The history of the post-colonial Indian state is marked by a constant dialectic between unity and diversity. The new state was conceived in order to protect and guarantee equality for disadvantaged groups (either by caste, tribe or religion). By reflecting on the dynamics of segregation, marginalisation or total exclusion of specific strata in the metropolis of Ahmedabad, this article analyses spaces of criticality created by politics that made identity and belonging an issue to diversify people's access to citizenship rights and practices. Ahmedabad has been constantly on the forefront of dynamics of transformation on a regional and national scale, and it also was the headquarters of Mohandas Karemchand Gandhii from 1915 to 1930. Here, the Mahatma Gandhi left an important heritage in creating a fertile ground for a harmonic management of tensions and conflicts in the city. Half a century later, however, the same city took centre stage as the vanguard of Hindu fundamentalist movements that promoted a culture of intolerance against religious minorities. The articles analyses the path that leads from Gandhi to Hindu fundamentalism and in order to explore the criticalities of the post-colonial Indian state.