Municipal disconnect: On abject water and its urban infrastructures

Nikhil Anand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

76 Scopus citations


Infrastructural practices, made by the manipulations of pumps, pipes and hydraulic expertise, play a critical role in managing urban populations. Drawing on two years of ethnographic research in Mumbai, in this article I show how Muslim settlers in a northern suburb, are being rendered abject residents of the city. Abjection isn't not a lack of social and political entitlements, but a denial of them. As Muslim settlers are being pushed down to claim less desirable water through the deliberate inaction of city engineers and technocrats, this article shows the iterative process through which abjection is made through tenuous and contentious infrastructural connections between the government and the governed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)487-509
Number of pages23
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was carried out with the financial support of Stanford University, the Social Science Research Council, the Wenner-Gren Foundation, and the National Science Foundation, for which I am very grateful.

Copyright 2012 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • India
  • Mumbai
  • abjection
  • citizenship
  • infrastructure
  • water

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Municipal disconnect: On abject water and its urban infrastructures'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this