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Abstract

The “refugee crisis” after the 1947 Partition of British India generated new contestations over urban resources, especially for securing accommodation. It resulted in a proliferation of encampment laws and policies with outcomes at multiple levels: city, neighborhood, and community. This article traces the uneven geographies produced by Bombay’s encampment laws and the (spatial) politics of refugee rehabilitation. It focuses on the state’s use of “camps” to segregate impoverished refugees and consolidate the urban periphery. The article explores the interplay between law, space, and property to illustrate how refugee entitlements created and sustained various forms of power and precarity in the metropolis. Refugee camps provided “conditional access” to shelter for indigent Sindhi refugees and became markers of social identification. Middle-class Sindhi refugees, on the other hand, secured their place in the city by establishing cooperative housing societies. This article highlights how caste and regional distinctions in pre-Partition Sindh translated into class-based spatial divisions among the displaced Sindhis in post-colonial Bombay.

In: Journal of Sindhi Studies
In: Islamic Architecture through Western Eyes: Spain, Turkey, India and Persia
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In: Philological Encounters
In: Islamic Architecture through Western Eyes: Spain, Turkey, India and Persia
In: Islamic Architecture through Western Eyes: Spain, Turkey, India and Persia
In: Islamic Architecture through Western Eyes: Spain, Turkey, India and Persia
In: Islamic Architecture through Western Eyes: Spain, Turkey, India and Persia
In: Islamic Architecture through Western Eyes: Spain, Turkey, India and Persia
In: Islamic Architecture through Western Eyes: Spain, Turkey, India and Persia