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

D Asher GhertnerSubscribe to D Asher Ghertner

The Colonial Roots of India’s Air Pollution Crisis

Tracing the genealogy of the scientific claim that Indian lung capacity is deficient vis-à-vis the “European norm,” it is argued that the pathologisation of the Indian lung that once justified colonial-era segregation has made a troubling contemporary return, producing state imperceptibility of pollution-induced illness. Specifically, colonial theories of tropical air suggest that the Indian lung is uniquely suited to a dusty environment. When invoked in the present, this obviates the need for urgent pollution abatement action.

Analysis of New Legal Discourse behind Delhi's Slum Demolitions

A discourse analysis of court documents in slum-related cases from the past 25 years leads to the conclusion that the basic statement that "slums are illegal" is a very recent juridical discourse and the rise of court orders to demolish slums is due to reinterpretation of nuisance law. The "new nuisance discourse" that arose in the early 2000s re-problematised slums as nuisances and became the primary mechanism by which slum demolitions take place at present.
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