This book examines how the Indian state is encountered and imagined in everyday life among a group of urban middle class youth in Kolkata. Through a detailed and empirically rich ethnographic engagement with the everyday actions and beliefs of ordinary people in relation to the Indian State, the book shows how many Indians regularly loose trust in the institutions that govern them. The book offers a series of lucid accounts of how people frequently encounter the state as an agency and a set of institutions that victimise those who approach it. The result is a crisis of trust in the state among the urban youth studied by Nielsen. This undermining of trust in the state, Kenneth Bo Nielsen demonstrates, has severe consequences not only for the quality of Indian democracy, but also for everyday social relations. The book will be of relevance to anthropologists and South Asianists, as well as to people with an interest in the production and destruction of social trust.