According to United Nations projections, India s urban population will grow faster than that of any other country over the next 30 years, increasing by more than 350 million during that period. Despite this transformation, there are as yet few book–length treatments that address the political economy of the contemporary, post–liberalization Indian city in comparative perspective.
Contesting the Indian City examines the contradictions and contestations of India s current urban moment, as historically entrenched urban forms, rooted in cultural dynamics and legacies of Nehruvian state–sponsored modernization, face mounting pressure with the emergence of powerful new political actors around the push toward economic growth and the commodification of urban space. Bringing together a collection of theoretical explorations and empirical studies, the volume offers important insights into issues of politics, equity, and space relating to urban development in modern India. In doing so, it deepens theoretical understandings of the changes that Indian cities are experiencing, and of the comparative implications of the Indian experience for contemporary debates about urban politics. Enlightening and timely, Contesting the Indian City contributes greatly to urgent debates about the political dynamics that underlie urban development in contemporary India.
Each chapter is a brilliant incursion into one facet of the Indian city as presented in this book. Together the authors give us a refracted account of that complex condition that is a city. The chapters regularly seem to be in conversation with each other, an unusual achievement for a collection.
Saskia Sassen, Columbia University, and author of Territory, Authority, Rights
Global flows have created deep contestations and hybrid conditions
in Indian cities that are often incomprehensible to planners and policy
makers. This book offers a nuanced and scholarly reading of this complex
landscape through examining potent samples at all scales across a range of Indian cities. An extremely well–timed book, given the intellectual void in the debate on contemporary Indian cities.
Rahul Mehrotra, Harvard University
Series Editors Preface ix
Preface and Acknowledgments x
1 Introduction: Contesting the Indian City: Global Visions and the Politics of the Local 1
Gavin Shatkin and Sanjeev Vidyarthi
2 Contested Developments: Enduring Legacies and Emergent Political Actors in Contemporary Urban India 39
Liza Weinstein, Neha Sami, and Gavin Shatkin
3 Conflict and Commensuration: Contested Market Making in India s Private Real Estate Development Sector 65
Llerena Guiu Searle
4 One–Man Handled : Fragmented Power and Political Entrepreneurship in Globalizing Mumbai 91
5 Power to the People? A Study of Bangalore s Urban Task Forces 121
6 Social Conflict and the Neoliberal City: A Case of Hindu Muslim Violence in India 145
7 Gentrifying the State: Governance, Participation, and the Rise of Middle–Class Power in Delhi 176
D. Asher Ghertner
8 Becoming a Slum: From Municipal Colony to Illegal Settlement in Liberalization Era Mumbai 208
9 Building a World Class Heritage City : Jaipur s Emergent Elites and the New Approach to Spatial Planning 241
10 Planning Mangalore: Garbage Collection in a Small Indian City 265
11 Comparative Perspectives on Urban Contestations: India and China 293