Is Mumbai’s resilience endlessly renewable?

Arjun Appadurai at The Immanent Frame:

Arjun In other words, as we learn more about the deep geo-politics behind the terrifying attacks on Mumbai earlier this month, we need to recognize that there is a tectonic struggle going on in and near Mumbai on at least three axes: the deepest axis (from a historical point of view) is the struggle between the Indian Ocean commercial/criminal nexus and the land-based nexus that stretches from Mumbai to Delhi to Kashmir. The second, more recent struggle is the struggle between political and commercial interests now located in Maharashtra and Gujarat for control over Mumbai, a struggle that was superficially resolved in 1956, when Bombay was declared the capital of the new state of Maharashtra. The third, most subtle, is between a land-based, plebeian form of Hindu nationalism, best represented by the auto-rickshaw drivers and small street vendors of North Mumbai and Greater Mumbai, who would be happy to see South Mumbai destroyed; and the more slick, market-oriented face of the Bharatiya Janata Party, whose elite supporters know that South Mumbai is crucial to the mediation of global capital to India, and where business tycoons like Mukesh Ambani are building homes larger than many global hotels.

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