The Case of Kathputli: Implications of In-Situ Public Private Partnerships in Delhi
Flajole, Patrick Donald
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This thesis presents ethnographic research from Delhi, India to suggest novel ways in which citizenship is understood through the context of decades of liberalization and a marked legal emphasis on property and individual rights. New articulations of civic rights based on identities of the urban poor effectively dismantle the significance of legally instituted regimes of differentiated citizenship and downplay the role of compensatory equity as a means of addressing inequality. In order to demonstrate how identities and citizenships are transforming in this context, the current planning paradigm and models of slum rehabilitation employed by the government of Delhi are examined. In particular, the public private partnership (PPP) model employed in the resettlement of the Kathputli Colony will serve as a focus for this thesis. Findings regarding citizenship are based upon more than thirty qualitative interviews conducted in a slum settlement - Kathputli Colony- selected for eviction conducted. The author along with a team of fellow researchers conducted these semi-structured interviews on site in August 2013. At the time of the interviews, residents of Kathputli Colony were distrustful of the law and yet acknowledged that it may be their only means of advocating on their own behalf. Though many residents were and are entitled to resettlement flats due to their differentiated citizenship status, the imposed illegality of their current living conditions has limited their options for political patronage and legal recourse. Consequently, residents are seeking alternative means of defining themselves in order to prove their eligibility and status as citizens, in order escape the illegality of being of a squatter in Delhi (Roy 2009; Mitra 2010; Sundar 2011). Through its focus on the Kathputli Colony - one of Delhi's numerous informal settlements - these new forms of identities and modes of negotiations that residents actively employ in order to achieve legitimacy and full citizenship status are explored. While a PPP model has been used in the case of Kathputli Colony, the citizenship struggles elucidated by this case are not unique to this form of resettlement and are indicative of a more enduring trend in the management of informal areas.
- East Asian studies