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.
Bibliographical noteFunding 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.