Heike Kluve, M.A. Geographie/Soziologie
Phd.-Project: Communalism and Local Governance – The Indian Metropolis Hyderabad as a Case Study
Hyderabad is a fast growing megacity with dynamic changes. In the context of globalization and urbanization also local governance systems are changing and new areas of conflicts are arising. Communalism can be observed in India for quite a long time, during the British rule, after independence and nowadays. The old city of Hyderabad is one location where communal riots between Hindus and Muslims are taking place. Often due to political and economic interests and advantages political leaders and other actors are taking up minor causes to instrumentalize conflicts in “the name of religion”.
The aim of this thesis is to analyze the impact of globalization and urbanization on communalism and local governance, using the concepts of governance and theories of communalism.
Central research questions are:
1.) Have the framework conditions of communalism and it´s forms of appearance been changed through globalization and urbanization?
2.) Is communalism (the structure of communalism) changing with the changes in the structure of governance?
3.) Can communalism be considered as an action strategy of actors at different levels (e.g. like a “survival strategy” at the level of the affected people)?
Two colonies in the old part of Hyderabad are selected as research locations: Sulthan Shahi, in the center of the old city, considered as a sensitive area. Riots in the old city often starts from here. And Shankar Nagar located at the Northeast border of the old city along the Musi River. It has a traditional center and is growing fast due to migrants from rural areas. In Hyderabad both locations are considered as slums. The population of Hindus and Muslims is nearly equal here. In Sultan Shahi in addition a large number of Dalits are among the inhabitants. As research methods predominantly semi-structured interviews and media / discourse analysis are used.