chapter  7
15 Pages

Temporalities of planning and disaster: slum demolition and the rebuilding of lives at the margins of Delhi


In 2010 I interviewed women in the Indian national capital of Delhi about their experience of forced removal from their homes in a slum and found them describing it in the terms of a serious personal crisis (Rao 2010). It shares the same temporality as a natural disaster, accident or major health crisis. While people are well aware of the potential dangers, insecurities and vulnerabilities that structure their marginalized lives, the actual event of slum demolition caught them unprepared. The laments about waking up to police troops destroying private homes communicate the sense of rupture.