Title: The Indian Metropolis: Deconstructing India’s Urban Spaces
Author: Feroze Varun Gandhi
Publisher: Rupa Publications
About the book: A monumental work that shows how economic vitality can go hand-in-hand with creating vibrant cities offering a haven for cultural and intellectual expression.
For most urban Indians, the past few years have been unsettling—we have seen neighbourhoods locked down for months during a pandemic, increasing the daily challenges of earning a living as well as of access to good healthcare and education. Inflation has ravaged the land with spiralling prices of food, rent and transport. Our cities are hard to live in; lacking basic amenities, while being unaesthetic and discordant with our civilization.
As economic growth takes priority, questions about liveability and meaningful employment arise, along with concerns about the deteriorating law and order. In blindly and poorly aping Western models, our cities homogenize, losing their character, their identity and their soul. Meanwhile, climate change is no longer a mythical or distant possibility but a distinct and immediate reality. A typical city must now cope with extreme temperatures, both flooding and water shortages and abysmal air quality. These can no longer be treated as threats but as certainties to be planned for.
The Indian Metropolis seeks to begin a national conversation on these issues and suggests ways to turn our cities into enabling, energizing environments geared towards enhancing the daily life of the average city dweller.
About the author: Feroze Varun Gandhi is a third-term Member of Parliament, who has represented the Pilibhit and Sultanpur constituencies in Uttar Pradesh. He was the youngest-ever national secretary of the
Bharatiya Janata Party from 2008 to 2011, and the party’s youngest-ever national general secretary from 2011 to 2014.
With a passion for policymaking, he has been a member of several parliamentary standing committees including those on defence and external affairs. He is a widely respected opinion leader and policy
analyst, writing for 20+ newspapers in all major Indian languages. His incisive views have helped shape debates on policy matters, while keeping millions engaged (over 200 million readers) throug his widely read columns.
A poet by inclination, Gandhi has published two bestselling volumes of poetry. His first collection of poems, The Otherness of Self was published in 2000 at age 20, and his second book of poetry, Stillness, was published in 2015.
His writings reflect his focus on reimagining India across rural and urban spaces. His last book, A Rural Manifesto: Realizing India’s Future through Her Villages, published in December 2018, presented an alternative approach to mainstream ideas of rural development.
The Indian Metropolis: Deconstructing India’s Urban Spaces is his fourth book.