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Between eviction and existence : urban restructuring and the politics of poverty in Delhi Routray, Sanjeev Kumar 2014

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     BETWEEN EVICTION AND EXISTENCE: URBAN RESTRUCTURING AND THE POLITICS OF POVERTY IN DELHI   by  SANJEEV KUMAR ROUTRAY      A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF   DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY   in   THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE AND POSTDOCTORAL STUDIES  (Sociology)       THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver)     October 2014  © Sanjeev Kumar Routray, 2014	   ii Abstract    This thesis examines the effect of urban planning on poor migrants in Delhi. The thesis begins by tracing the shift from a “passive revolution” in urban planning to a neo-liberal mode of active planning that accentuates capital accumulation in the city. Subsequent chapters examine how this mode of urban planning creates conditions of “structural violence” through large-scale demolition and resettlement that contribute to increasing impoverishment and social suffering in particular neighbourhoods. Critically deploying Partha Chatterjee’s and Sudipta Kaviraj’s complementary theories of Indian democracy, and drawing on seventeen months of ethnographic and documentary research in three neighbourhoods—a ‘jhuggi jhopri settlement’, a ‘transit camp,’ and a ‘resettlement colony’—as well as interviews with Delhi urban planners, the thesis shows how the poor participate through intermediaries; how they negotiate with the state over various kinds of enumeration and proof documents for eligibility and access to welfare services; and how they deal with the judiciary to stall demolition or obtain resettlement plots. A key finding concerns how the state imagination constructs what can be called ‘numerical citizenship’: a peculiar mode of urban citizenship in which minimum residency tenure determines a migrant’s or community’s ability to procure documents for establishing material claims and political belonging in the city. I discuss examples of how Delhi’s urban poor claim, negotiate, perform, and realize numerical citizenship through a range of practices. Through an analysis of legal negotiations in everyday contexts, the project also explores how the poor navigate the judicial system by rejecting legal and social classifications, building social relationships and alliances, and contesting existing land use and class relations. Lastly, the thesis examines the poor’s cultural idioms and strategies of both peaceful and militant 	   iii resistance to policies that threaten them with eviction or deny them basic services. Here, the activists’ work in marg darshan (path-showing) and chetna badhana (consciousness-raising) is understood to be part of the general rann-niti (game-plan) of the politics of poverty. With a focus on the logic of different modes of political mobilization, the thesis examines how the poor’s political imagination and agency involve participation, negotiation, and resistance to urban planning policies. 	   iv Preface    This thesis is an original piece of work by the author, Sanjeev Kumar Routray. The author has used some of the theoretical and empirical findings of the thesis (discussed in Chapters 1, 3, 4, and 5) in an article titled “The Postcolonial City and its Displaced Poor: Rethinking ‘Political Society’ in Delhi,” accepted to be published in International Journal of Urban and Regional Research. The fieldwork for the project was approved by the Behavioural Research Ethics Board, Office of Research Services, University of British Columbia. The approved certificate number of the ethics board is H09-03355.	   v Table of Contents   Abstract ........................................................................................................................... ii Preface ............................................................................................................................ iv Table of Contents ............................................................................................................ v List of Tables ................................................................................................................. vii List of Abbreviations ................................................................................................... viii Glossary of Hindi Terms ............................................................................................... ix Acknowledgements ....................................................................................................... xii Dedication ...................................................................................................................... xv  Chapter 1: Introduction: From ‘Passive Revolution’ to Capital Accumulation in Urban Planning ........................................................................................................................... 1 PASSIVE REVOLUTION IN URBAN PLANNING:  THE RATIONALE OF MPD-I ................................................................................... 2 RECASTING URBAN PLANNING AS CAPITAL ACCUMULATION:  THE RATIONALE OF MPD-II AND-III ................................................................. 11  REMAKING DELHI AS A ‘WORLD-CLASS’ CITY ............................................. 26 THEORIZING THE POST-COLONIAL CITY OF DELHI ..................................... 32  Chapter 2: Urban Planning and the ‘Structural Violence’ of Demolition and Resettlement: An Ethnography of Three Neighbourhoods in Delhi ........................ 40 PLANNING REGIMES AND SETTLEMENT PATTERNS ................................... 42 GAUTAM NAGAR: FROM EVICTION TO IMPROVISATION ........................... 45 SITAPURI ‘TRANSIT CAMP’: PITTING THE POOR AGAINST  THE MIDDLE CLASSES ......................................................................................... 46 AZAD RESETTLEMENT COLONY: STRUGGLE AND COPING ...................... 48 A METHODOLOGICAL FRAMEWORK FOR STUDYING DISPLACED POPULATIONS ........................................................................................................ 57 PLANNING REGIMES AND THE STRUCTURAL VIOLENCE OF  DEMOLITIONS ........................................................................................................ 63 PLANNING REGIMES AND THE STRUCTURAL VIOLENCE OF  RESETTLEMENT ..................................................................................................... 69  Chapter 3: Pradhan, Samaj Sevak, and Sarkari Karmachari: Intermediaries, Urban Governance, and Politics  ............................................................................................. 80 HETEROGENEITY OF THE CATEGORY “URBAN POOR” ............................... 82 THE FIGURE OF THE INTERMEDIARY .............................................................. 88 THE TECHNIQUES AND TACTICS OF INTERMEDIARIES .............................. 94 THE POLITICS OF EXISTENCE AND SURVIVAL ........................................... 100 PROOF DOCUMENTS AND INTERMEDIARIES  .............................................. 106 THE POLITICS OF BASIC AMENITIES  ............................................................. 109 LIVELIHOOD, ILLEGALITY, AND INTERMEDIARIES  ................................. 114 WOMEN AND INTERMEDIARIES ...................................................................... 116 THE PITFALLS OF MEDIATED POLITICS AND POLITICAL SOCIETY  ...... 119 	   vi Chapter 4: Numerical Citizenship: State Imagination, Proof Documents, and Popular Practices  ...................................................................................................................... 126 STATE IMAGINATION: POLICIES AND ELIGIBILITY ................................... 130 PROCESSES OF ENUMERATION: LEGIBILITY AND LITERACY ................ 133 (COUNTER) TACTICS OF ENUMERATION I: LETTER WRITING  AND OFFICE VISITS ............................................................................................. 143 (COUNTER) TACTICS OF ENUMERATION II: SELF-SURVEYS  AND THE RIGHT TO INFORMATION ................................................................ 149 (COUNTER) TACTICS OF ENUMERATION III: DOCUMENTS  AND THEIR COUNTERFEITS .............................................................................. 155  Chapter 5: Law and Urban Displacements: Everyday Negotiations of the Judicial System  ......................................................................................................................... 160 THE CASE OF SITAPURI TRANSIT CAMP ....................................................... 166 THE ANTAGONISM OF CLASS RELATIONS, THE JUDICIARY,  AND THE POLITICS OF LAND USE ................................................................... 175 THE INTERSECTION OF POLITICS AND LEGAL REGIMES (I) .................... 183 THE CASE OF GAUTAM NAGAR ....................................................................... 191 THE INTERSECTION OF POLITICS AND LEGAL REGIMES (II) ................... 194  Chapter 6: Repertoires of Political Contestation: Strategies of the Urban Poor and Cultural Idioms of Resistance in the City ................................................................ 201 DHARNA, RALLY, FELICITATION: THE POLITICS OF PEACEFUL DEMONSTRATIONS ............................................................................................. 206 JULUS, GHERAO, RASTA ROKO: THE POLITICS OF MILITANT DEMONSTRATIONS ............................................................................................. 216 MARG DARSHAN, CHETNA BADHANA, AND RANN-NITI:  THE POLITICS OF ACTIVISTS ............................................................................ 228 TRUST AND MISTRUST, UNITY AND DISUNITY .......................................... 236  Conclusion: Interrogating Contemporary Urban Governance .............................. 241  References .................................................................................................................... 255  Appendix ...................................................................................................................... 271 APPENDIX A: LIST SUMMARIZING EMPIRICAL SOURCES ........................ 271	   vii List of Tables   Table 1 Comparison of the Primary Features of Delhi’s Three Master Plans ............ 5  Table 2 Resettlement in Delhi .................................................................................. 17	   viii List of Abbreviations   APL Above Poverty Line   BJP Bharatiya Janata Party   BPL Below Poverty Line   BSP Bahujan Samajwadi Party   DDA Delhi Development  Authority   DJB Delhi Jal Board   DSLSA Delhi State Legal Services  Authority   DSS Delhi Shramik Sangathan   DUAC Delhi Urban Arts  Commission   DUSIB Delhi Urban Shelter  Improvement Board   DVB Delhi Vidyut Board  FAA First Appellate Authority   FDI Foreign Direct Investment  GNCTD Government of National  Capital Territory of Delhi  IAS Indian Administrative  Services  INC Indian National Congress   JCM Jan Chetna Manch   JNNURM Jawaharlal Nehru National  Urban Renewal Mission  LRS Lok Raj Sangathan  MCD Municipal Corporation of  Delhi MLA Member of the Legislative  Assembly  MoUD Ministry of Urban  Development   MP Member of Parliament  MPD-I First Master Plan of Delhi  MPD-II Second Master Plan of Delhi  MPD-III Third Master Plan of Delhi  NCRPB National Capital Region  Planning Board  PDS Public Distribution System  PIO Public Information Officer  PWD Public Works Department  RoW Right of Way  RTI Right to Information  RWA Resident Welfare  Association   TCPO Town and Country Planning  Organization   UID Unique Identification  Number	   ix Glossary of Hindi Terms   antim yatra funeral procession  babu state official  baghawat rebellion  bhaag-daud running around  bhagidari partnership  bhai-chara brotherhood  bhajan devotional song  bhangi low-caste person engaged in scavenging work  bhook hartal hunger strike  bijli electricity  charpai woven jute cot  chetna badhana consciousness raising  chinti ant  dada bully  daftar office  dalal tout/broker  dharna peaceful gatherings  dukandari running of shops  galli lane  ghapla wrongdoings  gherao encirclement  haq rights 	   x  hera pheri swindling  jaan pehchaan acquaintance  jagran nighttime prayer meeting  jal water  janata  the people  jhuggi jhopri improvised hutments made up of bricks, bamboo, iron  railings, asbestos, and a variety of other materials  jhuggiwala jhuggi resident  -ji suffix commonly attached to names/titles as a mark of  respect  jugaad fixing  julus marches  kabadda scrap  khaas aadmi special men  kshyamata capability  mahila mandal women’s organization  marg darshan path-showing or guidance  nali-kharanja  drain and brick-road  naya neta new leader  neta leader  pahunch aur pakad reach and hold  pradhan chief  pradhan-giri or neta-giri activities of pradhans or leaders  raja  king 	   xi  rann-niti  game plan or tactics  rasta roko  road blockade  samaj sevak  social worker  samiti committee  sangharsh samiti  struggle committee  sarkar  government  sarkari karmachari  government worker  seva  service  sevak worker  talmel  to be in sync   	   xii Acknowledgements   At the outset I thank my research collaborators, who generously shared their experiences and life stories with me. I have been humbled by their resilience, strength, and courage. I hope the thesis at least reflects my commitment to social justice. I owe an enormous debt to Sasheej Hegde, who introduced me to sociology a decade and a half ago, and who has since advised me in various ways. My parents, Sumitra Routray and Mahesh Routray, have steadfastly supported me all of these years. Bou has provided reassurance on an everyday basis. I am convinced that you can only afford to take your mother for granted. I also thank my brother, Diptendu Routray, for his goodwill and sense of humour. My grandparents, Tulasi Routray and Sankar Routray, passed away while I was writing this thesis, leaving a painful void in my life. They raised me with a tremendous amount of affection.  I have gained immensely from my teachers and mentors at various institutions, especially Dwaipayan Bhattacharyya, Keya Dasgupta, Anjan Ghosh, Gaston Gordillo, Janaki Nair, Anand Pandian, and N. Purendra Prasad. I thank Imrana Qadeer for introducing me to the topic of evictions in Delhi and for providing a direction with which to begin. I have also gained from conversations with Sanghmitra Acharya, Vinay Kamat, Peggy Levitt, and Stacy Pigg on various occasions.   I am fortunate to have friends who have supported me emotionally and intellectually throughout. I thank especially Omlata Bhagat, Karthikeyan Damodaran, Swati Das, Suneetha Eluri, Neelu Kang, Anne Koch, Onur Komurcu, Lulufer Korukmez, Byasa Moharana, Madhurima Nundy, Sandeep Sharma, Gurram Srinivas, and Himanshu Upadhyaya for their affection, support, and encouragement. Ramesh Bairy offered generous comments on the 	   xiii drafts of the chapters with his characteristic humour. I owe gratitude to Sumati Panikkar for her support in various ways. Deeba Moin provided valuable research assistance and Abdur Rahoof helped me collect government documents during my fieldwork. I convey my special thanks to Saravana Raja for his friendship. Our Skype conversations and discussions of various readings provided much motivation during the writing of the thesis.  I thank Satish Deshpande for helping me become affiliated with the Department of Sociology at the Delhi School of Economics during my fieldwork. Ranjana Padhi provided encouragement and valuable suggestions. Birju Nayak was instrumental in helping me select neighbourhoods for my fieldwork. Conversations with grassroots activists of Lok Raj Sangathan, Delhi Shramik Sangathan, Jan Chetna Manch, and Jagori at the field sites proved indispensable in understanding various issues. I have also benefitted from my interactions with planners at various institutions in Delhi. My cousin Snigdha Behera supported me in myriad ways in Delhi.   I acknowledge grants for my research and writing at UBC from the Foundation for Urban and Regional Studies in the UK, ZEIT-Stiftung in Germany, and the International Development Research Centre, the University of British Columbia, and Dr. Hari Sharma Foundation in Canada.  Thanks to Julie Jenkins for her sincere and professional support in copy-editing and formatting the thesis. I thank my friends at UBC, especially Jayasree Basivireddy, Ajay Bhardwaj, Bonar Buffam, Sherrie Dilley, Rohit Mujumdar, Naresh Reddy, Tanvi Sirari, Ana Vivaldi, Rafael Wainer, and Fang Xu for their encouragement. Chinmoy Banerjee, Abi Ghimire, and my comrades at the South Asian Network for Secularism and Democracy (SANSAD) in Vancouver made many stimulating conversations possible. Raj Khadka and 	   xiv Raksha Karki provided a family in Vancouver and assured me that they were just a phone call away during times of distress.   My sincere gratitude to my committee members, Jennifer Chun, John Harriss, Thomas Kemple, and Renisa Mawani, for their support, guidance, and encouragement. My supervisor, Tom Kemple, showed unparalleled commitment to my work during the PhD years. John Harriss’s expertise on India provided a daunting standard for a young researcher like me. Renisa Mawani provided invaluable suggestions and often went out of the way to support me. I derived a tremendous amount of mental strength from her encouragement.  Dharashree provided unflinching support and showed enormous faith in my ability when I had the least. Everyday conversations with her about my research have immeasurably sharpened my analytical skills. For the unconditional love, I dedicate this thesis to her. 	   xv    For Dharashree 	   1 Chapter 1  Introduction: From ‘Passive Revolution’ to Capital Accumulation in Urban Planning   The planning process in Delhi has descended from its original high-modernist zeal to a contemporary obsession with neoliberal market rationality. In this and the following chapter, I examine the politics and effects of planning in various phases, particularly in the last two decades. In the main body of the thesis, I then examine the logic of political mobilization of the poor through processes of participation, negotiations, and resistance to policy-driven interventions. In the current chapter, I provide background to these processes by examining the politics of planning in different periods, deploying a “conjunctural analysis” as advocated by Stuart Hall and Doreen Massey (2010), which examines “the different social, political, economic and ideological contradictions” (57) that shape a particular society. Thus, I argue that while the initial post-independent Nehruvian era1 urban-planning regime represents one conjuncture, the current neo-liberal urban-planning regime that replaced it represents another. I examine the phases of urban planning processes by drawing on planning documents and my own interviews with planning ‘experts.’ In so doing, I examine the state rationales and contradictory ideologies—including modernism, environmentalism, consumerism, and neoliberalism—that underpin the planning discourses that have shaped Delhi since Indian independence, and the consequent history of eviction and resettlement of poor people in the city. 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  1 See Corbridge and Harriss (2001) for an analysis of development planning during the 1950s and early 1960s under the leadership of Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. 	   2 PASSIVE REVOLUTION IN URBAN PLANNING: THE RATIONALE OF MPD-I  After India’s independence in 1947, various planning institutions, including the School of Planning and Architecture, Town and Country Planning Organization (TCPO), and the Institute of Town Planners, India, were either established anew or refashioned and renamed as versions of the older colonial institutions. Nehruvian modernism aimed to train a body of planning experts, technocrats, and bureaucrats in India. Later institutions, including Delhi Urban Arts Commission (DUAC), the National Institute of Urban Affairs, and the National Capital Region Planning Board (NCRPB) were established to manage urban issues in response to the bourgeois preoccupation with planning, technocratic expertise, and bureaucratic rationality in Delhi (see also Kaviraj 1988). The Delhi Development Act (DD Act) came into force in 1957, laying the groundwork for the establishment of the Delhi Development Authority (DDA)—an organization entrusted with planning Delhi in a systematic way (Government of India [1957] 2011).2 The Authority, comprised of technical members and political representatives, was given the power to “acquire, hold, manage, and dispose of land and other property” in the city (ibid., 6). 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  2 The governance structure of Delhi is complex as it is a quasi-state with a multiplicity of governance structures. The Delhi Development Authority, which reports to the urban development ministry of Government of India, is responsible for formulating land-use plans, including the city’s Master Plan. Thus, both subjects of “land” and “law and order” remain within the jurisdiction of the Government of India (Planning Commission 2009, 31). The Municipal Corporation of Delhi carries out civic functions and comes under the jurisdiction of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD)—a quasi-state with its own Assembly and Council of Ministers (Ghosh et al. 2009, 26). Further, the New Delhi Municipal Corporation and Delhi Cantonment are two additional local bodies maintaining two significant areas in Delhi (ibid.). Other parastatal bodies in Delhi provide water (Delhi Jal Board) and mass transit (Delhi Transport Corporation) services (ibid.). The multiplicity of governance structures has caused confusion and blatant indifference, while allowing various agencies to conveniently bypass the issues. 	   3 The DD Act inaugurated a technical impulse to conduct civic surveys, formulate Master Plans, and implement zoning and land-use plans in the city (ibid., 6-7). The act also empowered the DDA to increase public participation in the formulation of Master Plans. In turn, the DDA invited “objections and suggestions from any person with respect to the draft plan” (ibid., 8). However, the formulation of Master Plans remained a centralized activity without full involvement of the public through political representatives. Public participation in the planning process was largely aimed at a presumably literate middle-class, which could understand the technical jargon of the planning authority, while at the time of independence a vast majority of the population remained ‘illiterate,’ even in cities. The central government was entrusted with the task of acquiring and transferring land to the authority through the colonial Land Acquisition Act of 1894 (ibid., 11). In turn, the authority was empowered with near absolute power to develop plans and monitor contravention in the city (ibid., 15).  The first Master Plan inaugurated what can be called a ‘passive revolution’ in urban planning. In subsequent Master Plans, the planning process has aimed at capital accumulation in the city. As I discuss in this chapter, the planning process has moved away from the redistribution of urban resources to a focus on capital accumulation, thereby exacerbating unequal class relations over the years. In tracing the evolution of urban planning in the first period, I draw on Sudipta Kaviraj’s theory of the political economy of Indian planning machinery. In his seminal essay titled “A Critique of the Passive Revolution,” Kaviraj (1988) argues that the state has become bourgeois as it leverages the capitalist class by imposing capitalist planning in India (2430). In this sense, the proliferation of planning institutions has been rendered compatible with bourgeois developmental perspectives in India (ibid.). As Kaviraj argues, “Those directive functions that capital cannot 	   4 perform through the market … the bourgeois state performs through the legitimized directive mechanisms of the state” (ibid.). Further, he argues, “The Indian capitalist class exercises its control over society neither through a form of moral-cultural hegemony of the Gramscian type, nor a simple coercive strategy on the lines of satellite states of the third world. It does so by a coalition strategy carried out partly through the state-directed process of economic growth, partly through the allocational necessities indicated by the bourgeois democratic political system” (ibid.). In this respect, Kaviraj identifies three social groups that constitute the ruling bloc in India—namely, the bourgeoisie, the landed elites, and the bureaucratic managerial elite (ibid., 2431). In Kaviraj’s schema, the bureaucratic managerial elite, which carries out the mediating role between other classes and the ruling block, is “culturally and ideologically affiliated … to the bourgeois order” (ibid.). Thus, the bureaucratic managerial elite provides “the theory and the institutional drive for bourgeois rule” in India (ibid.). There is a great deal of merit in Kaviraj’s arguments if we look at the policies, plans, and schemes of the state and the interests they have subserved historically. In this regard, we can highlight three distinctive urban planning designs and formats and their underpinning class interests (see table 1).  	   5 TABLE 1. Comparison of the Primary Features of Delhi’s Three Master Plans Master Plan 1 (1962) Master Plan 2 (1990) Master Plan 3 (2007)a  1. Comprehensive plan considering social, economic, and governmental factors. 2. Recognition of housing shortage and consequent overcrowding. 3. Large-scale clearance of crowded areas deemed unviable due to financial constraints on government and the poor. 4. Rural migrants allowed to build cheap houses on earmarked sites. 5. Lack of developed land results in unauthorized construction in the city. Acquisition of land to provide for housing and other facilities. 6. Public ownership of land. Leasing land to private individuals and cooperative societies. Integration of housing and employment options. Emphasis on avoiding stratification based on income. 7. Delhi divided into eight zones. Land use according to zonal regulations. 8. Development of riverfront, Ridge, and a green belt around the urbanizable 1981 limit. 9. Relocation of non-conforming large and nuisance causing industries. Proposed multistoried buildings to accommodate small industries.   1. Migration control and restrictive legal and fiscal policy on employment. 2. National Capital Region Planning Board (NCRPB) established to monitor regional development and population dispersal. 3. Conservation and restoration of historical buildings and heritage. 4. Focus on visual quality and integration, city personality, and urban design. 5. Emphasis on transportation and communication systems, convention and exhibition centers, shopping arcades, and amusement parks.  6. Envisioned public-private partnerships and the role of NGOs in service delivery. 7. Delhi split into fifteen zones. Three tiers of planning formulated in Master Plan, Zonal Plans, and Layout plans. 8. Development of Yamuna riverfront along the lines of Thames in London and Seine in Paris. Proposal for an amusement park like Disneyland along Yamuna River.  9. Small-scale non-nuisance and clean industrial development. Heavy, large, hazardous and noxious industrial units to be relocated out of Delhi.  1. Aim to make Delhi a global metropolis and a ‘world class’ city. 2. Private sector involvement in land development. Focus on sustainable development, public-private partnerships, and community participation.  3. Focus on redevelopment and densification of the areas. 4. Zoning and participatory planning at local level. 5. Restructuring the city through mass transport, expressways, elevated roads, arterial roads, distributor roads, and relief roads. 6. In-situ slum rehabilitation and involvement of private sector. Regularization of unauthorized colonies. 7. Delhi divided into fifteen zones. Land use according to zonal regulations. 8. Conservation of Ridge, rejuvenation of River Yamuna. Provisioning of 15-20 percent of land for recreation or as lung space. 9. Restriction of employment in industrial and distributive trades. Relocation of industries. Emphasis on pollution- and nuisance-free high-tech industry. 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  a The third Master Plan was approved and notified on February 7, 2007. It was published by the Delhi Development Authority in 2010. 	   6  The Delhi Development Authority prepared and released the first Master Plan of Delhi (MPD-I) in 1962 with the support of the Ford Foundation. MPD-I was imbued with modernist ideals that planned the city for an estimated five million people in 1981 (DDA 1962). The MPD-I, which carried a legal sanction, also envisioned the planning of roads, bridges, and a Ring Railway, as well as offices, shopping centers, and various institutions (ibid., 5). The plan proposed large-scale land acquisition and public ownership. It aimed for a holistic linking of social, economic, and governmental factors and recognized the need for adequate housing to avoid overcrowding and unsanitary conditions in the city (ibid.). While the plan proposed a mixed policy promoting public goals and private interests, the public ownership of land meant that the government had complete control of “slum clearance, redevelopment and subsidized housing and provision of community facilities” (ibid., 7). Large-scale clearance and demolition was seen to be unfeasible, though the plan proposed decongestion and the management of population density in the neighbourhoods. The planning framework still operated within the Gedessian logic of improvement and transformation.3 Apart from the technical exercises, this planning mechanism inspired by American liberal thought also aimed at socio-psychological changes in order to transform the people of Delhi into ‘better’ urban citizens (Hull 2010). The strategy of improving slums4 as opposed to demolition and redevelopment was seen as a better alternative due to “the financial burden on public bodies, low rent paying 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  3 Patrick Geddes was instrumental in drawing up plans for many cities in pre-independent India (see Priya 1993, 833; Gooptu 2001; Khan 2011). Khan (2011) analyzes the Gedessian apolitical and utilitarian logic of cooperative evolution of humans, non-humans, and cities. Similarly, Gooptu (2001) analyzes Geddes’ rejection of eugenicist policy and emphasis on character building and transformation of society (78). 4 The word ‘slum’ is discredited because of its pejorative connotations (Gilbert 2007). However, in Delhi’s planning parlance, ‘slum’ is defined as an area “unfit for human 	   7 capacity of slum dwellers, and for keeping slum dwellers near the place of their work” (DDA 1962, 26). However, the plan developed schemes to relocate “busti squatters”5 to suitable areas not far from major work centres (ibid., 27). At one point the plan endorsed the provisioning of lower income housing on account of what it called “the relentless push from the rural areas” by earmarking suitable sites for the poor to build cheap houses in the city (ibid.). On the one hand, the plan called for adherence to strict zoning regulations by proposing relocation of “noxious and nuisance industries and fire hazard trades” (ibid.). On the other, it recommended relaxing building by-laws “to enable the construction of low cost cheap houses or huts” (ibid.). MPD-I revised the colonial segregationist policies by stressing that “zoning regulations are not to be used for nuisance control nor can they be used to accomplish any kind of human segregation like excluding certain communities, or income groups from certain areas” (ibid., 44). The plan defended the relocation of non-conforming industries, though it emphasized the need for a “minimum amount of dislocation” and for addressing workers’ hardships (ibid., 46). In other words, it stressed that “physical plans should avoid stratification on income or occupation basis” (ibid., ii). MPD-I proposed to reserve 5 percent of housing for low-income service providers, including gardeners, domestic workers, and janitors (DDA 1962, 72). More importantly, it 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  habitation.” Slums are notified according to the Slum Improvement and Clearance Areas Act of 1956. Therefore slums are legal in status and eligible to receive a range of services. Jhuggi Jhopri settlements (see below) are seen as ‘illegal’ encroachments on public and private land. (See Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board [hereafter DUSIB] 2014a). 5 Busti and Jhuggi are interchangeably used in state parlance. They are precarious and improvised hutments made up of bricks, bamboos, iron railings, asbestos, and a variety of other materials. Terminology assigned to settlements inhabited by the poor is often derogatory and politically loaded. Nevertheless, I retain the state designated terms—such as jhuggi jhopri, transit camps, and resettlement colonies—to illustrate ambiguities in planning discourse and distinct modalities of struggles in order to avoid confusion. (See DUSIB 2010). 	   8 proposed integrating low-income groups within different neighbourhoods and the provision of community facilities (ibid.). It recognized the need to accommodate around 100,000 construction workers who migrated into the city after partition and independence (ibid., 73). MPD-I argued for periodic revisions based on rational scientific studies and connected urban planning with the welfare activities under the five-year plans of the government (ibid., 39). Its modernist ideals justifying adherence to land use and zoning stressed the need to “promote public health, safety, and the general moral and social welfare of the community” (ibid., 44). Thus, the first Master Plan in theory proposed gradual transformation of the cityscape and aimed at accommodating the poor through its reformist agenda. Despite these measures, the plan did not envision a reordering of the city by carrying out land reforms favouring the poor. It merely reserved a total of 5 percent of housing units for the service class. Rather, in the planner’s vision the city predominantly remained a set of open spaces, green ‘lungs’ like Delhi Ridge, aesthetically pleasing architecture and offices, roads, bridges, and other conveniences. Nevertheless, planners recognized the need for social housing, mixed land use, and integration of the poor in the city. Just as Kaviraj (1988) argues that the state struggled even to carry out passive revolution in India (2441), we can also say that Delhi’s passive revolution in urban planning is largely marked by failure. In fact, the history of urban planning in Delhi in the first phase includes incidences of slum clearance and the demolition of ‘squatter’ settlements. Girish Misra and Rakesh Gupta’s (1981) study of resettlement policies in Delhi shows that 57,368 ‘squatter’ families were resettled in eighteen resettlement colonies prior to the Emergency period (6).6 The 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  6 Indira Gandhi declared an Emergency on June 25, 1975, under Article 352 of the constitution. After two years of excessive abuse of power, the newly constituted Central Government notified the appointment of a Commission of Enquiry on May 28, 1977. The 	   9 study also shows that around 141,820 families were resettled in sixteen resettlement colonies during the Emergency period between 1975 and 1976 (ibid.). Drawing on a study by the Town and Country Planning Organization (TCPO), Misra and Gupta argue that “29 percent of the land occupied by the ‘squatter’ settlements was meant for residential uses as per the records of the Master Plan” (ibid., 26). They go on to argue that the resettlements in far-flung areas were carried out not because of the scarcity of land but due to an elitist approach to the housing problem (ibid., 8). Thus, contrary to the specifications of MPD-I, the poor were banished to inhabitable land outside the limits of the city (ibid., 27). As Priya (1993) notes, reviewing the first Master Plan, the TCPO noted the increase in housing deficits, slow progress in low-income housing, and substandard community facilities and housing in slum areas (827). Evaluating the implementation of plans, the TCPO also remarked that the plans in practice emphasized higher-income housing and beautification drives in Delhi (ibid.). Priya, discussing the TCPO report, notes that the lands cleared from the heart of the city were used for developing “parks and picnic spots specially around historic monuments, commercial centers, and some for residential areas” (ibid.). The declaration of Emergency sped up demolitions all over the city. Indira Gandhi assumed authoritarian power while her son, Sanjay Gandhi, became what a former municipal commissioner called the “de facto ruler of the Municipal Corporation” of Delhi (Shah Commission 1978b, 79). The conjuncture of the Emergency, accompanied by a contradictory culture of sycophancy, dictatorial impulse, and populism represented an absolute form of authoritarian rule. Drawing on Bourdieu (1991, 209), we can argue that those executing the 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  Commission of Enquiry, also known as the Shah Commission, published three reports on the “abuse of authority, excesses and malpractices committed and action taken or purported to be taken in the wake of the Emergency” (Shah Commission 1978a, 1). 	   10 Emergency consecrated themselves as de facto rulers in ways that even challenged the legitimate symbolic order of the ruling regime. As the Shah Commission (1978b) report noted, “The general policy of caution and concern for the people affected by demolitions gave place to a measure of reckless speed in cleaning and clearing up the areas” during the Emergency period (77). To give an illustration, around 1,800 structures were demolished between 1973 and 1975 prior to the declaration of Emergency (ibid., 78). After the proclamation of Emergency, some 150,105 structures were demolished between 1975 and 1977 (ibid.). Thus, during the Emergency the Master Plan specifications were violated with impunity and without adhering to the basic protocols of rehabilitation.  Subhadra Joshi, the chairperson of the Minorities Department of the All India Congress Committee, in her poignant letters to the prime minister, pointed out the human suffering brought about by the lack of rehabilitation, the cutting off of the water supply to slum localities, the removal of rickshaws from the bazaar areas, and the general unsanitary conditions during the period of Emergency (Shah Commission 1978b, 79-80). Joshi wrote to the prime minister that there was a lack of “human touch” and insinuated that Sanjay Gandhi was controlling the entire thing (ibid., 80). Muslim neighbourhoods like Jama Masjid and Turkman Gate were especially targeted for demolitions (ibid., 81). In her letter, Joshi argued that, upon learning about the Muslim neighbourhoods, the Hindu policemen acted with brutality towards the residents (ibid.). Joshi also maintained that many poor residents fled back to their villages (ibid.) due to the demolitions and the coercive character of family planning programs. The report noted that “Jagmohan’s [vice chairman of the DDA during the Emergency] pet phrase was that no second Pakistan could be permitted to exist” during the 	   11 period (ibid., 82). Various depositions and testimonies to the commission confirm that the implementation of these schemes violated the Master Plan’s land-use specifications (ibid., 83).  In this way, demolitions continued unabated during the attempted passive revolution in urban planning while the living and environmental conditions of low-income neighbourhoods remained dismal. The plot sizes offered were progressively reduced from eighty square yards in the 1960s to twenty-five square yards during the Emergency period (Priya 1993, 827). Evaluating the environmental conditions and provisioning of basic amenities in resettlement colonies, Priya has called these neighbourhoods “planned slums” (ibid., 828). Similarly, Misra and Gupta’s (1981) study brought to light the harsh conditions in the resettlement colonies. Drawing on their research and quoting a newspaper article, Misra and Gupta dubbed the resettlement colonies “real monuments of misery” (quoted in ibid., 5). Thus, a constant process of eviction and resettlement in the outskirts of the city without adequate basic amenities came to define the larger housing policy of the state. The second Master Plan, which came into effect in 1990, noted a shortage of 300,000 housing units in the city (DDA [1990] 1996, 5).  RECASTING URBAN PLANNING AS CAPITAL ACCUMULATION: THE RATIONALE OF MPD-II AND -III   Where MPD-I inaugurated a revision of the colonial policies of segregation by assuring social housing in mixed neighbourhoods, the second Master Plan (MPD-II) reversed these initial measures by making way for the increasing participation of the private sector. MPD-II was formulated according to Rajiv Gandhi’s policies for downsizing state investments in the social sector. The period was marked by the growth and assertion of the 	   12 middle class in India (Corbridge and Harriss 2001). The second Master Plan was framed in order to enhance spaces of leisure for the more well-off members of the middle and upper classes. Whereas MPD-I recognized the inability of the urban poor to build houses, MPD-II stressed systematic monitoring of unauthorized colonies,7 squatter settlements, and the informal sector (DDA [1990] 1996, ii). MPD-II envisioned the dispersal of the city’s population, thereby propounding regional development of the metropolitan area by restructuring settlement patterns and transport networks (ibid., iii). The plan emphasized beautification measures, pollution control, city aesthetics, the development of riverfront and recreational areas, and the visual integration of the city. The core principles at the heart of urban design were intended to accentuate “road geometrics, landscaping, street furniture,” and the removal of ‘unsightly’ structures (ibid., 39). The plan envisioned the development of the Yamuna riverfront along the lines of the Thames in London and the Seine in Paris to provide limitless ecological improvements and recreational opportunities (ibid., 4-5). It also envisioned the conservation of urban heritage, the decentralization of city centers, and a multi-model mass transport system. According to MPD-II, “A city is an assemblage of buildings and streets, system of communication and utilities, places of work, transportation, leisure and meeting places. The process of arranging these elements both functionally and beautifully is the essence of urban design” (ibid., 38). This narrow technical and aesthetic definition did not take into account the lived realities of all the city’s inhabitants, however. 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  7 Unauthorized colonies have been developed on private land, often violating planning protocols (see Lemanksi and Lama-Rewal 2013). In contrast, the authorized colonies have supposedly been developed on land earmarked by Master Plan and zoning regulations.  	   13 One of the integral ideas of the plan was “aspirational” planning to develop a distinct city personality. On the one hand, MPD-II accepted a shortage of 300,000- 350,000 housing units (DDA [1990] 1996, 5 and 122) by clearly recognizing the failure of the planning machinery to provide adequate housing in the city. On the other, the plan endorsed neo-liberal diktats by emphasizing public-private partnerships (PPP) and the role of NGOs in delivering services in the city. MPD-II also laid out a blueprint to relocate “noxious and hazardous industrial units” outside of Delhi (ibid., 10).  Following this logic, the Supreme Court of India, between July 8 and December 19, 1996, called in six different orders for the closure of 1,328 industrial units in Delhi (for details see NCRPB 2005, 58). Further, in its 2004 judgment, the Supreme Court ordered the relocation of all non-conforming industrial units that had been established in the city after August 1, 1990 (ibid., 59). Baviskar (2003) argues that the “bourgeois environmentalism” underpinning this logic threatened around two million workers in 98,000 industrial units in Delhi (90). Scholars, trade union activists, and grassroots movements have already documented the magnitude of industrial displacement and the plight of the workers rendered jobless after these verdicts (Roy 2000; Nigam 2001; Baviskar 2003; Padhi 2007). While the planning machinery was relatively tolerant of jhuggi settlements after the Emergency, after 1990 this tolerance was replaced with a drive to demolish such neighbourhoods. There is a great deal of overlap and continuity between MPD-II (1990) and the third Master Plan (MPD-III), which was introduced in 2007. In short, the foundational assumptions underpinning the first Master Plan to provide a blueprint for equitable urban development were challenged by the ideologies guiding subsequent planning processes in the city. These ideologies subvert the supposedly participatory and democratic nature of the 	   14 planning process. The provision allowing statements of objection and suggestions at the drafting stage of the plan continues to be a mere formality.  MPD-III unequivocally envisioned making “Delhi a global metropolis and a world-class city” (DDA [2007] 2010, 2). It abandoned the principle of urban development as a “public sector led process” that was enshrined in MPD-I by aligning with the economic reforms launched since the early 1990s (ibid., 3). The plan emphasized involvement of the private sector “in the assembly and development of land and provision of infrastructure services” (ibid.). It set out to tackle jhuggi settlements and authorized colonies by “redevelopment and densification of the existing urban areas” (ibid.). MPD-III thus made a case for housing by in-situ rehabilitation and mandatory provisions for the economically weaker sections, and by proposing to reserve 50 to 55 percent of the total housing for the poor (ibid., 6). In fact, MPD-III recognized a backlog of 400,000 dwelling units and admitted that the housing needs are largely met through the non-institutional sources in informal settlements in the city (ibid., 31). As a planning document notes, 64.5 percent of people have managed accommodation in jhuggis, slum-designated areas, and unauthorized colonies (Planning Commission 2009, 33). Another 11.9 percent of the population continues to reside in rural and urban villages without many civic amenities (ibid.). In fact, brutal demolitions without resettlement continue across the city despite the proposed new schemes for the poor. In other words, despite making provisions for housing the poor in the city, unabated demolitions call into question the legitimacy of the Master Plan as a legal document.  MPD-III proposed the removal of “unnecessary controls (like height)” and the promotion of “‘signature’ projects” (DDA [2007] 2010, 6). The plan envisions increasing surveillance of the poor through remote sensing and Geographic Information system (GIS) 	   15 technologies to control ‘unauthorized’ development and ‘encroachments,’ and the protection of green spaces in the city (ibid., 192). As Planner DS of the DDA put it: “The inventorization [sic] of land is not proper in Delhi. We established the GIS unit only recently. This will help us build a database of land parcels and better monitor encroachments.”8 In fact the land management department of the DDA has recently taken active steps to improve surveillance using GIS mapping. Moreover, the ominous aim “to make Delhi slum free within a time frame” (DDA [2007] 2010, 210) begs some urgent questions. As past experience shows, this objective necessarily means large-scale demolition and eviction of the poor out of the city. In 2010, the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) estimated there to be around 685 jhuggi settlements in Delhi. The settlements accommodate approximately 2,500,000 people in 419,887 individual jhuggis (DUSIB 2010). In 2014, it is estimated that approximately 701 identified jhuggi settlements exist in Delhi (DUSIB 2014b).  MPD-III developed a three-pronged strategy for jhuggi jhopri settlements: a) the demolition and relocation of settlements if the land is required for ‘public purposes’; b) in-situ upgrading according to specific parameters; and c) environmental upgrading to assure minimum basic services as an interim measure (DDA [2007] 2010, 37). The in-situ upgrading scheme envisioned providing to the poor 10 to 12.5 square metre plots by redistributing and realigning existing jhuggis along with basic amenities in the neighbourhoods. In-situ upgrading of a jhuggi cluster is carried out only if the land-owning agency provides a ‘No Objection Certificate’ (NOC) (DUSIB 2014a). In-situ upgrading schemes are definitely preferable to brutal demolitions and resettlements; however, only 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  8 I have paraphrased the experts’ comments when they spoke in both Hindi and English. Further details about interviews with ‘experts’ are discussed in Chapter 2. 	   16 about 5,583 families were covered under this scheme until 2010 (DUSIB 2010, 176). Further, as Roy (2005) notes, these upgrading schemes necessarily entail “aesthetic upgrading” without bringing about substantial changes in the livelihood and political capacity of the poor (150). The policy of Environmental Improvement in Urban Slums aims to improve the living standards in the jhuggi jhopri clusters in the city. Yet, only a preliminary survey of these settlements can convince anyone about the dismal environmental conditions of these neighbourhoods.  Since 1990, resettlement policy has targeted ‘eligible’ populations with proof documents from 1990 and 1998 for relocation onto plots measuring eighteen and 12.5 square metres respectively in the outskirts of the city. As the number and size of plots offered have been progressively reduced from earlier periods, resettlement colonies have come up in far off areas, including Dwarka, Rohini, Narela, Bawana, Holumbi Kalan, Bhalswa, Molar Band, and Madanpur Khaddar (DUSIB 2010, 175). Further, as Bhan and Shivanand (2013) note, resettlement colonies like Bawana, Bhalswa, Bakkarwala, and Savda Ghevra have been established outside the urban boundaries demarcated by MPD-III (59).   	   17 TABLE 2. Resettlement in Delhia  Year Number of Resettled Familiesb  1960-85  240,000 1985-90c --- 1990-91 1,570 1991-92 356 1992-93 1,078 1993-94 216 1994-95 839 1995-96 2,353 1996-97 705 1997-98 2,412 1998-99 2,590 1999-2000 4,220 2000-2001 11,045 2001-2002 13,028 2002-2003 6,984 2003-2004 3,811 2004-2005 1,753 2005-2007 11,624 2007-2009  211  Total (1990-2009) 64,795 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  a Sources: Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB), 2011, Delhi Resettlement Data, November 23, response to Right to Information (RTI) application (R-3253/Dir/Rehabilitation) by author; DUSIB 2014a. b Total annual counts of resettled families include some errors. It is not clear, however, whether officials failed to note each and every demolished jhuggi, or if they committed calculation errors. Nevertheless, these numbers give an approximate official figure. c The focus was on improvement rather than eviction during this period. Data on evictions carried out during this phase are unavailable.  While the magnitude of eviction has been enormous in the recent past, the rate of resettlement has declined significantly. As shown in table 2, between 1960 and 1985, approximately 240,000 families received resettlement plots. In contrast, only about 64,795 families had been resettled up to 2009 despite large-scale demolitions since 1990. Bhan and Shivanand (2013) and Dupont (2011, 546), who also argue about the unreliability of eviction data, have cited similar figures. As shown in table 2, the response to a Right to Information 	   18 application in 2011 for my dissertation research did not provide details of demolitions between 2009 and 2011.9 Further, unidentified jhuggi settlements, or settlements where demolitions happened without any resettlement, are clearly not documented. The state recognizes or identifies a settlement only if it has fifty households, thereby excluding the significant number of settlements with fewer than fifty households (DUSIB 2010, 17). Recently it was estimated that only 20 to 30 percent of the evicted population was deemed ‘eligible’ for resettlement among a group of settlements earmarked for compensation (DUSIB 2010, 8-9). Similarly, Bhan (2009) argues that only about 25 percent of the evicted population is deemed eligible for resettlement (128). In a recent article, Bhan and Shivanand (2013) put the figure at an average of 52 percent in the best possible scenario (57). If we take an average of 25 percent, then only about one-fourth of the evicted populations have received resettlement plots in Delhi. This figure suggests a staggering estimate of 259,180 families evicted (out of which only 64,795 families have received resettlements plots as argued above) between 1990-2009. In other words, approximately 1,295,900 people have been evicted if we assume an average of five members per family. Thus, the recent housing policy has led to the eviction in the city of approximately 1.3 million people over a period of nineteen years.  Further, the number of families eligible for resettlement may not tally with the number of actually resettled families. The Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) figures indicate the number of ‘eligible’ families, or at best the families that were issued resettlement slips. However, the actual possession of plots is dependent on availability in the resettlement colonies and the financial ability of the beneficiary to pay resettlement fees of 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  9 In fact, the list did not even mention that Gautam Nagar—one of the sites where I conducted ethnographic research—was demolished in early 2009.  	   19 5,000 rupees (approximately US$110) for 12.5 square-metre plots or 7,000 rupees (approximately US$155) for eighteen square-metre plots10. In other words, based on my own field observation, I argue that that resettlement plots are not always available, and many or some families cannot afford the deposit.  MPD-III proposed demolition only if the land required was for public purposes. However, “public purpose” has been defined in a contentious way. Dupont (2008) observes that while many demolished sites remained vacant for years after eviction, demolitions contributed to the formation of new jhuggi settlements and the densification of the existing ones (85). After surveying demolished sites, Bhan and Shivanand (2013) note that the “four primary uses are vacant land, road and related infrastructure, parks and playgrounds, and government infrastructure” (57). They note that 25 percent of the demolished sites remained vacant or unused after eviction (ibid.). In other words, as Bhan and Shivanand argue, it is clearly a futile exercise on the part of the state to clear and vacate sites productively used by the poor in the city (ibid.). These are striking findings, as the idea of ‘public purpose’ largely appears to be an excuse for further intolerant policies for clearing spaces that are seen to be incongruent in a “world class city” (see also Ghertner 2008, 66). In fact, the ideology underpinning the definition of ‘public purpose’ in this context exposes the presumption of “disinterested knowledge” in the production of space (Lefebvre 1991, 9). Dupont’s and Bhan and Shivanand’s meticulous survey of land use in demolished sites may not establish a direct relationship between demolition and the conversion of sites for commercial purposes or capital accumulation. However, vacant lots, road infrastructure, and green areas produce spaces of leisure and facilitate the accumulation of capital in the city. In other words, the 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  10 Currency conversions are based on the exchange rate of US$1 = 45 Indian Rupees prevalent at the time of fieldwork, 2010-11. 	   20 attractiveness of spaces can be directly connected up with the setting up of hotels, shopping malls, and offices for service sector industries.  Resettlement produces horrendous consequences for the poor, as I discuss in Chapter 2, but the experience of the people evicted without resettlement is even worse. Further, the process of resettlement raises critical questions around eligibility and misappropriation of the plots. As Planner SR (DUSIB) remarked to me, the Survey, Upgradation [sic], Relocation (SUR) section of the DUSIB conducts surveys at the request of the land owning agency: “We collect data about the households with the staff of the landowning agency. The analytical report based on our survey guides the implementation of the policies of relocation and in-situ upgradation [sic]. During surveys, difficulties arise when the jhuggis are being rented, locked, or occupied by the relatives of the residents. We need to exercise responsibility during surveys.”  Planners BH and MS (DUSIB) note that the Slum and JJ Department11 has relocated jhuggi clusters before: “There was a lot of hera pheri (swindling). The Central Bureau of Investigation seized the papers related to misappropriation of plots during relocation. You must have heard about the Malhotra scam [Malhotra was accused of purchasing thousands of resettlement plots]. Some government officials and land mafia people were also involved. The poor misuse the policy. We should not provide them houses or plots; we should provide them rooms on a rental basis.” The distinction implied here between ‘eligible’ and ‘ineligible’ residents creates an atmosphere of desperation. Instead, the planners resort to 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  11 Relocations used to be carried out by the Slum and JJ Department of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD). The Slum and JJ Department has also been part of the DDA at various points of time, giving rise to confusion about the nodal agency responsible for relocation work. However, since 2010, the Slum and JJ Department has been with the Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB). DUSIB was established by an act of the Legislative Assembly of the National Capital Territory of Delhi in 2010 (DUSIB 2014c). 	   21 victim-blaming in the absence of adequate housing provisions in the city. The challenge of identifying ‘eligible’ residents creates a space for discretion among planners and the perception of arbitrariness from the perspective of residents. The misappropriation of plots and the influence of state officials and land mafia in manipulating the poor are recurring risks inherent in the implementation of this program. Further, as discussed above, the plots exchange hands and a few people are able to secure multiple plots with the active connivance of a range of agents. Sometimes the poor sell off their allotment documents to dalals (touts), as they lack the financial ability to build houses in the colonies. Therefore, the number of actual beneficiaries is fraught with uncertainty. Often the demolitions happen without any notice and with the use of force. Usually, there are no records available of these demolitions.  As Activist R of Delhi Shramik Sangathan (DSS) told me: “The resettlement policies are not followed, surveys are not conducted, and procedures are not abided by during demolitions. To give you examples, we [the activists] had to intervene in R.K. Puram in March 2011, as the jhuggis were targeted for demolition to construct a drain without following any procedure. Similarly, in Karolbagh, the Gayatri colony was demolished using force.”  Today, the focus has shifted to private sector and corporate social responsibility with respect to providing housing for the poor. As Planner M (DDA) notes:  The poor do not have a dignified life in jhuggis or resettlement colonies. These neighbourhoods are filthy spaces harboring criminal activities. We have followed the British policy of segregation. There are stark differences between the neighbourhoods of the rich and the poor. Our past policy of mixed land use has failed in the city. In the future the state and the private sector should be able to build and rent out housing units to the poor. We must also work on corporate social responsibility. We can have a rigorous rent recovery system to make the planning process effective.  	   22 Likewise, ideas around corporate social responsibility and rent recovery system also challenge ownership claims and housing entitlements among the poor. On the one hand, urban design is deployed to clear encroachments and filth in the city. On the other, it is represented as a dignity-restoring tool, which is expected to inculcate a renewed civic ethos among the poor. The recent policy envisions abandoning the provision of plots in resettlement colonies (DDA [2007] 2010, 37). Instead, the policy advocates the provision of flats measuring twenty-five square metres with common areas and through the active involvement of the private sector. In turn, private builders could lease out land for commercial use in premises constructed under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM) program (ibid., 37-38). JNNURM, the flagship program that has aimed at overhauling cities in India, aims at governance reforms and investments in infrastructure development, notably in public transport and basic services (DUSIB 2010). The Delhi government initiated the Rajiv Awas Yojana scheme under JNNURM in 2008 to provide housing to the poor in the city. The idea is to extend property rights and include the poor within what has been called a “formal system” (DUSIB 2010) that is in the domain of state regulation. As Roy (2005) argues, these policy prescriptions, which constitute a euphemism for capital accumulation, align with Hernando De Soto’s call for asset building, self-help, and the legalization of settlements for the poor (148). The involvement of the private sector in housing for the poor raises critical questions around accumulation strategies, affordability, transparency, and the viability of high-rise buildings for housing poor people. The effectiveness of subsidizing housing for the poor by leasing out land or plots for commercial purposes and housing for the middle class needs to be examined once the projects come into fruition. Housing activists have already voiced concerns about 	   23 the unequal exchanges, appropriation, unbridled profits, and viability of these schemes. Drawing on the arguments of Comaroff and Comaroff (2000), we can argue that these capitalist housing policies project an image of messianic, salvific, and magical transformation (293). In the recent past, planners have actively negotiated with various private sector agencies to provide housing for the poor, though the pace of implementing such schemes has been slow. Thus, while DUSIB estimated approximately 420,000 jhuggi households in 2010, it has envisioned building merely 7,000 housing units as part of the Rajiv Awas Yojana (DUSIB 2010, 126).12 Further, DUSIB officials note that they encounter problems related to the availability of land, identification of beneficiaries, and court litigations to implement the Rajiv Awas Yojana (DUSIB 2010). As a result, the problem of eligibility and identification remains, even during the implementation of the new policies. Planner PR (DDA, Vikas Sadan) notes that there are two types of jhuggi clusters: identified clusters and non-identified clusters. “The Delhi government identifies the jhuggi clusters and provides services. If the land owning agency requires the land for ‘public purposes,’ we take the help of the police commissioner to demolish the cluster. Now we are planning for in-situ rehabilitation under the PPP (Public-Private Partnership) model. But it is a big challenge to identify eligible residents. There was a big scam. Malhotra alone had purchased 5,500 plots, most of which were in the resettlement colonies.”  Apart from stringent eligibility requirements, the scheme also requires that the annual income of the family of the beneficiary must not exceed a mere 60,000 rupees (US$1,333). DUSIB has identified around 46 jhuggi clusters that need to be covered in the first phase. It noted that approximately 20 to 30 percent of the residents were eligible to receive flats of 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  12 A figure of 7,900 is also noted on the DUSIB website (see DUSIB 2014a). 	   24 twenty-five square metres carpet area as part of the scheme (DUSIB 2010). The flats are priced at approximately 396,000 rupees (US$8,800) and the beneficiary is expected to pay 60,000 rupees (US$1,333)—about 15 to 18 percent of the total amount of the flats. The scheme renders the poor ineligible due to the ‘Right of Way’ (RoW) clause, which prohibits residents in dwellings occupying roads from procuring resettlement plots (a case of RoW is discussed in Chapter 5). Thus, the poor may not be able to afford houses constructed as part of the scheme. Further, the flats are available in five-story buildings as part of the scheme (DUSIB 2011a). Activists have already voiced concerns regarding the impossibility of retaining the small trades and businesses that the poor engage in after relocation to these multistoried houses. As Activist R remarked, “It is impossible to hoard materials and carts in multistoried buildings. Further, a sizeable poor population raises animals for milk, eggs, and meat in the city.”  MPD-III presents arguments for urban restructuring around mass transport, expressways, elevated roads, arterial roads, distributor roads, and relief roads (DDA [2007] 2010, 5 and 8). The Metro Rail dotting the city has contributed to the planners’ expectations of visual integration in Delhi. Metro Rail is expected to transport 108 lakh (10,800,000) passengers daily in a network of 250 kilometres by 2021 (ibid., 115). The international airport at Delhi has been restructured massively so as to compare with the major high-tech airports around the world. The airport is expected to handle over “1,000 lakh [100,000,000] passengers and 3.6 million tons of cargo” annually by 2036 (ibid., 122). The expansion of the Indira Gandhi International Airport led to the demolition of Nangla Devat village (Bhan and Shivanand 2013,57). Further, the regional plan has developed a blueprint for the Mass Rapid Transit System (MRTS) around Delhi (NCRPB 2005, 65). These ‘signature projects’ for a 	   25 facelift of Delhi have often led to the eviction of the poor, especially with the expansion of the Metro Rail.  MPD-III has continued the policy of legal and fiscal measures “to restrict employment in industries and distributive trade” (DDA [2007] 2010, 10). In particular, the policy of restriction of employment in industries has negative effects on the poor. Planner RM (NCRPB) told me about some of the outcomes of this planning regime:  Our avowed objective is to develop a regional plan in order to restrict migration into the city. We only got funding in the mid-1990s. But look at our performance. The population growth rate and migration ratios into the city have declined in a major way since the mid-1990s. We’ve collaborated with various state governments to develop a regional plan in the Delhi region. We raise finances from the market and advise state governments about land acquisitions for various purposes. Our main purpose is to create more jobs outside Delhi. It is only due to our report that the Supreme Court gave a series of orders to close down and relocate the non-conforming industries outside Delhi. Our work has led to the development of huge industrial estates in the region including Manesar, Greater Bhiwadi, Neemrana, Loni, Tronica City, and Bawal. The NCR [National Capital Region] is number one in terms of foreign direct investment. We invite foreign delegations to visit the areas and invest in ventures around the region. We have convinced a delegation from Japan to invest in the area. A delegation from Singapore has decided to shift their investments from Bangalore to the market-friendly region of the NCR.  The avowed policy of migration restriction stated here has paid off, as is evident in the declining rate of migration into the city (see DDA [2007] 2010, 13). Industrial planning followed strictures around pollution control and land use in the city. The plan called for technology-intensive, high-tech, low-volume, and high value-added industries in the city (ibid., 67). In this regard, by continuing with the industrial policy enshrined in MPD-II, MPD-III laid out various incentives and disincentives to relocate industries in non-conforming areas (ibid.). Saskia Sassen (2001) argues that economic restructuring concerning “privatization, deregulation, and digitalization” can result from opening up national economies (xviii). Similarly, Manuel Castells (2002) analyzes the restructuring 	   26 process associated with the ‘informational economy’ (126). While there is a significant decline in the manufacturing sector in Delhi, the city is poised to expand its base of services, including “accountancy, law, advertising, finance, research and development, consultancy etc.” (NCRPB 2005, 49). A recent Planning Commission report states that the share of the manufacturing sector in Delhi alone has declined by 8 percent between the 1980s and early 1990s (Planning Commission 2009, 51).   REMAKING DELHI AS A ‘WORLD-CLASS’ CITY   The process of globalization and the associated restructuring of space, economy, and labour have highlighted various forms of inequity. Doreen Massey (2005) provides some useful general critiques of current processes of globalization by underlining its integral inequalities and “power-geometries” (82). This is not to argue that cities of the global south like Delhi are converging along the lines of the cities of the global north. As Shatkin (2007) argues, one has to examine local agency by focusing on the diversity of experiences and the negotiated nature of the effects of these processes by drawing upon actor-centred perspectives (2). A contextual analysis can unravel the “actors, institutions and interests” that shape the interaction of global and local experiences and viewpoints (ibid., 1). Nevertheless, the role of macro-level changes related to capital accumulation in shaping the cities in the global economy cannot be ignored completely, as illustrated in the planning protocols discussed above. In other words, as Shatkin notes, there is a common ground with the broad expansion of the new global economy and the consequent social and spatial inequality on a local scale (ibid., 8).  	   27 MPD-III was framed alongside the new national economic policies in India, thereby accentuating retail and allied services and the entry of multinational corporations into the economic structure of the city (DDA [2007] 2010, 50). Harvey (1996) argues that capitalism surmounts the crisis of overaccumulation through geographical dispersal (295). Similarly, Edward Soja (1989) connects flexible capitalist accumulation with the “postmodern cultural fabric” (3). The National Capital Region Planning Board (NCRPB) has been at the forefront in presenting Delhi as an important destination for Foreign Direct Investments (NCRPB 2005, 36).13 FDIs are sought to develop integrated townships, which include investments in housing, commercial premises, hotels and resorts, roads and bridges, and mass rapid transit systems (ibid., 37). MPD-III has advanced a narrow understanding of industrial development by focusing on computer, information and telecommunication technologies, commercial packaging, electronics and repair, textile design and fabric testing, biotechnology, and gems and jewelry industries (DDA [2007] 2010, 73-74).  Thus, the role of the state in urban planning, developing infrastructure, and providing social services has been shifting toward facilitating both foreign and indigenous investments in the city. The desire is to represent Delhi as a model “e-city” (NCRPB 2005, 49). The NCRPB argues that Delhi is on its way to becoming an “e-governed, e-citizen, and e-services city” (ibid., 49). Dupont’s (2011) study has already established how Delhi is emerging as a key agglomeration of Export Processing Zones. Dupont has scrupulously listed the 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  13 The NCRPB summarizes the major changes in economic policies as follows: reduction of the public sector; abolition of licensing and quotas; foreign equity investment; automatic approval of FDIs in high priority industries; establishment of a Foreign Investment Promotions Board (FIPB) to facilitate FDIs; easier foreign technology agreement; introduction of convertibility; changes in the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act removing restrictions; lowering of customs duties; reduction of custom and central excise duties; and removal of blanket bans on imports (NCRPB 2005, 36). 	   28 multinational firms and business process outsourcing (BPO) units and foreign direct investments to argue that the Delhi metropolitan region has emerged as a major hub of offshoring and outsourcing activities (ibid., 539-40). The far-fetched planning tools aimed at the gentrification of the city erode the rights and potential of the poor to participate in the economic, cultural, and social spheres of the city. In contrast, as the NCRPB (2005) report envisions, the thrust of this strategy is towards developing Delhi along the lines of Singapore and Hong Kong by expanding export oriented and service sector industries, including finance, hotel, tourism, international travel, and retail shopping (49). As Harvey (1996) notes, “investment in consumption spectacles, the selling of images of places, competition over the definition of cultural and symbolic capital, the revival of vernacular traditions associated with places as a consumer attraction, all become conflated in inter-place competition” (298). As is evident from the discussion above, the planners have been instrumental actors in fostering such ‘inter-place competition.’ Industries catering to the consumer needs of the people are encouraged in the city (NCRPB 2005, 50). As a consequence, urban citizenship is related to the “aspirational consumption” potential of the people (Mazzarella 2003, 99). Scholars have commented on the established link between consumption and citizenship in India (Rajagopal 1999, 135; Fernandes 2006; Srivastava 2009). Delhi is poised to become a city for the consumers—a city that has turned into a spectacle of consumption, leisure, and sporting events. As Srivastava (2009) notes, the process of “surplus consumption” is accelerated through a recourse to “cultural symbols, meanings, and strategies generated across a number of time spans” (341-42). Fernandes (2006) analyzes the relationship between the production of middle-class identity and spatial restructuring processes in Indian cities. Similarly, Zukin 	   29 (1998) in a different context argues that urban lifestyle is marked by visual consumption and the pursuit of accumulation of cultural capital (825).  In the context I am concerned with here, Dupont (2011) remarks on trends toward the construction of corporate hospitals, upscale residential complexes, and theme parks in the Delhi metropolitan region. Around thirty-four shopping malls have come up to offer international consumption spectacles in the Delhi metropolitan region (ibid., 543). The “phantasmagoria of capitalist culture” (Benjamin 1968, 83) and unrestrained “conspicuous consumption” on the part of the “leisure class” (Veblen 1994) have alienated the poor in the city, despite the opening up of a few work and consumption opportunities. As Comaroff and Comaroff (2000) argue in more general terms, “consumerism… [is a] material sensibility actively cultivated, for the common good” (294). Ironically, spaces of leisure and consumption advertised as promoting the ‘common good’ have been established in Delhi after the destruction of city commons.  MPD-III earmarked 15 to 20 percent of the total land in Delhi for developing what it called “lung spaces,” recreational areas, and a green belt (DDA [2007] 2010, 6). City planners aspire to transform Delhi into a clean and green city with high aesthetic value (Planning Commission 2009, 41). The desire is also to turn Delhi into a “World Class Heritage City” (ibid., 309). As a Planning Commission report suggests, “tourism is the ‘industry of industries’” (ibid., 317-18). Consequently, the government has made financial promises for infrastructure development in the tourism industry. According to MPD-III, Delhi remains an important centre for national and international sporting events, thereby encouraging sports infrastructure development in the city (DDA [2007] 2010, 95). Thus, the 	   30 landscape of Delhi is rewritten through the active marketing of a variety of consumption spectacles.  Delhi’s changing skyline attests to these transformations with respect to the spaces of leisure and the revitalization of River Yamuna and heritage structures. MPD-III argued for the need to revitalize Yamuna by checking untreated sewage flowing from jhuggi settlements (DDA [2007] 2010, 100). Many court judgments preceding the plan have argued for jhuggi demolitions precisely to manage pollution of the Yamuna River. As a result, approximately 150,000 people have been evicted in beautification drives from the riverbank alone (Bhan 2009, 127). In fact, subsidies and a bailout were extended to a Dubai-based real estate company to build the Commonwealth Games Village on the riverfront (Housing and Land Rights Network 2010, 2; Baviskar 2011, 51). As Baviskar (2011) has shown, the commodification of the riverfront for profit has also accompanied concerns for city aesthetics and national prestige. In general terms, “the intricate circuits of cultural intensification” have accompanied “interconnected mechanisms of economic expansion” (Kemple 2007, 156; see also Mazzarella 2003).  On the eve of the Commonwealth Games in 2010, it was proposed to develop, renovate, and promote various sites in Delhi. Various projects including bridges over river Yamuna, flyovers, improvement and beautification of roads, upgrades to the airport, railway services and bus stations, grid stations, and a hospital for the Games Village were planned as part of refurbishing the city (Planning Commission 2009, 312). A report published by the Housing and Land Rights Network estimated an expenditure up to 30,000 crores (300 billion rupees, or approximately US$6.7 billion) for the Commonwealth Games (Housing and Land Rights Network 2010, 2). The report carefully documents the wanton waste of public money, 	   31 raising questions about the democratic process and the perpetuation of poverty. It also underlines the accompanying disenfranchisement of the poor through jhuggi demolition, removal of beggars, the homeless, and street vendors, and ecological degradation (ibid.). Many of these projects violated Master Plan norms in the city. As Roy notes, these practices of “territorialized flexibility” are predicated on state informality, power, and exclusions (Roy 2009, 81). Delhi Urban Arts Commission (DUAC) was not even consulted prior to the implementation and flexible regulations concerning the projects. Planner AM (DUAC) commented on how the DUAC is a government statutory body to validate the aesthetic and functional aspects of specific projects such as the Commonwealth Games:  Metro railway never sought for our suggestions regarding the aesthetics and functional aspects of their projects. This violation is tantamount to illegality. Most often we are not even aware of the projects, as we do not have the mechanisms to monitor. So there are violations concerning alignment of roads and construction activities particularly in the Ridge area. During the Commonwealth Games many projects have come up. Some of them did not submit their proposals to DUAC. Now if the construction is at an advanced stage we will not be able to intervene.   Leisure and religious spaces often violate the planning norms (Ghertner 2008, 65; Srivastava 2009; Housing and Land Rights Network 2010; Baviskar 2011). For example, the Games Village and Akshardham temple were established on the demolished site of Nangla Machi jhuggi settlement (Srivastava 2009, 339). The upscale temple is modeled along the lines of Disneyland and Universal studios (ibid., 340). Further, the “politico-spiritual clout” enjoyed by the temple complex vests itself with legal status, which was denied to the demolished jhuggi settlement (ibid., 341). Ethnographically documenting his experience of a visit to the Akshardham temple, Srivastava aptly describes the space as “Disney-Divinity” (ibid.). 	   32 The above analysis of the shifts, politics, and effects of Delhi’s urban planning discourses over the past fifty years helps us understand the formalistic, depoliticized, and abstract character of the planning process, especially in the current neo-liberal phase. Against this backdrop the thesis explores two questions: a) What is the effect of planning on the urban poor in Delhi? and b) What is the logic of political mobilization among the poor? In particular, I explore how processes of impoverishment result from these planning regimes and ways in which the poor participate, negotiate, and resist urban policies in Delhi. Thus, the aim of this thesis is to examine the specific enactment of urban policies, the experience of poverty and inequality, the context of political mobilization, and the cultural idioms that have been deployed by the poor and their allies with the aim of creating a more equitable city. Keeping the above questions in mind, I turn now to a discussion of theoretical frameworks used to understand cities of the global south with my focus on Delhi in the forefront.   THEORIZING THE POST-COLONIAL CITY OF DELHI  Scholars have produced insights into the emerging global political economy and capitalist restructuring of cities. In particular, they have produced theories regarding accumulation strategies (Harvey 1996; Castells 2002), the production of space (Lefebvre 1991), and ‘planetary urbanization’ under contemporary forms of capitalism (Brenner 2013). These insights (also discussed in Chapter 6) provide analytical tools for examining transformations in neo-liberal times, and in particular, to consider how these processes are manifested in mega-cities like Delhi. In contrast, a new body of scholarship has emerged in recent years on the specificity and peculiarity of urbanism in the ‘global south.’ By engaging in debates about planning, poverty, and political agency in the ‘global south’ (Bayat 1997, 	   33 2010; Rao 2006; Simone 2006; Benjamin 2008; Roy 2011), recent scholars have raised critical questions about formality and informality, legality and illegality of emerging regimes of urban governance. Through his concept of ‘occupancy urbanism,’ Benjamin (2008) shows how the poor open up political spaces through complex alliances. Benjamin argues that local and territorial practices of the poor subvert planning regimes, elite attitudes, and processes of global capital accumulation (ibid.). He also argues that the practices of the poor contest state development initiatives and the disciplining desire of the NGOs and well-meaning activists (ibid.). Benjamin’s call for attending to “complex local histories” and maintaining “fluid and open-ended views of the space of city politics” (ibid., 720) provides a useful vantage point for analyzing the nuances of urban development and politics in dynamic cities like Delhi. Similarly, Bayat (1997) analyzes “the quiet encroachment of the ordinary,” particularly with respect to housing and livelihood options in the Middle East, which he defines as the “silent, patient, protracted, and pervasive advancement of ordinary people on the propertied and powerful in order to survive hardships and better their lives” (57; see also Bayat 2010, 14-15). His analysis directs our attention to the formation of autonomous communities through mundane activities and the “uninstitutionalised and hybrid social activities” that shape urban politics (Bayat 1997, 55; see also Bayat 2010, 5). Despite the specificity of the state and politics in Delhi, my research findings resonate with Bayat’s general ideas around “the quiet encroachment of the ordinary.” Likewise, Simone (2006) offers some illustrations of “new social assemblages” in cities in Africa (359). Simone argues that emerging collectives, diverse practices, and the use of various resources in livelihood related activities defy institutional and legal frameworks in 	   34 cities of the global south (ibid., 361). Contributing to this discussion, Roy (2011) argues the case for a kind of “subaltern urbanism,” which can produce insights on “accounts of the slum as a terrain of habitation, livelihood and politics” (224). Similarly, Varley (2013) reviews postcolonial perspectives that critique capitalism and imperialism while questioning the division between formality and informality (15). In this regard, Varley calls for disrupting the stereotypes of subaltern urban conditions by attending to the “shifting permutations of similarity and difference” (ibid., 17). I draw on these insights to examine the processes of improvisation and everyday negotiations with law and politics in Delhi.  In particular, the above perspectives compel us to think beyond the issues of planning, legality, zoning, and the rule of law raised by successive regimes of city policy as discussed above. They provide conceptual tools to understand urban practices in the global south generally and in Delhi in particular. Some of my findings in this thesis resonate with the above perspectives, though I also attend to the peculiar modes of poor people’s mobilization in Delhi in ways that clarify and sometimes even contradict these general views. In particular, I attempt to look at the planning process, the state, and the collective practices of the poor. In tracing ‘subaltern urbanism,’ I explore the opportunities, agencies, constraints, strategies, and cultural idioms employed by the urban poor. In this respect, I combine the insights of postcolonial theory with an analysis of the political economy of globalizing cities (Shatkin 2014) to examine specific patterns of urban experience. This approach allows for analyzing the emergence of varied forms of inequality within different contexts and local settings within the global political economy of contemporary capitalism. Comaroff and Comaroff (2011) argue that urban modernity in the global south should not be seen as a derivative or imitation of Euro-American historical processes, but as emerging in a 	   35 dialectical relationship with the capitalist modernity of global north (7). Their historical analysis of urban modernity illuminates the “hydra-headed, polymorphous, mutating ensemble of signs and practices in terms of which people across the continent have long made their lives” (ibid.). For my purposes, their argument emphasizes how urban life in the global south must be seen in its own terms in dialectical relationship with the global north. In other words, I analyze planning, poverty, and the politics of contemporary Delhi in particular conjunctures (see also Chari and Gidwani 2005, 269).  The issues of planning, poverty, and politics raised by the urban policies described above raise critical questions about contemporary capitalism, state-society relations, the nature of democracy, and citizenship struggles. In this regard, in later chapters I critically deploy Partha Chatterjee’s and Sudipta Kaviraj’s complementary theories of Indian democracy and modernity to understand the logic of political mobilization in Delhi. Post-colonial commenters like Chatterjee and Kaviraj highlight the peculiar nature of democracy in India. Chatterjee and Kaviraj discuss the inherent contradictions within norms of universal citizenship and how disadvantages and vulnerabilities shape the demands of particular groups (Chatterjee 2004, 4; Kaviraj 2005). Elsewhere, Kaviraj (2005) argues for a sequential understanding of democracy and modernity that is accountable to historical difference (497). Such an understanding challenges the commonplace view that the processes accompanying modernity, such as capitalist industrialization, the centralization of state power, and secularization in politics emerge symmetrically and are functionally related (ibid., 508). Kaviraj also emphasizes the improvisational character of these processes, which give them “unprecedented features and institutional idiosyncrasies in different historical settings”, a point I address in Chapter 4 (ibid., 522; see also Chatterjee 2011). Other postcolonial critics 	   36 challenge the historicist idea of an empty, homogeneous time that defines capital and western modernity in ways that direct our attention to the need for an ethnographic understanding of the lifeworlds of people in various cultures and settings (Chakrabarty 2000, 23; Chatterjee 2004, 6). Their attention to the peculiarity of practices invites us to address the heterogeneity of space-time against the inexorable march of capitalist modernity. By examining the improvisational practices of the poor, I attend to the lived experience and specificity of urban modernity in Delhi. With post-Independence India in mind, Chatterjee (2004) theorizes how the features and dynamics of “civil society” and “political society” result from the establishment of modern governmental systems. Although in principle civil society is the domain of equal rights and citizenship, in reality “most of the inhabitants of India are only tenuously, and even then ambiguously and contextually, rights bearing citizens in the sense imagined by the constitution” (ibid., 38). Hence, Chatterjee introduces his idea of political society to capture the terrain of politics where the government has a moral responsibility to take care of the poorer members according to the terms of political expediency (ibid., 40). Thus, the “compromise between the normative values of modernity and the moral assertions of popular demand” (ibid., 41) requires a novel conceptualization of the practices among subaltern groups like Delhi’s urban poor. Political society is thus the domain of populations, which resort to various illegal and paralegal activities for their sustenance (Chatterjee 2004). With a focus on the specificity of Indian democracy and drawing on the work of Kalyan Sanyal, Chatterjee (2008a) forcefully argues that there is simultaneously a process of capitalist disenfranchisement and a reversal of the effects of these accumulation strategies through certain welfare policies. He responds critics by arguing that, in addition to considering the 	   37 repressive functions of the state, one also has to look at how populations become “subjects of power” through subtle processes of induction into various government policies (Chatterjee 2008b, 93). In this thesis, I show how Chatterjee’s influential theorization of the domain of political society as a response to modern governmental systems needs to be supplemented and evaluated through an ethnography of state-society relationships, an examination of the social location of actors, and an analysis of the power arrangement of distinct groups. What is needed is a nuanced account of the interconnections of global regimes of power, effects of power in different local and global settings, and an appraisal of the social relations that give rise to these heterogeneities. State policies and practices may replicate historicist assumptions about how subaltern groups must be educated in order to participate as fully fledged citizens, as Chakrabarty (2000) suggests (10). By contrast, a focus on local practices allows for a more nuanced understanding of the structural features and processes that define the developmental state in the global south, including its policies and relationship with the urban poor. An ethnographic approach to these practices raises questions about the binaries that underpin post-colonial schemas of urban politics, such as the division between ‘civil society’ and ‘political society.’ Post-colonial concepts such as ‘political society’ should be considered primarily for their heuristic value in situating the political activities of urban poor within larger structures of power, including contemporary advanced capitalism; structures of class, caste, community, and gender; the hegemony of party politics; and neighbourhood dynamics.  In this regard, the thesis draws on empirical and theoretical research, which addresses the imbrication of state and society and the “routinization of state authority” in poor people’s 	   38 lives (Fuller and Harriss 2009, 25). Fuller and Harriss (2009) argue “the boundary between the state and society is in reality unclear, blurred, porous or mobile” (10). This argument suggests that the social role of the state has become familiar, accepted, and taken for granted in people’s everyday lives. I also draw on ethnographies of the state (Roy 2003; Tarlo 2003; Hansen 2005a) to examine the routinized presence of state power in people’s lives, and to show how power creates a space for participation, negotiation, and resistance, which in turn is contingent on the particular circumstances, relative advantages, and contingent social location of the urban poor. Adopting this approach, Emma Tarlo (2003) argues that the urban poor are neither helpless victims nor noble resistors of state oppression (200). In fact, the agency and political consciousness of the urban poor create spaces for a historically contextualized and contingent understanding of urban processes of development. In this regard, I take a relational approach to understand how poverty and politics are shaped through embodied practices, as advocated by Pierre Bourdieu (1986, 1998). Rather than looking at the supposedly given or intrinsic properties of social groups in a determinate social space (Bourdieu 1998, 4), my focus is on the web of social relations and institutional arrangements which characterize various fields.  In the rest of the thesis, I examine the effect of the planning regimes described in this chapter and the three broad overlapping patterns of politics of the urban poor: participation, negotiation, and resistance. In so doing, I attempt to make a theoretical and empirical contribution to three concepts: structural violence, state governmentality, and political society. Drawing on the concept of ‘structural violence’ (discussed in Chapter 2), I show how the systematic and structured character of planning has resulted in social suffering in three different neighbourhoods. In particular, I examine the abstract tentativeness of Delhi’s 	   39 planning regimes and how they are perceived, experienced, and resisted by people on the ground. In my analysis of state governmentality, I develop the idea of ‘numerical citizenship’ (discussed in Chapter 4) to illustrate how the technologies of statecraft—especially those aimed at providing welfare services—produce various forms of exclusions, humiliation, and degradation, while also inspiring a range of countertactics on the part of the poor. In particular, I analyze how the mostly illiterate poor must prove their existence through various documentary practices. I critically deploy the concept of ‘political society’ to analyze the situated and contingent character of democratic practices on the part of the poor, and illustrate how their activities in the domain of political society both expand and limit their options. I also analyze how the poor take recourse to more institutional options when their tactics in political society do not yield the desired results. To begin with, in the following chapter I examine the effect of urban planning on the poor in three particular neighbourhoods in Delhi. 	   40 Chapter 2  Urban Planning and the ‘Structural Violence’ of Demolition and Resettlement: An Ethnography of Three Neighbourhoods in Delhi   Demolition has been the cornerstone of urban planning regimes in Delhi in recent decades, as discussed in Chapter 1. Urban restructuring has often resulted in the displacement of the urban poor from valuable land, which Harvey (2008) has evocatively described as a process of “accumulation by dispossession” (33-34). Through an analysis of three low-income neighbourhoods, in this and the following chapters I examine how the planning regimes described in the previous chapter affect the lives of the urban poor. In particular, I examine the ‘structural violence’ of demolition and resettlement. In recent years, Paul Farmer (2003) has popularized the idea of ‘structural violence,’ a term he uses as a “broad rubric that includes a host of offensives against human dignity: extreme and relative poverty, social inequalities ranging from racism to gender inequality, and the more spectacular forms of violence that are uncontestedly human rights abuses” (8; see also Farmer 2004). In this chapter, I document narratives of social suffering caused by the structural violence of planning regimes. Urban displacement must be considered within a framework of global political economy. In Chapter 1, I examined the processes of urban transformation and their particular implications for the poor in Delhi. Scholars have called for exploring the global interconnections that shape local particularities (Das 1995; Marcus 1995, 99; Tsing 2005), and for attending to “spatially far-flung collaborations and interconnections” as a context for understanding the local particularities of everyday processes (Tsing 2005, ix). In his study of capital investments in Africa, Ferguson (2005) draws our attention to the “emergent forms of 	   41 spatialized order and disorder” that have come to characterize processes of neo-liberal globalization (381). In a similar vein, Das (1996) has suggested that resettlement should be seen within “the intensification of processes of globalization” (1509). Das (1995) argues that events are located within “several institutions, moving across family, community, bureaucracy, courts of law, the medical profession, the state, and multinational corporations,” and shows how these institutions are mutually implicated in the shaping of events (6). Following this call to examine everyday realities of humiliation and violence instead of abstract inequities (ibid., 23), I explore how restructuring along aesthetic and capitalist lines, and in terms of bureaucratic decisions, legal verdicts, and neighbourhood politics, shapes the poor’s everyday experiences. In particular, this chapter explores planning decisions that give rise to such ‘critical events’ as evictions and resettlements.  Drawing on my own ethnographic observations and the accounts of my respondents, I show how eviction and resettlement produce a range of experiences of suffering for the poor. In recent years, an array of theoretical and empirical insights has emerged on the factors shaping social suffering in the contemporary world (J. Davis 1992; Scheper-Hughes 1992; Kleinman et al. 1997; Bourdieu 1999; Farmer 2003, 2004). As Farmer (2003) notes, “To explain suffering, one must embed individual biography in the larger matrix of culture, history, and political economy” (41). And as Kleinman, Das, and Lock (1997) argue, “social suffering results from what political, economic, and institutional power does to people” (ix). Where J. Davis (1992) examines various forms of social suffering as social products (155), Bourdieu (1999) calls for an analysis of specific features of the social world rather than taking a recourse to “subjectivist relativism” in order to understand social suffering (4). In a similar vein, drawing on my ethnographic research, I examine the origin and experience of 	   42 social suffering as a result of eviction and resettlement in three neighbourhoods in Delhi. Here and in subsequent chapters, I provide a range of examples of ‘offensives’ to illustrate structural violence.  PLANNING REGIMES AND SETTLEMENT PATTERNS  Before examining how social suffering emerges from processes of eviction and resettlement, and how it is addressed by political mobilizations, I need to provide a brief account of the three low-income settlements where I conducted ethnographic research. The urban poor in contemporary Delhi can be heuristically mapped in terms of housing in a descending order from most to least vulnerable: a) The urban homeless, most of whom live on the streets. A portion of this population may manage to secure night shelters14 during inclement weather conditions. b) The urban poor in unrecognized, unidentified, and un-surveyed settlements, who may experience everyday demolition of certain kinds. The unrecognized, unidentified, and un-surveyed jhuggi settlements are of relatively recent origin compared to the recognized jhuggi settlements, many of which date back more than fifteen years in the city. Like the homeless poor, the urban poor in the un-surveyed settlements are mostly excluded from ‘political society’ and in particular from activities concerning housing in the city. Once evicted, the residents of these settlements do not receive alternate resettlement plots.  c) The urban poor renting rooms in villages, unauthorized colonies,15 designated slum areas, or planned colonies, whose struggles are not specifically with eviction and 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  14 In 2010, there were only about 148 night shelters including eighty-four temporary shelters in tents providing temporary relief to approximately 17,485 people across the city (DUSIB 2010, 178). 	  	   43 resettlement. These renters may enjoy certain benefits with respect to basic amenities by renting in settlements that are relatively better serviced than the other three settlements listed below. However, some may be even poorer than these other displaced residents, especially insofar as the renters do not have any possibility of ever procuring resettlement plots. The upwardly mobile poor may at times be able to purchase houses, especially in the villages and unauthorized colonies. The nature, range of property values, and built structures of these settlements vary greatly. The residents owning property in unauthorized colonies usually do not face the problem of eviction. The collective struggles in unauthorized colonies cut across the poor, the lower middle classes, and even the wealthy landlords who may or may not live in the neighbourhood. It should also be noted that many poor also rent houses in jhuggi settlements, old resettlement colonies, transit camps, and new resettlement colonies without any prospects for procuring current or future housing under relocation schemes. The poor residents of planned colonies mostly reside in ‘servant’ quarters.  d) The urban poor in government recognized jhuggi jhopri (JJ) settlements, most of which are targets of demolition at some point, except for those covered under in-situ up-grading (as discussed in Chapter 1). The poor in recognized jhuggi clusters are part of the dynamics of ‘political society’ in the city. These populations have been surveyed and identified in the government database. Usually, the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) provides minimal basic services in these neighbourhoods. Most of the residents in these settlements become eligible to procure resettlement plots if they can produce proof documents (ration cards and voter IDs) that were procured before a particular cut-off date. 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  15 Lemanski and Lama-Rewal (2013) argue that most of the citizens in unauthorized neighbourhoods are neither rich nor poor, thereby raising critical issues about class and urban governance (91).  	   44 The current cut-off date for eligible resettlement is March 31, 2002. However, a significant number of the urban poor living in these settlements do not possess proof documents (an issue I discuss in Chapter 4). Some residents rent out a jhuggi in these neighbourhoods, which thereby makes them ineligible for compensation upon demolition. Some of the residents who reside outside the jhuggi jhopri settlements may still own a jhuggi. Jhuggi owners possessing proof documents usually receive resettlement plots upon demolition.  e) The urban poor in old resettlement colonies and transit camps, established at various times in the city’s history, as discussed in Chapter 1. Most of the old resettlement colonies were established in the 1970s with a ninety-nine-year lease and are provided with bare minimum basic amenities. The transit camps were mostly developed after the Emergency period and prior to the implementation of the new resettlement policy in the 1990s. In other words, the transit camps were established to accommodate evicted populations on a temporary basis during the 1980s. Therefore, the existing transit camps remain uncertain in terms of tenure, security, and legal regularization. The transit camps that do not face any immediate demolition can be regarded as old resettlement colonies in terms of legal status.   f) The urban poor in new resettlement colonies, which have been established since 1990. The squeezing of resettlement plots, provisioning of services, changes in tenure security, and the process of evictions mark shifts in the policy of resettlement. The new resettlement colonies only had a tenure security of five years to begin with. However, tenure security has been renewed upon expiry. It should also be noted that the complexities around housing, land titles, and the struggles of the urban poor are complex and diverse. Even the most careful classification and categorization will have to make room for anomalies.  	   45 As discussed above, the poor who possess documents proving residence in recognized jhuggi jhopri settlements, old resettlement colonies or transit camps, and new resettlement colonies are relatively better off than the poor in the other types of settlements, especially with respect to their ability to claim housing rights in the city. I have chosen a jhuggi jhopri settlement, a transit camp, and a new resettlement colony for ethnographic study in order to examine and contrast the effect of urban restructuring and the logic of political mobilization among the urban poor. The neighbourhoods studied are all government-recognized settlements wherein poor residents possess their own homes. Thus, the present study does not explore the planning and political dynamics of the other most vulnerable and excluded populations discussed above. Nevertheless, the three types of settlements selected for study here allow us to examine the most widespread effect of the urban planning regimes and political processes. I use pseudonyms for these neighbourhoods here and throughout the thesis.  GAUTAM NAGAR: FROM EVICTION TO IMPROVISATION  Gautam Nagar jhuggi jhopri settlement was slowly developed in the mid-1970s (details on the establishment of this jhuggi settlement are discussed in Chapter 3). Letters to politicians and state officials demanding basic amenities in the neighbourhood note that the residents have been living in the area since 1973. A part of the settlement was demolished due to the construction of an underpass in early 2009. The demolition was carried out in spite of the Delhi Law (Special Provisions) Act, 2006, which prohibits demolitions in the city. The moratorium against demolitions has been extended as per the act. However, jhuggi demolitions have continued unabated to make way for the construction of “public projects” 	   46 (DUSIB 2010, 14), which is permitted under the act. Furthermore, Gautam Nagar residents were not provided with resettlement plots as the government invoked the Right of Way clause of the Municipal Act. It was argued that the residents ‘encroached’ on a road and were not entitled to resettlement (the legal battle concerning Gautam Nagar is discussed in Chapter 5). The case of Gautam Nagar provides insight into the struggles for resettlement and the provisioning of basic amenities in jhuggi settlements. Gautam Nagar is located amidst an area of many jhuggi settlements. The borders of these settlements are not neatly demarcated. Careless surveys and documentation of the residents often lead to errors regarding residence status in the area. For instance, the residents living in X jhuggi settlement often show up in the electoral roll of Y jhuggi settlement. Similarly, unscrupulous documentation of survey answers has resulted in errors with ration cards and voter IDs (struggles around these issues are discussed in Chapter 4). Approximately 300 residents were evicted from Gautam Nagar in early 2009. While I also conversed with a few non-evicted residents and intermediaries, my research primarily focused on the evicted residents of the area. The evicted residents rented jhuggis in Gautam Nagar, lived in the makeshift huts beside the dug up road, or rented houses in nearby areas. Most of the evicted non-residents visited the area for work, social contact, and resettlement-related struggles on a day-to-day basis.   SITAPURI ‘TRANSIT CAMP’: PITTING THE POOR AGAINST THE MIDDLE CLASSES  Sitapuri ‘transit camp’ was established in 1984 and 1985 after an order of the Lt. Governor of Delhi.16 Transit camp residents were evicted from jhuggi settlements on ‘prime 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  16 Transit Camp Files, 29 April 1994, document number F-631 (additional commissioner’s [DC and P] notes on transit camps), Delhi Development Authority (DDA), Delhi; Transit Camp Files, 8 August 1995, document number F-544 (discussion notes of additional 	   47 land’ urgently required for various projects in the city. Sitapuri transit camp was one of the six transit camps established around this time. The camp was developed on an area of 11.93 hectares to accommodate 2,094 families.17 The transit camp has two blocks: Pocket ‘A’ and Pocket ‘B’. The land use for pocket ‘A’ is “recreational” and pocket ‘B’ is partly “recreational” and partly “residential.” The transit camp was established in a ‘green zone’ or what is referred to as a district park area.  Sitapuri transit camp adjoins Lakshmi colony, a planned colony of middle-class residents. The Resident Welfare Association (RWA) of Lakshmi colony petitioned the High Court of Delhi to demolish Sitapuri in 2003 (the legal battle concerning Sitapuri and Lakshmi colony is discussed in Chapter 5). In fact, middle-class RWAs and the judicial system have been at the forefront of initiating demolitions of jhuggi settlements in recent years. Transit camps are fewer in number compared to old resettlement colonies. As pointed out above, the struggles around basic amenities in old resettlement colonies and transit camps are more or less the same. Thus, the findings about the provisioning of services and accompanying struggles are similar to those in transit camps and old resettlement colonies. However, I chose Sitapuri transit camp instead of an old resettlement colony because the case illustrates a middle-class RWA fighting court battles against a low-income neighbourhood. In other words, the case provides insight into the vexatious relationship between poor and middle-class residents living in the adjoining areas.  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  commissioner and joint director), Delhi Development Authority (DDA), Delhi. See also, Transit Camp Files, 7 April 2005, “Background Note about the Transit Camp…,” document number F 20 (7)91/ MP, Delhi Development Authority (DDA), Delhi. 17	  Transit Camp Files, 13 April 1998, document number 211 AC (AP) (correspondences among various officials regarding change of land use), Delhi Development Authority (DDA), Delhi. See also, Transit Camp Files, 7 April 2005, “Background Note about the Transit Camp…,” document number F 20 (7)91/ MP, Delhi Development Authority (DDA), Delhi.	  	   48  AZAD RESETTLEMENT COLONY: STRUGGLE AND COPING  Azad resettlement colony was established in 2000 to accommodate ‘eligible’ poor people evicted from various parts of the city. Most of the residents had fought unsuccessful battles (including legal battles) against demolitions at their earlier places of residence. On a brighter note, the residents did succeed at procuring resettlement plots according to the resettlement policy. The resettlement colony was planned for about 10,000 families in an area of about fifty-one hectares18 and was developed in three phases. The different blocks in the colony accommodate evicted residents from different jhuggi settlements in Delhi. The case provides insights into the effects of impoverishment after displacement and into the coping mechanisms and struggles among the poor to start a new life in the city. Despite its own specificity, Azad resettlement colony is representative of new resettlement colonies in Delhi. The cases of Gautam Nagar and Azad resettlement colony provide insights into the process of impoverishment. Adopting the approach of Baxi, I analyze how “impoverishment is a dynamic process of public decision-making in which it is considered just, right and fair that some people may become or stay impoverished” (Baxi 1988, vi). Before I analyze the cases of Gautam Nagar, Sitapuri transit camp, and Azad resettlement colony in more detail, let me give an overview of some of the views of the planners regarding the planning process. The planners largely view the planning process as an impartial technical exercise. In this regard, the planners continue to reiterate the need to keep the planning process free from politics. 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  18	  Resettlement Colonies Files, 28 February 2005, “Provision of Community Facilities/ Utilities and Burial and Cremation Ground at …,” document number F3 (21) 2001/MP, Delhi Development Authority (DDA), Delhi.	  	   49 Planner BS from the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) describes how the DDA functions according to the mandate of the Delhi Development Act:  The DDA is the technical authority to approve land use plans, which are later ratified by the central government. However, there are often delays due to conflicts of interests. The state government may initiate projects but cannot go ahead on its own without the approval of the DDA. The state government does not have the authority to change land use in the city. The politicians may protect short-term objectives as they aspire to be reelected after five years. But planning is a slow, gradual, and long-term process. The politicians often pressure the DDA to regularize unauthorized colonies. But they seldom talk about low-cost housing. A particular project may be technically sound but it has to be backed by financial and administrative resources and political will.   In a similar vein, Planner JK (Town and Country Planning Organization) describes the DDA as a giant organization controlling land in the city: “The government of Delhi does not have much power when it comes to land use in the city. In one sense, vested political interests are avoided in the effective planning and development of different neighbourhoods. Otherwise, the Members of the Legislative Assembly will promote vested interests concerning their own constituencies.” Again, Planner MD (Institute of Town Planners, India) complains that political interference in the planning process is the major obstacle against plan implementation: “For instance, the politicians even intervened to change road alignments when a particular group of people was affected during construction work prior to the Commonwealth Games. The politicians intervene during plan preparation, plan implementation, and plan enforcement. See, the Vice Chairman of the DDA is an Indian Administrative Services (IAS) officer, who has to listen to another IAS officer, the Chief Secretary of Delhi, who in turn reports to the Chief Minister of Delhi. So the state government has political influence over the planning process.” Thus, the planners highlight the relative autonomy of the planning process, 	   50 administrative complexities, and political bottlenecks. They also view politics as a major obstacle to the effective implementation of plans.  For instance, Planner BC (Delhi Development Authority) considers how people pressure politicians to bypass planning strictures: “The politicians come to us with their demands, but we try our best not to deviate from planning protocols. The Supreme Court of India treats the Master Plan as the bible and also supports our non-partial expertise.” By contrast, Planner BJ (National Capital Region Planning Board) does not find anything wrong with the planning process, although he does acknowledge that “the implementation process is shoddy, especially in its inability to restrict the encroachment of government land, which in turn is largely due to political interference.”  As shown above, the issues of development, enforcement, implementation, and monitoring preoccupy the planners. While one particular planner (Planner BS) showed concern for low-income housing, the rest of the planners argued for strict adherence to planning protocols. Efforts to regularize unauthorized colonies are often cited as examples of political interference. The political class is seen as bypassing the planning regulations in the city. The planners think that they alone should have autonomy regarding land management in the city. In contrast, the planning process responds to a complex reality with respect to land management, powerful interests, and political expediencies. There are innumerable cases of planning violations concerning farmhouses, religious structures, metro railway stations, and shopping malls (Soni 2000; Srivastava 2009; Baviskar 2011). In this respect, the planning machinery improvises and subverts its own planning protocols. On the one hand, the violations accommodate the interests of the rich, promote the ‘signature projects’ of the state, and expand spaces of leisure and accumulation for the middle- and upper-classes. On the 	   51 other, the violations provide spaces for settlements of the poor in the absence of low-income housing in the city. In other words, the planning regime in India is marked by a “state of deregulation, ambiguity, and exception” (Roy 2009, 76). As Roy (2009) argues, the “idiom of urbanization” is not necessarily anti-planning in India; rather the planning regime is produced through state informality (80). Furthermore, while bringing politics to the fore provides a standpoint for critiquing the abstract rationale underpinning planning expertise, it is also important to analyze the nuances in the exercise of political power and the process of urban development on a case-by-case basis.  The cases of Gautam Nagar, Sitapuri transit camp, and Azad resettlement colony reflect ad hocism, that is, the tentativeness and improvised character of the implementation and violation of planning protocols in the city. Since the intersection of planning and legal regimes in Gautam Nagar and Sitapuri is analyzed in Chapter 5, I will primarily focus on Azad resettlement colony here. Gautam Nagar and Sitapuri transit camp fall under the F planning zone. According to Delhi Zonal plans, the F zone is particularly marked by low-density population, green and open spaces, Ridge area [Delhi Ridge], and “posh residential localities” (Puri 2010, 2.8). The zone is also unique for encompassing three important industrial districts in Delhi. In particular, the zone contains Okhla Industrial area, Mohan Cooperative Industrial Area, and the Small Industries Service Institute (SISI) complex (ibid., 2.10). The surroundings of these industrial areas become a destination for the poor looking for employment opportunities. Furthermore, a sizeable section of poor women find jobs in the middle class households located in this zone. Without adequate housing provision in the city, the poor have gradually settled in various jhuggi settlements in the area. Many of the jhuggi settlements in the zone have been demolished as part of beautification drives since 	   52 early 1990s. The remaining settlements including the un-demolished part of Gautam Nagar remain insecure with respect to their existence in the future.  In 2001, prior to massive demolitions, the population of the F zone stood at 1,717,000 (Puri 2010, 2.9). The planning machinery has projected a population holding-capacity of 1,975,000 for the year of 2021 as a result of re-densification (ibid., 2.8). Thus, the class logic of planning is blatant as the projected plan aims at re-densification after massive demolitions of low-income households in the area. As discussed in Chapter 1, the protocols of the first Master Plan, which envisage mixed land use and the integration of work and housing opportunities in the neighbourhoods, have been subverted by the contemporary urban planning regimes. In contrast, the current plans emphasize infrastructure development as part of the beautification drives in the city. For instance, the third Master Plan has proposed “urban relief roads all over Delhi” (ibid., 2.18). In fact, the materialization of the ‘relief roads’ policy has led to the construction of an underpass rendering approximately 300 residents homeless in Gautam Nagar. The arbitrary policy of Right of Way even precluded the ‘eligible’ residents with proof documents from receiving compensatory resettlement plots.  Sitapuri transit camp was established as a temporary measure. However, the government neither resettled the population within the stipulated time period nor showed an active interest in changing the land use. Settling the poor in a ‘green zone’ and targeting them again for demolition after twenty years not only reflects the arbitrariness but also the tentativeness and ad hoc character of the planning machinery. The case illustrates the informal and improvised character of a state that subverts its own authorized rules through a process of deregulation (Roy 2009, 80). While the DDA changed the land use of a particular 	   53 pocket of land to establish a middle-class school,19 similar rezoning efforts led by transit camp residents have been unsuccessful. The resettled populations remain ‘transitory encroachers’ in the imaginations of the middle-class residents who aim at reclaiming the land use of the area for their own purposes. Here, state informality has exclusionary effects (Roy 2009, 81). Further, the planners claim that the original inhabitants have sold their plots to ‘rich’ people. As Planner M notes: “We do not find original beneficiaries in these neighbourhoods any more. The transit camps are inhabited by ‘rich’ people who have built multistoried buildings.” Thus, in both the cases of Gautam Nagar and Sitapuri, the issue of the power and protection of dominant interests remains integral to the planning process (see also Flyvbjerg 2002, 2004).  The Azad resettlement colony was established in the O zone, thereby violating the prescriptions laid out in the Master Plan. I chose Azad resettlement colony for study, as it is the nearest resettlement colony to the jhuggi settlements in the F zone. A planning objective explicitly states that populations should be resettled near the place of their earlier residence. According to this policy, Azad resettlement colony should have taken evicted people from Gautam Nagar. In this regard, I attempt to examine the experience of eviction in a particular zone (the F zone) and the process of resettlement in the nearest resettlement colony. However, in many instances the evicted poor have been resettled in far-away resettlement colonies. O zone is also alternatively designated as Yamuna River zone, a zone specifically developed to maintain ecological balance, control pollution, and preserve flora and fauna 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  19 Right To Information (RTI) applications filed by a resident in Sitapuri establish that an education society paid approximately 8,205,000 rupees for the allotment of land in the neighbourhood. (See, Delhi Development Authority [DDA], O/o Director (Lands), 26 July 2010, “Compliance of CIC order…,” document number F. 18 (31) 89/IL/257, received in-person by author from Sitapuri residents during fieldwork, 2010-11.) 	   54 around the river. While the brutal demolitions of Yamuna Pushta jhuggi settlements were carried out with a stated objective to promote the sustainability of the river, the Azad resettlement colony was developed a few metres away from the river in contravention of this same policy.  It is ironic that the planning authority decided to resettle a population in the damp, marshy, inaccessible area of a riverbed. This example of “informality from above,” where the state violates its own specifications to manage territories (Roy 2009, 84), has grievous consequences for the poor, as discussed below. The change of land use required the approval of the Yamuna Action Plan committee.20 The DDA was aware that silting had already reduced the carrying capacity of the soil, thereby increasing the risks of flooding in the riverbed, and officials had stipulated that “no residential, commercial, industrial, or public/semi-public facility requiring permanent structures should be provided on the riverbed.”21 Moreover, a committee of experts from the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute strictly advised against developing the resettlement colony in the riverbed after carrying out a ground level study.22 The committee warned about the hazardous health effects of emissions from the Thermal Power Plant in the vicinity. Further, it argued that the LPG bottling plant to the north of the proposed site posed a major fire hazard in the area. In addition, “samadhi [tomb/mausoleum] complexes, crematorium grounds, sports complexes, thermal and gas power stations, bathing ghats [river banks], sewerage treatment plants, fly-ash ponds and fly ash brick plants” feature prominently in the O zone (Puri 2010, 3.87). Resettling a population in a low-lying area inundated with treatment plants and crematorium 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  20 Resettlement Colonies Files, 10 May 2000, “Resettlement of Squatters at…,” document number OSD (AP)/ Misc/2000/118, Delhi Development Authority (DDA), Delhi, p. 2. 21 Ibid., p. 4. 22 Ibid., pp. 4-5. 	   55 grounds further exposes the class logic of urban planning in the city. In fact, the planners themselves concede that the resettlement colony should not have relocated in the area. PLANNER U (DDA): The high power committee chaired by the Lt. Governor had concluded that no construction should be allowed in Yamuna zone. But I guess some changes were made at the last minute to accommodate the resettlement colony.  PLANNER M (DDA): The DDA wants to develop Yamuna zone in order to rejuvenate and channelize the Yamuna River. It also wants to develop the riverbed as a green recreational space. Then how did it develop the resettlement colony there? What can we expect from the private sector if the DDA itself flouts the rules? The DDA is well aware that the zone is prone to flooding. Only the Commonwealth Games village and Akshardham temple, which have been built in the zone, have been suitably cordoned off. Our [the planners’, including his own] recommendations were not taken into account.  These statements do not tell us clearly if the planners are worried about the resettled population, the failure of the objective of creating a leisure space in the riverbed, or both. While the leisure and religious spaces were safely cordoned off, the resettlement colony for a proposed population of 10,000 families was developed without much compassion or even attention. The planners’ comments also reveal their disagreements, even concerning impartial ‘technical expertise.’ In other words, the establishment of the Azad resettlement colony illustrates a curious case of conflicts arising from power dynamics among the planners. Furthermore, the construction of leisure and religious spaces in addition to the resettlement colony reaffirm the extra-legal character of the state implementation of urban planning. The transfer of jhuggi residents to the Azad resettlement colony was carried out in haste without proper plotting. The total area was mostly designated as an “agricultural and water body [Yamuna River zone].”23 Thus, there was a need to change the land use from an 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  23 Resettlement Colonies Files, 30 April 2002, “Change of Land Use or 37.0 Ha. (91.4 acres) in Zone ‘O’ from Agricultural to Water Body (A-4) to Residential,” document number F3 (21) 2001, Delhi Development Authority (DDA), Delhi. 	   56 “agricultural and water body” to a residential area.24 The residents were transferred even before plots were developed in the neighbourhood. The contentious land acquisition process created animosity between the residents and the host populations in the nearby villages. The poor were left to fend for themselves against the wrath of the host populations (to be discussed in the next sections). It is beyond the scope of this thesis to analyze conflicts among various stakeholders in the urban expansion process in the outskirts of the city. The provisioning of services in the neighbourhood was complicated, as the land use changes had not been initiated before the colony was established.  The DDA considered the establishment of the Azad resettlement colony a “liability.”25 It further argued that the task of developing the colony was “thrust upon” the authority.26 What is also intriguing is the fact that the neighbourhood is labeled and referred to as a ‘transit camp’ developed for temporary accommodation,27 thereby highlighting the ad hocism of planning. The planners do not require clearance from the Delhi Urban Arts Commission (DUAC), which approves the aesthetics and functionality of projects, prior to developing the resettlement colonies. As Planner MA (DUAC) noted, “It is not within the mandate of DUAC to suggest aesthetic norms for the resettlement colonies. For this reason, we do not receive proposals with respect to resettlement colonies.”  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  24 Ibid. 25 Resettlement Colonies Files, 17 April 2001, “Development of Land for Relocation of Jhuggi Dwellers at …,” document number NO. EM. 6(31) 2000/Est. /Pt. I/3349-53, Delhi Development Authority (DDA), Delhi. (Minutes from a meeting with the vice chairman describing difficulties associated with land development are enclosed with the above document.) 26 Ibid. 27 Resettlement Colonies Files, 10 July 2000, “Temporary/ Transit Accommodation at …,” document number NO. F 2 (111)/Eld.10/799, Delhi Development Authority (DDA), Delhi. 	   57 The planning logic described above illustrates how housing for the poor need not abide by requirements prescribed for other planned neighbourhoods. In other words, the planners do not consider whether the poor may also require the aesthetic and functional integration of their neighbourhoods. Or, it may be the case that the experts always regard the resettlement colonies as temporary, capable of conveniently being removed during times of city renewal. In a nutshell, the three cases described above raise critical questions about democracy, the mechanisms and effects of state power, and urban development (Flyvbjerg 2002, 356).  A METHODOLOGICAL FRAMEWORK FOR STUDYING DISPLACED POPULATIONS  The different kinds of settlements reflect overlapping but distinct planning, political, social, legal, and organizational arrangements. These arrangements mark distinct patterns of displacement and generate specific modalities of struggles. In other words, the schemes and policies of the state underwrite the politics of planning and give rise to the politics of the poor. In this regard, I adopt an ethnographic approach to the study of planning, poverty, and politics, attempting “thick descriptions” of the events and everyday realities of the poor, in the manner proposed by Geertz (1973). In other words, I record the layers of meanings, inferences, and implications (ibid., 7) of poor people’s accounts of their experiences in particular social milieus. In so doing, I attempt to record the experiential and contextual realities with “empathy and mutuality” (Stacey 1988, 22) while documenting how the social relations and experiences of the poor are shaped by contemporary history (see also Willis and Trondman 2000, 6). More importantly, I examine how the poor “embody, mediate and enact the operations and results of unequal power” (Willis and Trondman 2000, 10). Through 	   58 ethnographic observations, I explore how affects and emotions mediate social relationships (Raffles 2002, 326). Drawing on Ortner (1995), I show how an ethnographic sensitivity can explore the richness of culture, politics, and the complexity of human agency. My ethnographic findings engage with the theoretical frameworks I have introduced in Chapter 1 and develop in the rest of the thesis. As will be evident, my approach offers a middle ground that avoids the extremes of overly “abstract theoretical categories” and “empirical fallacy” (Willis and Trondman 2000, 12) in attempting to illuminate an understanding of planning, poverty, and politics.  I carried out seventeen months of field research between April 2010 and August 2011 in Gautam Nagar, Sitapuri transit camp, and Azad resettlement colony. My work involved ethnographic observations among twenty-five households each in Gautam Nagar and Sitapuri transit camp. In Azad resettlement colony, I carried out ethnographic work among twenty households. On average, I interacted with two members of each family through conversations, informal interviews, and discussions. Thus, to document the effects of displacement, the experience of social suffering, and the logic of political mobilization on the ground, I draw on my ethnographic research among approximately 140 residents in these three neighbourhoods. While I met some residents repeatedly on an everyday basis over the course of fieldwork, the non-participant observations and informal discussions with many of the research collaborators were occasionally restricted to two to three encounters. I did not live in any of these neighbourhoods. Rather, I travelled to the neighbourhoods at various points of time depending on appointments. While I usually met residents in the morning before they left for work or in the evening after they came home, at times I also visited in the afternoon. Mostly, I sat in front of the eateries, grocery shops, and 	   59 teashops to discuss issues that concerned the residents. These were popular places where the residents congregated, played cards, and discussed issues. In the winter, residents burnt sundry materials to produce improvised fireplaces at various sites in the neighbourhoods. At times I joined these gatherings and to discuss issues concerning eviction and basic amenities in the neighbourhoods. My ethnographic work also involved visits to a range of offices, including the Food and Supply Department, Sub-divisional Magistrate’s Office, Public Works Department, Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board, and the Delhi Secretariat. I also attended court proceedings and grievance-related meetings with the councillor along with the residents of Sitapuri. In addition, my work involved attending the monthly meetings of grassroots organizations, events hosted by state bodies in the neighbourhoods, political rallies, and a range of demonstrations and celebrations. My first-hand observations at these events will animate my empirical arguments in the chapters that follow. Massive displacements were carried out in Delhi in 2001, when I was beginning my M.Phil. at Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU). Various activists organized events concerning these displacements, including teachers and students from JNU. These events sparked my academic interest in the subject. My activist friends introduced me to key residents from various groups and communities in the chosen neighbourhoods. The neighbourhoods are divided along lines of caste, community, regional origin, and political affiliation (I discuss the heterogeneity of the urban poor in Chapter 3). I did not have survey records to analyze caste, community affiliation, regional origin, and gender distribution in the neighbourhoods. However, I was careful to select households for study in order to be as representative as possible. My initial plan of following the electoral rolls to identify residents proved difficult 	   60 once I realized the extent of under-enumeration in these neighbourhoods. I attempted, however, to select households that would reflect differences in terms of income, caste, community, political affiliation, and gender distribution in various streets and blocks of the neighbourhoods. Most of the blocks and streets are socially diverse in Sitapuri transit camp and Azad resettlement colony, while some streets of Gautam Nagar housed a majority of people from the same caste or regional origin. For instance, a part of Gautam Nagar neighbourhood referred to as kabadda (scrap) camp mostly housed the poorest dalits28 of the area. Recycling scrap materials was a major economic activity in the area during the period of my fieldwork. Most poor residents in the selected settlements earned in the range of 2,000 to 10,000 rupees (US$44 to US$220) per month. During my field research, the lowest daily wage was between seventy and one hundred rupees (US$1.50 to US$2.20), seventy for women and one hundred for men. The income among the poorest also varied when both the parents and their children contributed to the family incomes. There was extensive unemployment as well. The highest paid residents among the poor are the intermediaries (discussed in Chapter 3), petty contractors, and traders who typically earn between 10,000 and 50,000 rupees (US$220 and US$1,111) per month. Most often they lived outside the neighbourhoods but possessed jhuggis or houses and actively participated in neighbourhood politics. In addition to ethnographic research, I conducted interviews with twenty-four planners of various planning institutions, ten activists, and four representatives of Lakshmi colony’s Resident Welfare Association (RWA). I spoke with the planners, activists, and RWA representatives in English mostly, though we also spoke in Hindi at times. In contrast, I conversed in Hindi with the 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  28 Dalit means oppressed. Dalits are at the bottom of the caste hierarchy in India. 	   61 residents of the three neighbourhoods. While many activist organizations and NGOs worked in these neighbourhoods (discussed in Chapter 6), three organizations figured prominently: Lok Raj Sangathan, Delhi Shramik Sangathan, and Jan Chetna Manch Lok Raj Sangathan is an organization run by human rights activists, trade union leaders, retired judges, and people with socialist leanings from various walks of life.29 The organization has a local office near Sitapuri transit camp. Local Lok Raj Sangathan activists organize the poor around a range of issues, including struggles to procure ration cards and voter IDs in Gautam Nagar and Azad resettlement colony. The organization played an important role in the road blockade demonstrations in Sitapuri (discussed in Chapter 6). However, the activities of Lok Raj Sangathan had diminished in Sitapuri during the time of my fieldwork. Similarly, Delhi Shramik Sangathan is a federation working among the poor in Delhi.30 The organization works in around one hundred low-income neighbourhoods and carries out cycle rallies to raise awareness around rights, policies, and legislations. During my fieldwork, the organization carried out a range of organizing activities especially related to the High Court case in Gautam Nagar. Finally, V.P. Singh, a former prime minister of India, had established Jan Chetna Manch in the mid-1990s. The organization campaigned against jhuggi demolitions and industrial closures in Delhi. Jan Chetna Manch became inactive in Delhi after the death of V.P. Singh, but was attempting to revive itself during the period of my fieldwork. The residents of Gautam Nagar, Sitapuri, and Azad resettlement colony often recalled Jan Chetna Manch’s active role in the past. The role of these organizations will be discussed in the course of the thesis. The intermediaries, especially 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  29 For more information, visit Lok Raj Sangathan’s website at http://www.lokraj.org.in/ (accessed July 10, 2014). 30 For more information, visit Delhi Shramik Sangathan’s website at http://delhidss.com/ (accessed July 10, 2014). 	   62 pradhans (chiefs, discussed in Chapter 3), maintain alliances and relationships with these organizations. Thus, the response of these organizations to particular problems in the neighbourhoods is not spontaneous, but is a result of patient relationship-building, ongoing negotiation, and knowledge-sharing about local issues affecting the poor. I have also drawn on a range of documents including policy reports on the neighbourhoods, Right to Information (RTI) applications and responses, letters and petitions, court verdicts, proof documents, self-survey sheets, pamphlets, and newsletters. While the residents provided most of the documents during the fieldwork, the policy documents regarding the neighbourhoods were collected from the Delhi Development Authority. Taking a cue from Ann Stoler (2002), I use the documents as “sites of state ethnography” (90). Thus, my documentary research does not merely entail the extractive collection of facts and data (ibid.). Rather, the documents provide an ethnographic perspective on the everyday functioning of the state institutions and social relations in the neighbourhoods.  Through ethnographic and documentary research, I analyze the specificity of social life, everyday interactions, and power dynamics along the lines of class, caste, literacy, and gender relations. Thus, along with examining the effects of state power, I also examine the embodiment of various kinds of capital in terms of the economic resources, cultural competences, social connections, and political power that shape each of these sites. I examine the complexities of human agency in everyday life by illustrating the hopes, aspirations, contradictions, and ambiguities in individual as well as collective action. Drawing on the work of Bourdieu (1999), I attempt to produce multiple perspectives that are coexistent and competing in particular contexts (3). In so doing, I have tried my best to follow the advice of Bourdieu (2003) to avoid “pre-reflexive social and academic 	   63 experiences of the social world” while carrying out research in these sites and writing up my findings (281).  PLANNING REGIMES AND THE STRUCTURAL VIOLENCE OF DEMOLITIONS   As discussed above, the tentativeness, ad hocism, and class basis of demolition and resettlement practices define the central features of planning in Delhi. In fact, Delhi’s housing policy promising “shelter for all” through the spatial integration of economic activities, social services, and urban activities (Planning Commission 2009, 108) has been systematically abandoned in its everyday implementation. The structural violence of demolitions is marked by top-down and non-participatory practices that often violate basic human rights. In Gautam Nagar, the residents were warned to vacate the premises peacefully the night before the impending demolition. Those who made some attempt to protest against the demolition were beaten up ruthlessly. The intermediaries were unconstitutionally rounded up and taken to the police station to prevent residents from inciting violent protests. As a pradhan remarked, “We were merely told that there was an order and taken to the police station.” Cell phones were snatched to interrupt communication with the activists, politicians, and the media.  When I visited Gautam Nagar a few days before the demolition in early 2009 during a preliminary field visit, the residents remarked that the demolitions would be carried out due to the urgency of preparations for the Commonwealth Games. A resident remarked: “Iss desh ka nagarik bas kothiwala aur videshi hai” (The true citizen of this country is the one who owns a house or is a foreigner). A luxury hotel opened a few months after the demolition, barely two hundred metres away from the demolished site. Residents argued that the hotel 	   64 opened just in time to accommodate the Commonwealth Games guests. The police prohibited the street vendors and scrap dealers from working in order to temporarily clean up the neighbourhood during the Games. Most often, these petty entrepreneurs were evicted from the area after their carts and weighing machines were seized. Thus, the desire to present a “world class” city to tourists and foreigners during the Commonwealth Games was taken to be the primary reason for the demolition of Gautam Nagar and the eviction of street vendors.  Similarly, a demolition drive against street vendors was launched when I was doing fieldwork in Sitapuri. I was having a conversation with one particular vendor in late August 2010. The vendors sold vegetables, spices, clothes, junk jewelry, and trinkets, which they had arranged on their carts. Many had temporary makeshift structures, usually made of tarpaulin sheets supported by four bamboo poles. Each vendor had a demarcated space, informally decided by the vendors plying their trade. These temporary structures protected vendors from harsh summers and monsoons. All of a sudden there was a commotion and vendors screamed and alerted others about an approaching Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) vehicle. The vehicle had indeed arrived to raid the vendors who were ‘illegally’ plying their trades on the road. The vendors uprooted the bamboo and dismantled the partial structures to save their valuable belongings. They quickly drove their carts into the gallis (lanes) adjoining the street. Children accompanying the vendors ran frantically carrying their belongings into the gallis. Those who could not move fast had to bear the brunt of the MCD officials. Their makeshift structures were torn apart, carts and gunny bags containing vegetables were seized, and their names were noted. Some vendors who had their carts farthest away from the road were spared.  	   65 When I objected to the raid, the MCD officials—who themselves belonged to the lower rungs of the corporation—argued that they were only following orders. A group of vendors sarcastically remarked: “Yes, we had bombs in those gunny bags. MCD had to take those away.” The vendors barely made 150 to 200 rupees (US$3.33 to US$4.44) per day by selling fresh vegetables in 2010. Destruction of property, seizure of vegetables and carts, and routine public humiliation were features of their everyday lives. The MCD raids became more frequent prior to the Commonwealth Games. During the games the vendors could only ply their trade in the crowded gallis adjoining the road, which significantly reduced their daily earnings. The Games wrought havoc on the lives of the poor. As an auto-rickshaw driver in Sitapuri noted: “If there is another such game, all the poor would be out of this city. But the poor have already cursed the city. See, it’s raining incessantly even in September this year. You will see, the games will be a total disaster.” The presence of a dense low-income neighbourhood like Sitapuri transit camp amidst middle-class posh neighbourhoods depresses local real estate values. Further, the construction of luxury hotels around crowded streets is an inconvenience for the bourgeois guests. Thus, the beautification drives that target the poor have been correlated with middle-class activism and the gentrification of urban spaces in recent years. Sitapuri transit camp residents have substantially invested in their building structures. Almost all the residents have built additional floors to accommodate growing families. Many depend on kiraya (rent) from subletting their property for everyday expenditures, especially in the context of rampant unemployment. Moreover, the new residents each spent approximately 200,000 rupees (US$4,444) to purchase homes in the neighbourhood after selling everything they had back in their villages. The residents have also made enormous emotional investments in the 	   66 neighbourhood. As Resident V remarked: “I was a small kid when we came here. I got married here. My brothers and sisters got married here. Meanwhile we have erected three floors and we all live in the same house.”  The economic conditions and uncertainty of living in jhuggi settlements under the threat of demolition prevent the poor from investing in the jhuggis long-term. Hence, the jhuggi structures are precarious and ultimately unfit for habitation. Nevertheless, the poor slowly augment their jhuggis with valuable building materials and structures. Residents in Gautam Nagar described with a certain amount of pride the bricks, asbestos, and tin roofs, wooden doors, cots, water coolers, and other possessions they had accumulated over their years in the city. During demolitions, many residents could not collect their belongings as they were forced to leave the premises. Later the residents retrieved partly destroyed belongings and building structures from the debris. As Resident K noted, “The demolitions were over in a few hours in the morning, but we were busy retrieving our belongings until late in the night. Children ran helter-skelter and did not have food. Some residents volunteered to buy biscuits and tea for the children.” Often the residents lost household materials and tools that had been accumulated over many years. More importantly, the residents note that some lost valuable documents, including their ration cards, during the demolitions. An added challenge was to store the retrieved materials after demolitions. The residents who rented houses were not allowed to carry broken building structures into their rented houses. Those who lived in the makeshift huts could not pile their belongings out in the open. As Resident S recalled: “They started bulldozing early in the morning when people were still sleeping in their jhuggis. Those who had gone to their villages lost everything. Actually many also returned back to their villages after their jhuggis were demolished.” 	   67 While the residents who could afford to rent places found alternative accommodation, the poorest still lived in the makeshift huts with plastic covers over their heads during the biting cold of February. The makeshift arrangements were often torn apart by the police who routinely chased the poor out of the area. Old men and women who did not have caretakers remained on the demolished sites at the mercy of the police. During the time of my fieldwork, they adjusted their precarious huts according to the progress of the digging work at the construction site. Rubble, especially broken concrete with protruding iron rods and dug up land, made the place dangerous for everyday activities. Women left their babies in the care of older children to go look for work. Such makeshift arrangements particularly posed a threat to younger children who often crawled out of the huts. Accidents and deaths are common at demolished and resettlement sites (See Padhi 2007, 81-82; Menon-Sen and Bhan 2008, 9, 136-37). A resident of Gautam Nagar remembered that “A young boy fell into the ditch merely few days after the demolition and we could only retrieve his dead body.” Gautam Nagar residents noted that when they approached a politician for help, he stated: “Return back to the place you came from.” Demolitions and resettlement not only produce a myriad of problems in the city but also dash the aspirations of the poor for upward mobility. The stigma of extreme poverty after demolitions further burdened the residents who experienced a range of mental crises. Many residents stopped inviting friends and relatives to their place of residence near the demolished sites. A resident once asked me: “What will people think of us back in our villages when they hear that we live like this?” The sudden decline in income after demolition exacerbated the problem of hunger in the neighbourhood. New residents in particular faced enormous hardship if they had purchased jhuggis merely few months before the demolitions. All of a sudden they had lost their most 	   68 valuable investment, and also remained ineligible for resettlement plots. According to the activists, the humiliation associated with being evicted has also been linked to suicides in Delhi (Padhi 2007, 82 and 89). Residents’ incomes declined dramatically after demolition. Those residents of Gautam Nagar working in the recycling business experienced extreme downward mobility after demolition. Since contractors could no longer hoard scrap materials on the demolition site, residents who had previously worked recycling scrap materials could not find gainful employment in the neighbourhoods. Similarly, residents who ran dhabas (roadside eateries) and shops were also adversely affected after their properties were demolished. Renting houses added a further burden of 800 to 1000 rupees (USD$18 to USD$22) per month for many, while people who could afford to rent went in search of rooms in low-income neighbourhoods like Meethapur, Pehladpur, Zaitpur, Thekhand, Khadar, and Harkesh Nagar. Along with options for making a living, provisions of basic life necessities were also terribly jeopardized by the demolitions. Tube wells were uprooted prior to the demolitions in Gautam Nagar, which further obstructed access to the neighbourhood’s water supply. Those who previously had electric lighting now relied on kerosene lamps in their makeshift post-demolition jhuggis. Confiscation of ration cards prevented the poor from obtaining subsidized food commodities. Increased tensions and conflicts over scarce resources, especially water supply, became acute, which resulted in frequent fights among residents. As Scheper-Hughes (1992) notes in another context, the nervous-hungry often explode into rage against one another (211). Many returned back to their villages, as they could not afford to rent, with the hope that they would return to the city once they were allotted resettlement plots. The stigma of losing a house and returning to the village without any visible upward 	   69 mobility bothered many residents. Deaths from diarrhea and accidents were also common. Indebtedness is a very serious problem after demolition. Often the loan sharks took advantage of the poor by offering money at usurious rates. Thus, residents’ accounts document experiences of suffering that resulted from demolition. This structural violence of demolition can be embedded within the contemporary history of urban political economy and restructuring (see also Farmer 2003).   PLANNING REGIMES AND THE STRUCTURAL VIOLENCE OF RESETTLEMENT  The resettlement colonies concretize and express the prevailing social relations in the city. Henri Lefebvre’s (1991) insights have helped us understand the processes underpinning the production of space, especially in the urban context of contemporary capitalism (see also Soja 1989, 127). As Soja (1989) argues in general terms, spatiality embodies and presupposes social relations and social structure, and the forms of spatiality give rise to conflicts and crises (129). Resettlement colonies express particular forms of spatiality and their accompanying conflicts in the context of post-colonial cities like Delhi. Furthermore, the process of resettlement must also be seen as a temporal phenomenon (Das 1996, 1510). Das (1996) remarks that seeing resettlement in temporal terms allows us analytically to capture the dynamics of mental health, environmental risk, the role of the state, and coping mechanisms over time (1510-11).  As I have noted above, often the resettlements are carried out without following official procedures. Even adequate notice is not provided prior to eviction. The sight of eviction resembles a revenge drama, as an activist once noted to me. Adequate means of transportation are usually not provided to carry the residents’ belongings. The process of 	   70 resettlement not only involves involuntary settlement in inhabitable lands without basic amenities but also destroys the networks, relationships, and patronage of key leaders and politicians. The decontextualized free-floating expertise underpinning such technical solutions (Ferguson 2006, 275) does not take into account the lived realities of the poor. A lifetime is needed to build various kinds of relationships, networks, and support systems. In a recent article, Read (2012) analyzes the difficult process of placing the poor in a resettlement colony established during the Emergency, providing insight into the social relations, opportunities, and marginalization of the poor in these settings.  The residents of Azad resettlement colony lost friends, neighbours, and acquaintances who had helped them in various ways in the past. According to one resident, all residents were resettled in eight pockets. The attempt was to resettle the residents coming from the same jhuggi settlement together. However, many residents were scattered after the demolitions and had to start new lives with the evicted residents brought from faraway jhuggi settlements in Nehru Place, Alaknanda, Sarita Vihar, Okhla, Lajpat Nagar, Batra Hospital, Tughlaqabad, Rajnagar, and Green Park. Further, the lease tenure of a mere five years initially created confusion and uncertainty among the residents. The resettled residents remained perplexed by the brutality and urgency of demolition. The evicted residents of Ambedkar camp in Nehru place attest that the cleared-up area was later used as a parking lot. As Resident M remarked: “Our jhuggis were demolished between 2000 and 2001. Some of us demolished the jhuggis on our own to salvage valuable building materials. Later we realized that the government built a parking lot on our demolished homes.”  Azad resettlement colony was developed in a daldal (marshy) area without any basic amenities. The varying plot sizes of twenty-two, eighteen, and 12.5 square metres for 	   71 different groups of people created confusion. This also produced a fertile ground for the seizure and inequitable exchanges of plots. Those who were allotted plots measuring 12.5 square metres could barely manage to fit a charpai (woven jute cot) in their homes. When I was conducting fieldwork in 2011, many evicted residents who were eligible for resettlement were still running around the MCD offices trying to procure plots. Resident AR noted that “Approximately 600 to 700 eligible residents have not received their plots until now.” Similarly, Resident T stated, “Approximately 500 eligible Ambedkar camp residents have not got resettlement plots yet. Many other residents have illegally occupied plots here.” Many residents were forced to sell their plots and search for new accommodation due to the unavailability of work in the neighbourhood. Those who were unable to pay the resettlement fees at the time of allotment could not procure their plots. Exchanges of plots, misidentifications of beneficiaries, and usurpation of plots by local big men who deceived the most vulnerable residents with token payments were all rampant. Without adequate material and social resources in the initial years, most of the resettled people were unable to build houses. Initially the residents could only manage to live in makeshift jhuggis at the sites. The financiers extended loans to the residents at usurious rates by keeping the allotment slips and ration cards as collateral. Gradually the residents built their houses after borrowing money. However, rampant indebtedness was the major reason that allotment plots were sold by the poorest residents. As Resident B told me: “I have seen the land dealers buying plots for 50,000 rupees (US$1,111) and selling them for 500,000 rupees (US$11,111). It was a time of desperation.” Activist R recalled: “There was a major scandal in 2006 and 2007 regarding the allotment of plots, misidentification of beneficiaries, and dalals owning multiple plots in the resettlement colonies.” Rao (2013a) 	   72 notes the experience of resettlement as a negotiated process wherein the poor improvise ways of owning plots in the context of lack of material resources. The residents took an average of three to four years to build their houses on the allotted plots. In the meantime they lived in the huts in an isolated marshy land exposed to rodents, snakes, and animals.  RESIDENT A: We put our huts in the allotted areas. Sometimes the strong wind just blew our huts away in the middle of the night. No longer was the fight with the Delhi Development Authority. After resettlement, the territorial battle was fought between humans on one side and animals including rodents, insects, and snakes on the other.   RESIDENT B: Big rodents roamed around the area and bit the residents regularly.   RESIDENT J: You could see blankets, tin shades, and buckets flying around. Sometimes we just huddled together in the public toilet in the night.   RESIDENT H: It was raining heavily the day we were brought here. After we were dumped, we realized that our allotted plot was flooded with water up to the waist.  RESIDENT BC: If you dug a bit, you hit the water. This was a jungle area. The drains often spilled over. The area was used as a burial ground before, so we would find bones everywhere.  Azad resettlement colony, which was established after violating planning protocols, resembles a “gray space” (Yiftachel 2009). Oren Yiftachel (2009) uses the term “gray space” to refer to “developments, enclaves, populations and transactions positioned between the ‘lightness’ of legality/approval/safety and the ‘darkness’ of eviction/destruction/death” (243). While Yiftachel describes a completely different context (namely, the Beersheba metropolitan region), the resettlement colonies resemble such a gray space in constituting “pseudo-permanent margins” (ibid., 243). The residents of Azad resettlement colony vividly narrated the process of the “creation of peripheral, weakened and marginalized spaces,” as described by Yiftachel (ibid.). The residents note that it was difficult to construct anything. The colony adjoins an effluent drain and the Yamuna River. The flooding of the river Yamuna resulted in the stagnation of water in the neighbourhood that created breeding 	   73 grounds for mosquitoes. As a resident noted: “We have to burn a range of materials to produce smoke to ward off swarming mosquitos and flies near our huts.” Similarly, another resident noted, “Mosquitoes feast on us.”  In the absence of water facilities, the residents installed hand pumps and drew contaminated water for drinking. The hand pumps were attached to pipes supplying water into the houses. (However, those who could afford to buy water resisted drinking hand pump water.) There was also no water supply during the time of my fieldwork in 2011. Young men ferried cycle trolleys carrying water in containers in the neighbourhood. Each container carried fifteen litres of water and was sold for ten rupees at a discounted rate. Otherwise, the residents bought one litre by paying one rupee. The residents could not verify if the water bought was potable, though it was believed that the quality of purchased water was better than the water drawn from hand pumps. As Resident B remarked: “The hand-pump water quality is very bad here. If you keep the water for fifteen minutes it turns yellow.” The politicians sent water tankers in the absence of clean water supply, but there were frequent fights over the distribution of water. Ironically, there is a government liquor shop near the entrance of the neighbourhood. Many residents without jobs, experiencing downward mobility and everyday violence, have become alcoholics, according to one resident.  I was perplexed when the residents complained about the lack of water facilities and cremation or burial grounds in the same breath. Later on I understood the normalization of death and the practical need for cremation and burial grounds as the residents shared poignant stories about the many deaths that had occurred after resettlement. In fact, diarrhea and dengue-related deaths were rampant in the initial years of resettlement.  	   74 RESIDENT BC: Guessing, one hundred to 150 people died because of dengue alone when we came here. [Dengue continued to be a major cause of death in 2010 when I was doing my fieldwork in Delhi.]   RESIDENT B: Last year many people died of dengue here. The sight of cycle trolleys carrying dead bodies was commonplace. I guess around 1,000 people have died since we have been resettled in this neighbourhood.   RESIDENT T: I am the pradhan, so I know the number of deaths. Up until now 4,100 people have died in this neighbourhood. Some families lost four to five members after relocating here.  While it was not possible for me to verify the exact number of deaths, these narratives reveal the enormity of death that has occurred since resettlement and the violence of state policies. Recurring statements like “half the population died” and “death was rampant” indicated the high incidence of death and the “routinization of human suffering” (Scheper-Hughes 1992, 16) after resettlement. The residents note that many perished when they could not bear the harsh winter after being resettled in a low-lying open area. Resident BC stated: “The situation was bad. We would go to cremate a body, and by the time we returned back, there was another death in the neighbourhood.” Deaths were attributed mostly to hunger and the drinking of contaminated water. Furthermore, communicable diseases including typhoid, jaundice, cholera, and malaria were rampant during my fieldwork. Skin rashes, stomach problems, and joint pain were other ailments that accompanied life-taking diseases. According to Resident B, “The prevalence of joint pain is common among residents.” Without adequate income and transportation, most of the sick residents relied on jhola chhap doctors (informal medical practitioners).  The host populations attempted to use the colony as a site for generating profits of various kinds. In the absence of government services, the private operators of host villages provided a range of services including water, electricity, and transportation. The planning 	   75 machinery failed to initiate any dialogue with the host populations and the residents of Azad resettlement colony faced the wrath of the host populations if they resisted or organized to provide services on their own. It took four to five years for the residents to get electricity. Private suppliers provided electricity by running generators, charging ten rupees per hour in the initial years. As a resident put it: “Some of the nearby village people lost land when the colony was established. Therefore they felt entitled to make money by providing services and forcing the government to delay provisioning basic amenities.”  Private operators provided the limited transportation available in the area. The operators ran mini-buses and charged more money than public transport for comparable distances. There were frequent fights between the operators and the travellers. Many residents noted that the operators instructed the drivers to load as many people as they could to increase profits. Resident N: “They hiked the fares whenever they wished.” Resident B: “Until recently, they filled the vehicles as if residents travelling to the resettlement colony were animals.” The hostile host population also took advantage of a surplus population living immediately next to their villages by offering extremely low daily wages compared to the prevailing wages for similar work done elsewhere. In short, the planning ideologies underpinning resettlement betray the visions, aspirations, and images of social mobility among millions of people who throng the city to fight chronic rural poverty. As discussed above, industrial closures in Delhi have further impoverished and created labour market insecurities while limiting work opportunities. Resettlement creates obstacles for the poor participating in both the old and the new economy (for a discussion of opportunities and constraints in the new economy, see Shatkin 2007, 12), thwarting employment opportunities 	   76 due to high transportation costs and inconvenient location combined with ongoing domestic responsibilities. In Marxist thought, there is a presumption that class relations encompass social relations. Critiquing this notion, Doreen Massey (1994) shows that gender relations are integral to the spatiality and geography of capitalist and post-colonial class formations (2). In other words, the social relations of space are not only experienced differently along class lines but also according a multiplicity of other social relations including gender relations (ibid., 3-4). The spatial relations produced through resettlement have created unequal vulnerabilities for women. Women who worked in middle class households as maids or in sabzi mandi (vegetable wholesale markets) before resettlement lost their jobs, as they could not reach their places of work early in the morning due to lack of transportation. The residents had to walk up to the highway for almost two or three kilometres before they could find any transportation. Women spent twenty-five rupees (US$0.55) per day on transportation travelling to middle-class colonies to earn a monthly salary of 1,500 to 3,000 rupees (US$33 to US$67). Furthermore, the issue of safety for women walking in early mornings and late evenings prevented them from actively taking up work in far-away neighbourhoods. Often the residents were robbed of their bicycles, money, and belongings by petty thieves while returning back from work in the initial years of resettlement. The neighbourhood was dark and disconnected without any street lighting in the first few years.  Toilet facilities were limited, poorly maintained, and operated by charging user fees to residents. Further, the lack of toilet facilities at home or immediately near the place of residence created problems, especially for sick residents. The areas marked for parks were used as dumping grounds as the garbage bins overflowed in the neighbourhood. During my 	   77 fieldwork, bins overflowed with rotten garbage emitting a putrid stench in the neighbourhoods. Animals rummaged the heaps, further scattering the garbage, and residents covered their faces while passing by. Sewer lines were also absent in the neighbourhood and often the engineers dug up the area to build roads, which created problems with water logging.31 Most portions of the Azad resettlement colony did not have proper roads in 2011. The muddy roads were washed away frequently and water in the potholes stagnated and turned black. Often children threw stones splashing the dirty water onto the street as a favorite pastime. During my field visits I often tiptoed around the neighbourhood so as to avoid stepping in the mud. Azad Resettlement colony was not handed over to MCD, the agency responsible for providing municipal services, until 2012 (DUSIB 2011b). As Planners BH and MS, from the DUSIB, remarked to me: “According to the rules, the resettlement colonies should be handed over to the MCD within four years of development. But MCD slum wing does not accept the transference. It demands deficiency charges to augment substandard, depleted, and ill-maintained facilities in the neighbourhoods. If DDA or any other government agencies decline to provide the deficiency charge, then the colony is unattended.”  As discussed before, the DDA is responsible for planning and developing the resettlement colonies. Subsequently, the colonies are handed over to the MCD for maintenance work. Many of the problems in Azad resettlement colony emerged because of the multiplicity of governance structures and uncoordinated policy implementation between the DDA and the state government. As a result of this delay, the physical condition in Azad 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  31 Resettlement Colonies Files, 12 April 2001, “V.C.’s Inspection of … J.J. Resettlement Sites,” document number F. 2(1)/2001/LM (C)- Pt./ 57, Delhi Development Authority (DDA), Delhi. 	   78 resettlement colony deteriorated. It was only in 2012 that the DUSIB drew up plans for repairing and renovating the existing roads and drains in the neighbourhood. There was neither a school nor a dispensary at the time of resettlement. Children were forced to drop out of school after getting resettled in the neighbourhood. According to one resident, the school was managed from makeshift huts until 2005. A school was constructed next to the sludge created by the effluent from the nearby power plant and residents reported that a few children had drowned in it. The area still did not have a dispensary during the time of my fieldwork. The land department had confiscated the ration cards of the residents,32 and residents took more than three or four years to receive new ones after resettlement. Thus, the residents could not procure subsidized food commodities after resettlement. The loss of ration cards is especially worrying in the context of hunger-related deaths. Thus, the above accounts and my field observations document ‘offensives’ the poor have encountered as a result of the implementation of planning regimes. Farmer (2003) argues, “social suffering is ‘structured’ by historically given (and often economically driven) processes and forces” (40). Drawing on Farmer, I have illustrated how urban planning—especially through policies of demolition and resettlement—produces structured patterns of social suffering as a result of processes of structural violence.  This chapter has described the effect of urban planning embodied in the policies of demolition and resettlement on the urban poor. In the next four chapters, I analyze the logic of political mobilization among the poor in response to the structural violence they face through the implementation of these policies. With reference to the above three field sites, I consider the messiness of the politics and popular struggles that have been engaged through 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  32 Ibid. 	   79 the planning process regarding the eviction of the poor, lack of basic services, confiscation of ration cards, and struggles to acquire resettlement plots. In particular, the next four chapters of the thesis will deal with modes of political mobilization employed by the urban poor in Delhi, specifically their political participation through intermediaries, their negotiation with the state and judiciary, and their resistance to urban policies. These critical issues must remain at the forefront in any attempt to address the political agency of the urban poor. 	   80 Chapter 3  Pradhan, Samaj Sevak, and Sarkari Karmachari: Intermediaries, Urban Governance, and Politics    In this chapter, I begin discussing how the urban poor participate in the civic and political life of the city through various kinds of intermediaries who help negotiate forms of inequality, citizenship, and democracy. In particular, I examine the resilience of vote-bank politics, the idioms and strategies of intermediaries who offer personalized services, and demands for differential treatment instead of abstract and liberal justice. The intermediaries’ actions reveal the peculiarity of urban modernity, hybridity, and cultural difference in India. A historical understanding of the contextual, structural, and relational features of mediated politics in Delhi goes against the current of liberal thinking about the state, rule of law, and abstract principles of modernity.  As Khan (2005) argues, the persistence of patron-client relationships can be traced to structural factors characteristic of capitalist development in post-colonial societies. Without resources to redistribute, these structures give rise to competitive factional politics. Khan notes that India’s economic structure is marked by an “informal economy, presence of non-market accumulation processes (often described as primitive accumulation), and the use of state power to create a range of rents that directly benefit the factions in power” (ibid., 712). In other words, the “economic characteristics of developing countries make patron-client politics both rational for redistributive coalitions and effective as strategies for achieving the goals of powerful constituencies within these coalitions” (ibid., 704).  In this light, I argue that the nature and model of capitalist development embodied in urban policies and recent restructuring processes in Delhi have created an excluded 	   81 constituency without housing and adequate amenities, which must resort to competitive vote-bank politics to redistribute urban resources. The marginalization of the urban poor and the current preoccupation with city aesthetics indicate conflicting class interests and give rise to distinct political and civic practices. These practices are not merely symptoms of cultural difference or inconsistency in modern statecraft (Fuller and Harriss 2009). In fact, the urban poor understand the class character, structural limits, and relative benefits of statecraft, and modify their political strategies based on careful calculations and political rhetoric. Further, Thomas Hansen’s (2005a) incisive study finds that much of India’s experience with modernity and democracy is founded upon violence. The assertion of plebeian identities to compensate for social inequalities reflects the weakening of patronage structures and the emergence of ethno-religious political parties like Shiv Sena (ibid., 9). While Hansen’s argument about how changing political cultures encourage violent struggle over material and symbolic resources is useful, the governance and political structures of Delhi’s low-income settlements still largely reflect old style vote-bank politics, clientelism, and patronage structures. In fact, the combination of changing political cultures and patronage structures gives rise to extra-constitutional authorities that remain to some degree enmeshed in state structures.  This chapter explores the participation of the urban poor in state policies and politics. An ethnographic approach allows us to contextualize the nature of patronage politics, gendered mediation, and options for income and housing within the framework of neo-liberal restructuring and consequent impoverishment (Auyero 2000b; Roy 2003; Jeffrey 2009). I draw on these works to argue that the features of the capitalist economy, urban opportunity structures, neo-liberal labour market restructuring, and everyday conflicts over scarce 	   82 services are conducive to vote-bank politics and clientelism. These political struggles involve various forms of exploitation, accumulation strategies, and the redistribution of basic urban amenities. Thus, in addition to my own fieldwork, I draw on contemporary ethnographies that look at the “micropolitical economy of cultural practices,” the “political economy of gender regimes” (Ferguson 1999), and the habitus, cultural styles, and practices of marginalized populations struggling in the context of neo-liberalism (Jeffrey et al. 2008; Jeffrey 2009).  HETEROGENEITY OF THE CATEGORY “URBAN POOR”  Before discussing the political practices of poor people in the city, the category ‘urban poor’ itself must be scrutinized. The diverse experiences and economic and non-economic identities of the urban poor give rise to distinct, neighbourhood-specific political struggles. Nandini Gooptu’s (2001) methodological argument for the category urban poor instead of ‘working classes’ or ‘labour’ is useful (3). Gooptu avoids the latter categories as they connote “organized, formal sector industrial workers,” while the term ‘urban poor’ avoids suggesting “a distinct social class arising from a particular set of production relations” with a singular identity arising from “shared interests and plight” (ibid.). Gooptu deploys the term ‘urban poor’ to “encompass various occupational groups and to highlight the diversity and plurality of their employment relations and working conditions” (ibid.). Thus, the category urban poor must be qualified; the term intentionally implies specific vulnerabilities associated with varying social locations even among the urban poor populations. For example, Harriss (1986) distinguishes workers with permanent wage work from the “working poor” who “are usually not unemployed but rather make poor livings by working, sometimes very hard indeed in marginal—sometimes illegal—economic activities” (232). 	   83 The vulnerability of the urban poor originates from economic relations among different occupational groups, and non-economic relations among groups identified by caste and religious affiliations (Saberwal 1977, 15; Harriss 1986; Gooptu 2001, 2-3; Breman 2004). However, the contemporary vulnerability of the urban poor in Delhi also relates to the legal definition of their neighbourhoods, the possession of proof documents for resettlement and welfare eligibility, and the nature of patronage structures. Thus the most vulnerable poor are lower castes and Muslim women engaged in casual work without permanent jobs and living in jhuggi jhopri settlements without eligibility for future resettlement. This vulnerability is compounded if a rival politician wins the election and shows lukewarm interest in extending basic amenities to the neighbourhood. While income differences exist among the urban poor living in informal settlements prior to demolitions and relocation, other factors become more pronounced over time when they are relocated to ‘transit camps’ or ‘resettlement colonies.’ Without access to work nearby, many poor people are forced to sell their resettlement or transit camp plots to cover living expenses and emergency medical care, as discussed in Chapter 2. As resettled neighbourhoods become integrated as a result of adjacent land acquisition and city expansion, families with relatively higher income move into these neighbourhoods. Thus, the population of Guatam Nagar is predominantly comprised of casual workers, daily wage labourers, contract factory workers, and construction workers. This is the most vulnerable population in the city, apart from the homeless and destitute groups, which include street performers, petty workers, and abandoned people who are often physically and mentally challenged. The only housing option for the latter is night shelter facilities during inclement weather conditions, which remain chronically insufficient in size. The urban poor residing in 	   84 Gautam Nagar have managed to access some form of shelter. Thus, their primary survival demands involved delaying demolitions and obtaining basic services and procuring resettlement plots following the demolition of their neighbourhood in 2009. In this context, inequalities in the jhuggi jhopri neighbourhoods are defined by the ability to procure proof documents, appropriate scarce resources, acquire or exchange suitable plots upon resettlement, build additional structures, and carry out local business activities. The new resettlement neighbourhoods like the Azad resettlement colony have become affordable places for small contractors, lower rung government workers, and service providers in private firms. These new entrants to the neighbourhoods must coexist with the original allottees, who are often initially looked down upon by newcomers. However, coexistence necessitates solidarity and unity for mobilizing to get basic services. As Auyero (2000b) has observed, “clientelist problem-solving involves constructing personalized ties, an imaginary solidaristic community, and a protective and predictable network that buffers the harsh everyday reality of the slum” (70). There is a constant process of simultaneous upward and downward mobility in low-income neighbourhoods. Thus, while employment in the new economy, relative job security in factories, and entrepreneurship may contribute to upward mobility, mobility is often thwarted by retrenchment, factory closures, losses incurred in businesses for various reasons including lack of political patronage, relocation upon demolition, and lack of proximal work due to urban restructuring policies. It is not uncommon to see the majority of residents in these neighbourhoods barely eke out a living from daily wage labour even after living there for fifteen to twenty years.  Scholars bring to our attention the interpenetration of the formal and informal sectors (Holmstrom 1984; Breman 1996; Gooptu 2001). As Gooptu (2001) argues, “The labour 	   85 market is characterized by interchangeability and mobility of workers between sectors” (22). Survival in the city demands flexibility, learning new skills, and coping with unexpected exigencies and downward mobility, though there are rare cases of upward mobility. As one resident commented, “bhikaari banke aaya tha, maalik ban gaya” (I came as a beggar but I have become a master now). Upward mobility is experienced most often by transport operators, scrap dealers, and construction-related contractors. Most often these residents start off as daily wage labourers in scrap-dealing and construction sites, or as drivers for transport operators. However, significant upward mobility may be afforded by social and political connections, funds from trusting moneylenders, creating dependencies to control and manage other workers, risk taking, and entrepreneurial skills.  Differences along caste, community, and gender lines precipitate distinct modes of politics too. Neighbourhood residents often define Muslims, for example, along the lines of global and local Islamophobic terms, including their perceived uncontrollable fertility; predisposition for fighting, terrorism, and slaughter (referring to the profession of meat cutting); how they celebrate Pakistan's wins over India in cricket matches; how they (the Hindus) feel insecure in predominantly Muslim areas like Batla House, Turkman Gate, Okhla Mandi, Jamia Nagar, and Seelampur; and the daily disruption caused by offering namaz (the ritual prayer of Muslims) over loud speakers. The views of residents regarding the numerical insignificance of Muslims in the three neighbourhoods studied reconfirms a disturbing Islamophobia that highlights the civic and political marginalization Muslims face. There is unity and solidarity along caste, regional origin, and community lines, as well as around food, political affiliation, and festivals. But one notices bhed-bhav (discrimination), antagonisms, and fighting along caste and community lines as well. Petty quarrels over the 	   86 distribution of water and electricity, garbage disposal, and fights among children often end up in name-calling, and deepen suspicions and hatred for other castes, religions, or regions. It is not uncommon to flaunt one’s caste identity and the propriety of voting for a party (mostly the Bahujan Samajwadi Party or the Bharatiya Janata Party) that supports a particular community. The real and imaginary sense of historical injustice experienced by each community adds a further layer of mistrust among residents. Jha, Rao and Woolcock (2007) argue that ethnically homogeneous slums reproduce structures of informal rural governance, while heterogeneous slums produce informal leaders “who gain their authority through political connections, education, and network entrepreneurship” (230). However, the reproduction of rural institutions and governance structures in urban neighbourhoods also involves their transformation, even in relatively homogeneous neighbourhoods, and traditional authorities become weak in urban contexts. Despite differences in caste, religion, and regional origin, there is palpable solidarity among residents around critical issues affecting their shared locality. As one resident in Sitapuri transit camp noted, “Politicians, factory owners, or religious leaders may try to divide us, but the reality is that we need to have bhai-chara (brotherhood) to survive here. Unless we have bhai-chara we can not exist and bargain for our rights.” Residents are thus aware of their marginality in the urban economic and political landscape. They build community based on compromise and trust to deal with the exigencies of life. Solidarity is required to deal with the police, to get an electricity connection from a neighbour (if paying for a connection from the company is outside one’s means), and to reciprocate favours by standing in a queue for water, baby-sitting, or loaning money during times of emergency. As one resident in Gautam Nagar put it: “In galli-mohalla (lane-	   87 neighbourhoods), the neighbours are more important than your own relatives.” If the neighbourhood has caste-specific gallis (lanes), like Kabadda (scrap) camp in Gautam Nagar (referring to the scavenging work of the primarily Dalit residents of this galli, as discussed in Chapter 2), they also have intermediaries from their own caste. (However, residents attest that the gallis are not as homogeneous as they once were.) A sense of superiority exists among upper-caste residents who secretly divulge caste details about other residents. A resident in Gautam Nagar expressed his caste bias, stating, “People do a lot of dikhawa (showing off). They are of lower caste but they would use surnames like Singh to evade their own identity.” The rise of the BSP in local municipal elections has also challenged the hegemony of upper-caste interests. One resident remarked that “bhangi ka raaj hai” (the bhangis rule). Alarming casteist comments are also widespread, such as defending the pride of Rajput or Brahmin, mocking the lowly occupations of Dalits, and recalling undue punishments and violence perpetrated by upper-caste police officials in the neighbourhoods. Yet despite the survival of caste prejudices and discrimination, evidence of crumbling caste hegemony can be found in the political participation of the leaders of the lower castes. In fact, a resident of the upper Rajput caste in Sitapuri transit camp remarked, “I would like to return back to my village. I do not like it here. There is so much of gandh (dirt) here. Back in my village the bhangis (low-caste people engaged in scavenging work) will bow, take off their shoes and touch my feet, and say ‘pranam’ (a form of greeting) from a distance. But here they want to sit with you.” This resident, whom the other residents refer to as pagal (mad), is unhappy with the political agency available to lower castes and feels helpless to the point of considering a return to his village where his brethren reproduce familiar caste prejudices, exclusions, and violence.  	   88  THE FIGURE OF THE INTERMEDIARY   Mediated politics are at the heart of urban governance, especially struggles to access services and resist demolitions. Because the urban poor are structurally disadvantaged and have little cultural capital, their political participation is often actualized through the “brokerage of political party” (Harriss 2006, 453). Intermediaries between state and society take various forms and define themselves in various ways. For the sake of clarity, it is important to define the categories involved. While the services and strategies offered by intermediaries overlap considerably, their sources of legitimacy and motivations are different. Pradhans (chiefs), samaj sevaks (social workers), and sarkari karmacharis (government workers) all operate as intermediaries and provide myriad services. Each possesses “knowledge, skills, and attitudes,” as Manor (2000) notes (819), that qualify them to meet people’s everyday needs in their localities.  Bourdieu (1991) argues that the dispossession of the dominated classes is “inseparable from the existence of a body of professionals, objectively invested with the monopoly of the legitimate use of the legitimate language” (59). The intermediaries attempt but ultimately fail to occupy what Bourdieu calls the “intermediate regions of the social space” (ibid., 62). Thus, their socially sanctioned desire to inhabit these intermediate spaces creates “tension and pretension” (ibid.), particularly when they confront the experts, caretakers, and personnel of the bourgeois class. In fact, as Bourdieu argues, linguistic competencies can be “signs of wealth” and “signs of authority” (ibid., 66). While all three types of intermediaries carry out a host of functions in the informal settlements, the work of pradhans and samaj sevaks is much more pronounced and therefore this chapter will focus more on their activities. 	   89 Pradhans are recognized for their political capital. Their legitimacy and symbolic profits are secured through connections with councillors, Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs), and Members of Parliament (MPs). Pradhans help solve local problems by forging ristedari (relationships), jaan pehchaan (acquaintance), or connections with khaas aadmi (special men) or milne julne wale aadmi (men who mingle) in state bureaucracy. Pradhans may belong to any caste, community, or gender, and each mohalla (neighbourhood) may have its own pradhan. Most often Dalits and Muslims approach the pradhans belonging to their own caste or community. The pradhans are mostly petty contractors, owners of neighbourhood grocery shops or eateries, or other small business owners. If not illiterate, they typically have only basic primary or secondary school education. The pradhans secure their legitimacy, himmat (strength), and popularity by asking janata (the people) to demonstrate their loyalty. This legitimacy depends on their accessibility and indispensability: “The pradhan is someone whose interventions can help the residents and someone who could be accessible even in the middle of the night to stand by you during any possible emergency,” noted one resident of Gautam Nagar.  Though arguments made by Reddy and Haragopal (1985) about rural contexts still hold for cities in many ways, the pyraveekar (fixers) in rural areas are characteristically different from pradhans in cities like Delhi. The pradhans in informal urban settlements are likely to share precarious living conditions with those they lead, despite possessing relatively more social, cultural, and economical capital. In this sense, the pradhan is organically linked to the settlement, and unlike a pyraveekar (fixer) who fixes other people’s situations for personal favours and gain, the pradhan is directly concerned with his or her future in the informal settlement. Nevertheless, I argue that the pradhans act according to their whims and 	   90 fancies without any accountability, and through dealings that are often private and personal (Reddy and Haragopal 1985, 1159).  Pradhans are typically affiliated with major political parties. While most support the Indian National Congress (INC) or Bahujan Samajwadi Party (BSP), some represent the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in their neighbourhoods. The Bahujan Samajwadi Party's popularity is also increasing, at least in municipal elections in lower-income settlements. Traditionally, the poor have favoured the Congress party over the BJP in Delhi (Kumar 2009). Voting may happen along caste and community lines: residents often talk about voting for biradari (community) people. While upper-caste Hindus have supported the BJP, the Congress party has recently lost its support base among the lower-caste and Muslims in Delhi. Because of their detailed knowledge of the voting dynamics in their localities, the pradhans serve as key bridges between politicians and residents. They canvass for particular leaders and organize events during election time. Their work involves demonstrating numerical strength in election-day voter turnout, canvassing, and naarabaazi (sloganeering) in exchange for money, gifts, food, and daru ki peti (alcohol crates). On average, women who participated in these election-related activities were paid 200 rupees (US$4.40) per day. Pradhans most often alert “the politicians to popular resentments or to constituencies that are available for cultivation” (Manor 2000, 818). There is no strong correlation, however, between receiving these favours and voting in the elections, as many residents testify.  The pradhans boast of their personal connections to politicians and ministers. They argue that the concerned politician will not entertain the neighbourhood representatives without the pradhan’s involvement. Often the pradhans have pictures in their homes of themselves with politicians at rallies, meetings, and events. Usually they are pictured 	   91 smiling, garlanding, and shaking hands with or standing very close to politicians, or speaking at public events attended by key figures. Most pictures are carefully enlarged, framed, and conspicuously hung in their living rooms. These pictures have symbolic weight, signifying power through proximity to key politicians. Likewise, letter-pads embellished with their names and the names of their politicians send a message about the authentic and formal character of the pradhan-politician relationship. Often the pradhans share anecdotes about their dealing with politicians, claiming they are considered family members who can even enter the kitchen and bedroom (the most private spaces of a household) and receive guldasta (bouquets) and letters for special occasions. In addition to official phone calls from politicians, pradhans receive invitations to key family events. These semi-public family events include birthday celebrations, jagrans (nighttime prayer meetings), and festivals where pradhans actively participate and are publicly referred to as bhai (brother) or behena (sister). Despite photographic and paper evidence, some residents believe the janata (people) are in bhram (misconception) about the pradhans’ actual political influence, that they are deluded or deceived. While the pradhans carefully construct self-images that highlight their toughness, indispensability, and benevolence, rival pradhans and their supporters promote counter-narratives of how the neighbourhood should function and be governed. The entry of new pradhans into neighbourhoods also poses a threat to established pradhans. The ensuing turf battles and ego clashes often divide neighbourhoods as pradhans vie for supporters and loyalty, and engage in competitive image building. Pradhans are also pressured by political rivals to ensure residents vote for a particular party. Bickering among pradhans and accusations of payments from rival politicians often invite mistrust from residents. Some 	   92 pradhans claim they do not even charge money for bhaag-daud (running around) government offices and politicians’ residences. While intermediaries earn money by providing services, they generally detest state corruption as this leads to “implementation process disruptions” (Manor 2000, 821) that negatively affect their own lives. Pradhans are also wary of NGOs and activists whom they perceive as hostile. The pradhans may grow increasingly insecure if their support base starts dwindling. Residents’ independence directly challenges the power and authority of pradhans in the neighbourhood. Knowledge of legal rights and bureaucratic protocols can diminish dependency on pradhans and cause their influence in the neighbourhood to decline. Pradhans belonging to upper castes look down upon dalit pradhans, especially poor dalit pradhans. The division of labour relating to pradhan-led politics and governance also signifies caste fissures in the neighbourhood. The division of labour also highlights social cleavages along community, ethnic, and linguistic lines. Samaj sevaks (social workers) are mostly upper-caste brokers, fixers, and mediators who rely on the advantage of their relative cultural capital in these neighbourhoods. Most have intermediate or higher school degrees and a small few are even college educated. They work in NGOs, run small shops, own businesses, run coaching classes in the neighbourhood, or work in the service sector labour market in the city. Samaj sevaks are similar to pyraveekars (fixers); they are professional, polished, and shrewd individuals with a range of public powers (Reddy and Haragopal, 1985). Samaj sevaks refer to their work as “public dealings”—solving the problems of the neighbourhood mainly through negotiations with activists, lawyers, politicians, government officials or other people of influence. Reddy and Haragopal (1985) argue that administrative arrangements are “known for their complexity, 	   93 cumbersomeness, elitism, centralization, legalism, red tape, and inertia” (1148-49). The literacy of samaj sevaks positions them to act as a bridge between state structures and the mundane day-to-day life of the poor. For example, one samaj sevak in Gautam Nagar volunteered to help interpret the electricity bills of all the residents in his locality. He would collect all the bills and read out the names, the amount owing, and the deadline by which it had to be paid. It then became a bimonthly event to gather in front of the samaj sevak’s home to collect bills, complain about rising electricity prices, debate the privatization of electricity, and refuse to pay bills in protest. The samaj sevaks use their “caste-capital” (Deshpande 2013, 32) to secure petty clerical, temporary, and itinerant jobs. Thus like pyraveekar (fixers), the samaj sevaks occupy the space between government service providers and poor people who lack adequate education and communication skills (Reddy and Haragopal 1985). At times they may be asked to provide tutoring to the children of lower-rung government officials. The samaj sevaks from these localities are also the first contact persons for social workers from abroad who come to intern, work, or evaluate the work of the NGOs they fund. With the increase in the visibility of the samaj sevaks, their children may benefit by receiving study kits and other paraphernalia. The samaj sevaks are able to articulate the nature of the nation-state, democracy, socialism, or plutocracy at various political events organized in the neighbourhoods, creating friendship between them and the activists organizing in their neighbourhoods. One samaj sevak wrote stories, poems, and polemical pamphlets to be published with NGO newsletters and bulletins in Gautam Nagar. Privileges like these may encourage a sense of superiority among the samaj sevaks, who in turn pathologize the behaviour of their neighbours. The samaj sevaks typically accuse the pradhans of money 	   94 laundering and corruption. But, very often the samaj sevaks also charge the poor fees for services. On the one hand, the samaj sevaks (often a title they give to themselves) do not call themselves pradhans to avoid negative publicity attached to it; on the other hand, some may aspire to acquire the symbolic profit and political connections associated with pradhan-giri or neta-giri (activities of pradhans or leaders). Finally, the sarkari karmacharis (government workers) derive legitimacy mainly through their contacts and networks within state bureaucracies, and their advice for accessing government services. They work in the lower rungs of various state departments and possess relatively more bureaucratic social capital than the other two kinds of intermediaries. Their legitimacy depends on their ability to solve local problems related to water supply, electricity connections, garbage disposal, and the legal system. They may provide valuable information about court cases, hearing dates, government facilities, and service provision in the city. Sarkari karmacharis may also provide important contacts and act as conduits that link ill residents with government hospitals (see also Das and Das 2007, 83-84). The sarkari karmacharis active in these neighbourhoods may belong to various castes. While there are many vocal, articulate, and shrewd female pradhans, sarkari karmacharis are much less likely to be women, and samaj sevaks even less so. In addition to these three types of intermediaries, it should be noted that poor people also seek support from religious leaders, lawyers, and political activists during difficult periods.   THE TECHNIQUES AND TACTICS OF INTERMEDIARIES  Intermediaries are set apart by their affiliations with particular politicians, activists, NGOs, leaders, police officials, or lawyers. Aware of the newfound legitimacy and power 	   95 they enjoy in their neighbourhoods, intermediaries continually show off their proximity with important leaders. A key aspiration of strong intermediaries is to be candidates in councillor elections or otherwise gain political power. Most often they are not successful, leaving them with tales of betrayal about their political patrons and bitterness over their bad luck. Personal aspirations to wield important positions in neighbourhood politics are often contested by locals, especially in the urban villages that influence neighbourhood politics and often in resettlement colonies, which are always outside the city precincts adjoining urban villages. The pradhans are aware of their own location and structural opportunities for political mobility. As one pradhan in Gautam Nagar argued, “See this constituency for the councillor post has mostly jhuggiwalas (jhuggi residents). Maybe only ten percent of the constituency belongs to the villages, but the villages have money and powerful people. Even if I worked under any leader for years, this would not change. They think that jhuggiwalas are drain worms.” Thus, despite their active political activities, intermediaries know they are viewed with contempt and are thus shut out from competitive electoral processes and formal institutionalized power. In fact, on one occasion rival pradhans in the Sitapuri transit camp supported a leader outside the locality and paid another pradhan—who seemed powerful and popular—to withdraw from the election race. The above example illustrates social divisions in these neighbourhoods. Jha, Rao and Woolcock (2007) rightly argue that the urban poor have more political agency, channels, and contacts than their village counterparts (232). However, intermediaries often reproduce cultures of dependency, exclusion, and, at times, exploitation. The intermediaries partake in everyday displays of power and benevolence, and tell dramatic tales of subverting authority, most often the police, through their connections with various 	   96 powerful people. These tales serve to acknowledge the regular humiliation, indignity, and abuse suffered by the poor at the hands of police, contractors, and employers. A specific incident of the pradhans’ dealings with politicians will illustrate these points. I arrived early one morning at the Sitapuri transit camp’s councillor’s house in a middle-class neighbourhood. I stood in front of the three-storied building of the councillor opposite an MCD (Municipal Corporation of Delhi) park. The road in front of the house was clean and two security guards patrolled the area. In the meantime the councillor came out of the house and surveyed the area and people who were waiting for the daily hearing of complaints and grievances. He asked them all to enter the house, offered everyone a chair, and went inside. Residents and pradhans from various informal settlements started whispering about their problems and greeted each other. A person, perhaps a ‘servant,’ brought water for everyone. When the councillor entered the living room, everyone stood up. He asked them to be seated and finally took his seat on a sofa. An assistant with a file sat beside him and people from various poor settlements sat near him. The pradhans started bantering with the councillor to ease their situations. The councillor looked grave and smiled occasionally, keenly surveying the room. People accompanying the pradhans with their grievances sat in rows behind them. This marked the social distance between the councillor and the residents and also between the pradhans and the residents. Some came to apply for voter IDs, ration cards, and old age pensions; others to ask for financial help for weddings, funerals, medical treatments, or home repairs. After each resident narrated their grievances, the councillor dictated to the assistant the course of action to be taken and occasionally made a phone call to solve the problem right away. He called someone to help with the wedding arrangement of one person, and asked someone else to help with some building materials. 	   97 Then he started complaining: “See, what I do is a thankless job. I do everything possible to help everyone, even things that are not within the mandate of a councillor, but still people might be complaining about me.” Reacting to this remark, one pradhan intervened immediately and affirmed: “There is no one like the councillor in the entire region—he is the true friend of the poor and no other politician from any other party makes the poor feel so comfortable and is concerned for poor as much as he is.”  Following this, the pradhans asked general questions about the status of the neighbourhoods (if they would be demolished or not), if they could hold religious jagrans (nighttime prayer meetings), and how they should go about solving problems related to local water supplies. The councillor responded to each and every query, and confirmed he had spoken to the relevant government officials and the problems would be solved. He also informed the residents about the municipal rules that they ought to follow. The meeting was adjourned, residents touched the councillor’s feet and paid respects, and pradhans shook their hands and left one by one. These practices mediated by the pradhans contribute to what Chatterjee (1997), in The Present History of West Bengal, calls the “daily renewal of legitimacy” of the councillor (144, quoted in Roy 2003, 18). The meetings also renew the legitimacy and symbolic power of the pradhans, who prove their closeness to the councillor/politicians in the presence of the residents by the “technique of ego-tickling and gratification of one’s vanity” (Reddy and Haragopal 1985, 1153). Moreover, the episode confirmed to the residents that the pradhan truly cares for his neighbourhood and can intervene to help the poor, thereby creating a relationship of dependency between the pradhan and residents. These practices do not only imply an enactment of feudal benevolence but also practical strategies of everyday problem solving. For instance, as Khan 	   98 has pointed out, the “personalization of politics” is based neither solely on traditional deference nor charisma, but on a rational calculation of benefits (Khan 2005, 712).  The intermediaries represent distinct cultural styles in their manner of authoritative speech, their dress at semi-formal occasions, and their articulation of critical issues in the neighbourhoods. As Ferguson (1999) argues, such cultural variations do not reflect any deep-seated habitus, as Bourdieu might suggest. Rather, distinct cultural styles function as “modes of practical action in contemporary urban social life” (221). The intermediaries’ cultural styles are an “achieved performative competence, an empowering capability acquired and cultivated over a lifetime … developed in relation to the demands and exigencies of day-to-day life” (ibid.). The intermediaries might also organize road blockades independently or at the request of their political masters, bringing attention to recurring problems in their neighbourhoods. To summarize, the intermediaries are well-known players of jugaad (fixing). Jeffrey (2009) argues that jugaad is the “capacity to ‘fix things’ through bringing together unlike practices or materials” (203). One resident in Sitapuri transit camp remarked:  Hindustan ka naam Jugaadstan hona chahiye (The name of India should be jugaad-stan). You need to have a jugaad system in place to thwart the attempts of government or police. People do a lot of jugaad to survive; you need to know the jugaad system to survive in Hindustan. Doing jugaad is not an easy option; you need to have some power to do jugaad and that does not just mean economic power. See, I may not have money to run my shop, but I can do some jugaad to get flour, oil, and spices to start making samosas in my shop. Similarly, we need to solve, say, our problems around economic insolvency, toilet facilities, or garbage disposal through the jugaad system.   This resident identifies the nature of power, its multiple manifestations, and its economic and non-economic sources. He then uses a series of examples to discuss how residents navigate the jugaad system. Though jugaad is a “morally uncertain concept” and practice (Jeffrey 	   99 2009, 203), it figures prominently in Indian civic and political life given the limited nature of opportunities and availability of resources.  The popularity of a politician also depends on how effectively she or he performs in a patron-client relationship where the intermediaries, as clients, are messengers, canvassers, and image-builders for the politicians. The politicians enact these relationships through performative politics, mediating conflicts and providing people with scarce urban resources. These performative styles may take spectacular forms during evictions or road blockades, often leading to violence (see also Hansen 2005a). A samaj sevak in Sitapuri transit camp became animated when we discussed politicians and their politics. He recollected his experience at the councillor’s residence: “People around the councillor form a coterie and create problems and obstacles. I once went to apply for my mother’s old age pension and the assistant wanted me to come back at a later date. The councillor shouted at the assistant, “Uncle-ji, [the suffix ji is uttered as a mark of respect], do you know who you are talking to? He is a very khaas aadmi (special man). You fill out his forms, submit them at the relevant offices, and get this work done as soon as possible.’” This incident is a remarkable example of the arbitrary nature of offering pension to a selected beneficiary. It demonstrates the access that intermediaries have to key state agents, and how their connections straddle the state-society binary. Most often, the residents are not even aware of the policies, constitutionally guaranteed rights, and government welfare schemes that affect them, which in turn make political mediations through intermediaries indispensible to the urban poor. Most pradhans recall legitimate elections that bestowed them with authority to look after the neighbourhood. Though their claims might be true in some cases, it is tricky to find out the details of particular elections. It may be that an election was held a decade back and 	  100 the pradhan has since continued to proclaim his or her leadership. Residents agree that neighbourhood consensus is necessary to consider someone a pradhan. In some gallis, there have not been any pradhan elections in the last fifteen to twenty years. Despite community preferences to select pradhans democratically, nepotism is widespread. Often the councillor or MLA will arbitrarily choose someone close to her or him to be the pradhan.  THE POLITICS OF EXISTENCE AND SURVIVAL  In the absence of adequate low-income housing facilities, the only viable housing option for the urban poor is to take over or slowly encroaching on abandoned land in the city. Benjamin (2008) and Bayat (1997) discuss similar processes of slow and gradual occupation of land and house building in India and the Middle East respectively. James Holston (2008) argues that such a process subverts entrenched urban inequalities through “insurgent citizenship movements” (313). Though the Brazilian context is different, Holston’s empirical findings concerning what he calls “auto-constructions” that involve “the hardships of illegal residence, house building, and land conflict” (ibid., 4) resemble the gradual home construction process in Delhi. This gradual house-building work of the poor is considered illegal. The survival of poor people in cities like Delhi and Sao Paulo is a tale of contingent conditions, grassroots organizing, risk-taking and forging relationships with various actors. As Appadurai (2002) argues, the activities of the urban poor in collaboration with grassroots NGOs represent a “logic of patience” and a “politics of accommodation, negotiation, and long-term pressure rather than of confrontation or threats of political reprisal” (29). It can be argued, however, that the involvement of NGOs is not a prerequisite for these activities, and 	  101 that the practices can at times involve outright confrontation with and rejection of state policies.  With this background in mind, let me illustrate the process of establishing a jhuggi jhopri settlement. The Gautam Nagar jhuggi jhopri settlement did not just suddenly appear in a major centre of the city. The jhuggi jhopri settlements are products of sheer hard work, monetary transactions including relationship-building with state agencies, and innovation in the inhospitable lands of the city: jungles, marshy lands, barren garbage disposal areas, low-lying flood prone areas, vacant spaces around nullahs (drains), or hazardous factories. In fact, as Roy (2005) notes, “informality must be understood not as the object of state regulation but rather as produced by the state itself” (149). Similarly, Leaf (1994) argues about the interpenetration of legal and extralegal authority structures in informal land tenures in cities of global south. The Gautam Nagar jhuggi jhopri settlement was founded in the 1970s after a few residents took over a barren patch of land near an industrial area. Pradhans played a significant role in the development and gradual recognition of the settlement, as they did during threats of eviction and in arranging for basic amenities in the settlements. The urban poor in factories, the construction industry, and the informal economy found an inhospitable patch of land (and also cleared part of a jungle) near their workplaces to build shacks made up of gunny bags, plastic sheets, straw, bamboo, and other materials. The numbers grew gradually after more people started building huts and clearing and refilling the land as necessary. Soon, police officials started intervening by either tearing apart these partly built structures or demanding payments per jhuggi to leave the poor alone. Self-styled strongmen emerged out of the neighbourhood to negotiate with the police for protection against demolition in exchange for money. The strongmen even enclosed a particular piece 	  102 of land and distributed land parcels within it for a price, and built more jhuggis to rent out or sell to newer residents. The residents of Gautam Nagar encountered such irregularities continuously. Moreover, activities as the recycling of factory wastes made the jhuggis highly fire-prone. Fire-related accidents, structures washed away during monsoons, routine demolitions by police, fights with host populations, and the consequent destruction of properties and thefts of valuables were all common features of survival tactics and risk-taking enterprises in Gautam Nagar. Migrants from the rural hinterland often used their village networks to come to Gautam Nagar in search of work. Village members introduced newcomers to the fledgling settlement most often along caste lines, and slowly the settlement started to acquire “the moral attributes of a community” (Chatterjee 2004, 57). Most often the police provided the patronage in the initial years, agreeing with the “moral rhetoric of a community striving to build a decent social life under extremely harsh conditions” (ibid., 60). Once the politicians treated the neighbourhood as a vote bank, the self-styled strongmen turned into pradhans and encouraged the residents to build semi-permanent structures. Gradually, the residents built brick walls with asbestos or tin roofs and found innovative sleeping spaces given the tiny plots on which they built their jhuggis. Sometimes the asbestos roofs doubled as sleeping spaces. Building materials were acquired through the politicians, who in turn made arrangements with petty contractors in the neighbourhood. This system of exchanging favours is intricately entwined with the strategies of the urban poor, petty traders, and contractors, who inhabit a legal grey area. Gautam Nagar residents often had to deal with harassment from the host population in nearby villages as well. As the strength of the neighbourhood grew, the strongmen mustered courage to confront harassment and define the 	  103 community on their own terms. As Appadurai (1996) notes, this process of locality-building is “relational and contextual rather than … scalar or spatial” (178). He sees locality as a “complex phenomenological quality, constituted by a series of links between the sense of social immediacy, the technologies of interactivity, and the relativity of contexts” (ibid.). He contrasts the notion of locality to that of neighbourhood and argues that the latter includes “the actually existing social forms in which locality, as a dimension or value, is variably realized” (ibid., 178-79). Thus, building a locality is contingent, contextual, and relational. The fragility of locality building, as pointed out by Appadurai, is compounded by various obstacles, such as those illustrated above (ibid., 179; see also Tarlo 2003, 13; Hansen 2005a, 13). Having described the role of pradhans in the development of Gautam Nagar, let me now illustrate their role during demolition threats and following demolitions. In early 2009, a section of Gautam Nagar was demolished due to a road-widening project. The neighbourhood had survived demolitions many times before due to residents' successful bargaining with the elected politicians and ministers for their neighbourhoods. Prior to the 2009 demolition, residents did not take the threats seriously. However, the demolitions happened without any resettlement and residents felt cheated by the politicians. Residents argued that the politicians misled them by denying them their right to go to court: “Yeh neta log humme gumrah kiye” (The politicians misled us). In response, the pradhans and samaj sevaks organized themselves and went to the councillor, MLA, MP, Minister of Urban Development, the Chief Minister of Delhi, and other politicians. The sarkari karmacharis provided vital information about planned demolitions, court procedures, and internal news of government offices concerning their settlement. While the MLA promised to intervene after 	  104 the elections, he lost and was unable to follow through. Complicating matters further, the delimitation of constituencies resulted in changes that disqualified the residents’ support for the ex-MLA. The rival MLA instead invited residents to join and support him in future elections before he could help the community as a precondition for their votes. As discussed in Chapter 1, there is a trend towards the gentrification of many central constituencies in Delhi after poor people are evicted from these areas. The numerical decline of poor people in these neighbourhoods will alter the political dynamics. John Harriss (2005) shows how poorer populations in Delhi pursue their social and economic rights through political parties (1041). Current urban restructuring policies that evict poorer populations from central areas have the potential to undermine these social and economic rights by reducing the political significance of poor populations in the central parts of Delhi.    Back at Gautam Nagar, the pradhans continued to meet with the politicians who in turn wrote letters to various lower officials, often in a cavalier fashion without assurance or commitment to residents. The samaj sevaks grew discontented with the pradhans’ unsuccessful interventions and emerged as self-fashioned leaders of the neighbourhood at this juncture. The strategy of samaj sevaks in the neighbourhoods is markedly different from the politician-centered approach taken by the pradhans, as explained above. When the samaj sevaks took the lead, they received suggestions from activists visiting their locality, and forwarded a case against the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD), thereby marginalizing the influence of the pradhans. Thus the High Court, middle-class activists, lawyers, and likhai-padhai ka kaam (work related to writing and reading) were seen as more effective than a defeated MLA and his elected rival. The samaj sevaks with their 	  105 relative sophistication were better suited for this job than the pradhans, who relied on the messiness of politics, muscle power, and a popular support base for their success. Soon the residents organized a meeting led by samaj sevaks in the aftermath of the High Court verdict (the details of this case are discussed in Chapter 5). The samaj sevaks gathered prior to the meeting and argued that people have aham (a false ego) and do not join them when there is a need to unite. “Only a handful of people go to the court and everyone is aspiring to get government resettlement plots for free,” noted one samaj sevak. A plastic mat was quickly spread on the part of the demolished settlement that remained intact. The samaj sevaks sat on the charpai (woven jute cot) and seventy residents huddled together around them on the plastic mat. One of the samaj sevaks started collecting money, listed names on the register, and took the signatures or thumbprints of residents. Soon, conflicts and disagreements surfaced relating to monies spent, monies collected, and the strategies used to solve their collective problem of resettlement. The samaj sevaks retorted with complaints about the thankless nature of their jobs, sacrifices they had made, and job loss from going to the courts. They made statements about their daily expenses for court hearings and meetings with politicians and officials.  The samaj sevaks informed the residents about their compensation, the need to organize and maintain unity, the proof documents required, and upcoming mandatory meetings. They also informed the residents about a survey to be undertaken by state bodies. However, they were also evasive about their expenses, lawyer fees (the lawyer actually had not taken any money for this case), and about their exact strategies and possible resettlement timeline. The samaj sevaks’s ambiguity was combined with reassurances about their indispensability. They were irked by recommendations demanding accountability on their 	  106 part, and threatened to quit their jobs. The residents intervened when things got out of control. On one occasion, a few residents argued, “You are our leader and we trust your discretion.” One samaj sevak looked pleased and responded, “We are sevaks (workers) and we do selfless seva (service), but you should be aware of what happens in the courts. The lawyers are very vocal. When they debate, sweat streams down their faces. Then all of a sudden they’ll demand a particular document, and I’ll run out of the court to photocopy it and bring it back to the lawyer. This is a tough job and we have fought hard to win.” These dramatic descriptions of the samaj sevaks’ work assure and legitimize their role in the neighbourhood. The samaj sevaks vociferously made the point that if residents had initially organized with them and not the pradhans, the problem would have been solved already. In fact, they contemptuously accused the pradhans of chamchagiri (sycophancy). Further, they gently warned that they would only keep informed those residents who are part of the struggle and who contribute financially and morally to it. At this juncture, the role of pradhans is reduced to logistics, such as arranging meetings and commemorations with government officials, visitors, and NGOs by putting up makeshift pandals (stages). However, it should be noted that these activities often overlap with those of other intermediaries, blurring their roles and spheres of influence.  PROOF DOCUMENTS AND INTERMEDIARIES  The procurement of ‘proof documents’ such as ration cards and voter IDs is perhaps the most challenging task for the urban poor. These proof documents are required to establish residency claims and compensation upon resettlement. The intermediaries’ help in procuring these documents creates an impression of indispensability. On average it takes more than ten 	  107 years for residents to obtain ration cards or voter IDs as this process involves intricate bureaucratic procedures. One samaj sevak was committed to helping people procure ration cards and voter IDs. He made use of the Right to Information to point out irregularities in issuing ration card, and was successful in securing ration cards for almost sixty people in Gautam Nagar. The samaj sevak’s congenial personality connected him with the people with ease. He had a wooden cot adjoining a wall on the extremely narrow galli in front of his precariously built brick house. The front part of the house served as a grocery shop and he often sat on his cot, a plastic sheet hung overhead, surveying the people and activities that went on in his galli. He also tutored small children in the neighbourhood, which confirmed his level of literacy to the residents. Residents brought many documents for him to submit with their applications for ration cards, voter IDs, birth certificates, and other proof documents. The samaj sevak gently chided them if they made mistakes with the documents. His clientele were mostly women across caste lines, though he approached the lower castes in a condescending way. He charged a token amount of money to cover his expenses, which included buying forms, conveyance, and office supplies. He spoke fluent Hindi, Sanskrit, and a bit of English, and insisted that he was interested in samaj seva (social work) rather than monetary gains. On the one hand, he passionately expressed his views about rights and poor people’s entitlements. On the other, he shared anecdotes, proverbs, metaphors, and poems that expressed patriarchal views on the changing role of women in the city.   The residents’ reliance on samaj sevaks reflects the unequal distribution of cultural capital in Gautam Nagar. The samaj sevaks demonstrated a semblance of what Bourdieu (1991), following Pierre Guiraud, calls “articulatory styles” that did not make them complete 	  108 misfits in different fields (86). Their accents, behaviour, and bodily gestures are refined compared to other residents, but they fall short in the eyes of the agents they encounter higher-up. As Bourdieu argues, “All linguistic practices are measured against the legitimate practices, i.e. the practices of those who are dominant” (ibid., 53). Hence, the samaj sevaks’ confident articulation in their own setting waned, for example, in offices. They also possessed a semblance of bureaucratic linguistic capital (which can be considered a subset of cultural capital)—that is, the ability to articulate bureaucratic procedures, identify the rights and entitlements of poor, and express democratic ideals enshrined in the constitution. Awareness of mundane bureaucratic procedures puts them in a position to unravel the mysteries of state policies. Intermediaries who lacked these bureaucratic linguistic skills were also considered to lack kshyamata (capability). The intermediaries play off the poor's vulnerability or lack of kshyamata by providing information, procedures, contacts and, at times, “forged credentials” in order to help them procure proof documents. The sarkari karmacharis, along with samaj sevaks and pradhans, provide information about bribes to be paid, officials to be contacted, and the routes through which these “legitimate” as well as “forged credentials” should pass for procuring proof documents. Thus, the irony consists in procuring what rightfully belongs to the urban poor, by virtue of their presence in the city or otherwise, while at the same time creating dependencies, exclusions, and arbitrariness in the process. Thus, these practices, which draw on historical attempts to build community against the odds of power arrangements, provide insight into how the legal arms of the state can be negotiated and subverted. The embodied experiences of the urban poor reveal the nature of power and the constraints they face while trying to build a mutually supportive community in the interstices of cityscape. 	  109  THE POLITICS OF BASIC AMENITIES  Once the informal settlement gains the patronage of a politician and is incorporated into the voter list, residents feel politically enfranchised and articulate stronger claims in the neighbourhood. Thus, once the neighbourhood is incorporated into the electorate, the politician becomes responsible for extending municipal amenities such as water and electricity.  Pradhans initially arrange for water tankers and then convince politicians to install hand pumps, and later tube-wells, along with providing water tankers. The water tankers and containers often bear the names of the political leaders or patrons, as in the Sitapuri transit camp. Water facilities are often absent, however, in demolished sites and the initial years of resettlement, as discussed in Chapter 2. As a female pradhan in Gautam Nagar noted, “After the jhuggi was demolished, we ceased to be a vote bank and now the MLA does not listen to our needs.” The pradhans and residents of the three neighbourhoods studied also forge relationships with factory owners, dhaba (roadside eateries) owners, chowkidars (guards), temple priests, staff at public toilets, and state officials, in order to collect water from their supply points. Women and children walk great distances with buckets, plastic containers (purchased or collected and reused from chemical factories), and other receptacles to collect water from supply points around the neighbourhoods. Sometimes the supply water (available only two or three times a week) turns to a trickle or shuts off completely due to a power failure. Leakages at various points in the line also serve as water sources. The inability to collect water forces residents to drink tube-well water, which may be contaminated. Nikhil Anand (2011) has shown how water availability is dependent on physical and social relations 	  110 in Mumbai (543). In fact, the supply of water is the outcome of politics and social relations along with the topography in the city (ibid.). In the Delhi neighbourhoods, the pradhans bargain and arrange for minimum water taps and mediate conflicts that arise over scarce water supply. Attempts to jump the water collection queue, disagreements about the amount to be collected, spills, and collisions often lead to bitter fights. The pradhans mediate between families when petty neighbourhood quarrels arise over water collection at the neighbourhood tap, garbage disposal, or minor sanitary issues. In all three neighbourhoods, pradhans gave conflicting accounts of their “sole” responsibility for certain amenities. These accounts are difficult to verify, as even pradhans belonging to the same political party often have to bargain with their respective politicians.  At times, a pradhan in the Azad resettlement colony sat near the tanker and supervised, distributed, and disciplined the crowd collecting the water. Accessing water supply points or water tankers involves political struggle. As a pradhan in Gautam Nagar noted, “Just before the first Delhi state assembly election, we had a big meeting in the neighbourhood. The politician had come and promised us basic amenities if he won. We supported him and he won the elections and later he arranged for water tankers and hand-pumps, electricity connection, garbage disposal, and public toilets.” The pradhan also noted, “You need to have talmel (be in sync) with the politician, or else you are least likely to get anything here.” One resident argued, “usually the MLA does work in his first stint, but then if the rival MLA wins, the former may even facilitate the demolition of the neighbourhood.” Hence, residents must choose their leaders wisely and have talmel with them in order to procure various services.  	  111 While intermediaries mediate fights over water supply and availability, they may also appropriate disproportionate shares for themselves or their supporters. Thus, some of the residents, with the support of a particular samaj sevak, were able to get a direct water connection in their homes at the Sitapuri transit camp. As the intermediary argued,  The councillor is a friend and he directed Delhi Jal (water) Board (DJB) to install a water line in my home. The DJB people told me that I should install the pipe on my own and they would take care of the rest. Initially people did not dare to complain as they thought we were hi-fi people, but later they informed the police and when the police came, we just explained that we knew Rajesh Pilot [a Congress politician who is no more] well. Thinking about it, I did not help him during election trips in Rajasthan just like that—he and his party ought to exchange favours too.  When asked if this jugaad was appropriate, as it would diminish the scarce water supply in neighbourhood hydrants used daily by residents, he argued, “See, 30 percent of residents have water pipes in their homes already and no one is complaining. People have enough water here and I was even instrumental in installing a water treatment plant, which is currently dysfunctional, with the help of an NGO called CASP-Plan, Delhi.” Thus, the distribution of scarce resources like water reflects unequal power relations in the neighbourhood itself. It is not uncommon for intermediaries to arrange meetings with politicians and government service providers like the jal (water) board to lobby for preferred contacts, service delivery, and duties. This is why the intermediaries’ streets and lanes, especially those of sarkari karmacharis, are often better maintained and serviced than the rest. Residents of jhuggi settlements and transit camps owe a debt to a former prime minister of India for their electricity connections. Historically, the urban poor would tap into the main electricity supply for the minimum electricity required in their homes. This often led to electrocution, police harassment, and bribery. In 1990, Prime Minister V.P. Singh 	  112 openly suggested that poor people could use electricity for free by tapping into the main supply around the neighbourhoods. “The netaji (leader) had allowed us to use electricity for free but since its been privatized we have been using kerosene lamps,” noted one resident. In some cases, neighbours will allow others access to an electricity connection from their homes at a reasonable price so that the residents who cannot afford it can have a bulb or two. The pradhans help broker such arrangements for a minimum fee. Further, the pradhans may benefit from the state schemes that subcontract services. For instance, prior to privatization, a pradhan in Gautam Nagar managed to get bijli thekedari (contracts to distribute electricity) in the neighbourhood. The contract required him to give a certain amount of money to the government after collecting the electricity fee from residents. The pradhan used his discretion to base charges on metre readings or the number of electric appliances in the homes of each resident. This scheme involved money laundering by the pradhan, and a benevolent supply of free electricity for the poorest residents. As one resident remarked, “The pradhan demanded money or metre installation based on one’s haisiyat (capacity/status), though he also made manmani (arbitrary decisions) that often led to fights.” The state withdrew the license once it was realized that collection through the pradhan was a major failure. However, the residents are quick to note that “all these factory owners use free electricity, tamper with metre readings, and use all kinds of means to evade raids or bribe government officials, but only the poor are seen to steal electricity. Look at how much the poor earn, how do you expect them to pay for such soaring electricity bills? The cost of electricity has become prohibitive since it was privatized.” Thus, the nature of mediation has changed since the electricity was privatized. Now the intermediaries often solve electricity-related problems regarding pilfering, raids, and out-of-court settlements.  	  113 From time to time, the pradhans also clear clogged drains, remove garbage strewn across lanes and by-lanes, and install public toilets in the neighbourhoods. They negotiate with the politicians to install garbage bins, campaign for more toilet seats in public facilities, and distribute blankets at the onset of harsh winters. As one female pradhan in Gautam Nagar recalled, “I must have got at least 500 blankets from the MLA and distributed them among the poor in this neighbourhood.” The pradhans also arrange to have the lanes paved and ask politicians to install lampposts at the corners. They may also negotiate with politicians to allow a portion of the municipal park to be used for wedding functions or religious purposes.  The intermediaries also actively campaign for various social and welfare services for the poor in their locality. For example, when the government sanctioned a plot of land for Apollo Hospital, the pradhans led a campaign along with politicians to reserve seventy hospital beds for the poor. However, it remains uncertain whether these beds are actually available to poor people in such a high-end hospital. Pradhans spread the word around about widow pension, old age pension, and other compensation available on compassionate grounds. Accessing these services involves intricate bureaucratic procedures and the pradhans’ mediation services and assistance in filling out forms is significant, as discussed above. Female pradhans primarily negotiate with their political patrons about poor women's eligibility for widow or old age pensions. One such pradhan claims to have arranged monthly pensions for approximately 350 women in the Sitapuri transit camp. The arbitrary nature of government service provisions makes the intermediaries’ relationships indispensable.  	  114  LIVELIHOOD, ILLEGALITY, AND INTERMEDIARIES  Many of the poor earn livelihoods through officially illegal means such as street vending or offering ancillary services in residential neighbourhoods (Harriss-White 2003; Chatterjee 2008a). In fact, the rich have also resorted to illegal means to make profits, especially in factories that do not abide by minimum labour laws (Ramaswami 2012). Others carry out economic activities in illegal zones. The rich often flout legal norms, as demonstrated in the building of illegal additional structures (Verma 2002, 157) or in the “urban conquest” of the countryside through the illegal building of luxurious farmhouses (Soni 2000). However, law-breaking has disproportionate disadvantages for the urban poor, despite the fact that it is often provoked by their structural location in society. This is why political patronage and connections with police officials are paramount to the survival of the urban poor. In fact, the power and efficacy of a pradhan is directly correlated with their connection with police officials and with politicians near the settlement. The pradhans do not only provide protection from police brutality, they also hold contractors, factory supervisors, and owners accountable for salaries, working conditions, and work-site disputes. The pradhans and other petty entrepreneurs in the locality run small businesses that require intense labour input to generate profit. Mike Davis (2004) remarks on how self- entrepreneurialism among the poor is linked with the exploitation of the very poor to survive in a fragile economy (21-22). Most economic activity in and around the neighbourhoods is beyond the purview of a formal plan. Hence, these activities are rendered illegal, which creates space for secret dealings, kharcha-pani (bribe-related spending), and brokerage with the police.  	  115 Pradhans fiercely oppose the MCD-driven demolitions of temporary street vendor structures or thela-walas (cart vendors) and the clearing of scrapyards, who are often the owners of these businesses in the neighbourhood. Much of the economic activities that border on illegal give rise to rent seeking in the neighbourhoods. For instance, the pradhans are responsible for collecting illegal hafta (extortion of rent on a weekly or monthly basis) from petty traders at weekly fairs in Sitapuri transit camp, which is then passed along to politicians and government officials up in the hierarchy. This assures protection for the petty traders and allows them to evade regulations laid out by the MCD or PWD.  At times the pradhans turn into moneylenders, charging usurious interest rates in the neighbourhood. When doing so, they may forcefully seize proof documents as girwi (mortgage). Most often the pradhans inform the police about new constructions, sales, and renovations of structures in transit camps and resettlement colonies. The police officials endorse pradhans who act as real-estate brokers and sell houses or jhuggis in neighbourhoods through pecuniary exchanges. Police involvement and mediations through pradhans form a fundamental part of the initiation ritual of building, buying, or renovating a jhuggi. In addition to informal property transactions, the pradhans help residents find compromise settlements for petty squabbles and for new constructions that threaten the existing ones.  Youth are led into drug peddling by their urban marginalization, the “structural violence of mass unemployment” (Auyero 2000a, 97), and impoverishment in the wake of eviction (see also Wacquant 1997). Police raids and drug seizures often render youth helpless, necessitating the mediation of pradhans to protect them from incarceration. In fact, informal governance through a compromise settlement is the standard procedure for arriving 	  116 at resolutions in these precarious neighbourhoods. The politics of compromise gives rise to grievances, doubts about the pradhan’s authority, and the potential defection to a different pradhan if a party is unhappy with the settlement. Thus informal governance is characterized by conflict and mistrust as well as solidarity and practical survival wisdom. Most often, the pradhans arbitrate cases before they involve any police ka chakkar (dealings with police). This role has the potential to render them kind and polite or rude and malevolent.   WOMEN AND INTERMEDIARIES  The role of female pradhans is as significant as that of male pradhans. Female pradhans fiercely articulate neighbourhood arguments, solve local problems, and resolve petty quarrels. Like their male counterparts, their power is derived indirectly from their association with a particular politician or police official. Female pradhans organize rallies and arrange for ration cards and old-age and widow pensions. While female pradhans engage in the same political activities as their male counterparts, their role in solving women-specific issues in the neighbourhoods is striking. Female pradhans often participate with mahila mandals  (women’s organizations) in the neighbourhoods. These mahila mandals  are often initiated by political leaders, NGOs, or government agencies. Others are organized by women residents themselves, who draw on lessons from other neighbourhoods. As key members of mahila mandals, pradhans mediate domestic violence disputes, marital conflicts, dowry harassment, and family property disputes, as well as child-rearing responsibilities, gambling, and drunkenness on the part of men in these neighbourhoods. Female pradhans participate in and mediate tehkikat (investigation) and sunwai (hearing/trial) in weekly or monthly panchayats (councils). 	  117 Female pradhans in the Azad resettlement colony address residents’ zaroorat (needs) and dukh-dard (pain-suffering). They arrive at faisla (decision) when mediating disputes. Downward mobility and unemployment are constant features of contemporary city life marked by informalization (Breman 2004). Further, displacements, seizures of ration cards, homelessness, and lost amenities upon eviction are accompanied by frustration and interpersonal violence. As Veena Das (1996) argues, the “interconnectedness of factors leading to disruption of everyday life,” and “threats to the security of economic activities” mutate into “domestic and other forms of intimate violence” (1510).  Female pradhans also advise police sensitization programs run by NGOs in these neighbourhoods. Female pradhans may tend to promote compromise, sometimes to the extent of asking parties to sign onto terms and conditions of a compromise formula arrived at through the resolution. They decide between good and bad parties and exercise freedom to punish or refer cases to NGOs or the police. At times, female pradhans may subvert the NGOs that initiated them into this work. I once asked a female pradhan what motivated her to do the job, why she snapped ties from one NGO in the Azad resettlement colony, and if she ever felt scared to do this work: Well, this is samaj seva [social work]. I work for the poor. I charge one hundred rupees (US$2.20) per arbitration or settlement. The NGO is my guru, but they do not understand the dynamics here. I was once arbitrating a woman’s inheritance case, and the NGO demanded the woman’s documents. You tell me, what right do they have to retain the personal documents of this woman? The NGO staff was cross with me and did not involve me much after that, but that was fine with me. I am not scared of anyone here. I know the police very well and they respect my work, and I also go to the court. Fear is a bad thing, people may bitch about me behind my back, but they dare not say anything in front of me.  This account indicates competing authority structures and the persistence of what Hansen (2005b) calls “repertoires of authority” (179). Though at times female pradhans work in 	  118 solidarity as marginal leaders, the practices described above raise critical questions about the delivery of justice. Male pradhans often characterize women’s work in negative terms and deride them as insignificant. They argue that police and court intervention in private affairs fosters disunity in families. Articulate and fiery female leaders are seen as “ahankar ki laxmi” or “ghamand ki devi” (these expressions are adjectives for arrogant women). Male residents talk about female pradhans with caution as they depend on them for various services, yet they still display gendered prejudices concerning their role in society. Women’s authority and extra earnings from pradhan-giri (pradhan activities) are resented by male residents who encounter an uncertain labour market, impoverishment due to eviction, and masculinity crises when struggling to provide for their families. In another context, Ferguson (1999) argues that “antagonism, mutual suspicion, cynicism, and misogyny” emanate from a changing “political economic regime of gender” (194). While it is important not to reduce women’s subordination to political and economic spheres, the “political economy of misogyny” (ibid., 197-98) offers a framework to understand the attitude, behaviour, and gendered norms in contemporary Delhi. Though character assassination is a common method of disparaging female pradhans by stating or inventing their obvious or purported relationships with politicians and police officials, residents are aware of the power of female pradhans and their indispensable role in solving day-to-day problems in the neighbourhood. In the refrain of a particular male resident: “Naari use bolte hain jiska koi shatru na ho” (Real women do not have enemies). The same people who benefit from female pradhans are also suspicious of their proximity to the police. For example, one resident argued, “Tell me which bhadra mahila (genteel woman) would have contacts at the police?” 	  119 Clearly female pradhans’ achievements challenge the passivity that is often ascribed to women. Nevertheless, there is a tendency on the part of male pradhans in the neighbourhood to contrast their own achievements in bringing progress and development with women’s so-called minor successes in solving domestic problems. This binary of vikas ka kaam (development related work) versus gharelu samasya ka kaam (work related to domestic problems) is fiercely contested by female pradhans, who cite their dealings with politicians and police and narrate the work they have done over the years. Thus, unlike Roy’s (2003) empirical findings about masculinized idioms of political participation in Calcutta (86), the empirical context of Delhi provides insight into women’s active participation in politics as pradhans in low-income neighbourhoods. Nonetheless, the vulnerabilities women suffer in negotiating an uncertain labour market and raising children in cases of abandonment are strikingly similar in Calcutta and Delhi. Thus, female pradhans remain at the forefront in solving a range of problems. At times they even disparage men’s abilities to navigate politics, work, and domestic responsibilities. For example, a female pradhan constantly referred to her husband as a person with mota dimag (low intelligence) and asked me to speak only with her.   THE PITFALLS OF MEDIATED POLITICS AND POLITICAL SOCIETY  The above arguments clearly illustrate the complexity of intermediaries’ activities. I have demonstrated that intermediaries are not a monolithic group and can be distinguished in terms of their political affiliations, income, caste, gender, religious affiliations, educational and cultural capital, as well as their commitment to particular causes or strategies used. Further, the diversity of caste, gender, income, and cultural and educational capital in 	  120 neighbourhoods should be understood along with the general vulnerability and poverty of all residents. I have illustrated how the urban poor’s resilience in fighting against unjust governance and erosion of social, economic, and political rights creates the space for marginal leaders to emerge from impoverished niches of the city. Though intermediaries may foster identity-driven divisions, the residents themselves use their practical wisdom to forge alliances and solidarity before negotiating with state officials, the legal apparatus, and other influential persons. I have also shown the democratic potential of the intermediaries, and how they also create dependencies and exclusions. Further, I elaborate on several aspects of the underside and reactionary nature of mediated politics.  The power of pradhans and their reactionary politics is most evident when they take on moral crusades in the locality. One female pradhan in Gautam Nagar remarked, “Mere ilaake se koi ladki bhaag gayee, mera naam kharab hota hai (If a girl runs away with a boy from my area, then it brings a bad name to me). Since I left saashan (rule), nothing is happening here. I have withdrawn from politics as the neighbourhood is too fractured and it is all about money and alcohol now.” Thus, at times female pradhans echo patriarchal sentiments and attempt to police galat (wrong) women and their rahan-sahan (way of living). Jha, Rao, and Woolcock (2007) found that pradhans fine residents and even ostracize inter-caste marriages (234). This points to the nefarious ramifications that may result from extra-legal and extra-constitutional authorities. The intermediaries also often make use of “nuisance value” to their own advantage (Hansen 2005a, 80; Jeffrey 2009, 199). Pradhans often take advantage of vulnerable populations in the Azad resettlement colony, extending loans for selling off their plots for meager amounts, meeting family emergencies, and creating dependencies. Vulnerable populations with neither earnings nor 	  121 savings are more likely to sell off their plots and return to city centers in search of work to survive. At the time of allotment, pradhans manage to be involved in hera pheri (swindling) by allotting themselves multiple resettlement plots, often with the connivance of state officials, as discussed in Chapter 1. This grave situation is compounded by a dearth of plots at relocation sites for other eligible residents, who are seen at government offices with their allotment slips to acquire new plots. Though pradhans help residents acquire the important documents that prove eligibility to get new plots in the wake of evictions, they may confiscate these documents, offer the most vulnerable residents money in exchange for them, and actively participate in arbitrary land allotment decisions with state authorities. Pradhans may also be involved in deals with state officials to exchange allotment plots, such as making those eligible for twelve-square-foot plots get eighteen square feet instead, and vice versa. Residents who lose out on bigger plots are most often resigned to fate, since declining the smaller plots and navigating bureaucratic and judiciary hurdles may be more disastrous in the long run. Pradhans, samaj sevaks, sarkari karmacharis, and other influential residents more often than not receive corner plots, are selected in allotment lotteries, and own the houses facing the streets. This is a significant gain since in narrow lanes there is inadequate ventilation in the houses. Further, there is a possibility of renting or starting home businesses if the location is ideal.  Emma Tarlo’s (2003) excellent study of the Emergency illustrates how sterilization became a medium to negotiate one’s housing rights in the city (88). Her study vividly analyzes how poor people underwent sterilization or encouraged others to do so in order to acquire, transfer, or regularize their plots (Tarlo 2003). This process gave rise to a complex scenario where intermediaries helped the poor acquire sterilization certificates as proof 	  122 documents, often violating the bodily integrity of the most vulnerable poor in the process. Similar evidence of swindling, unjust exchanges, plot seizure, and plot confiscation upon inability to pay back loans can be found in Azad resettlement colony. Thus, as in Tarlo’s study, I argue that the activities of intermediaries complicate the story of “innocent victims” vs. “pragmatic opportunists,” and of “victims” vs. “victimizers”(ibid., 93, 119).  The activities of dalals (touts/brokers) also figure significantly in the demolition of jhuggi settlements, the establishment of resettlement colonies, and property dealings in the resettlement colonies. The dalals forge or make nakli (counterfeit) documents, encourage property transfers, and arrange powers of attorney. They work closely with government officials, politicians, financiers, and pradhans to carry out their sauda (deals or bargains) and pay commission for these property transactions. As Activist R once noted, The dalals mislead and motivate the poorest to sell off their plots (allotment documents). They play on the poor’s fear of unemployment in the far-off neighbourhoods without basic amenities. Then they produce a power of attorney and transfer the plot to someone else. This is a well-known thing and the dalals have a ‘setting’ [understanding] with the pradhans. The dalals coordinate with the eligible resident and the financier. The financier gives them money to buy the plots. The state officials, politicians, pradhans, and a range of agents are involved and receive commission. Later, the plots are sold for hefty prices. There have been Central Bureau of Investigation enquiries against DDA officials and one particular agent who ran a canteen in Municipal Corporation of Delhi premises had many plots in Bawana resettlement colony alone.  Thus, the resettlement sites and plots become vital components of the accumulation strategies of dalals, politicians, state officials and pradhans. Pradhans are suspected of seizing vacant plots and are seen as dalals by some residents. Even the self-proclaimed pradhans make a distinction between their activities and the activities of dalals, who swindle poor people’s money and property, erect multistoried buildings, and bargain for profit with state officials. The pradhans of Azad resettlement colony colluded with dalals from outside 	  123 the neighbourhood to transfer property in their names, forge documents, obliterate names of absentees during surveys for resettlement, and usurp their plots. The most vulnerable in this scenario are the poor, who are unable to pay even the minimum resettlement fees to the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and the absentees during the surveys. Thus, while many residents actively bargain, negotiate, and create relationships to survive, the most vulnerable members of these neighbourhoods are excluded by default. Moreover, most of the above activities involve some degree of physical violence. Though the pradhans do not claim to be dada (bullies), they may perform dada-ism—that is, “a style of exercising political and social power and protection that invokes images of a masculine, assertive, often violent local strongman, whose clout lies in self-made networks of loyalty rather than in institutionalized action and discourse” (Hansen 2005a, 72). The pradhans have an ambiguous role in simultaneously helping residents procure money to build houses in resettlement colonies and helping moneylenders commit usury and seize plots. For this reason, there is a climate of mistrust vis-à-vis pradhans. Many believe the pradhans are dishonest or lack integrity, and accuse the pradhans of double-dealing and securing benefits, even alternate plots of land, from government officials and politicians. At times, the pradhans’ diffidence or lack of interest in resettlement advocacy creates mistrust among the residents. One resident in Gautam Nagar remarked, “See, we are not present when the pradhans go and talk with the councillor, MLA, MP, minister, or any state official. What do we know about the real story behind closed doors? We just accompany them until the doorsteps. But what they bargain, how they bargain, and under what conditions they agree are not in our control. So either you have to trust the pradhan or resign to fate.” The misappropriation of plots and houses in these circumstances significantly involves state 	  124 officials, dalals outside the localities, and various intermediaries. Navigating bureaucratic hurdles (such as filling out forms and bribing officials to submit resettlement claims) and structural challenges to mere survival can saturate the day-to-day lives and aspirations of the urban poor. This raises critical questions about resettlement policies, the structural location of the most vulnerable, and the nature of Indian democracy. Thus, what is needed is a situated understanding of the workings of democracy.  The power arrangements and activities of various authorities and organizations evolve over time into hybridized forms of power with peculiar practices. In fact, the intermediaries’ styles of authority are not distinct from those that characterize state sovereignty. These local actors interact and overlap with state structures through a multitude of practices. Krishna's (2007) study of naya netas (new leaders) rightly bemoans the absence of “institutionalized avenues” (157) that affect the functioning of Indian democracy. He argues that naya netas “are not a permanent and institutionalized force that can stand in place of well organized parties” (ibid.). While direct access to political resources and channels remains a cornerstone of democratic practices, the liminality of these leaders grants them the potential to realize substantive democracy, especially when the institutionalized parameters of planning, city governance, and unequal provisioning of services go against the interests of the poor. As illustrated above, urban planning and governance in recent times have called for demolitions, the privatization of services, and increasing user fees. But the active political participation of the urban poor and their intermediaries has also subverted these trends. Thus, from the above discussion I agree with Chatterjee (2004) that participation in political society expands freedom for the poor who lack the social, cultural, and economic capital to navigate the “sanitized fortress of civil society” (67, 74). However, it is evident that the 	  125 domain of political society also expands various un-freedoms. Therefore, the biggest challenge is to temper the “squalor, ugliness, and violence of popular life” (ibid., 74) through social justice and redistribution. In fact, it should also be noted, as pointed out by Roy (2008), that “urban populism: a system of political bargains and negotiations through which informal vendors, workers, and squatters establish tenuous access to land, livelihood, and shelters,” has not succeeded in converting “tenuous access into a secure and permanent right to the city” (xxxv).  It is obvious that the routinization of state activities (Fuller and Harriss 2009) is part of the consciousness of the poor. An ethnography of the state reveals everyday politics and cultural forms used by urban poor in negotiations. Pradhan-giri (pradhan activities), neta-giri (leader activities), jugaad (fixing), and other cultural idioms that arise from political improvisations and dealings should be understood as a part of poor people’s repertoire of survival strategies given neo-liberal economic restructuring and the limited availability of opportunities, resources, and basic amenities in the city. These practices, mediations, and informal governance entail patronage, exclusions and dependencies, as well as solidarities. In particular, this chapter analyzed the mediated participation of the poor when dealing with state policies. In the next two chapters, I will examine how poor people themselves negotiate state policies. Now, I turn to an examination of poor people’s negotiation of state policies concerning ‘proof documents’ and eligibility for procuring welfare services in the city.	  	   126 Chapter 4 Numerical Citizenship: State Imagination, Proof Documents, and Popular Practices   In this chapter, I examine negotiations and popular practices of the poor concerning ‘proof documents’ in the city. Claims to citizenship and belonging among Delhi’s urban poor are marked by struggles to gain eligibility for different welfare provisions, to secure proof documents, and to engage in a variety of popular practices. Together, these struggles constitute what I call ‘numerical citizenship’: a peculiar mode of urban citizenship wherein minimum residency tenure determines a person’s or group’s ability to procure documents that establish material claims and political belonging in the city. These material claims include housing and food subsidies, as well as confirmation of the urban poor’s identities as political subjects with voting rights. Thus, procurement of two key documents and their lesser substitutes defines political aspirations for material claims and belonging. In this chapter, I analyze the production and significance of vital documents, particularly ration and voter ID cards. I illustrate how the processes and practices concerning documents remain central in the political claims of the poor. I argue that these documents and their counterfeits subvert and challenge arbitrary and official definitions of legality, illegality, and eligibility, and raise significant questions about social and economic rights in the city. At the same time, the challenge to enumerate and procure these documents necessitates the political mobilization of the urban poor. Drawing on Foucault’s conceptualization of governmentality, critical scholars have shown how the generation of bureaucratic statistics constitutes a “technology of power” that establishes classifications, regularity, and probability (Hacking 1990, 181). Governmentality 	  	   127 encompasses the “art of government” of each and every aspect of life, including even the moral conduct of the self, with continuity between different kinds of government such as the economic management of resources and the political regulation of populations (Foucault 1991, 90-91). As Foucault argues, “We find at once a plurality of forms of government and their immanence to the state” (ibid., 91). Thus, Foucault’s conceptualization of government is also a relational theory of how various spheres of life interact with each other both inside and beyond state control. In Foucault’s conceptualization, population is the object of government of various spheres and kinds of government (ibid., 100). Thus utilitarian measures, enumeration procedures, and welfare distributions aimed at populations all constitute tactics within the art of government. In Foucault’s schema, the statistical prediction techniques employed by modern state systems and arts of government weave a complex web of power relations that define deviant, vagrant, and criminal populations. Ian Hacking (1990) argues that statistics establish laws around probability, which he describes as the “taming of chance” that has eroded assumptions about natural and social determinacy while at the same time contributing to information and population control (185). In other words, Foucault’s insights offer critical perspectives on seemingly innocuous utilitarian measures that promote “pedagogical and disciplinary” doctrines (Appadurai 1996, 125) and the objectification of social life tendencies (Cohn 1987, 230) in modern state systems. In short, processes of enumeration, statistical generation, and documentation reflect the operation of power at multiple levels in modern liberal settings. As Nikolas Rose (1999) argues, these perspectives on “regimes of authority … share with Marxism and critical theory a profound unease about the values that pervade our times. … They share a suspicious attention to the multitude of petty humiliations and degradations carried out in the name of 	  	   128 our best interests” (60). In fact, such bureaucratically generated numbers depoliticize political judgment by offering technical solutions to complex social and cultural problems (see also ibid., 198). In this sense, statistics are “one of the key modalities for the production of the knowledge necessary to govern” (ibid., 209).  Foucault-inspired approaches have dominated scholarship on the overlapping themes of bureaucratic documentation, the generation of statistics, and the enumeration of populations. Various scholars have also extended Foucault’s later discussion of these issues by including the political economy of race, gender, and colonialism in their analyses (Stoler 1995). My approach similarly analyzes forms of psychic and material subjugation that result from different forms of privilege and the possession of various kinds of capital. I examine how the technologies of government lead to the unequal distribution of material resources and cultural life outcomes. The influence of enumeration methods, statistics collection, and bureaucratic documentation varies across different groups. It is useful to explore the cultural practices of populations as a reflection of “the legitimation project of the state,” as Cohn and Dirks (1988) suggest (227). In this regard, my analysis engages with contemporary scholarship on critical aspects of citizenship to analyze the differential outcomes and patterns of citizenship experiences. My objective is to explore how the technologies of statecraft produce differential outcomes for the urban poor.   In what follows, I analyze the production of documents, the enumeration of populations,33 the generation of statistics and their corollary popular forms of letter-writing and counterfeit production. I explore both the practical and ideological motivations for these 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  33 The Office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner, Minister of Home Affairs, India, collects decadal data on Indian citizens’ demographics and biometrics. See http://www.censusindia.gov.in/2011census/population_enumeration.aspx (accessed July 21, 2014). 	  	   129 practices and the web of social and political relationships that determines them in order to illuminate struggles around poverty and citizenship. The political and social life of numbers defines not only the technical definition of welfare eligibility, but also raises critical questions about citizenship rights and entitlements for the poor. As Marx (2000 [1843]) reminded us long ago, the political and legal freedoms integral to liberal ideology do not necessarily lead to human emancipation. In fact, the state enables privileges of various kinds to have their effects—the state’s existence is presupposed by these different privileges (ibid., 52). In a similar vein, Wallerstein (2003) has demonstrated the contradiction between “theoretical embrace of equality” and “acute polarization of real life opportunities and satisfactions” (650). I will show that while the poor may have the right to vote, until property relations, land distribution, and access to basic welfare are redefined, their social and economic rights will not be realized in the city. Thus, the claims, processes, and practices around documents also draw our attention to the disjuncture between formal and substantive aspects of citizenship, especially with respect to the proliferation of economic and social inequalities (Holston & Appadurai 1996, 190; Chatterjee 2004; Holston 2008, 22).  An ethnographic approach that attempts a “historically situated mode of understanding historically situated contexts” (Comaroff and Comaroff 1992, 9) can help us understand these processes for addressing social inequalities and citizenship at the level of everyday experience. Through ethnographic vignettes from three neighbourhoods, I illustrate how numerical citizenship is claimed, negotiated, performed, and realized by a range of practices. I analyze how ration cards, voter IDs, and lesser valued substitutes such as VP Singh cards (issued by a former Prime Minister of India as an urban residential proof document), as well as allotment slips, DDA registrations numbers, jhuggi tokens, electricity 	  	   130 bills, vaccination certificates, delivery parchas (documents), birth certificates, and school leaving certificates, are important components of citizenship struggles among Delhi’s urban poor. In fact, the poor attempt to procure these documents independently or with the help of a range of intermediaries.  STATE IMAGINATION: POLICIES AND ELIGIBILITY  Local citizenship struggles and their associated political and cultural practices can be located within the unfolding global political economy (Ong 1999, 32). State policies such as mass demolitions and narrowly defined criteria for resettlement eligibility, as well as targeted food subsidies amidst widespread hunger, should be understood to a large extent as responses to the forces of the contemporary capitalist world economy. In particular, the processes and practices of numerical citizenship that I examine in this chapter are connected with neo-liberal urban housing and food security policies that are being implemented worldwide. India had a universal Public Distribution System (PDS) prior to the economic reforms period, through which subsidized food grains and essential commodities were supplied via ‘Fair Price Shops’ across the country (Swaminathan 2000; Patnaik 2007; Corbridge et al. 2013, 107). Massive public spending cuts affecting food provisions began with the reform period in 1991, and since 1997 India has targeted its PDS at certain populations enumerated as Below Poverty Line (BPL) or Above Poverty Line (APL) (ibid.). As observers note, the ‘poverty line’ was an “arbitrary construct” that created enormous administrative challenges to supply subsidized grains to only the poorest populations (Corbridge et al. 2013, 107). In fact, many economists claim that leakages and inefficiencies have increased since the targeted PDS was introduced (see Corbridge et al. 2013, 110). Swaminathan (2000) has also discussed 	  	   131 problems of mis-identification and mis-targeting under the targeted PDS. She argues that universal programs produce “large errors of wrong inclusion (that is, include the rich) but small errors of wrong exclusion. On the other hand, narrowly targeted programs tend to have small errors of wrong inclusion but large errors of wrong exclusion” (Swaminathan 2000, 102). In other words, the targeted PDS system is more likely to exclude even the deserving poor. Further, PDS illegal sales, false entries on ration cards, short weighing of commodities, and the adulteration of goods are rampant (Swaminathan 2000, 54). These claims raise significant questions about subsidized food. In this context, struggles over ration cards become even more acute, as corruption related to the issuance of various cards, underselling, and other forms of pilfering become increasingly rampant. For instance, I often came across APL (Above Poverty Line) cards among daily wage Dalit residents working in the recycling business of Kabadda camp in Gautam Nagar, while some relatively upwardly mobile residents could procure BPL cards (Below Poverty Line) or Antyodaya (designated as the ‘poorest of the poor’) cards.  Similarly, resettlement policies form the most important component of housing policy in Delhi today. Mass demolition has a strong correlation with the production of space under capitalist accumulation regimes. Without substantial redistribution of land in the city and social housing programs, the fundamental right of housing was negotiated through the capacity to acquire resettlement plots in the vicinity of the city until the introduction of the new housing policy discussed in Chapter 1. The resettlement policy formally assured plots of eighteen square metres and 12.5 square metres for residents with proof documents dated 	  	   132 from 1990 and 1998 respectively.34 However, in 2010 the cut-off date for resettlement eligibility was revised, from 1998 to March 31, 2002 (DUSIB 2010, 4). The Delhi Urban Shelter Improvement Board (DUSIB) came into existence in 2010 and was charged with demolishing encroachments, negotiating compensation with land-owning agencies, and determining eligibility for resettlement, as discussed in Chapter 1. The Board carries out tasks related to the enumeration, supervision, and surveillance of the areas, as well as the lottery for allotment of resettlement plots. The Board’s work gives rise to conflicts over the definition of neighbourhoods, the responsibilities of the landowning agent in the event of demolition and resettlement, and the discretionary power of surveyors. There is no official consensus on the size of the ‘slum population’ in Delhi. While the Food and Supply Department predicted a population of twelve lakhs (1,200,000) in 1990, the JJ (jhuggi jhopri) Department put it at twenty-four lakhs (2,400,000) in 1994 (Planning Commission 2009, 95).  As Chatterji (2005) notes, “Documentary claims are also ways by which slum dwellers can make themselves visible to the state” (199). In this regard, the issuance of important documents like ration cards and voter IDs bolsters moral as well as quasi-legal opinions about the legitimacy of a particular neighbourhood. Proof documents help prevent arbitrary demolitions of transit camps, which ironically were established by government agencies as part of their planning apparatus. Proof documents are also bargaining tools for resettlement and state-sponsored benefits for jhuggi residents. For instance, the residents of Sitapuri transit camp opined that they were issued ration cards and voter IDs, possessed a range of documents for many years, paid license fees regularly, paid for basic amenities, and produced bills whenever necessary as proof of their claim to the neighbourhood. In our 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  34 Delhi’s resettlement policy draws on information available on the DUSIB website, http://delhishelterboard.in/main/ (accessed May 23, 2014). 	  	   133 conversations, they reiterated their belief that they are proper citizens abiding by legal and constitutional norms. In their view, demolition of their houses would not only be absurd but also unjust and unconstitutional.  In fact, enumeration, surveys, and various identification mechanisms constitute vital aspects of citizenship in the city. State policies have made it clear that only the surveyed and identified jhuggi settlements can be relocated. In reality, identified and surveyed jhuggi settlements such as Gautam Nagar enjoy only minimal citizenship. However, numerous newer unidentified, un-surveyed, and undesignated jhuggi settlements in various parts of the city outside patronage structures have been removed without any consideration or consultation, thus depriving the poor in these settlements of minimal basic amenities and also undermining any hope for their relocation. The politics around proof documents connect with the “spatial politics” of “urban citizenship” (Zhang 2002, 313). Documents determine spatial inclusions and exclusions in the city. The above discussion of the imagination of the state around welfare eligibility provides a context in which to examine the ecology of scarcity of various welfare goods and the struggles associated with them. In the following sections, I analyze how the cultural practices of citizenship are embedded within the political economy and regimes of power, as suggested by Ong (1999).   PROCESSES OF ENUMERATION: LEGIBILITY AND LITERACY  The issue of enumeration and related governmental activities is contentious and raises critical questions about literacy, the collection of documents, and substantive democracy in the city. Problems arising from under-enumeration and anomalies in the production of government statistics are rampant. Under-enumeration often results from work- or travel-	  	   134 related absences at the time of surveys and the discretionary power of the surveyors in regard to the details furnished by residents. It is a standard practice on the part of government officials to reject proof documents and render people ineligible on the slightest pretext. As a resident of Azad resettlement colony active with the feminist organization Jagori noted:  The DDA people rejected a lot of applications in the Alaknanda camp [one of the jhuggi clusters from where people were brought to Azad resettlement colony] and people were running around various offices to claim plots. We filled numerous applications, arranged documents, and submitted them at Vikash Sadan office. I guess around 50 percent of the residents in Alaknanda camp were deemed ‘ineligible.’ But what is more important is that hundreds of ‘eligible’ residents did not get plots. They came and had to build jhuggis in the open spaces and parks here. They made rounds at the offices but were told that the DDA can give them plots only after they acquire government-sanctioned land for resettlement.   James Scott (1998) argues that legibility, standardization, and homogenization are central features of statecraft. For example, Delhi urban planners emphasize standardized procedures. The effort to standardize information sits uneasily with the aspirations of poor migrants in the city. Measurement of the area ‘encroached’ on (to be discussed in Chapter 5), arbitrariness in judging the nature of encroachment, eligibility guidelines, and the requirement of joint photographs during the survey become battlegrounds in the lives of the poor. Further, migrants from Bangladesh and Nepal living in the city for decades are instantly denied these rights once the eligibility and physical surveys are codified, as these residents do not fulfil the citizenship conditions for eligibility. It should also be stressed, however, that post-colonial statecraft is also founded upon illegibility and flexibility, which in turn also reflect the class logic of the state (see also Ferguson 2005). From the comments of the Jagori activist quoted above, it is obvious that definitions are critical, especially in the absence of substantial land allotments for poor people’s housing. Illegibility has serious 	  	   135 implications, as some needy poor people are automatically rendered ineligible from various state-sponsored welfare measures.  Surveys and other techniques of enumeration do not remain impersonal or impartial bureaucratic technologies. They constitute sites for social relations to unfold and appeals to the moral worlds of the surveyors. Sriraman (2013) argues that the enumeration, inspection, and regulation of welfare processes engage “the world of instinct, emotion, and conscience” for state officials (336). Thus, emotion, compassion, and vengefulness are integral to these state practices, which also reflect interlocking “kinship ties and cultural affinities” with welfare policies (ibid., 345). However, it is critical to place power at the centre to analyze how ‘affect’ is central to the production of benefits, profits, exclusions, and indifference. We need more ethnographic work to learn about the experiences of Dalits, Muslims, and other underrepresented urban poor communities navigating the bureaucratic world. As a Muslim resident in Gautam Nagar noted, “I cannot understand how they just listed eleven Muslim families in the survey before demolition. There were seven Muslim families in my street alone and there are many lanes housing Muslims here.” It is difficult to determine whether this particular instance of under-enumeration was part of the general under-enumeration prevalent on these occasions, or if it involved an emotionally charged bias on the part of the enumerator. My ethnography suggests that, on the one hand, disagreements about survey attendance, proof documents, and enumeration slips can be resolved locally through debates, leading to mutual recognition and acknowledgement by neighbours (in-person) and councillors (on the phone). On the other hand, in cases where the discretionary power of the surveyor disadvantages residents, influential community members, such as sarkari karmacharis, can facilitate active negotiation. It is in this kind of context that sarkari 	  	   136 karmacharis collapse “the distinction between their roles as public servants and as private citizens, not only at the site of their activity but also in their styles of operation” (Gupta 2012, 90). In other words, they blur the boundaries between the state and society (ibid.). In the previous chapter, I have discussed the role of intermediaries, government officials, and dalals in the numerous cases of ghapla (wrongdoings). Among the urban poor, demonstrating proofs, enumerating or registering oneself, and procuring plots can become contingent and tenuous projects, structured by established patterns of social stratification.  Let me illustrate this point through a few ethnographic vignettes. I once arrived early evening in Gautam Nagar to meet a few residents. The residents had gathered in a particular galli (lane), and were discussing the enumeration process. Residents complained about irregularities in their voter IDs, arbitrary decision-making on the part of government officials, and irresponsible lower-level bureaucrats excluding some residents from the surveys.  RESIDENT B: Our neighbourhood is in Phase I, but the voter IDs of some suggest that we live in Phase II of the neighbourhood. How did our names crop up in a different electoral roll all together? Will this discrepancy not lead to problems later, at the time of resettlement? The babus (state officials) may reject our documents if they say Phase II has not been demolished yet.   RESIDENT M: The Booth Level Officer must have done this intentionally to harass us. There is no accountability and this will result in bribery and malpractices now. Some residents are just happy that they got their documents without checking if the details are correct. And some others cannot even read what is written on those documents.   RESIDENT P: I do not know if I should blame the intermediary or the government. I voted in the last election, but they deleted my name altogether from the electoral roll this time and I could not vote.  Resident P went on to show me a voter ID issued by the Election Commission of India in 2002. The residents made a claim that around 25 percent of the residents were either 	  	   137 missing from the electoral roll or did not have correct voter IDs. Moreover, in neighbourhoods like Sitapuri transit camp, people who rent rooms are not able to obtain voter IDs for lack of ‘proofs,’ even after living in the city for many years. The owners of the houses do not allow the renters to procure these documents, as they fear that they may seize their property once they have proof documents. Often the residents would take out their proof IDs during discussions about eviction and resettlement in Gautam Nagar, as they knew that they would require these soon during the period for allotting plots. Gordillo (2006) has shown how the denial of identity papers, and thereby the alienation of Argentinean Chacos from citizenship rights, led to the fetishization of these objects (162). Gordillo argues that identity documents are “worthless without the social relations that produce them and give meaning to them as symbols of something else” (ibid., 173). Indeed, the fetishism of proof ID masks the social relations behind the production, authentication, and imitation of documents. The fetishization of documents, government-issued receipts, and correspondence letters is evident in the ways that the poor show great circumspection in retaining, preserving, and displaying them on particular occasions. In fact, the proof documents are commonly considered to be the most valuable belongings to be saved during fires, demolitions, and heavy downpours. The irregularities in the documents threaten the entitlements of the poor. At times, the details of old documents do not match new ones. Some of the irregularities include misspelled names, wrong jhuggi numbers, incorrect information about age and gender and other trivial anomalies. Sometimes even residents' photographs on their documents are wrong. Women often visited villages to deliver babies with the support of family members, after which it was difficult to procure birth certificates back in the city. Most do not have 	  	   138 bank accounts, proof of employment (employers often evade taxes and deny minimum wages and workers’ benefits by making their workers invisible), or school-completion certificates. Failure to produce photo ID or attestation (notarization) of these documents reflects the small network of political and administrative contacts the poor have. Politicians’ agents also struggle to procure voter IDs, as loyalty is rare in an atmosphere of competitive vote-bank politics between the INC (Indian National Congress) and the BSP (Bahujan Samajwadi Party). Residents confirm the link between politicians with booth-level officers, affiliation of surveyors with particular politicians, and bribery in Sub Divisional Magistrate offices, as well as the rampant favouritism with respect to enumeration. On another occasion, I witnessed some minor fights and arguments regarding ration card renewal: RESIDENT B: It has become very difficult to obtain new ration cards or renew old ones. The ration verification office opens in the morning, but we congregate and sleep in front of the office the night before in order to avoid the long queue. Some of us were issued ration cards in 2007 but we did not receive them until 2009. So we did not have access to ration shops for two years. It is frustrating if there still remains a discrepancy, spelling mistake, or other irregularities committed on the part of government officials. One has to wait for long hours in the queue to buy rations at these shops. The shop owners do not have a timetable and arbitrarily operate based on their whims. In any case, the ration shop has also moved to a different location now.   As Bourdieu (1998) argues, orthography, that is “correct spelling, designated and guaranteed as normal by law, that is, by the state, is a social artefact only imperfectly founded upon logical or even linguistic reason” (37). Thus, the state's orthographic techniques, seemingly founded on reason, create classificatory categories around social eligibility. These classificatory and orthographic techniques constitute the “realm of symbolic production” where the “grip of the state is felt most powerfully” (ibid., 38). Orthographic anxiety is compounded by wage loss, dependence on intermediaries and scribes, and additional costs incurred to rectify the associated mistakes. These problems are 	  	   139 particularly distressing for the impoverished Dalit residents in Gautam Nagar, who remain tied to their employers for daily wages and also depend on scribes and intermediaries to compensate for their low literacy levels.  Commenting on the tedious application process, a resident in Gautam Nagar remarked to me: “See, I have submitted the required documents four times, but the computer fails to add the correct details. There is some deficiency in my application even when I involve the intermediaries.” Literacy skills distinguish people along the padhe-likhe (literacy) continuum, while also disguising other forms of social relations and power. Once a resident in Gautam Nagar recited the following refrain: “Yeh sab babu log angrez ke aulaad hain!” (These babus are the children of English people!). Although the forms, information about various protocols, signs, and insignia of bureaucracy are also available in Hindi, the English language has a spectral presence in the lives of the urban poor. Bureaucracy is equated with Englishness, and therefore the intricate procedures for navigating the offices and fastidious efforts to find faults in the documents are scoffed at. In a country where the ability to speak English is perhaps the greatest divider, the comments that people make regarding language skills while trying to navigate bureaucracy make good sense. In fact, concerns about documents while negotiating with scribes, intermediaries, and various levels of bureaucracy are a manifestation of the effects of symbolic power—a “misrecognizable, transfigured, and legitimated form of the other forms of power” (Bourdieu 1991, 170). The language-based (especially English-language based) “distinction operators” (Bourdieu 1998, 8) have led lower caste activists and scholars to demand compulsory English education because of its capacity to open up symbolic and material opportunities (see also Kothari 2013). Levels of literacy—in particular English language skills—reflect their social origins 	  	   140 and associated possibilities of symbolic prestige, and promote the capability to navigate bureaucracy. One has the option to navigate paperwork in Hindi (which also assumes and expects that all the Delhi residents are Hindi speakers). However, a bifurcated system of governance frequently emerges, with the lower-level government officials mostly dealing in Hindi and upper-level government officials mostly dealing in English. Because dealing with upper-level officials is more efficient, English-speakers have a systemic advantage over Hindi-speakers. In other words, access to and comfort with the babus35 high up in the hierarchy can directly improve one’s problem-solving ability. Whenever I accompanied the residents to daftars (offices), the babus invariably spoke to the residents in Hindi, but also initiated conversations with me in English in their presence. This is why even a smattering of English language speaking ability gave confidence to the samaj sevaks. As Raymond Williams (1973) reminds us, “To be face-to-face in this world is already to belong to a class” (166). Class relations substantially determine access to officials higher up in the bureaucracy and thereby the capacity to solve problems. Repeated failed applications for the same proof IDs are common. For instance, disputes often arise concerning the legal heirs of deceased jhuggi owners. Negotiations in these cases not only reflect local power dynamics, but some degree of arbitrary and impromptu decision-making. For example, most rejected residents in Azad resettlement colony are still trying to figure out the kami (lack) in their documents and eligibility. Moreover, the inscrutability of census recording procedures creates an economy of symbolic prestige in the neighbourhood. Some residents blame others for their inability to properly record their personal details. For example, one commonly finds proof documents without 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  35 I use babus as a generic term for all sarkari officials, regardless of their location in the bureaucratic hierarchy. 	  	   141 surnames of the person or his or her parents. On one occasion the lack of a recorded surname and other personal details contributed to confusion, arbitrariness, and also irritation on the part of the enumerator. During one such enumeration the residents debated the following:  ENUMERATOR: What is your mother’s name?  RESIDENT A: It is difficult to understand why we need to provide details about our mothers’ names. Some do not know their mother’s name as they just call them Ma. Is it necessary for you to know the names of our parents? Will you make the documents for our parents too? We call them Ma or Papa and various people call them by various names depending on the context.  ENUMERATOR [to me]: You are doing a PhD, see the situation here, they do not even know the names of their janamdata (creator).   RESIDENT B: At least you should know the names of your parents.   ANOTHER RESIDENT: What if the person was orphaned as a child?   And, on another occasion:  ENUMERATOR: What is your caste?  RESIDENT R: My caste is Chauhan.  ENUMERATOR: What caste is Chauhan?   RESIDENT R: I do not understand your question and you can fill in whatever you feel like.  Usually, the facts and data are decided after active negotiation with the enumerator. Biographical details are tentatively determined and recorded on the sheets. The residents collectively record the building information and the availability of certain amenities like water. In this process, state naming practices often contradict customary or local naming practices, producing intelligibility problems (Scott et al. 2002) for the enumerators. According to James Scott (1998), the state’s desire to record permanent surnames also forms part of its legibility project (65). In fact, the “conquest of illegibility” (Scott et al. 2002, 7) 	  	   142 entails the effacement of the fuzziness of communities, castes, linguistic divisions, and identities (Kaviraj 2010). However, as Deshpande and John point out, “The politics of caste identities is not infinitely fluid and malleable, whether at the level of the individual or the group. For most Indians, caste is an interrelational identity embedded in the politics of everyday life” (ibid., 41). As seen above, enumeration and its associated practices are not only welfare and surveillance strategies of the state. They are also sites of dignity, state condescension, and struggles over symbolic meanings.   Scott, Tehranian, and Mathias (2002) argue that these state practices constitute a “cultural project” to train populations for citizenship (18). Most often, enumeration is not followed by the redistribution of substantive resources. However, despite the merit of their observations, it is difficult to agree with their “ethical-philosophical case that no state ought to have such panoptic powers,” and their call to forego the panoptic state (ibid., 38). While it is essential to confront the menace of the panoptic state, the advantages of information generation make it impractical to give up surveillance altogether, as it promises to provide leverage for addressing the material regulations of modern society. For this reason, social justice observers in the Indian context have recently called for a caste census and for linking caste disadvantages with public policies.36 In fact, Deshpande and John (2010), after considering the nuances of various arguments for and against caste census, call for a rejection of ‘caste-blindness.’   	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  36 See “Letter to the Group of Ministers on Class Census,” The Hindu, August 14, 2010, accessed November 17, 2013, http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-opinion/letter-to-the-group-of-ministers-on-caste-census/article569547.ece; “Caste Census: Senseless Separation,” The Hindu, September 13, 2010, accessed November 13, 2013,  http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-opinion/caste-census-senseless-separation/article627987.ece. 	  	   143 (COUNTER) TACTICS OF ENUMERATION I: LETTER WRITING AND OFFICE VISITS  Uncertainty about eligibility for voting rights and other welfare entitlements, as pointed out above, is a constant feature of life for the urban poor. In the following three sections, I analyze poor people’s political imagination and agency when negotiating with state structures. Recent attempts have tried to bring culture into an analysis of “collective identity” and “collective aspirations” vis-à-vis poverty (Rao and Walton 2004, 9). According to Arjun Appadurai (2004), the “capacity to aspire” is embedded in and nurtured by culture (59). Breaking away from static models of culture and dichotomies of culture and economy, Appadurai argues it is within the domain of culture that an orientation to the future can be conceptualized. This in turn has radical implications for fighting poverty (Appadurai 2004). In fact, this perspective can help us examine the numerical aspirations of the poor by drawing attention to culture-inflected worldviews, behaviours, constraints, exclusions, and—most importantly—collective aspirations.  One common strategy in these negotiations is to seek reference letters from a range of politicians, bureaucrats, and civil rights activists. These letters include appeals for compassion, ethical obligations to protect the poor, and constitutional principles of justice. At times, politicians write letters indicting a political vendetta against their voters during demolitions. After examining the letters preserved by the residents, I could conclude that officers tend to devolve responsibility down the hierarchy, with requests for utmost care and adherence to the official resettlement policy invoked as alibis. Delegations of the poor collect letters from residents addressed to DDA or MCD officials, especially the MCD Additional Commissioner. These letters include requests for proper survey procedures and resettlement 	  	   144 for members of the deserving poor who are excluded from past surveys.37 In the past, many of the letters were drafted under the guidance of V.P. Singh and activists from Jan Chetna Manch. Residents often self-enumerate in the letters, including details such as jhuggi numbers, signatures, ration cards, and voter IDs. This makes sense, as the official survey list, in the words of an additional commissioner, is the “guiding bible for eligibility for allotment.”38 To contest under-enumeration, the poor often attend public grievance hearings or deposit copies of bills and previous proof IDs at various offices.  A gendered division of labour emerges in the struggle for proof documents, wherein men tend to undertake office visits while women invest emotionally in sustaining relationships with key neighbourhood actors. Repeated visits to samaj sevaks, forging relationships with key actors, and informing partners about possible procurement routes define women’s gendered responsibilities in these neighbourhoods. Of course, there is no neat division of labour and women also occasionally visit offices for proof documents, especially with contingents led by female intermediaries. Once a few residents told me the story of having their ration cards confiscated in Gautam Nagar: In 2007-2008, we had to submit our old ration cards in exchange for slips. They told us that you could procure rations [subsidized food and other commodities] on production of these slips. Of course, many residents stopped going to ration shops as there was a lot of confusion and they thought the government had stopped giving rations. But then we organized ourselves, collected reference letters from netas (leaders), and collectively went to the food and supply officer in early 2009. He said that the jhuggis have been demolished and we were no longer eligible to procure rations. Then we went to the MLA, and he sent us to the assistant commissioner [Food and Supply 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  37	  Jan Chetna Manch Files, 22 May 2006, document number D.O. No. 538/PA/VC/06 (Tajdar Babar’s letter to additional commissioner [slum and JJ], Municipal Corporation of Delhi), Jan Chetna Manch, Delhi. 	  38	  Jan Chetna Manch Files, 11 January 2002, “Transparency in Relocation Operations,” document number NO. PA/ADDL Commr (S and JJ)/2002/D-32 (additional commissioner’s letter to joint director, SUR), Jan Chetna Manch, Delhi. 	  	  	   145 Department] with a letter directing him to issue us ration cards. The assistant commissioner wrote a letter to the officer in charge of circle office number thirty-five, and the officer instead said our locality is in circle thirty-six. We went to circle thirty-six and he did not show any interest in helping. We then went to the MP and he wrote a letter and directed us to meet the Minister of Food and Supply of the Delhi Government. We had already spent a lot of time in bhaag-daud (running around) and it was election time. We knew they could not entertain requests before elections due to the Election Commission rules. So we asked for an official in the office to receive our request letter on a back date. After a lot of hard work and rounds to the offices to remind the officers of our letters, delegation, and minister’s referral, our pressure to obtain rations finally succeeded. We started getting rations by producing slips again from the month of April 2009.  The above story highlights the bhaag-daud (running around) and dhakka khao (shoving and pushing/struggling) that poor people encounter to procure welfare provisions in the city. In the process, they incur extra expenses, lose time and wages, and sometimes just give up. Most often the most vulnerable populations, especially Dalit daily wage labourers, give up as they lack time to navigate the bureaucracy, money to spend on intermediaries, and patience to engage with hostile officials. As the letters traverse files, desks, and a field of interpretations and action, the poor encounter an economy of favours and disfavours depending on how officials interpret and respond to their letters. Thus, their source of support is not a single individual, nor their target a single individual bureaucrat.  This argument should also be supplemented with a story about the lived experience of class-based degradation and humiliation during office visits. This particular incident occurred during a visit to a sub-divisional magistrate's office. I accompanied two residents along with a samaj sevak to the office on a hot summer afternoon in mid-May 2010, to seek an update on their applications for voter IDs and birth certificates. We were supposed to change two buses to reach the office. We waited for the bus and had no luck even after waiting for thirty minutes at the bus stop. The temperature was around 45°C and we decided 	  	   146 to rent an auto-rickshaw in the unbearable heat. We arrived at the office and joined the other visitors inside. As soon as we entered the office we noticed an antagonistic atmosphere. A visitor, perhaps in his sixties, had come to enquire about his voter ID. He argued that the office had sent him the document but the landlord declined to receive it, as the landlord feared the man might seize his property if he had proof of residency. The official (perhaps in his late forties) denied having his document. The man persisted with his requests and argued that he has the government-issued slips and the official was irresponsible for not providing the requisite document. The official was annoyed with this accusation and started to verbally abuse him. The official said things like: “Tu apne aukaad mein rah!” (Be where you belong! [aukaad connotes one’s social location determined by a range of capital or identity]); “Kya naam bol tera, kya jaanta hai?” (What’s your name, what do you know?); and “Nikal yahan se!” (Get out of here!). There was no utterance of honorifics for this older man. The disrespectful informal pronouns like tu/tera (informal you/yours), which mark either endearing closeness or disrespect for a particular class of people, replaced the more culturally appropriate aap/aapka (formal you/yours). This mode of address was not a manifestation of “hidden injuries of class” experienced as a result of status hierarchies of class relations (Sennett and Cobb 1972), but a direct affront on the dignity, respect, and humanity of the poor.  Sanjay Palshikar (2009) makes an important point while analyzing the humiliation of the weak by the mighty. He argues that elites insist on a “protocol, demanding a privilege, drawing distinctions,” and therefore “a sudden and momentary reversal of relations of hierarchy produces the experience of humiliation for them” (82). The above scenario demonstrates the varying intensity and nature of humiliation experienced by both the official 	  	   147 and the residents. The official could not bear that a poor man could question him in his own office. In the official’s mind, the poor man’s so-called incivility contributed to inappropriate behaviour in the office, and his illiteracy contributed to his lack of knowledge about government procedures and rules, crystallized in his lack of ‘aukaad.’ Similarly, another visitor wanted to correct the wrong address on his voter ID. The official tore apart his form, arguing there were errors and he should contact a different official. In turn, the resident pleaded with the official to reconsider as he had done enough bhaag-daud already. As Palshikar (2009) argues, the powerful speak of “slight, offence, rudeness, temerity, whereas the subalterns complain of callousness, neglect, and inhuman treatment. Having fewer resources to immediately undo the damage to their self-respect, they ask for kindness, compassion, etc.” (82). However, in this case, mercy and kindness were not shown and the group of visitors left the office one by one. The samaj sevak tried to politely engage with the official by referring to the councillor, but did not pursue the matter further as the situation had become too antagonistic.  The visitors then gathered in front of the office under a tree to protect themselves from the sun and started talking about their maltreatment and the bribery and corruption rampant in these offices. One visitor argued, “They find the slightest error and reject our forms and applications. I want a birth certificate for my child and submitted the documents eight months ago, but I have not been able to procure it yet.” Another visitor argued: “We wander around, wait endlessly in the long queues, and are humiliated, but we are still not able to procure these documents. They are asking me to show a bank account. I do not have money to eat and they are asking for my bank balance.” The visitors started discussing this loudly. They opened their bags and started exchanging roti, onions, chillies, pickle, and 	  	   148 curries rolled in the plastic bags. Everyone shared feelings of helplessness, maltreatment, and indifference. At this point, the visitor who was verbally abused started screaming in the direction of the office:  Dil jal jata hai, kasam se, saala yahan aoo, dehadi chhodo, kaam hota nahin hai! (My heart burns, to be honest. I come here, leave my daily wage-labour, but cannot get the work done!) I am a darzi (tailor) and not well [he coughed intermittently]. People know me for twenty years—you can go and ask in Lodhi area—but here they would not even acknowledge my requests. Bhagwan samjhte hain khudko, do kaudi ki tameez nahin hai, aadmi ko chor bana rahe hain saale, bal bachhon ki hamdardi nahin hoti to kaleja phaad dete hum (They think of themselves as gods. They lack the minimum decency. They are turning people into thieves. If I did not care about my children I would have ripped them apart today).   He got up and started walking in the direction of the bus, and continued screaming about his health and why he is unable to avenge himself.  The other visitors shared some newfound friendship and collectively recognized the sense of hurt they had felt. They started talking about the next strategy of action and whether they should meet their respective councillors or any other leader. As Palshikar (2009) argues, “Solidarities and friendships lessen the hurt caused by insults” (83). He argues that the presence of those sharing the hurt with you “turn the traumatic situation into a battle and that is the first move from solitary and purely psychological suffering to collective action” (ibid.). In fact, the samaj sevak suggested that things are not as bad as they look. Apparently he had successfully elicited responses regarding the proof documents and expedited action through Right to Information (RTI) applications (discussed later). He also volunteered to write applications for the visitors. The above observation also corroborates Harriss’s (2006) findings that the poor often visit the government offices accompanied by others or by influential persons (453). 	  	   149 Of course, this is not a typical experience for the urban poor in government offices. The encounter discussed above was perhaps the most extreme symbolic violence I witnessed in all my trips to sarkari daftars (government offices) with the residents as part of my fieldwork. However, all interactions that I witnessed between the poor with the babus range from indifference to bordering on outright hostility—from frisking at the gates to symbolic violence in the babus’ air-conditioned offices. In the Argentinean context, Javier Auyero (2011) has examined the welfare office “as a site of intense sociability amid pervasive uncertainty” (6). However, in recent times, the government offices in metropolitan Delhi have modelled themselves along corporate lines and have instituted surveillance cameras, entry registrars, and various other unwelcoming devices in the offices. At times, entry into the offices is dependent on an appointment, security inspection at the gate, referral by a ‘big person,’ and the ability to coherently articulate one’s reason for the desired meeting.   (COUNTER) TACTICS OF ENUMERATION II: SELF-SURVEYS AND THE RIGHT TO INFORMATION  Poor migrants use self-surveys as a technique to challenge government-produced figures that determine compensation. Self-surveys are most often carried out on the eve of eviction or upon a failure of government bodies to resettle populations. Self-surveys serve as the semblance of legitimate survey figures against deflated state numbers; they also provide important data for court battles. In a different context, Appadurai (2002) evocatively describes these processes of self-enumeration as “counter-governmentality”—a form of “governmentality from below” (36). In fact, just after the demolition of their houses, the residents of Gautam Nagar came together under the banner “Gautam Nagar Sangharsh Samiti” (Struggle Committee) to make a list of residents eligible for resettlement. They were 	  	   150 aware of the competition among various intermediaries to procure multiple plots, the underside of jugaad (fixing) on the part of dalals and ‘ineligible’ residents, and the arbitrary judgment of official resettlement applications. For these reasons, there was an overwhelming response to the Delhi State Legal Services Authority's (DSLSA) call to debate about enumeration, proof documents, and eligibility. The DSLSA meeting was held at the usual peepal ka ped (peepal tree) courtyard. The pradhans provided chairs and tables for the visitors and decorated the table with a golden yellow cloth. They hung a red chaddar (sheet) in the tree as protection against sun and laid out a plastic mat on the cleanly swept mud floor. Women sat on the left side of the mat facing the table, and men sat on the right. The whole atmosphere had a carnivalesque feeling to it. The residents came armed with their proof documents, ready to tally their names against the list of names on the self-survey. The committee of five persons from the authority arrived and briefed the residents about slum niti (slum policy). One of the visitors argued:  We are from the authority; the High Court has a writ now. The PWD and MCD did not provide resettlement plots before the demolitions. So now you should be ready with the key documents to prove your residence for resettlement plots. The two critical documents are your voter ID and your ration card. If you do not have those, the procedure will be different and you will need to collect as many documents as you can to have a strong case. So I suggest that you collect the following if you have them: Employees’ State Insurance cards, children’s birth certificates, V.P. Singh cards, and Jhuggi tokens. I read through your self-survey list. I suggest that you make a group of twenty to thirty people and submit your applications along with proof documents. Make sure that you mention the dates of your arrival and eviction and attach the proof documents to your application when you submit them at the Iswar Nagar PWD (Public Works Department) office. Keep a copy of your application and inform us if they do not accept it.   The residents cheered the visitors with catcalls, thereby subverting the disciplinary strategies of the intermediaries, who complained about their conduct. In turn, the residents viewed the intermediaries’ response as an example of nepotism and group-ism. To the 	  	   151 annoyance of one particular samaj sevak, one of the residents got up and loudly argued that everyone present there deserved a resettlement plot. Another samaj sevak intervened and politely quelled the situation by agreeing with this man, provoking more cheers by the residents. Their petty bickering reflects the palpable sense of condescension experienced by the residents. The residents informally evaluated the authenticity of the documents. Some were lucky enough to discuss the documents directly with the visitors, while others talked to intermediaries. The residents showed their readiness to register themselves and to collect a host of documents to prove their residency.  Many residents also initiated surveys about cardholder status with the help of activist groups. The self-enumeration in Gautam Nagar had a list of 309 residents with ration card numbers, voter ID numbers, and V.P. Singh card numbers. The quantification of various social indicators through state documentation practices may depoliticize the utilitarian measures of statecraft (see also Rose 1999, 198). Yet, the struggles involving a parade of numbers in claims-making, also constitute sites of struggles among the subalterns and activists. Thus in Gautam Nagar, a few residents were supportive of initiatives undertaken by Lok Raj Sangathan and Delhi Shramik Sangathan to explore irregularities in the documents as supporting evidence to file with the RTI applications. Some enthusiastic residents along with samaj sevaks organized themselves into samitis (committees) and carried out a door-to-door survey about personal details, jhuggi numbers, residency status, and irregularities and errors in the documents. Residents of Azad resettlement colony organized to reveal missing persons in the survey and missing plots during the lottery, and battled for joint surveys prior to relocation and for greater jhuggi representation in lotteries. Chatterjee (2004) distinguishes between citizens and populations in order to illustrate the career of citizenship in India. 	  	   152 According to him, citizens share in the sovereignty of the state while populations are enumerable entities amenable to state welfare objectives (34). However, the urban poor articulate their rights through legal and constitutional language along with an emancipatory vocabulary. Even so, Chatterjee’s distinction is useful to map the trajectory of the urban poor, who are neither well equipped to participate in civil society nor better placed to navigate the bourgeois procedures of the state apparatus, if taken heuristically. Thus, peculiar cases of negotiations, struggles, achievements, and failures related to the substantive realization of citizenship should be seen as a “work-in-progress” (Jayal 2013, 4).  The recent Right to Information (RTI) Act empowers the urban poor to interrogate the state’s implementation of welfare objectives. Many collectively file RTI applications with the help of samaj sevaks and activists. These are used to interrogate delays, question government failures to fulfil their obligations, and expose the shoddy state of affairs in the offices. I read through many such RTI applications and found they often contained very subversive content. At times, the RTI application enquired about the responsible authorities and punishment for the lapses in providing ration cards. The answers were most often standard, monotonous, and monosyllabic. Responses to substantive questions were often a mere “Yes” or “No.” One resident noted that phrases like “shall verify,” “will be done in the due course of time,” and “order has to come from above” often appeared in the responses. However, such politics of deferral are countered by the applications, appeals, and dogged perseverance of residents who follow the trail of letters and appeals. Thus, in March 2010, the residents of Gautam Nagar had a small celebration after sixty residents received their ration cards as a result of Right to Information policy. More followed the same course after this small victory.  	  	   153 Let me illustrate the apprehensions of the residents, dilatory tactics of the state, and politics of waiting that surround these aspirations. A samaj sevak from Gautam Nagar applied to renew his ration card in December 2007. He filed an RTI application in June 2009, as he still had not received a renewed card. The letter posed the following questions: Why did I not receive the renewed card despite submitting all the documents? Can you tell me if the application has been processed yet? What are the reasons for the delay? Can you kindly let me know the names and designations of the officials responsible for processing my application? Is there any action against these officials who did not fulfil their responsibilities? However, there was no response from the Public Information Officer (PIO). As a result, the samaj sevak made his first appeal in July 2009. The First Appellate Authority (FAA) order (the letter received was in English) was passed in August 2009. The order asked the appellant and PIO (Consumer Affairs, Food and Civil Supplies, GNCTD) to be present during a hearing with all of the required documents. During the meeting, the appellant realized that his application was rejected. After the meeting, the FAA asked the appellant to file another application at the Zonal Assistant Commissioner and suggested that the Assistant Commissioner “dispose off the case” in fifteen days.39 The second appeal was filed in October 2010, as there was non-compliance of the order of the First Appellate Authority. During the subsequent hearing, the PIO promised that a ration card would be issued by the end of December 2009 if the appellant were eligible. To this response, the commission gently warned that action would be taken if the appellant did not receive the requested information. Finally, the appellant got his ration card in January 2010.  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  39 Office of the First Appellant Authority, Department of Food Supplies and Consumer Affairs, 21 August 2009, document number RTI (Appeal)/ ID-0029/ FAA/2009/179, received in-person by author from Gautam Nagar residents during fieldwork, 2010-11. 	  	   154 This particular case was resolved despite the delays; however, some serious questions about navigating the bureaucratic world remain unanswered: Why was his renewal application rejected? Why did he not get a notice about the rejection? Why did he have to wait so long? In analyzing how “objective waiting become[s] subjective submission,” Auyero (2011) argues that “the welfare clients become not citizens but patients of the state” (8, see also 5). In fact, many of the experiences of poor people in Delhi revolve around waiting, with all its “uncertainty, confusion, and arbitrariness” (ibid., 14). The samaj sevak is literate, has a grocery shop (self-employed), and has children who work to augment the family income. Thus it may be argued that the substantive effects of RTI, even after long waiting periods, are dependent on literacy skills, relatively free or flexible time, an obstinate resolve, and at times proximity to activists to help navigate the system. In reality, literacy skills are low; many are not even able to read Hindi, though they are supposed to understand the technical nuances of written English, which they do not speak. The story did not end here. Once the samaj sevak got his ration card, he started visiting ration shops but could not obtain his quota of grains and kerosene oil. So he pursued this aim with another round of RTI applications. As a response during the hearing in October 2010, the commission tellingly noted that it was horrified by the “mockery of the government’s scheme.”40 Similarly, a samaj sevak in Sitapuri transit camp (a relatively new member of the neighbourhood who had recently purchased a house) took recourse to RTI in an attempt to construe the neighbourhood’s entire story coloured through his numerical aspiration of citizenship. The quantification of demographic profiles, the definition of legality, and 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  40	  Central Information Commission, 29 October 2010, decision number CIC/SG/A/2010/002578/9954 (response to Right to Information (RTI) application, appeal number CIC/SG/A/2010/002578), received in-person by author from Gautam Nagar residents during fieldwork, 2010-11.	  	  	   155 eligibility based on a range of numerical criteria informed the recent state action in Sitapuri transit camp. The samaj sevak carefully framed certain questions to unsettle the arbitrary invocation of particular readings of legality in the camp. Through his application he queried the legal definition of a “transit camp” and also requested information about the original allottees and the documents they had received confirming their title. In other words, he was challenging whether the state could define a neighbourhood as transitory or temporary even after it had existed for more than twenty years. He also staked a claim to housing based on the legal documentation of the purchase of property from an original owner. The answer to his queries was that the requested information was not “traceable in this office and hence the same could not be supplied at this stage.”41 Thus, it can be argued that the endless wait and disdainful government interactions with poor populations are themselves the effects of power (see also Auyero 2011), and of a lack of resources to remedy the situation instantaneously.   (COUNTER) TACTICS OF ENUMERATION III: DOCUMENTS AND THEIR COUNTERFEITS  The mandatory requirement of documents and proof IDs has also necessitated a market for counterfeit affidavits. One person asked me: “Tell me how is one supposed to survive with 24,200 rupees (around US$538) a year? Now even if we earn slightly more, we are forced to produce documents attesting a lower income. Otherwise we would not get subsidized rations. Moreover, you know how intricate and difficult it is to deal with bureaucracy, with their forms, offices, and officers.” It is in this kind of scenario that the 	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  	  41 Delhi Development Authority (DDA), O/O Director (LM), 4 July 2006, “First Appeal Filed by … under RTI Act,” document number Dy. NO. 33/ LM/SEZ/55 CO (response to first appeal filed by ‘resident’ under RTI Act), received in-person by author from Sitapuri transit camp resident at Sitapuri Transit Camp. 	  	   156 activities of dalals (and also intermediaries) play a big role in manufacturing counterfeit documents. The dalals specialize in producing various documents and have specific contacts with government officials for producing a range of receipts, documents, and their counterfeits. They produce receipts at a fixed price per document. As a resident put it, “The intermediaries and the dalals are jugaad lagane wale log (people who carry out jugaad) and carry out jugaad lagane ka kaam (work related to jugaad). We need some documents to amend mistakes or make others. If you do not have a voter ID, you are not a citizen of this country. You must have it.” The role of the dalals is ambiguous. Dalals not only facilitate making ‘authentic’ documents, they also forge documents and buy proof documents to exchange for a profit. In this arena we find sordid details of coercion in selling proof documents, and the seizure of proof documents by moneylenders and dalals. The space for negotiation and maneuvering remains ethically uncertain, as discussed in Chapter 3. Some get their haq (rights) but those who are relatively more vulnerable are denied their haq due to ghapla (wrongdoings) and hera pheri (swindling).  While it is politically impossible to distinguish between deserving and non-deserving poor, these practices leave an impression among the excluded about the non-deserving poor. For instance, the policy requiring joint pictures of husbands and wives was at odds due to the absence of matrimonial memorabilia among most of the residents of the Azadpur resettlement colony prior to relocation. The bourgeois notion of celebrating matrimony through framed photographs was suddenly tied up with urban planning policies regarding proof, evidence, and resettlement claims. How did the poor negotiate this dilemma? Some went to photo studios and quickly took pictures to produce for the authorities. But those whose spouses were in the village, absent due to work, or had abandoned them, improvised 	  	   157 by pairing with friends (outside the jhuggi settlement) for the purpose of providing photo evidence. They were well aware that this bit of successful subversion could help them procure plots integral to their survival in the city. Once the plots were allocated, these ‘proof documents’ could rest in the dusty files of key state offices. These improvisations create an atmosphere of mutual suspicion as the question of housing rights is displaced onto the purported misappropriation of neighbours. Illustrations of the urban poor's improvisation tactics are neither romanticizations of rebellious law-breaking nor indications of anarchy. Rather, they are acknowledgements of state failure to think through the technicalities, strict legality, and notions of propriety in a setting where a sizeable population is denied shelter, food, and human dignity. In fact, in recent times surveyors have strictly followed the guidelines for taking pictures along with the façade of the jhuggi at the time of the survey. The more the state devises surveillance strategies, including demands for photographs, videos, thumb prints, signatures, iris scans, and other biometric identification (now required as part of Unique Identification Number or UID cards) without universal schemes of social housing and food security, the more repressive these strategies become for the poor, despite their improvisations and subversions of the strict norms of arbitrary legality.  Activists have already started voicing concerns about insidious linkages between UID and surveillance. Usha Ramanathan (2010) argues that this connection may lead to the tracking and profiling of particular populations (10). Reetika Khera (2011) interrogates the assumptions underpinning UID schemes that celebrate potential easy access to government services, cost-effectiveness, and curbing leakages, especially amidst widespread misclassification, low allocation in PDS, availability of other alternative low-cost technologies, and lack of political will to fight corruption (39-40, see also Khera 2013). 	  	   158 Ramanathan (2010) notes that some people may be disenfranchised for their inabilities to provide biometric records, especially those with calloused hands, marred fingerprints, or corneal scars (13; see also Rao 2013b, 74). Nevertheless, despite the associated harms of surveillance and control, UID may have some empowering potential for the largely excluded homeless populations who are outside the “circuit of welfare distribution” and who face constant everyday police harassment (Rao 2013b, 71), despite surveillance and control. As discussed in this chapter, successful attempts to enter the orbit of the state welfare imagination are conditioned by social relations and “a mixture of patronage, luck, and self-discipline” (ibid., 74). As argued above, ethnography can reveal the trajectory of enumeration mechanisms, welfare objectives, and popular improvisations. Indeed, the proliferation of counterfeits highlights “a dialectic of law and disorder, framed by neoliberal mechanisms of deregulation and new modes of mediating human transactions at once politico-economic and cultural, moral, and mortal” (Comaroff and Comaroff 2006, 5). Comaroff and Comaroff (2006) argue: “With market fundamentalism has come a gradual erasure of received lines between the informal and the illegal, regulation and irregularity, order and organized lawlessness” (5). Long queues at the Food and Supply Office, struggles to obtain proof documents, daily rebuttal, and humiliation have to be located in the ecology of scarcity. The ecology of scarcity, in turn, is underpinned by the contemporary mode of capitalist development with a focus on urban restructuring and economic reforms led by Bretton Woods Institutions (Patnaik 2007). Contemporary India is defined by a scarcity of food grains, demonstrated by the decline in per capita absorption amidst record production outputs (ibid.), and the scarcity of housing amidst a real estate boom. In this kind of scenario, the lack of proof documents among the poor, as Gordillo 	  	   159 (2006) suggests in the Argentinean context, “[becomes] not only the emblem but also the cause of their poverty and political marginalization” (164). Accordingly, the contours of legality and illegality, and documents and their counterfeits, have to be redefined as survival needs. In other words, “zones of deregulation are also spaces of opportunity, of vibrant, desperate inventiveness and unrestrained profiteering” (Comaroff and Comaroff 2006, 9). Where Thomas Marshall (2009) demonstrates the gradual progression from civil rights to social rights in the British context, the experience of citizenship in the post-colonial context remains uneven. Aspects of citizenship are realized without a natural progression towards egalitarian distribution of rights and eventual predominance of social rights. As discussed in Chapter 1, Kaviraj (2005) describes such a scenario through his idea of a sequential trajectory of modernity and democracy.  The realization of rights is tied up with state governmentality, but shaped by the unequal distribution of capital and the structural location of the poor, especially with state retrenchment from welfare objectives such as social housing and other amenities. The formal aspects of citizenship demonstrated in various rights, including the right to shelter and the right to food, contradict the substantive aspects of citizenship reflected in the abysmal levels of malnutrition and housing in the city. As discussed in this chapter, the struggles to procure proof documents have necessitated imagination, aspiration, and politics around numerical citizenship. I have examined how the negotiations of the urban poor concerning proof documents involve various organs of the state. The poor in Delhi also negotiate with the judicial system against demolition and for resettlement plots. In this respect, I turn to an examination of the judicial system in Chapter 5. 	  	   160 Chapter 5  Law and Urban Displacements: Everyday Negotiations of the Judicial System   In this chapter I analyze how the urban poor negotiate the judicial system. The judicial system has been proactive in the lives of the urban poor in recent years. While some critical commentators (discussed below) have provided important insights into the discourse of verdicts, the nature of the judicial system in an age of neo-liberalism, middle-class activism, and the use of Public Interest Litigation, there is scant literature on the everyday negotiation of the judicial system in contemporary Delhi. In this chapter I analyze the contingent circumstances under which law favours or disfavours the poor, and the social relations and alliances that shape the negotiation of law and legal outcomes. This processual understanding of law will help us analyze the limits of the law in advancing an emancipatory politics as well as to understand how law can be a site of struggle.  Legal machinery has been at the forefront of urban restructuring in recent times. While issuing numerous verdicts, the judiciary has introduced a rationale for creating a ‘desirable’ landscape for Delhi. In fact, most of the demolitions carried out since the 1990s have been backed by judicial regimes that promote pollution control, environmental aesthetics (Baviskar 2003; Bhan 2009), and the control of public nuisances (Ghertner 2008). Recent regimes have also deployed a narrow definition of ‘public interest’ (Sharan 2002), and have framed the poor as illegal, despite their fundamental constitutional rights (Ramanathan 2006). A summary of key verdicts discussed by scholars can provide a brief overview of the logic of judicial decision-making in recent times. Here, I highlight some of 	  	   161 the landmark verdicts that have reflected some of the dominant motifs in judicial decision-making.  In the case of Lawyers’ Cooperative Group Housing Society v. Union of India (CW No 267 and CM 464/1993), the judge ruled that jhuggi dwellers were “trespassers on public land” who burdened the public exchequer with requests for alternative accommodation (cited in Ramanathan 2006, 3194). The judge also ruled that residents should be resettled on licensed rather than leasehold land (ibid.). As Ramanathan argues, this case paved the way for denying the urban poor property rights in subsequent resettlement policies (ibid.). The case of Pitampura Sudhar Samiti v. GNCTD (CWP 4,215 (1995)) argued that Delhi is a showpiece and should not be allowed to decay (Bhan 2009, 128). The cases of M C Mehta v. Union of India (Petition NO 13381 and 13029) argued for the closure and relocation of industries and the use of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) for vehicles (ibid., 133).  Similarly, Almitra Patel v. Union of India (WP 888/1996), regarding municipal solid waste disposal, argued for treating Delhi as a ‘showpiece’ (Ramanathan 2006, 3194; Ghertner 2008, 60; Bhan 2009, 134-35). The February 2000 verdict regarded the existence of slums as potentially “good business” and “well organized” (cited in Ramanathan 2006, 3194). In fact, the verdict in the Almitra case infamously argued that “… rewarding an encroacher on public land with an alternative free site is like giving a reward to a pickpocket for stealing” (cited in Ramanathan 2006, 3195; Bhan 2009, 135). The verdict emphasized the illegality of the poor and demanded “cleaning up the city” (cited in Ramanathan 2006, 3195). The Almitra case connected questions of public health with public interest, although it argued against resettlement housing for the poor (Ramanathan 2006, 3195). As Ghertner (2008) argues, this was the first ever case that “targeted slums as a city-wide public nuisance” (61). 	  	   162 The cases of Okhla Factory Owner’s Association v. GNCTD (CWP 4,441 (1994)) and Wazirpur Bartan Nimrata Sangh v. Union of India ruled on several violations of Dehli’s Master Plan (Bhan 2009, 134). These cases justified evictions of the urban poor in the interests of better solid waste management (ibid.). The judge in the Okhla case disagreed with what it considered an “arbitrary system of providing alternative land sites and land to encroachers on public land” (quoted in Bhan 2009, 135; see also Ramanathan 2006, 3196). As Ramanathan (2006) notes, the Okhla judgment absolved the state of its obligation to provide housing for the poor by squashing the resettlement policy (3195). The judge argued: “No alternative sites are to be provided in future for removal of persons who are squatting on public land. … Encroachers and squatters on public land should be removed expeditiously without prerequisite requirement of providing them alternative sites before such encroachment is removed or cleared” (cited in Ramanathan 2006, 3196). However, the Supreme Court partially stayed the order on appeal (ibid.), though demolitions continue unabated in the name of “public purposes.” The case of Delhi Pradesh Citizen’s Council v. Union of India (CWP 263, 264, and 266 (2006)) argued for the sealing of authorized commercial units in residential neighbourhoods (Bhan 2009, 134). These verdicts and their calls for strict adherence to the Master Plan went against the 1985 Olga Tellis v. Bombay Municipal Corporation judgment and many latter judgments, which recognized the rights of urban “pavement dwellers” and other “slum dwellers” under the “right to livelihood” and “right to shelter,” thereby overruling appeals for their arbitrary removal (Ramanathan 2006, 3193; Bhan 2009, 134). Various other verdicts have likened occupation of land by the poor to anarchy (Ramanathan 2006, 3197). For example, verdicts have distinguished between slum dwellers and non-slum dwellers as “unscrupulous citizens” and “honest citizens” 	  	   163 (ibid.). One judgment argued, “If [the poor] cannot afford to live in Delhi, let them not come to Delhi” (cited in Bhan 2009, 135).  In their deliberations over public interest, public land, public money, public health, and public purposes, the courts have narrowly defined ‘public’ to include property owners only (Sharan 2002; Ramanathan 2005; Ghertner 2008). These definitions rework the varying class logics of the judiciary by often overstating the preeminence of property ownership, thereby basing citizenship and rights on a person’s ability to procure property in the city. Further, the reinterpretation of nuisance laws and the desire to manage nuisances have taken a preeminent place in urban governance regimes (Sharan 2005; Ghertner 2008). Ghertner’s (2008) study argues that technical procedures prior to slum demolition are designed to generate evidence of nuisance and demonstrate a public threat. Tracing various verdicts over time, he argues that nuisance law has shifted from being a “positive technology of building municipal infrastructure” to a “negative and disciplinary technology of elimination and displacement” (ibid., 61). Thus, “nuisance has become the key legal trope that has driven the slum demolitions in Delhi,” (ibid., 59). Various judges have interpreted nuisance law and have argued that slums are filthy spaces that compromise the health, hygiene, and moral rectitude of citizens (ibid., 59). The confluence of planning regimes, middle-class aspirations to control urban space, and judicial activism to clean up the city reflects the current political economy of the city. Debates about the relationship of law and society provide critical insights into the limits of law, class interests that underpin law, and how legal discourses shape urban order. Christopher Tomlins (2007) reviews the debates between formalists, who regard law as “the product of internally constructed rules, procedures,” and instrumentalists, who consider it 	  	   164 “rationales or an effect of external social forces and interests” (45). Spitzer (1983), in his classic review of Marxist perspectives on law, demonstrates how deterministic legal economism gave way to Althusserian theoretical accounts that emphasize the ‘relative autonomy’ of law, although law was still accounted for by an economic logic in the last instance (107-108). Recent Marxist theory aims to open up law with insights into politics, history, and struggles to understand the judicial system (ibid.). While Spitzer recognizes the theoretical promise of treating law as practice, he also argues that law always operates within the framework and limits of institutions (ibid., 109). Tomlins (2007) notes that social-legal scholarship today recognizes the interpenetration of the social and legal fields (47). In other words, there has been an intellectual move from “autonomy to mutuality” (ibid.).  Similarly, Bourdieu (1986-87) breaks away from Althuserrian perspectives on law as an apparatus of the state, and engages with the juridical field as a “structure of symbolic systems” (815). He argues that the “social practices of law are in fact the product of the functioning of a field” (ibid., 816). The field is structured by the power struggles among actors possessing specific and unequal amounts of judicial capital and in ongoing conflicts over competence (ibid). In this respect, Bourdieu demonstrates how the internal logic of judicial functioning limits possible actions and solutions in the juridical field (ibid.). Bourdieu’s approach has been criticized for being static and quasi-structuralist, and for not accounting for dynamic processes involving conflicts and contestations over law, social, and knowledge relations that constitute it (Valverde 2006). Valverde (2006) adds that “with Bourdieu’s work we can shed a lot of light on what lawyers do and are, but we do not actually know much about law and its knowledge dynamics” (595). However, Bourdieu also provides subtle insights into the symbolic struggles that inform the establishment of technical 	  	   165 competence, conflicts between professionals, the politics of rationalization, and the categorization of professional and lay knowledge systems.  In the Indian context, Partha Chatterjee (2011) argues that the tyrannical power of law is tempered by popular practices in the domain of political society (17). Chatterjee’s theorization of ‘political society’ brings into view an emancipatory space, especially in so far as the Indian legal system mirrors t