ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Articles By Indivar Jonnalagadda

Cultural Ecologies of Urban Lakes

The Bathukamma festival, historically observed by Telangana-based Other Backward Classes and Dalit communities with traditional connections to waterbodies, has since 2014 become a state festival and a platform for political claim-making. This state-making project has had ripple effects revealing the everyday entanglements of caste associations, urban state–citizen relations, and the political ecology of urban waterbodies, in the capital city of Hyderabad. The paper sheds light on how competition between different caste groups, with distinct cultural ecological claims, shapes urban political ecologies. Urban communities mobilise narrowly defined caste associations to strategically make claims to place, and lobby for resources and recognition. Such claim-making exists even in slum settlements consisting of new migrant communities. We argue that attempts to gain recognition of caste-based claims for water-linked resources are an indirect articulation of belonging and connection to the state and the city.