Explaining Post-Pandemic Indian Cities: some Reflections on New Delhi





pandemic, coronavirus, migration, Hindu- Muslim riot, labour


This essay explores the multiple implications of the pandemic in the lives of people and the multi-dimensional challenges they face in New Delhi, India. Key themes that the essay examines are: migration, Hindu- Muslim relations, the labour market, and the public health system in general. The paper further comments on some general issues that affect the city, particularly the politics of the Central Vista project, in order to offer a comprehensive portrait of the pandemic’s impact on the city and its people. In many ways, the city was reborn after pandemic. It has also reignited debate regarding migrations, the labour market, and Hindu-Muslim relations, though the latter has worsened due to the rise of the Hindu Right in Indian politics with the consolidation of the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP). This paper presents insights to each of these issues. While the pandemic has fundamentally transformed city life, there is yet to be any clear pattern emerging out of these transformations, given that no one has clear idea in which direction the pandemic might move in future. Despite new knowledge and the production of vaccines, the future of coronavirus (Covid-19) remains a big unknown.


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