“Maximum City”*: Bombay, Spatial Politics, and Representation

By Kalpana Bora and Rohini Mokashi-Punekar.

Published by Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The spaces of the global city are defined not only by the processes of global production and consumption but also by the accompanied ancillary local societies which are in turn connected to the global network. Such multi-polarity necessitates deliberation on the spatial organization of and divisions within the city. David Harvey’s “space-time compression” (1989) and Manuel Castells “space of flows” (1989) demonstrate the ways in which technologies of communication have revolutionized the spaces of the global city. Further, Arjun Appadurai’s conjunction of “scapes” (1996) heralds the imagination of the city in its fresh avatar as a key social component of the new global order. In this context the transformation of the city is reflected in literary imaginations and cinematic representations. This paper explores the glocal city of Bombay in two representative texts--Vikram Chandra’s ‘Sacred Games’ and Murzbaan Shroff’s ‘Breathless in Bombay’. The re-naming of the city in 1995, and more recently the terror attacks of 26/11 have brought into prominence the fact that Bombay has once again changed as a city. The city’s claim of being a global cosmopolis needs to be tempered by the many contesting, conflicting and, at times, complementary imaginations of the city. Locating the city’s re-naming from Bombay to Mumbai as the discursive point of departure and drawing on Henri Lefebvre’s thereotical articulation of the “production of space” this paper argues that the demographic changes brought about by contemporary capitalism and cultural exchange calls for a re-thinking of the global city that rests on and is inclusive of the multiple realities of the city.

Keywords: Appadurai, Bombay, Mumbai, Global City, Henri Lefebvre, Vikram Chandra, Murzbaan Shroff

Spaces and Flows: An International Journal of Urban and ExtraUrban Studies, Volume 1, Issue 3, pp.151-166. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 885.229KB).

Kalpana Bora

Research Scholar, Department Of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati, Guwahati, Assam, India

Dr. Rohini Mokashi-Punekar

Associate Professor, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati, Guwahati, Assam, India