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

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Freedom of Loitering

The urban mediated transition of con­straining social space to becoming more enabling has remained truncated.

The emergence of modern public spaces produced in the process of urbanisation, as expected by the modern planners, was supposed to be organised around a normative core. Put differently, these spaces would provide an enabling physical condition in which the urban public would gain a chance to loiter around these places either with some purpose or even without any specific purpose. This urban thrust would certainly look normative in the larger social context, in which certain sections are still hostile to the autonomous movement of individuals. Members of certain marginalised communities do face hostility, externally as well as internally, by the social patriarchy embedded in caste hierarchy, ethnic forces and religious establishments.

In this context, it is necessary to take into consideration the public spaces that have the egalitarian core in the sense that they are more hospitable to unrestricted participation. The public parks, vegetable and fish markets, shopping malls and street corners—naka (Marathi) or nukkad (in Hindi)—are, for example, some of the spaces where people can hang around. Arguably, people, both male and female, can access the malls even virtually. Such malls have come up in major metropolitan cities in the country and, as a result, freedom to loiter around has become a possibility.

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Updated On : 17th Dec, 2022
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