Why is Delhi Called Mini India?

Delhi Dec 16, 2019

India is often quoted for its diversity of culture and primitiveness of civilization. This epithet draws from the fact that India is an amalgamation of religions, languages, cultures, sects, ideologies and philosophies. It has seen a large number of Kings and Cultures clash over the last 1500 years. During this time it has evolved as a power centre and is currently the administrative capital of India. It will not be a stretch if we call it the cultural capital as well.

Over the years of the formation of Delhi as a city, as a Capital, slow sedimentation of cultures has taken place. Since the invaders of 11th century found a geographical advantage, settled around Delhi and expanded their invasions. This led to Delhi being the hub of military and political activity. Even before them, Rajput Kings used Delhi for a similar vantage. Khiljis, Babur's, Akbar and Aurangzeb all ruled from Delhi attracting representation from other princely states. Thus Marathas, Bengalis, Tamils, Nizams all had a presence in Delhi. The patronage for arts and creative pursuits flourished over the years during the time of peace.

East India company first and later British occupation continued this trend and made Delhi the unofficial Capital even before 1911. In 1911, however, Delhi became the administrative Capital and had continued since then, this has made the representation from other states of India even more official and stronger. Headquarters of ministers, Supreme Court and Parliament all bring people from all the states to Delhi. During Independence, Partition brought a lot of people from the proverbial "other side" of the border, and they have found roots in Delhi over the last 70 years.

Recipes from all over India, clothing, myriad dialects mingling into a language which today is uniquely Delhi, Theatre, Movies, Activism, Intellectual discourses and esoteric practices be it spiritual, religious all of these have mixed into a heady concoction and give the experience of complete India to the travellers who pass by this large cultural elephant of a city.

Trade and Technology also bring a lot of people to Delhi. Delhi is a hub of many trades--spices, clothing, electronics etc. All these also bring people from different regions and create an ambiance of a pluralistic, multi-cultural ambiance to be proud of. A trip around Delhi gives the glimpse of the vast cultural beast India is and pushes one to experience more of this celebration of diversity.

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