This talk reflects on contested sanitary workers recruitment in the Jaipur Municipal Corporation, to explore a Muslim biraderi of Bhisti’s (water carriers) struggle to gain legal right to municipal job and the state’s attempt to ignore it. Despite reservation in municipal sanitary worker job, Bhisti recruitment has stopped since 1982. The community’s claims and attempts to assert and defend their rights have fallen on deaf ears, contested not only by different levels of bureaucracy and politicians but also by their Hindu counterparts, the Dalit sanitary workers. Through the experiences of a Bhisti community leader, this talk explores how Bhisti experience the state, its policies and politics of employment and challenge them in precise ways creating agency and new spaces for negotiation. Moreover, it demonstrates how city politics and political infightings between councillors and party members variously impact the process of recruitment through the institutional and regulatory system, particularly contesting the applicants’ rights as citizens, and symbolically and materially marking their socio-economic deprivation.
Gayatri Jai Singh Rathore is an urban ethnographer. She holds a PhD in Political Science from SciencesPo/CERI. Her ethnographic work is concerned with examining the workings of waste disposal, materials recovery and recycling. Her current work focuses on circulation of “discarded” objects and the specific notions of value attached to it
This workshop is free and there is no registration required. Find all the available videos of our previous workshops, here.
This is the hundredth and third in a series of Urban Workshops planned by the Centre de Sciences Humaines (CSH), New Delhi and Centre for Policy Research (CPR). These workshops seek to provoke public discussion on issues relating to the development of the city and try to address all its facets including its administration, culture, economy, society and politics. For further information, please contact: Olivier Telle of CSH at email@example.com, Partha Mukhopadhyay at firstname.lastname@example.org or Marie-Hélène Zerah at email@example.com