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House, but No GardenApartment Living in Bombay's Suburbs, 1898-1964$
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Nikhil Rao

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780816678129

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816678129.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
House, but No Garden

Nikhil Rao

University of Minnesota Press

The introduction discusses the social implications of apartment living in Bombay from about 1918 to 1960. In a changing political and economic context, there came an increasing demand of housing and urban amenities, which led to the rise and proliferation of apartment buildings in Bombay—a feature that would shape the city in the years to come. This change also came in conjunction with the rise of the upper-caste lower middle class as well, as they assert themselves—not under the constraints of colonial rule, but as citizens with the power to demand services from the municipal state. Apartment living was indicative as well as symbolic of the changing social ethos that governed postcolonial Bombay—the expansion of an increasingly Indianized municipal power, the emergence of a new caste identity, and the general recalibration of caste that can accommodate institutions such as the cooperative society.

Keywords:   apartment living, postcolonial Bombay, municipal state, apartment buildings, caste identity, upper-caste lower middle class

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