Cover

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Title Page, Series Page, Copyright Page, Dedication

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pp. i-vi

Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Preface

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pp. ix-xiv

I came to Mumbai expecting to document a great transformation, but I ended up writing about the contentious politics of stability.1 When I began conducting the research that became this book, almost a decade ago, I was basically convinced of the overwhelming power of global capital—and the neoliberal policies that direct it—to destroy communities...

Abbreviations

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pp. xv-xvi

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Introduction

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pp. 1-24

The narrow lanes and pathways through Dharavi’s densely packed central neighborhoods open up in front of Aneesh Shankar’s house. A flower garden and a courtyard—seemingly out of place in a part of the city where nearly every bit of space is used to either house someone, make something, or sell something—give way to a freshly painted two-story bungalow with a...

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1 Becoming Asia’s Largest Slum

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pp. 25-54

Dharavi’s early history is usually recounted with an air of nostalgia, tracing the slum of today back to the small, idyllic fishing village it was just a century ago. As its familiar origin myth goes, Dharavi was a sparsely populated village until the middle of the nineteenth century, inhabited by members of the Son Koli caste of fishing people. The Kolis are believed to...

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2 State Interventions and Fragmented Sovereignties

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pp. 55-84

Around the time that Dharavi became “Asia’s largest slum,” another attempt to transform the settlement was launched. Having been allowed to develop more or less independently and free from direct state involvement for over a century, Dharavi became the site of significant government attention in the mid-1980s, when the resources and authorities of the national...

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3 From Labor to Land: An Emerging Political Economy

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pp. 85-114

In the 1980s and 1990s Mumbai1 underwent a major economic transition, shifting from a mostly manufacturing city to one increasingly dependent on services and consumption. With changes to India’s industrial policy and increased competition from abroad, manufacturing facilities, particularly those associated with the city’s historically powerful textile...

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4 Political Entrepreneurship and Enduring Fragmentations

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pp. 115-140

I had been trying for weeks to set up a meeting with Satish Sheynde, the elected BMC councilor for Dharavi’s 176th Ward and a longtime member of the Congress Party. I had heard that Sheynde had been criticizing the Dharavi Redevelopment Project (DRP) in private conversations and public forums. Meanwhile, these accounts conflicted with official statements...

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5 The Right to Stay Put

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pp. 141-166

The postmonsoon humidity felt even stickier than normal from within the small courtyard in Kumbharwada, the potters’ settlement in the southeast corner of Dharavi. The potters’ ovens emitted heat and smoke, working overtime to bake enough small clay lamps for the upcoming Diwali festival season. On this morning in late September, several women were busy...

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Conclusion: Precarious Stability

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pp. 167-176

Almost a decade after the Dharavi Redevelopment Project (DRP) was announced amid media fanfare and bold proclamations that Mumbai would soon be slum free, the promises have yet to be realized; the project seems poised to become another illustration of Mumbai’s presumed planning pathologies. Caught between global development imperatives and local struggles over the right to stay put, the government has put the project...

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Acknowledgments

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pp. 177-180

I would first like to thank my dissertation committee, Richard Taub, William Mazzarella, Terry Clark, Diane Davis, and especially my dissertation chair and mentor, Saskia Sassen, who excitedly shouted “Bombay!” when I told her I was thinking of doing this research in India. Their feedback and support on this project and throughout graduate school were invaluable. A special thank-you goes to Diane Davis, who planted the seeds for...

Notes

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pp. 181-194

Bibliography

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pp. 195-210

Index

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pp. 211-218

About the Author

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pp. 219-219