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Tuesday, Nov 30, 2021
Outlook.com
opinion

Jekyll And Hyderabad

Magic and poison snuggle into easy cohabitation. Modern Hyderabad is not unfamiliar with growth and hope.

Jekyll And Hyderabad
Illustration by Sorit
Jekyll And Hyderabad
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

The city of pearls, of palaces, the fort city that was once home to the world-famous Koh-i-Noor and nearly two hundred lakes, is still called Hyderabad Deccan by the Indian Railways. This is to distinguish our Hyderabad from another Hyderabad on the planet, Hyderabad Sind. Remembering that Hyderabad sits on the harsh Deccan plateau helps. It lends an altogether different perspective to our understanding of the city. Since it became the seat of power in the Deccan more than four centuries ago, its political and economic fortunes were decided as much by snakes as by ladders. By ups and downs. Snapping at the heels of moments and epochs of glory and fame were episodes of strife and disgrace.

In this city, magic and poison snuggle into easy cohabitation. Modern Hyderabad is not unfamiliar with growth and hope. And not untouched by shame and anxiety. The capital of one of the biggest princely states in pre-independence India, it did not meet the same fate as the capitals of other such states like Mysore, Gwalior etc. It lost its Kannada and Marathi speaking regions, but it did not become the capital of a shrunken province. Indeed, it was fortunate to become the capital of a much larger and prosperous state. It became the beneficiary of enorm­ous investments in the public sector: pha­rma, defence, nuclear, r&d establishments funded by the Centre did not let it face the decline other capitals of native states suffered. The infrastructure and human resources the old public sector economy nurtured paved the way for a massive inflow of new economy investments. Today there’s no prominent corporate of the globalised new economy that is not present in Hyderabad: IBM, Microsoft, Facebook, Google, Infosys, Mahindra Satyam, they are all here. Dozens of engineering colleges, new-age B-schools, the new IIT all prepare thousa­nds of starry-eyed young people for purposeful careers. Hyderabad bub­bles with energy, new confidence and hope.

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