Zubin is a PhD candidate at the University of Maryland, College Park. He was also a Peace scholar (2013-14) at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) and a J.N. Tata Scholar(2006).He holds a Master's degree in Architecture (Design) from the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia and a Bachelor's degree in Architecture from Amravati University, India.
He has worked as a Project Leader, teacher, designer and Architect for organizations in the U.S., India and Australia.
The Ethnic Community: Urban Form, Peace, Conflict, and Violence in Urban India
What causes some cities to have higher levels of ethnic violence than others do? This research explores whether the urban form affects the level of ethnic violence in a city. Contemporary understanding of the physical city, as a determinant of outcomes or even as a target in ethnic violence is very limited. Although ethnic conflict is a prominent global phenomenon, ethnic violence occurs in some narrow lanes and crowded neighborhoods, but not others. In addition, social scientists have focused on the ethnicization of urban spaces, but its effect on levels of ethnic violence is largely unstudied. This research hypothesizes that cities where the urban form is ‘ethnicized’ are more likely to experience violent ethnic conflict than cities where the urban form is largely shared, secular, or multiethnic.
India is a rapidly urbanizing globalized country with much ethnic diversity, features typical of many post-colonial nations in the global Southeast. The study proposes a simultaneous ethnographic, geographic, and spatial comparison of two Indian cities, Surat and Ahmedabad, and the Hindu-Muslim ethnic relations in those cities. Ahmedabad has experienced high levels of Hindu-Muslim violence. In contrast, Surat has been largely peaceful. This disparity is especially interesting since Surat and Ahmedabad are part of the same Indian state with similar linguistic, political, and demographic features. Scholars have compared the two cities before; however, the comparison has not included the urban form as a factor. This research will provide a new framework to study the ethnic urban violence with the urban form.