From Third-Class to World-Class Citizens : Claiming Belonging, Countering Betrayal in the Margins of Ahmedabad

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Salmi , J 2019 , ' From Third-Class to World-Class Citizens : Claiming Belonging, Countering Betrayal in the Margins of Ahmedabad ' , City & Society , vol. 31 , no. 3 , pp. 392-412 . https://doi.org/10.1111/ciso.12238

Title: From Third-Class to World-Class Citizens : Claiming Belonging, Countering Betrayal in the Margins of Ahmedabad
Author: Salmi, Jelena
Contributor: University of Helsinki, Social and Cultural Anthropology
Date: 2019-12-18
Language: eng
Number of pages: 21
Belongs to series: City & Society
ISSN: 0893-0465
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/310256
Abstract: This paper ethnographically explores the repercussions of the large-scale displacement and resettlement of slum-dwellers in the city of Ahmedabad, India, where state-sponsored urban development aimed at the creation of a slum-free world-class city is strongly personified around the figure of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Based on ten months’ fieldwork in the slum resettlement site of Sadbhavna Nagar in 2015–2016, I explore the intricacies of betrayal resulting from world-class city making. First, I sug-gest that infrastructure interventions and futuristic imaginaries invoked dreams of a better future among the poor, but resulted in a sense of having been betrayed by both Modi and the state when people were physically and discursively excluded from the world-class city. Second, I demonstrate how resettled people have engaged in micro-level practices of betrayal by mobilizing middle-class “nuisance talk” (Ghertner 2012) to denigrate their new, unwanted neighbors. I argue that the perceived betrayal by the state trickles down and translates into a betrayal of neighbors in the resettlement site, reinforcing the pre-existing inequalities of caste and religion among the urban poor.
Subject: 5200 Other social sciences
Anthropology
India
Displacement
Urban development
World-Class City
resettlement
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