Andy Rotman


This Symposium Article details the bazaars in the city of Banaras and explains why it is an especially good test case for considering the topic at hand: Corporate Capitalism and the City of God. The article explores how Banaras challenges normative views of “corporate capitalism,” both in terms of how it is practiced in the city and the rules that govern it. It further focuses on the legal system that is mobilized to guide commercial exchange and daily life in the bazaars of Banaras, this legal system’s relationship to the city’s courts and police, and the relationship between these two justice systems and the kinds of justice they deliver. Last, it offers an overview of India’s courts and police to assess the limitations of India’s criminal justice system and provide context for the flourishing of India’s bazaar law system, especially in Banaras. This article further provides the author's observations and insights from academic writing on these topics and from more than two decades of ethnographic research in Banaras.