This paper explores the mohallas of Delhi, sub-communities within the city, and asks whether Delhi was pre-partitioning before August 1947. It suggests that the mohalla was a site of political mobilisation that was systematically used by Congress from the Civil Disobedience movement of 1930 onwards. During the early 1940s communal voluntary associations like the Muslim League’s National Guard and the Rashtriya Swayam Sevak Sangh (RSS) attempted to establish representatives and training practices within mohallas. The paper concludes that the mohalla provides a space and a scale at which to view communal violence afresh, as one of the many ‘spaces before partition’ that were reshaping (in) the 1940s.
Legg, S. (2019). A pre-partitioned city? Anti-colonial and communal mohallas in interwar Delhi. South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, 42(1), 170-187. https://doi.org/10.1080/00856401.2019.1554472