A political party worker who produces crowds for electoral rallies. A “prison specialist” who serves other people’s prison sentences in exchange for a large fee. An engineer who is able to secure otherwise impossible building permits. These and other dealmakers—whose expertise and labor are often considered morally suspect—can be indispensable for navigating everyday life in Bombay, one of the world’s most complex, dynamic, and populous cities. Bombay Brokers collects profiles of thirty-six such “brokers.” Written by anthropologists, artists, city planners, and activists, these character sketches bring into relief the paradox that these brokers’ knowledge and labor are ethically fraught yet essential for Bombay’s functioning. Their centrality reveals the global-scale paradoxes and gaps that these brokers mediate and bridge. In this way, Bombay Brokers prompts a reconsideration of what counts as legitimate and valuable knowledge and labor while offering insight into changing structures of power in Bombay and around the globe.
Contributors. Anjali Arondekar, Sarthak Bagchi, Tobias Baitsch, Sangeeta Banerji, Srimati Basu, Tarini Bedi, Amita Bhide, Lisa Björkman, Uday Chandra, Simon Chauchard, Ka-Kin Cheuk, Michael Collins, Daisy Deomampo, Maura Finkelstein, Ajay Gandhi, Rupali Gupte, Kathryn C. Hardy, Lalitha Kamath, Prasad Khanolkar, Bhushan Korgaonkar, Ratoola Kundu, Ken Kuroda, Annelies Kusters, Lisa Mitchell, Shailaja Paik, Gautam Pemmaraju, Lubaina Rangwala, Llerena Guiu Searle, Atreyee Sen, Prasad Shetty, Rohan Shivkumar, Edward Simpson, David Strohl, Rachel Sturman, R. Swaminathan, Aneri Taskar, Yaffa Truelove, Sahana Udupa, Lalit Vachani, Leilah Vevaina