HT Image
HT Image

Delhi, not Dilli, and thank God for that

The Capital is probably India’s only metropolis that qualifies as a true cosmopolis, reports Shivani Singh.
By Shivani Singh | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 15, 2008 03:57 AM IST

Watching the Raj Thackeray drama played up so obligingly by the TV channels, one would get stumped by the sheer absurdity of having to consider an issue so irrelevant in our time. Parochial politics does promise short-term dividends and if we look at its potential playgrounds among our big metros, even great cities like Kolkata and Chennai offer room to kick off similar us-versus-them face-offs.

But not Delhi. The Capital is probably India’s only metropolis that qualifies as a true cosmopolis. Yes, we don’t have enough civic sense. We are almost rustic in our boisterousness and traffic sense. But as far as demography goes, Delhi is undoubtedly the soundest mix of so many different Indias.

So much so, we need to look hard to identify a good number of ‘original’ Dilliwallas. Recently, for the I Love Delhi series, we had to pin down a few families that trace back their roots to a few generations in the city. It was not easy.

Take my metro reporting team as a sample. Of the lot, only Atul and I can trace our roots back to more than three centuries in Delhi. Anuradha is a fourth generation Delhiite and Sidhartha’s family goes back to three generations. But his family had come from Aligarh and hers from West Bengal. Moushumi, Avishek and Karan are Bengalis from the North-East, Mangalore and Bathinda, respectively. Vidya is a Tamil from Bhopal. Nivedita is a Marathi from Nagpur. Vijaita and Jaya are from Kolkata – one is a Purvanchali and the other is a Marwari. Tushar and Ravi have their family roots in Lucknow. The two seniormost reporters, Amitabh and Aruna, are from Bihar and Kerala, respectively.

It is not out of character then, that Delhi’s Lieutenant-Governor grew up in Bihar and served as an IAS officer of Punjab cadre, chief minister Sheila Dikshit was born in Kapurthala in Punjab. What could serve as a healthier example of a cosmopolitan mix? I say healthy because this matrix forecloses opportunities for any cheeky politician to play mischief with the regional identity card.

When outfits like Sena, or its underling Maharashtra Navnirman Sena, and a now-out-of-business Aamra Bangalitry to create rifts between the “sons of the soil” and the “outsiders” in Mumbai or Kolkata, they may or may not succeed, but they do believe they stand a chance. That is because the demography in these metros offers them at least an illusion of such a divide. In Kolkata and Chennai, Bengalis and Tamilians are still the majority. In Mumbai, the Marathis can match up in numbers with the combined population of the non-Marathis.

In Delhi, the North Indians are obviously the majority. But they are not, thankfully, a homogenous majority that can be herded around by any regional identity sweep. Here we have predominant segments of Punjabis from erstwhile West Pakistan, migrants from UP and Bihar, and Jats from Haryana. Then we have a big non-North Indian population of Bengalis – many from erstwhile East Pakistan -- and people from the southern states. No political party can decisively tilt electoral equations by selective wooing of any particular segment of the population.

If you still don’t get the point, consider this: Great cities called Bombay, Calcutta and Madras are history today. They are Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai now. Delhi, on the other hand, is alive and kicking.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close
Alex Ellis, British high commissioner to India.(MINT)
Alex Ellis, British high commissioner to India.(MINT)

British envoy says farmers' protest is India’s 'internal issue'

PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 07:16 AM IST
  • High Commissioner Alex Ellis also said more debates on the farmers' protest should be expected around the world as India takes on a greater role on the global stage
Close
Health worker in PPE kit collects swab sample at the market at Boring road for Covid 19 test, in Patna, Bihar.(HT photo)
Health worker in PPE kit collects swab sample at the market at Boring road for Covid 19 test, in Patna, Bihar.(HT photo)

LIVE: China reports 10 new cases of coronavirus in last 24 hours

By hindustantimes.com, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 06, 2021 07:36 AM IST
The global coronavirus tally is over the 116 million-mark with the death toll crossing 2.5 million, as per the John Hopkins University coronavirus tracker.
PM Modi in his address also asked students to practice three mantras. He said that students should follow the goals set by them in their lives by following the mantras of self-confidence, self-awareness and selflessness.(PTI Copy)
PM Modi in his address also asked students to practice three mantras. He said that students should follow the goals set by them in their lives by following the mantras of self-confidence, self-awareness and selflessness.(PTI Copy)

PM Modi to address Combined Commanders' conference in Kevadia today

Written by Prashasti Singh, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 06, 2021 06:34 AM IST
During the event, the PM is expected to be intimated about the progress made in the creation of the theatre command. In a step towards restructuring the defence forces, the defence ministry would be creating the Air Defence Command.
Close
The scenes that caused offence have since been deleted, and the makers as well as the OTT company have apologised.
The scenes that caused offence have since been deleted, and the makers as well as the OTT company have apologised.

‘No teeth’: SC wants stricter OTT rules

By Utkarsh Anand, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 04:25 AM IST
  • Giving two weeks to the government to come back with its response, the bench then formally recorded in its order that one of the issues that has caught its attention is “uncontrolled and unscreened viewing of films” on Amazon Prime Video and other OTT platforms.
Close
In all, India has given about 18 million doses of Covaxin and Covishield to people in three priority groups(HT photo)
In all, India has given about 18 million doses of Covaxin and Covishield to people in three priority groups(HT photo)

Widen network, say experts as India aims to boost Covid vaccination drive

By Rhythma Kaul, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 06, 2021 05:44 AM IST
  • The roughly 20,000 centres being used for the vaccine drive at the moment are hospitals, private as well as public, while many primary and secondary health centres at present are kept out of the programme.
Close
The report said India “appears to have abandoned its potential to serve as a global democratic leader”, and that the country’s fall “from the upper ranks of free nations could have a particularly damaging impact on global democratic standards”.
The report said India “appears to have abandoned its potential to serve as a global democratic leader”, and that the country’s fall “from the upper ranks of free nations could have a particularly damaging impact on global democratic standards”.

New Delhi rejects report as ‘misleading, misplaced’

By HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 03:30 AM IST
  • The external affairs ministry, which too rejected Freedom House’s report, also took exception to the depiction of Jammu and Kashmir in the map used in the document.
Close
The OCI cardholders, including PIO cardholders, are foreign nationals holding the passport of another country and are not citizens of India.(Biplov Bhuyan/HT PHOTO)
The OCI cardholders, including PIO cardholders, are foreign nationals holding the passport of another country and are not citizens of India.(Biplov Bhuyan/HT PHOTO)

OCIs need nod for Tablighi, journalistic work: Centre

By HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 03:23 AM IST
  • A home ministry spokesperson said these rules prepared by the Foreigners’ Division were part of a brochure issued on November 15, 2019. The rules were consolidated and notified on Thursday.
Close
All six ministers could not be reached for comment and text messages seeking a response went unanswered.(Twitter/@mla_sudhakar)
All six ministers could not be reached for comment and text messages seeking a response went unanswered.(Twitter/@mla_sudhakar)

K’taka ministers move court against airing of ‘defamatory content’

By Sharan Poovanna, Hindustan Times, Bengaluru
PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 03:18 AM IST
  • After the allegations on Jarkiholi, there were unverified reports of several similar videos and other sex scandals against other cabinet ministers.
Close
PM Modi on Friday received the CERA Week Global Energy and Environment Leadership Award instituted to recognise commitment of leadership on solutions and policies for energy access, affordability and environmental stewardship.
PM Modi on Friday received the CERA Week Global Energy and Environment Leadership Award instituted to recognise commitment of leadership on solutions and policies for energy access, affordability and environmental stewardship.

India set to achieve Paris pact targets before deadline: PM Modi

By Rajeev Jayaswal, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 03:11 AM IST
  • India is a signatory to the Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Close
The two leaders are seeking re-election from the seats they won in the 2016 assembly elections.(PTI File Photo)
The two leaders are seeking re-election from the seats they won in the 2016 assembly elections.(PTI File Photo)

CM in 1st list; DMK-Cong hit stalemate

By Divya Chandrababu, Hindustan Times, Chennai
PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 03:02 AM IST
  • On the other hand, the DMK’s stalemate continued with its main and long standing ally, the Congress, on seat sharing.
Close
The EC announced the poll schedule for West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Assam and Puducherry on February 26.(HT_PRINT)
The EC announced the poll schedule for West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Assam and Puducherry on February 26.(HT_PRINT)

EC orders removal of PM’s images from vaccine certificates: Officials

By Deeksha Bhardwaj
UPDATED ON MAR 06, 2021 05:44 AM IST
  • The person said it was imperative that the photographs are removed from certificates distributed in the poll bound states, adding that the system can continue in other states.
Close
As reported by HT on Thursday, the Centre has decided to launch a grand celebration to mark 75 years of Independence with events, exhibitions, rallies and tourism outreach programmes.(PTI Copy)
As reported by HT on Thursday, the Centre has decided to launch a grand celebration to mark 75 years of Independence with events, exhibitions, rallies and tourism outreach programmes.(PTI Copy)

PM to head committee, Sonia and Tendulkar among 259 members

By HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 02:39 AM IST
  • Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, former President Pratibha Patil, economist Amartya Sen, cricketer Sachin Tendulkar, spiritual leader Baba Ramdev, chief ministers of states and senior political leaders are among those included in the panel.
Close
The Jamaat-e-Islami came into existence in 1941, spearheaded by Moulana Abul Alla Madoodi and with its headquarters at Lahore.(ANI)
The Jamaat-e-Islami came into existence in 1941, spearheaded by Moulana Abul Alla Madoodi and with its headquarters at Lahore.(ANI)

NIA probes Jamaat-e-Islami’s Jammu and Kashmir chapter

By Neeraj Chauhan, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 06, 2021 05:46 AM IST
  • According to Indian agencies, the JeI has maintained that J&K is a disputed territory.
Close
On Thursday, the last day for filing of nominations for the six MLC seats under MLAs’ quota, only YSRC candidates filed their papers and the opposition Telugu Desam Party stayed away from the contest as it does not have enough numbers in the assembly to field its candidates. (TWITTER).
On Thursday, the last day for filing of nominations for the six MLC seats under MLAs’ quota, only YSRC candidates filed their papers and the opposition Telugu Desam Party stayed away from the contest as it does not have enough numbers in the assembly to field its candidates. (TWITTER).

YSRC bags all 6 MLC seats unopposed; silent on abolition of legislative council

PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 01:18 AM IST
  • Interestingly, the election of the six YSRC members comes at a time when a resolution adopted by the Jagan Mohan Reddy government in the state assembly in January 2020, seeking abolition of the legislative council, is still pending with the Union home ministry.
Close
Jagan Reddy also announced that a price stabilisation fund with <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>3,000 crore would be established in order to ensure remunerative price for farmers.(PTI)
Jagan Reddy also announced that a price stabilisation fund with 3,000 crore would be established in order to ensure remunerative price for farmers.(PTI)

Andhra CM Jagan Reddy urges SC to restart Amravati land scam probe

By Abraham Thomas
PUBLISHED ON MAR 06, 2021 01:05 AM IST
  • When the matter came up before a bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan and R Subhash Reddy on Friday, the bench adjourned it to April 7 as it had no time for a full fledged hearing.
Close
SHARE
Story Saved
OPEN APP