were saying. To them, the reduction from 200 acres each for low cost housing and public spaces to 65 acres and 70 acres respectively for the same is not ‘appreciable’ enough to warrant a stay on the constructions that are on in full swing in these areas.

But as the famed Hafeez Contractor 5 says “The Supreme Court order is a great order and as a resident of Mumbai, I welcome it. Any other view taken by the Supreme Court would have killed the city. The archaic restrictions existing in Mumbai right now are not helping the city in anyway but actually providing impetus for corruption.” He goes on to say that the order would mean new jobs and thrust Mumbai in a positive direction and will create green spaces and housing. If the environmentalists were really interested in green spaces in the city, they would have long responded and approved of his proposal for the “development” of 600 acres of forest land, he contends. He goes on to add, that the mill lands cannot be looked as the answer for creating greens in the city; “we have to look for imaginative ways”. How about trees that we can carry as take-aways?

But his epiphanic point is this: “…the mills are [sic] private properties. Only if you sell these properties will the government received increased taxed from these plots in the

form of development taxes

Mumbai right now. The release of this land will ensure enough space for affluent housing, which in turn will be space created for middle class and lower middle class housing in parts of Mumbai currently occupied by the affluent”.

there is shortage of housing for eight million people in

5 For full text of the article read, ‘Why this good news for Mumbai: it will create more housing, bring in more money’ by Hafeez Contractor, The Indian Express, Mumbai, March 8, 2006.

And thus the juggernaut began, and as the table below shows, in the near future, Bombay will lose most (if not all) “derelict” structures of an industrial past the global city wants to shun.

Who is building what?

(Based on Hindustan Times Property Supplement: HT Property dated March 11 th , 2006).

Mill Name

Buyer

Price (In crore Rupees)

Venture

Mumbai Textiles

DLF- Akruti

702

Entertainment

Complex

Apollo

Lodha Group

180

Either entirely

residential or

entirely

commercial

Matulya

Ashford

Unknown

Residential

Elphinstone

Indiabulls

441

Commercial

Simplex

Godrej Jt Vt

Unknown

Residential

Khatau

Marathon

145

Unknown

China

Dosti Group

53130

Residential

Standard

Sheth Builders

130

Residential (would also have retail space)

Jupiter

Indiabulls

276

IT Park

Kohinoor

Kohinoor Consortium Transport Network Limited (KCTNL)

421

Shopping Complex

But this is just a part of it, there are others like Phoenix which have long become High Street Phoenix and which was sighted by the Supreme Court in its landmark judgment when it was commenting on the viability of using old structures as stop-gap arrangement for development thus not making it necessary for the mill owners to invoke the much dreaded three way formula; “ mills like Phoenix Mills retained more than 100 years shell and glassed it up and even in the said shells, malls supermarkets, night clubs and restaurants were constructed. Thus it resulted in unplanned and unregulated development. It is in that situation that the state might have thought that workable changes are necessary…”

But then the Bombay High Court (sometimes I wonder if the SC will one day repudiate the Bombay HC for being so insubordinate) told 15 private and one state sector mill not allow the razing of heritage structures on their premises till such time as the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation decided on their heritage status. The court had directed the Mumbai Heritage Conservation Committee (MHCC) to survey the heritage

status of 58 mills of Bombay, i.e. private and NTC owned and submit a report by February 6 th , 2006. Where in 2004, there were 170 such structures; there remain only 85 (or less) at the present. Of these 85 too, once the five NTC mills were sold thanks to the SC, eight structures bit the dust, literally.

The table below gives an idea as to what is at stake:

Heritage Structures in Mills and what holds for them

(Based on ‘HC stops mill demolitions’, Hindustan Times, March 28, 2006).

Name of Mill Heritage structure Project name, status of Grade Grade Grade development II II
Name of Mill
Heritage structure
Project name, status of
Grade
Grade
Grade
development
II
II A
IIA &B
Dawn Mill (Lower Parel)
Chimney
Piramals
Gokuldas Morarjee (Parel)
Chimney
Peninsula Center
Piramal (Lower Parel)
Water Body: Reservoir
Marathon Innova
(Commercial), Marathon
Next Gen (Residential)
Century Textile (Worli)
Water Body
Currently functional
Prakash Cotton (Lower
Parel)
Chimney, water body
Functional
Victoria (Lower Parel)
Chimney
Oasis Complex
Phoenix (Lower Parel)
Chimney
Residential, commercial,
retail
Khatau (Byculla)
Water Body
Belongs to Adani Group.
BIFR issues being sorted
out.
New Great Eastern Sewing
& Weaving (Lower Parel)
Chimney water body
Unnamed (Mahindra
Gesco)
Mafatlal 1&2 (Byculla)
Gatehouse and time
Under litigation
keeper’s house,
administration building
Standard Mill 3 (Lower
Parel)
Chimney
Not Available
Shreeniwas Cotton (Lower
Parel)
Water Body
Unnamed (Lodha Group)
Swadeshi (Kurla)
Water Body, godown, store
VRS to workers
building, timekeeper’s
office
Mukesh (Colaba)
Chimney
Up for sale
Shree Ram (Worli)
Chimney
Commercial, Retail
W India Mills
(Kalachowkie)
Chimney
Government to develop it

This all seems a little incriminating, like I don’t want Bombay to be global. Or like I think the mills still have a part to play in the city somehow.

In Bombay, be it ‘26/7’ or ‘7/11’ we are always chasing a dream. Somewhere in the past five years, our dreams to be global have been in high gear. We don’t to be Bombay anymore, we want to be Shanghai. But who is this ‘we’? I am going to try and answer this question by shifting the focus of the then and now game we’ve been playing to history, people and spaces.

With the coming of the “second” generation economic reforms, there was more buying power. With license raj and other ‘inhibiting’ economic process out of the way, the world became ours to buy, so much so that in Hong Kong, Indians are the favorite consumers, because we are also the most spend thrift. Liberalization in India also heralded the 'new' liberalizing middle class. Its newness is marked by the ‘fruits of liberalization’. This middle class embodies the globalized world where even relatively later industrialized countries like India would be noticed by the fast march of the 'global' capital movements. As this class has become more visible, there has been a shift in the political culture, from state socialism to one that is centered around middle class consumption; this consumption also defines the class boundaries of the middle class. It is the class that has truly embraced globalization and liberalization as it is able to access goods and services it only dreamt about during the license raj. And so the it is the visibility of this class that has taken precedence over the alleviation of poverty- a phenomenon referred to by Rajni Kothari 6 as a 'growing amnesia' towards the poor and poverty in India. It is not so much the growth of a new class as much as the novelty of it all. To the media this class represents a social group that has successfully transited from the traditional India that worked on a protectionist state that tried to live the reality of its founders and posited into one that lived the 'global' reality, capable of purchasing the goods and services tat define this lifestyle. An open economy and an ever increasing middle class meant that the service sector has seen an exponential growth throughout the last decade of the 20th century and has made the pursuit of a 'lifestyle' an ever important activity.

According to Leela Fernandes 7 , Bombay fits image of this new middle class better than any other Indian city. The expansion of the services sector and the leisure industry has included a growing bar and restaurant culture. In contrast to smaller restaurants and Irani shops, which have catered to working-class and lower-middle-class individuals, the city now boasts a wide range of up market bars and restaurants. The invention of the middle- class lifestyle has been increasingly interwoven into the creation of an urban aesthetics based on the middle-class desire for the management of urban space based on strict class- based separations.

From the fairly stable goal of social status to an aggressive pursuit of cultural capital, our meaning of ‘urban lifestyle has indeed changing dramatically in the recent past. This has stimulated the growth of for-profit culture industries and not-for-profit cultural

6 Kothari, Rajni, Growing Amnesia: An Essay on Poverty and Human Consciousness. Viking (1993) New Delhi

7 Fernandes Leela, The Politics of Forgetting: Class Politics, State Power and the restructuring of Urban Space in India, Vol. 41, No.12, November 2004.

institutions. These shifts, related to a number of structural changes like the rise of post modernism not just as an art form but also the rise of the post industrialist mode of production and a concern with identity matters and the growth of service industries, have made more actors visible. Actors both in public spaces and cultural fields who have made alternative lifestyles more visible which in turn fire the newly visibly spaces of

consumption like malls, ‘entertainment complexes’ etc.

increasingly looking to aesthetize their cities; the focus is on visual consumption of public space. These changes in the material and symbolic fabric of cities alter previous conceptions of consumption as a residual category of urban political economy. Cities are

no longer as landscapes of production, but as landscapes of consumption 8 . While most urban consumption still involves around the satisfaction of everyday needs, many new urban consumption spaces relate to new patterns of leisure, travel and culture 9 .

Urban governments now are

As south Mumbai's prices touched the sky, the middle class moved northward towards the suburbs. And thus began the marking out of little islands of suburban communities and cultures. Malls,multiplexes, multi-storeyed buildings dot the suburban skyline as the new middle class asserts its existence and influence over the city. The cinema is now about “feeling the thrill” 10 of the movies and putting the “movies first”. 11 Old style cinema halls cannot match these new entrants. Where earlier movies played only in three shows in a day (with a possible exception for foreign films) now multiplexes can play ten shows simultaneously and where the higher balcony seat was a luxury, today, multiplexes offer no balcony seats- only silver, gold seats that differ only in terms of how far they are from the screen. Cushioned seating has replaced very acceptable rexine seats. This process has been accelerated to a large extent by the acquisition of some of these cinema halls (most notable Metro and Sterling in South Mumbai) by big movie corporation in order to transform them into multiplexes.

The growing new middle class has been able to mobilize popular culture around it. For instance, where the traditionally 'high status' clubs were only in south Mumbai and that too out of reach for most middle class citizens, the new 'high status' clubs can be found in the suburbs commanding an equal (if not higher) price as the traditional ones. As it becomes the unit of measurement for analysis of the success of liberalization it forms a formidable chunk that is being targeted by politicians and retailers alike. In the first general election of the millennium in India, it was this class that was sought through the 'India Shining' campaign. Thus the politics of the new middle class has also pressurized local and central governments to 'clean up' squatters and beggars from the streets of the cities its attempt at (a term used by Leela Fernandes) 'spatial purification'- a case in point being the 'cleaning of Chowpatty'.

In the case of the mill precinct, specifically, the then and now game makes for a lot of interesting observations.

8 Zukin Sharon, Landscapes of Power: From Detriot to Disney World, Berekeley and Los Angeles:

University of California Press (1991).

9 Zukin Sharon, Urban Lifestyle: Diversity and Standardization in Spaces of Consumption, Urban Studies, Vol.35, Nos. 5-6, 825-839, 1998.

10 Source: http://www.famecinemas.com/

11 Source: http://www.pvrcinemas.com/pvr/index.asp

It is a long established fact that the chimney have been (and are being) rapidly replaced

by multi-storey buildings. The irony is that, these buildings look down (literally and figuratively) down on the chawls that still stand around them. In an attempt to maintain spatial cleanliness, high walls and elevated parking lots are present in these buildings. The attempt is unmistakably to be removed from their surrounding areas. A lot of the new media houses in the area mention “Worli east” as the area address instead of the lowly lower parel. It is not so much the need to look different form the local as much as the need to look global without coming across as too local.

In a way, the multi-storey buildings are, at the end of the day, boxes put differently. To

be really simplistic, almost child-like, if one were to scale down the entire area onto a model, the chawls would be horizontal boxes and the mills themselves an aggregation of small boxes. The entire area would reflect series of small boxes arranged horizontally, in

some cases parallel to one another, extending in many rows. But if space was a problem and most was to be made out of it, the horizontal alignment could be changed to a vertical one. Voila: the chawls are replaced by high-rises! And they arguably might [sic] house more people. And once the aggregations of smaller boxes (read mills) are removed, the model is full of space. So there is more space to build, and more toy cars to accommodate. There is even more space to accommodate (and this should make Mr. Contractor very happy) the small trees that the law mandates planting of. Unfortunately, we can’t paint more roads on the model and the toy cars will create a traffic jam and choke our small trees to death. The serpentine lines outside Big Bazaar will increase many fold. The model can be changed, and the vertical boxes can be reduced to make more public space. Unfortunately, in Girangaon, there is no such luxury. The vertical boxes keep increasing and the horizontal boxes keep making way for ‘stylized living spaces’.

A labor office survey in 1925 revealed that 90 percent of the mill workers lived within a

15-minute walk from their place of employment. Though this changed as the numbers in the mills continued to increase, the fact remained that a sizeable number remained in close proximity to where they worked 12 . The number of workers employed by the mills increased from 13,500 in 1875 to nearly 76,000 in 1895 and then doubled again in the 1920s 13 . The population of Parel and Byculla doubled between 1891 and 1921 while Sewri and Worli expanded nearly five fold 14 . At its zenith the mills employed about 250,000 workers. Today this area houses about a fifth of that number. Incidentally, as the population of Bombay grew by 1.8 percent a year between 1981 and 1991, in the three main districts of Girangaon i.e. Parel, Elphinstone Road and Sandhurst Road- population

12 Based on ‘From Neighborhood to Nation’, an introductory essay by, Raj Chandavarkar in One Hundred Years, One Hundred Voices by Neera Adarkar and Meena Menon (Calcutta: Seagull Books, 2004)

13 Based on ‘From Neighborhood to Nation’, an introductory essay by, Raj Chandavarkar in One Hundred Years, One Hundred Voices by Neera Adarkar and Meena Menon (Calcutta: Seagull Books, 2004)

14 Based on ‘From Neighborhood to Nation’, an introductory essay by, Raj Chandavarkar in One Hundred Years, One Hundred Voices by Neera Adarkar and Meena Menon (Calcutta: Seagull Books, 2004)

fell at the rate 1.5 percent, 0.3 percent and 2.2 percent respectively. In 1976, about 27 percent of the working population found jobs in the mills, today the figure is less than 7 percent 15 .

Local train, the ubiquitous icon of Bombay, empty thousands of people into this same area now. Where once they came from a distance of a few meters, today they brave crowds, weather and not to mention the terrorists to get to their place of work. As the service juggernaut has taken over the landscape; ‘Kamala City’ houses many media houses, while Phoenix feeds consumption and the ‘Peninsula Center’ houses some more media houses and telecom giants. Thus, Girangaon still remains the place to be, Nariman Point generates the figures but the hard work is fast beginning to come back from the mill town. The hum of the mills is now silent, in its place we have the honking of endless cars and hum of centrally air-conditioned complexes. So what has change then? Just the conduit? For the area still remains productive…

As has been mentioned by Adarkar and Menon’s work, Girangaon was more than just where the mills existed. The proximity of the workers to their place of work and the teeming chawls made for a heady sociological mix. Workers migrated to the city in search of work, and they seldom migrated alone. Caste, kinship and village connections were important and could not be abandoned. It was through the sustained use and servicing of these connection could workers find jobs and keep them 16 . Even at the workplace, these relationships were important, for the higher castes would not mix with the lower castes though they interact. The chawls also necessitated a very close bonding between the workplace and home. The neighborhood was a place that reminded the workers not only of home but also acted as a support system in times of retrenchment and strikes- the jobbers in the mills would also act as creditors sometimes and shop owners would know and respect lean times 17 .

The development of mid-century literature and growth of theatre in the area was fired by the mill workers need to be connected to their home. As the book goes on to illustrate, the rangoli competitions during Ganeshotstav, or the theatre performance and the Ganeshotstav itself were major rallying points in the area. It was not about Marathi chauvinism as much as longing for the familiar. Even when strikes were called, it was this proximity which was a major factor in determining the success or failure of the strike.

15 Babu, Hemant, ‘Death of an Industrial City: Testimonies of Life Around Bombay Textile Strike of 1982’, Industrial Labour Archives. Source:

http://www.indialabourarchives.org/publications/Hemant%20Babu.htm

16 Based on ‘From Neighborhood to Nation’, an introductory essay by, Raj Chandavarkar in One Hundred Years, One Hundred Voices by Neera Adarkar and Meena Menon (Calcutta: Seagull Books, 2004)

17 Based on ‘From Neighborhood to Nation’, an introductory essay by, Raj Chandavarkar in One Hundred Years, One Hundred Voices by Neera Adarkar and Meena Menon (Calcutta: Seagull Books, 2004)

It is seldom overall harmony that decides the social relationships in a neighborhood; the survival strategies of the residents force them to rely heavily on friends and relatives. And yet survival strategies are not always harmonious, they bring about competition. So how far and how deep is this sense of competition determines the kind of neighborhood relationships. The social relations of Girangaon were constituted primarily by its daily tensions and conflicts by its experience of political and industrial struggle. The making of Girangaon was in a fundamental sense an explicitly political process 18 .

Juxtapose this with the service army of today, they come from all parts of the city, stay till the day ends and move away. The strong neighborhood ties are long broken; there is no experience or even memory of struggle. There is only dhandha 19 .

The powerful public presence that the working class had established in Bombay by the early twentieth century had exerted a determining influence on the formation and reproduction of the city's distinctive urban character and civic tradition. Increasingly from the law 1960s onwards, the public presence and political influence of the working classes was progressively cut back. The marginalization of the working classes in the late twentieth century was accompanied by fundamental changes working their way through the city's political culture. The city was characterized by its diversity and hybridity, not wholly surprising in a city of migrants. Its public life was marked by its secularism, its equidistance from the particularlisms of caste and religious community and often its transcendence of their difference. In the after math of the 1982 strike, the public presence that the city's working classes had seized in the civic life of the city was increasingly nullified. Their claims to stake in the city's social framework were swept aside. As the industry was dismantled, and the social organization of Girangaon began to disintegrate, workers sometimes sought protection in caste and communal affinities and social connections built around them. With its active neighborhood presence, its readiness to do favors for its clients, to find jobs for the boys, to confront authority and to terrorize the powerful on behalf of individual members, its spectacular displays of violence and its increasing access to state power, the Shiv Sena offered a kind of citizenship to workers, now seemingly disenfranchised and wholly subordinated, and created an arena in which they could at least fleetingly make a claim for dignity and equality 20 .

What this has meant that even when Bombay is pushed to face to face with its many people in the same race, they do not have a framework to fall back on. All memories of struggles have long been replaced by the famous chalta hai attitude. Depoliticization and degradation of political space into something that is meant only for the dirty politicians. De-politicization of the public space has meant the famous chalta hai attitude of Bombay, a slow emaciation of the citizen into someone who can only lament but does not

18 Based on ‘From Neighborhood to Nation’, an introductory essay by, Raj Chandavarkar in One Hundred Years, One Hundred Voices by Neera Adarkar and Meena Menon (Calcutta: Seagull Books, 2004)

19 A word meaning business. Used by Suketu Mehta in Maximum City, New Delhi: Penguin- Viking, 2004

20 Based on ‘From Neighborhood to Nation’, an introductory essay by, Raj Chandavarkar in One Hundred Years, One Hundred Voices by Neera Adarkar and Meena Menon(Calcutta: Seagull Books,

2004)

believe that he/she can do much. Participation into the working of democracy is avoidable while the pursuit of money to be powerful is more acceptable. The emaciated discourse leads to suspicion of polity and an all pervasive cynicism towards the city. A lamentation of the highest order. There is no broad banner which the different peoples can come together and fight, for they not only do not know who they are fighting- a typical angst one sees in anti-globalization protest, there is no visible enemy to fight. The media plays a very important role in further scattering this populace.

Girangaon was largely able to achieve group if not class consciousness. Immiserization was fought not only through strikes but also through dreams, where class distinctions between the rich and poor were distinct but where the other class boundaries were far more fluid. Community living encouraged a kind of cohesiveness that was in large parts responsible for the secularism of the city. Today though, community living is restricted to only living in an apartment block and they are largely individual islands in themselves (though one is painfully aware that is a phenomenon that has played itself out in possibly every city, country there is).

Lastly in this then and now game, is the social mobility.

In 1921, about 84 percent of Bombay’s population was migrants 21 . Half, a century later the population still consisted of a majority of rural migrants 22 . It was mostly the young males who left their families behind and came to the city to work. They often returned in old age or periods of unemployment and of course, to help in the yearly harvest. For many working-class families, the main purpose of migration was not for the individual to escape the clutches of the village and its relationships but more so to increase his stake in the village. Very often the wages earned by the worker helped pay off debts in the villages, which in turn helped move his family up the social hierarchy. Often times, the wages allowed the family enough freedom to subsist on a plot of land 23 . Poverty and not social mobility determined migration to Girangaon.

Cut to circa 2006 A.D. Farmers commit suicide by the hundreds, ironically, growing cotton. But they are no mills to employ them anymore. And there are certainly lesser places for the poor to stay in the city. Poverty is not your passport in to Girangaon; it is your passport out. The global city can no longer afford to the urban poor spilling onto its sanitized streets. Super luxury apartments are meant for the super rich, for it is they who shall inherit the earth. Social mobility now determines entry into Girangaon. As has been often mentioned in the preceding text, as the economics of the city have changed, so have its choices. Though social mobility as a criteria for entry is not anti-social, it takes away

21 Based on ‘From Neighborhood to Nation’, an introductory essay by, Raj Chandavarkar in One Hundred Years, One Hundred Voices by Neera Adarkar and Meena Menon (Calcutta: Seagull Books, 2004)

22 Based on ‘From Neighborhood to Nation’, an introductory essay by, Raj Chandavarkar in One Hundred Years, One Hundred Voices by Neera Adarkar and Meena Menon (Calcutta: Seagull Books, 2004)

23 Based on ‘From Neighborhood to Nation’, an introductory essay by, Raj Chandavarkar in One Hundred Years, One Hundred Voices by Neera Adarkar and Meena Menon (Calcutta: Seagull Books, 2004)

from the city, its inclusiveness .And its hybridity. Unable to cope with its teeming millions, the city must look for ways to ‘cleanse itself of its dirtiness. In order to keep pace with the ‘development’ projects that are in store, the city must galvanize around the middle class.

The Global City:

In 2003, Atul Ruia, the owner of Phoenix mills said (on payment of Rs. 60 lacks to the corporation for change of land use), ‘Mill owners are replacing derelict structures with planned development. How else will one see Mumbai becoming Shanghai?’ 24

Yes Bombay must become Shanghai. Bombay must also be global. For we are a happy human race, all of us.

The global city also chases the dream –like others do too- the dream of the mega polis; that to be a Singapore or a Hong Kong. Though this “dream” has little to do with the collective (or should I say inclusive) dreams of all the people, big and very small, who make this city but more so with the affluent that Mr. Contractor and his ilk make houses for, and of course, the media. So what if Singapore houses only 3.4 million people while Bombay houses about 14 million. And Singapore does not have Ichalkaranji (and many other small towns that are attracted to the city) moving to the city everyday. Even if the oft quoted figure of 200 people moving to the city is treated with a lot of salt, the sheer fact that there are more than a 100 new people who call this city home, makes it that much more difficult to reach the ‘global’. The rural keep coming in and diluting the dream.

The global that is being propagated as the future though, is probably more about ignoring the poor than about wanting them out. In a consumerist society, if you cannot buy, then you are not really a citizen at all. And in the global village, we all want to be local but also global and so we must play the monkey game to the best of our abilities.

The planners have a field day; we draw grandiose plans with metros, sea-links, six lane highways that will take us from Borivili to Churchgate in under an hour without having to hang from those blasted (!) trains but with the sea on both sides instead. The planned, though, be it in Peddar Road or Ganesh Gully have little to say in the matter. Participative democracy is old, consumerism and disenfranchisement is in. The city must grow at breakneck speed and more people must have ‘affluent houses so the poor can have some too’ so we can one day smell the city not through the smell of possibilities or dreams but the stillness that comes from not having a center. We are fast moving towards a city unable to handle itself, unable more so to find its center. A city that is disconnected from itself that it doesn’t quite know where the next dhandha will come from. Would that be death?

Not yet, I hope.

24 D’Monte, Ripping the Fabric: The Decline of Mumbai and its Mills (New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2002.

Bibliography:

Adarkar Neera and Menon Meena, One Hundred Years One Hundred Stories, Calcutta: Seagull Books, 2004.

D’Monte, Darryl, Ripping the Fabric: The Decline of Mumbai and its Mills, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2002.

Babu, Hemant, ‘Death of an Industrial City: Testimonies of Life around Bombay Textile Strike of 1982’, Industrial Labor Archives. Source:

http://www.indialabourarchives.org/publications/Hemant%20Babu.htm

Mehta Suketu, Maximum City: Bombay Lost and found, New Delhi: Penguin-Viking,

2004

Krishnan Shekhar,The Murder of the Mills: A Case Study of Phoenix Mills

Krishnan Shekhar , The Spaces of Post-Industrial Mumbai, Mumbai: CRIT (Collective Research Initiatives Trust), Unfinished Draft, 2002–2003

Fernandes Leela , The Politics of Forgetting: Class Politics, State Power and the Restructuring of Urban Space in India, Urban Studies, Vol. 41, No. 12, 2415–2430, November 2004