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

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Producing Exclusionary Spaces in Delhi

Accumulation by Segregation: Muslim Localities in Delhi by Ghazala Jamil, New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 2017; pp xiv+240, ₹ 750.

 

Accumulation by Segregation: Muslim Localities in Delhi by Ghazala Jamil sets itself an admirable task—that of narrating the exclusionary spatial ordering and the everyday life of Muslims in Delhi. As the subtitle “Muslim Localities in Delhi” might imply, this book is not limited to the physical spaces, but encompasses the structural processes, subjective meanings, and dominant representations that confine Muslims to marginal locations in the city. Jamil traverses different registers of sociological analysis to foreground the geographies of exclusion and the quotidian experiences of Muslims in contemporary urban India.

Muslims in urban India have begun receiving the much-needed scholarly attention. In the field of urban studies, there is a growing interest in exploring the dynamics of contemporary urbanisation and the creation of divided cities. However, its impact on Muslims remains uncharted. Some of the existing scholarship on Muslims has focused mostly on the widening socio-economic inequities and/or the creation of “ghettos” in the aftermath of “riots,” and the cases of Ahmedabad or Mumbai are prominent here. A more recent work Muslims in Indian Cities: Trajectories of Marginalisation, edited by Christophe Jaffrelot and Laurent Gayer (2012), has broadened the canvas in terms of the number and size of the cities studied. Exploring the enmeshed processes of urbanisation, capital accumulation, and spatial segregation in Delhi, Jamil’s book makes a remarkable contribution. Although it adds to the abundant scholarly literature on Delhi, it is relevant because it offers a fresh perspective on the exclusion of Muslims, which is spatially manifested in contradictory and differentiated ways. For doing so, Jamil’s theoretical framework combines the economic processes underlying urbanisation, representations in the media, and the often-neglected discursive practices of urban governmentality.

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Updated On : 18th Jan, 2019

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