The Centre for Inter-Disciplinary Studies, Indraprastha College for Women (IPCW); organised a Conference on “Dilli: Perspectives on Delhi” on October 6, 2016. The College hosted speakers with years of experience in the study of various aspects of Delhi. Encompassing issues from Ancient Delhi Architecture to Makeshift Bazaars, the event gave deep insights into the capital city’s cultural understanding.
The first session, with the theme – Delhi’s Cultural Heritage opened with the Delhi Heritage virtuoso, Mr. Sohail Hashmi’s presentation. His address included an in depth historical explanation of Delhi’s architectural and religious culture He also put forth and attempted to break certain myths attached to Islamic architecture. The second speaker, Ms. Fauzia, an expert in Old Delhi Culture; familiarised the audience to ‘Dilli ke lehaze’– the long lost linguistic culture of Old Delhi.
Centered at ‘Equitable Access to Delhi’s Resources’, the second session witnessed speakers Mr. Ashutosh, Spokesperson of AAP and filmmaker Mr. Shaunak Sen presenting some eye-opening realities of the Delhi’s common man. Mr. Ashutosh, in conversation with Ms. Poornima Joshi, political editor, the Hindu; discussed the Delhi Government’s efforts in improving health, education and the bijli-pani concerns of the populace. Filmmaker, Shaunak Sen, on the other hand, presented clips from his documentary, ‘Cities of Sleep’ highlighting the issue of sleep shelters in various parts of Delhi. The screening was followed by a discussion on the issues highlighted.
The post lunch session with the theme –‘The Tragedy of Delhi’s Commons’ had Mr. Manoj Kumar Mishra; who has been working for the cause of reviving River Yamuna for over a decade, present to the audience, the miserable condition of the River through a series of slides. He also pointed out the possible solutions to revive the Lifeline of the city. The next speaker; Dr. Sunil Kumar, Professor at the Department of History, University of Delhi, talked about ‘The Medieval History of Saket region ‘. He also elaborated on the geographical history of the water bodies in the Lashkargah and Quila Rai Pithora area.
Towards the last session of the Conference, speakers Mohammad Sayeed, Ms. Samprati Pani and Mr. William F. Stafford focused on issues that lay close to the common man, ‘Making Space in Delhi: Ethnographic Explorations’. Speaker Mohammad Sayeed threw light on the issue of unauthorized housing and its consequences in particular areas of the city. Ms. Samprati Pani, highlighted the culture of Makeshift Bazaars in Delhi, their modern face and their influence on the life of Delhi commons. As the last speaker of the session, William F. Stafford discussed about the convergence of modes of transportation. He further talked about the common mode of transport, the auto rickshaw, as a symbol to understand public transactions.
The first Conference, from Series 1 of ‘Dilli: Perspectives on Delhi’ came to its close, with a vote of thanks by the College fraternity to the guest Speakers.