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8 Infrastructures of the Grey: Asli/Naqli in a Mohalla Bazaar

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Chapter Summary

This chapter investigates the triangulation of the grey, infrastructures, and local community spaces. In particular, it takes us into the mohalla bazaar or community marketplace in the postimperial spaces of the jute industry in Kolkata, India. The chapter uses the lens of asli/naqli or ‘real/fake’ to explore the ethnographic field. This is particularly helpful in assessing how infrastructures such as electricity and markets are manipulated and managed every day based on the real or asli needs of the community or ‘community institutions.’ This strengthens the position that local communities are dynamic and interested in governmental reason – though the latter presents many challenges. The chapter concludes by suggesting that the ethnographic method is indispensable in order to scratch the surface of governmental reason in the context of the community. The chapter nods at recent work in this direction, especially conducted by cultural anthropologists such as Arjun Appadurai, Bhaskar Mukhopadhyay, and others, while keeping a close eye on the community in question.



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