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

Nida KirmaniSubscribe to Nida Kirmani

Resistance and Its Limits

Lyari, one of the oldest neighbourhoods of Karachi, has been the site of ongoing violence for most of the past two decades. This paper explores the impacts of the ongoing conflict involving criminal gangs, political parties and state security forces. Residents have adopted tactics and strategies ranging from negotiation to active resistance in response to the varied forms of everyday violence. Specifically focusing on street protests between 2012 and 2014, it evaluates the possibilities and limitations of protest in the context of urban violence. More broadly, it argues that studies of urban violence need to move away from viewing the urban poor as exclusively clientelistic or insurgent. It argues that acts of resistance in the form of protest are constrained, determined by, and productive of particular configurations of power.

History, Memory and Localised Constructions of Insecurity

Taking a predominantly Muslim neighbourhood of Delhi as an example, this paper asks how memories of historical events influence the construction of contemporary urban localities. Discussions with the residents about their preference for living in a "Muslim area" revealed a strong effect of memories of violent events (ranging from the Partition riots to the Gujarat pogrom) in the construction of local urban space. By living in Zakir Nagar its residents felt that they had built a barricade against the religion-based violence and discrimination that had become part of their collective memory. However, how people experienced discrimination and the insecurities they felt were affected not only by their religious identity, but also by their age, class, and gender.
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