The struggle for access to and control over a space in which to live has

made housing a central issue for the city of Mumbai. The city's history is

one in which human rights and, in particular, the right to housing have

played an important role. This article examines the Indian Supreme

Court's development of the right to housing as an aspect of the right to

life, placing this unique jurisprudence within the complex reality of life

for Mumbai's inhabitants. The article traces the growth of this expansive

human right through the Indian jurisprudence and then contrasts the

housing rights case law with more recent litigation on the environment,

urban growth, and rural development, in which the housing rights of

marginalized communities have been radically refigured. The analysis

reveals competing visions of how human rights should be interpreted and

whose interests these norms should protect. In fact, as the article exposes,

the contested interpretation of the right to housing is caught up in

competing visions of India's social transformation into a new, "modern"

state and the place of its marginalized citizens within that state. In this

context, the right to housing emerges as a site of struggle through which

the meaning of urban citizenship, participation, and the future of the city

itself are contested. The article closes by offering some conclusions on the

factors underlying the shift in popular and judicial human rights

discourse, showing that competing visions of social transformation have

had concrete impacts on the human rights of India's most marginalized