ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
-A A +A
Manual Scavenging’s Reconstitution in 21st-century Bengaluru

Numbing Machines

What forms does manual scavenging take after its legal abolition? Analysing the recent deaths in Bengaluru’s sewage treatment plants and underground drainage systems, the understandings of manual scavenging as an “archaic” practice and opposed to the “rule of law” are rejected. The contractualisation of sewer maintenance instrumentalises “untouchable” bodies, making the calibration of caste power coincidental with the calibration of urban sewerage. Urban manual scavenging is shown to be an emergent application of caste power that resolves ecological impasses in contemporary sewerage. The objectification of caste power in urban infrastructures nevertheless opens up new locations for politicising normative caste embodiment.

 



Subscribers please login to access full text of the article.

New 3 Month Subscription
to Digital Archives at

826for India

$50for overseas users

Get instant access to the complete EPW archives

Subscribe now

Updated On : 6th Dec, 2019

Comments

(-) Hide

EPW looks forward to your comments. Please note that comments are moderated as per our comments policy. They may take some time to appear. A comment, if suitable, may be selected for publication in the Letters pages of EPW.

Back to Top