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

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Making the ‘Invisibles’ Visible

In Search of Home: Citizenship, Law and the Politics of the Poor by Kaveri Haritas, New Delhi: Cambridge University Press, 2021; pp 194,price not indicated.

Urban poverty, especially in the context of homelessness and hou­sing, has grown into an issue having social, economic, and political verticals. It is a global phenomenon; the subject is viewed as citizenship right, lucrative moneymaking opportunity, or an illegitimate aspiration from the state—depending on which end of the fence one is.

State-led assault and discrimination is not an unknown experience for the urban poor. Often people spend their lives in informal settlements with identities of illegal occupants. This construct of identity can be seen happening even over multiple generations. From the book titled In Search of Home: Citizenship, Law and the Politics of the Poor, one expe­cted to find an explanation of the entire rehabilitation ecosystem in the context of citizenship and governance. The book does make an honest effort to document the experiences of all possible stakeholders. However, it leaves gaps for misrepresentation, even if unconsciously. Given the complex and layered nature of the subject, the urban poor and its relation with the state requires really sharp and careful presentation or it may further the stereotypes and prejudices against the poor.

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Updated On : 8th Aug, 2022
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