ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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A Hijra, a Female Pradhan and a Real Estate Dealer: Between the Market, the State and 'Community'

The history of 20th century Delhi is an intertwined history of the city and the slum. Investigating strategies of being and belonging deployed by the urban poor in the Delhi basti of Nangla Matchi, which was demolished in 2006, this paper explores three varied individual biographies as sites of meanings regarding processes of the state, the unstable contexts of livelihoods, and histories of intra-national displacement. The paper also seeks to make an ethnographic contribution to studies of the urban margins by examining the overlapping careers of "margin" and "centre" as cultural, political and economic contexts. The life-stories described in this paper thus concern the ways in which the metropolises of power, comfort, pleasure, and hygiene are built over and through the provinces of powerlessness, pain, suffering and displacement.

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