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

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New Urban Displacement

Displacement, Revolution and the New Urban Condition: Theories and Case Studies by Ipsita Chatterjee, New Delhi: Sage, 2014; pp 158, Rs 645.

Two successive passages in the beginning of the chapter titled “Accumulation, Estrangement, and Displacement” (p 47) in the book under review encapsulate the twin process of development and displacement unlike any other section in the book. Kurshidbhai, a local organiser against the Sabarmati River Front Development (SRFD) project, says that the rehabilitation process is a sham and would only add to their distress. However, Mohammad Pathan Aliyar Khan, leader of the Sabarmati Nagrik Adhikar Manch (SNAM), asserts—much to Kurshidbhai’s dismay—he would move wherever the government resettles him because the new place will have a pucca home.

The same resettlement and rehabilitation process is reviled and feted by two individuals who do not belong to different socio-economic conditions, but share a common identity as poor and marginalised in urban India. It is the exploration of this fractious nature of urban development and displacement that gives Displacement, Revolution, and the New Urban Condition: Theories and Case Studies an edge over uniform narratives of urban dissent, arising from the Global South.

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