Sushmita Pati: Properties of Rent: Community, Capital and Politics in Globalising Delhi (2022)

Book description

We live in cities whose borders have always been subject to expansion. What does such transformation of rural spaces mean for cities and vice-versa? This book looks at the spatial transformation of villages brought into Delhi’s urban fray in the 1950s. As these villages transform physically; their residents, an agrarian-pastoralist community – the Jats – also transform into dabblers in real estate. A study of two villages – Munirka and Shahpur Jat – both in the heart of bustling urban economies of Delhi. Reveal that it is ‘rent’ that could define this suburbanisation. ‘Bhaichara’, once a form of land ownership in colonial times, transforms into an affective of belonging, and managing urban property in the face of a steady onslaught from the ‘city’. Properties of Rent is a study of how vernacular form of capitalism and its various affects shape up in opposition to both state, finance capital and the city in contemporary urban Delhi.

  • Delves into the contrast between the state and the community over urban villages
  • One of the first books to have this discussion on the social life of rent
  • Provides details on how local elections are fought, and what political aspirations look like in these villages

Table of Contents


List of maps and figures



Units of measurement



  1. Creating values of land: Law records and Kabza
  2. From buying land, owning taxis to becoming landlords: The changing economic landscape of villages
  3. Villages of the city: Ordering spaces and aspirations in neoliberal times
  4. In the shadows of the state: Community as a mode of political and economic organisation
  5. Culture, gender and belongingness? City and the violence of rent
  6. The fringes of the cartel: How the marginalised become landlords
  7. The allure of politics: The candidates, the cadre and the euphoria of elections




About the Author

Sushmita Pati, National Law School of India University, Bangalore. Her areas of interest are urban politics, political economy and political theory.

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