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Masjids, Monuments and Refugees in the Partition City of Delhi, 1947-1959

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>31/08/2023
<mark>Journal</mark>Urban History
Issue number3
Number of pages18
Pages (from-to)468-485
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date19/01/22
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This article explores refugee occupation in Delhi during the aftermath of the Partition in 1947. The temporary occupation of public buildings and open spaces was integral to the difficult and gradual assimilation of hundreds of thousands of refugees into and through the city. Monuments, shrines, mosques and temples provided temporary shelter for refugees and some remained occupied for years after the Partition. The definition and custody of these buildings speaks of the uncertainty and anxiety produced by violence and displacement in 1947 and 1948. The article considers both the modification of these places by the refugees who lived in them, and the gradual and faltering processes of eviction and the restoration of the buildings. The physical imprints of refugee occupation are a significant part of the city's past; a heritage which both marked a rupture in the city's history and reflects broader mores of urban dynamics.