In 1975 Indira Gandhi declared the infamous 'Emergency' which gave her the power to silence opposition through arrests and censorship, and to introduce a Programme of reform which included draconian campaigns of slum clearance and family planning. In Delhi, access to basic civic amenities now became dependent on the production of a sterilization certificate. For many of the city's poorest inhabitants, whose homes had been demolished, the choice was between sterilization and homelessness.
Unsettling Memories provides a gripping analysis of how state oppression was orchestrated and experienced in India's capital during the Emergency. Using personal narratives and previously unstudied archival material, it traces the process by which policies were subverted at the local level through a combination of violence, trickery, and market forces.
Emma Tarlo's documentation and analysis of the relationship between state archives and lived experience is methodologically innovative, charting new ground for anthropologists, historians and political scientists who are concerned with the role of the state in everyday life.
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