Th is book has exposed the spatial genealogies of a shift from seg-
regation and toleration to abolition and suppression in interwar
India. Th e brothel went from being a site of social and biological
safety and visibility to one of risk and occlusion. Tolerated zones
of prostitution came to be seen as signs of incivility, disease, and
sexual slavery. Th e scalar methodology I have deployed here has
highlighted how this pro cess had discrete yet interlinked logics
within urban, national, and imperial networks. Within these, the
nominalist forces of a city, a state, and an empire were put to work
to civilly abandon prostitutes and their dwellings and to enforce
the naming power of civil society, the Raj, and imperial hygiene.
At each scale these powers were challenged by, and hybridized
with, the re sis tance of prostitutes themselves, Indian women’s
social reform groups, nationalist ideologies of development, and
emerging internationalist apparatuses in opposition to traffi cking
and sexual exploitation. Th ese regulations and complex sociopo-
liti cal engagements show how assumptions about the natural
orderliness of urban civil society, of a legislating and civilizing
colonial government, and of a cleansing and improving domain
of imperial hygiene were (and still need to be) problematized.
Within and beyond the City
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