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Urban Spatial Politics: Sociality, Community and narratives of Transparency and Corruption in Delhi

The CEU Campus
Monday, October 30, 2017, 5:30 pm – 8:00 pm


This discussion seeks to explore certain ideas around corruption, transparency and community as they emanate from two different socio-economic contexts. The first of these concerns the middle-class locality of what I will call New Gurgaon. In particular, my focus is on the privately developed DLF City – built by the Delhi Land and Finance company – located in the district of Gurgaon that borders Delhi. Gurgaon is in the state of Harayana. The second context of my discussion is the now demolished slum locality of Nagla Matchi that, till 2006, lay on the eastern banks of the river Yamuna. This locality, established in the late 1970s, was demolished in 2006 to make way for an urban ‘beautification’ programme connected to the preparation for the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

My aim in this presentation is to think about some of the key aspects of urbanization and what they tell us about ideas of citizenship, relations with the state and notions of community across different class fractions. The ideas that link the two quite different socio-economic contexts are those related to transparency, 'corruption', morality, faking and trickery.


Sanjay Srivastava is Professor of Sociology at the Institute of Economic Growth, Delhi University North Campus and India-based director of the MS Merian-R. Tagore International Centreof Advanced Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences. His publications include Constructing Postcolonial India: National Character and the Doon School (1998), Asia: Cultural Politics in the Global Age (2001, co-authored), Sexual Sites, Seminal Attitudes. Sexualities, Masculinities and Culture in South Asia (2004, contributing editor), Passionate Modernity, Sexuality, Class and Consumption in India (2007), Sexuality Studies (2013, contributing editor), and Entangled Urbanism: Slum, Gated Community and Shopping Mall in Delhi and Gurgaon (2015). From 20110 to 2016 he was editor of the journal Contributions to Indian Sociology.