Hindu majoritarianism, forms of capital, and urban politics: The making of a new ordinary citizen in India

Sanjay Srivastava


This article explores the remaking of ideas of the “ordinary citizen” in India in the context of Hindu majoritarian politics and changing relationships between the state and private capital. Focusing on one of India’s largest privately developed townships, DLF City, which adjoins Delhi, the article explores the ways in which activities by middle- and upper middle-class residents of DLF City produce new narratives of “ordinariness.” Within them, socioeconomically privileged groups come to be represented as “the common people,” contesting the postcolonial state’s historical focus on the welfare of marginal populations. The article suggests that contemporary narratives of ordinariness in India require an understanding beyond its deployment in critical social science literature where it is posited as a politics of speaking truth to power. The appropriation of ordinariness by the privileged in the Indian context is part of a new politics of class, caste, and majoritarianism.

Full Text:


DOI: https://doi.org/10.1086/711894