ROUTING TECHNO-INTIMACY, RISK, ANXIETY AND THE AMBIENT POLITICAL
If you saunter along any ilaka in Delhi, from an upscale colony to a basti and stop people along your meanderings to ask them where they imagine their intimacies lie (geheri dosti, khas rishtedari, avaidya sambandh, khas sambandh), how they might be forged, one almost automaton like, involuntary, reflex, perhaps even knee jerk response rehearses relationships with and bonds between people as flesh, as blood, as bodies. Technology would appear nowhere in this portrayal even as technologies are becoming more and more ubiquitous in South Asia. In fact most common presumptions and conceptions of the place of technology are underscored by the routes through which technology stalls, disrupts, and intervenes
in face to face encounters even as technologies are touted as the ultimate enablers. In the case of the central government in Delhi (a tweeting Prime Minister led Sarkar), technologies are envisaged as cleaner, clearer routes, veritable magical carpet rides that will obviate the need for people through people transactions and along the way clear away the underbrush of bureaucratic corruption which is said to divert/distract currency from its proper course and right destination; somehow mobile banking, paying by cards, an Aadhar number (a numerical avatar for a person) will manage what has stymied generations (and of course all these salvific technological modes and the implicit critiques that underwrite their fantasies of success must be denuded of political economies—they are obedient, as can be expected, to that very peculiar and particular paradox in bureaucratic market politics (i.e. writing about the market sans political economies, so that bureaucracy makes way before some strange notion of market forces).