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Khanum, Nazia (1982) Aspects of the Urban History, Social, Adminstrative and Institutional of Dacca City, 1921-1947. PhD thesis. SOAS University of London. DOI:

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The thesis focuses on Dacca through a western institution - Dacca Municipality - during 1921 - 1947. Run along authoritarian lines by British District Magistrates from 1864 - 1884, it was taken over by Indians in November 1884 when it acquired its first non-official, Indian and elected chairman. As in other Indian cities, however, it proved difficult to reconcile this over-regulated, semi-democratic body, designed to improve the welfare of the multitude, with the limited aspirations of the Indian elites who sat on it, struggling to preserve their social, political and economic interests. The working of the Municipality also exposed a conflict between the liberal, reforming drive of some individuals and the traditionalism of the majority. Financial constraints, war and communal riots, among other factors, were further impediments on the path of municipal growth. Nevertheless, the Municipality achieved some substantial modernization of Dacca's amenities by installing water-works, electricity and underground sewerage. The first chapter describes the physical city and its people - their occupations and communal distribution. Chapter 2 concentrates on the services provided by Dacca Municipality. Chapter 3 investigates its financial administration, with particular concern for the Municipality's indebtedness and inability to balance its accounts. Chapter 4 looks at the Municipality's politics, which were personalized and often unconnected with civic improvements.

Item Type: Theses (PhD)
SOAS Departments & Centres: SOAS Research Theses > Proquest
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2020 17:20

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