In recent time Delhi has revealed its ambitions as a global city. The consequent need for cheap, casual, migrant labour for maintaining its world-scale ambitions has been highlighted in a lot of literature, particularly in the post Commonwealth Games (CWG) period. The migrant labourers in the informal economy of Delhi are seen as oppressed, particularly if they belong to a subordinated social group, like the Muslim male migrants. However, there is need to examine the homogenization implied by ‘Muslim male migrants’. This research aims to challenge the one-dimensional depiction of Muslim male migrants as ‘victims’. Analysing the narratives of two groups of Muslim migrant men in a South Delhi neighbourhood, this research tries to critically look at stable markers of identity such as ethnicity, gender and class. The research reveals identities as fluid, multiple and relational. The men emerge as complex subjects—not just passive ‘victims’ but capable of asserting agency, often through the strategic mobilisation of their multiple identities.

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Keywords Informal economy, men, Muslim men, migrants, Afghan migrants, Bengali migrants, rickshaw-pullers, ethnicity, masculinities, multiple identities, feminist methodology, Delhi, Right to the City, urban citizenship, Delhi Master Plan 2021
Thesis Advisor Siegmann, Karin Astrid
Persistent URL
Series Women, Gender, Development (WGD)
Chakraborty, M. (2012, December 14). Male, Migrant, Muslim: Identities and Entitlements of Afghans and Bengalis in a South Delhi Neighbourhood. Women, Gender, Development (WGD). Retrieved from