Fewpal
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(a) Why well-off Londoners supported the need to build housing for the poor in the nineteenth century.
(b) Why a number of Bombay films were about the lives of migrants.
(c) What led to the major expansion of Bombay’s population in the mid-nineteenth century?

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(a) Well-off Londoners supported the need to build housing for the poor in the nineteenth century on account of three reasons: one-room houses of the poor came to be seen as the breeding ground of diseases, and hence, a threat to public health; fire hazards became a worry in these over-crowded, badly ventilated, unhygienic homes; lastly, there was a widespread fear of social disorder, especially after the 1917 Russian Revolution. Housing schemes were undertaken to avoid a rebellion by the poor.
(b) Bombay became an attractive destination for people seeking jobs after the British administration replaced Surat with Bombay as its principal western port. The consequent increase in trade and industries led to a great influx of people. Thus, migrants were (and still are) an important facet of Bombay. Most of the people in the film industry were migrants themselves, and wanted to portray the plight of this class of people through films. Thus, a number of Bombay films were about the lives of migrants.

(c) In mid-seventeenth century, Bombay became East India Company’s principal western port, replacing Surat. Later, by the end of the nineteenth century, it had become an important administrative as well as industrial centre. All through these years, the prospects for trade and commerce, and employment kept increasing, thereby making Bombay an attractive destination for migrants.

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