Policy Engagements and Blogs

CPR-CSH Workshop on ‘The “420” State: Politics and Casteism in Bhisti Recruitment as Sanitation Workers in Jaipur Municipal Corporation’

September 5, 2018

Watch the full video of the CPR – CSH (Centre de Sciences Humaines) workshop (above), which seeks to explore how Bhisti experience the state, its policies and politics of employment and challenge them, through the experiences of a Bhisti community leader.

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.

The talk 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.

The question and answer session that followed can be accessed here. Find all available videos of previous workshops here.