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Making participatory land policy in Pune, India

Jatkar, Harshavardhan Rajeev; (2021) Making participatory land policy in Pune, India. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Land is significant to politics in India. The Slum Rehabilitation Policy (SRP) of the Government of Maharashtra (GoM) seeks to rehabilitate slum-dwellers by using land as a resource. Whereas there are many theoretical and practical ways of conceptualising, using, and politicising land, how people subjected to the slum rehabilitations imagine, use and politicise land remains underexplored. This thesis explores people’s land subjectivities during the implementation of the state-sanctioned SRP in India. To do so, I draw from postcolonial theory and subaltern studies to interrogate a socially made ‘participatory land policy’ (PLP). This socially made PLP is visible through my proposed postcolonial sensory field, which constitutes people’s contextually articulated land subjectivities and participatory encounters between government and the governed. This shows that the Indian state institutions are not the sovereign authors, but participants in socially making PLP. The socially made PLP is society’s intentional conduct regarding land that shapes people’s own land subjectivities and policies. By critically examining slum rehabilitations in Pune, this thesis uncovers a socially made PLP in which various bodily, material, and textual encounters and people’s postcolonial and subaltern land subjectivities are made visible. Empirically, I focus on two settlements undergoing slum rehabilitation in the city of Pune, India. Using an abductive research strategy, ethnographic data generation and discourse analyses methods, I show that the SRP principally considers land as property and commodity. Alternatively, some of people’s articulations of land straddle between modernity and tradition (therefore postcolonial), while others remain unrecognisable using prevailing vocabularies (therefore subaltern). This thesis uncovers three subaltern meanings of land, namely: an anchor for interpersonal metonyms, inseparable from spatial morphology, and flesh of the community. Effectively, this thesis presents a theory of a socially made participatory land policy attentive to postcolonial and subaltern land subjectivities in Pune.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Making participatory land policy in Pune, India
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2021. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School Env, Energy and Resources
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10119976
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