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

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Gully Boy and Its Silent Mutinies

The film Gully Boy is a subtle introduction to the sociology of everyday life in cities of the global South. It rallies home the point that one of the easiest ways to work through the contentious spaces of urban social life in the neo-liberal Indian city is jugaad (the ability to juggle/ creatively tinker with the rules of the game).

Space as Political Text

Taking space and its transformations as a political text, this article looks into the dynamics of inclusion and exclusion as well as the manner in which space is implicated in memory. It engages in this exploration by focusing on the process known as the “beautification” of Colombo implemented by the Rajapaksa regime in Sri Lanka as one of its most iconic political programmes.

Women from Outside

Selfing the City: Single Women Migrants and Their Lives in Kolkata by Ipshita Chanda, New Delhi: Sage Publications, 2017; pp xi + 323, ₹ 995.

View from the Other Side

A different kind of understanding took shape among certain sections of the Bengali elite, that is, the professional middle- and upper-classes, which gave a primacy to the norms of society and the needs of the locals over the commercial interests of the colonial state. The local ideas tried to jostle for space with the dominant colonial ideas of the city and manifested in various forms. Also, unlike the colonial ideas, the local ideas about the city space were not identical and unitary, but tended to vary from person to person. However, in all these, the interests of the society were also kept in mind. Some of these writings provided a sharp critique to the colonial administration and its views about the city, be it on the sanitary measures adopted by the administration or the mindless commercialisation in the city. The larger focus of the local views was to provide a critique of the colonial administration, as well as the critique of the social decay brought by it.

Recycling the Urban

The paper explores the interfaces of urbanisation, settlement practices, and issues of labour migration and displacement in contemporary Kolkata. It starts with interrogating a historical narrative of urbanisation and zoning practices in the city in the 1960s and picks out few threads which still seem relevant in studies of contemporary modes of urbanisation. It studies in some detail the practice of "thika tenancy" in the Kolkata slums--the most prominent site of habitation of the migrant workers in the city. It challenges the hypothesis of the "bypass model" of urbanisation in Kolkata and introduces the concept of "urban recycling," which facilitates a continuous juxtaposition of displacement and accumulation of human and other resources as part of the urbanisation process.
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