Terrains of Resistance: Nonviolent Social Movements and the Contestation of Place in India

By Paul Routledge; John Agnew | Go to book overview

Chapter 1
Development and Resistance in India

In popular discourse development means change and also implies betterment. The term is associated with a sense of optimism and expectation of progress for society and of improvement in the human condition. The fruits of development are potentially manifold and have included advances in medicine and education. However, the process of development is rarely without its costs (witness the contemporary debates on the earth's environment.). This is as true for the West (both historically and contemporarily) as it is currently for states in the so-called developing world who have adopted, in some form, Western models of development.

In India, since Independence, the process of development has been undertaken in order to enjoy the perceived fruits of economic progress, but it has also been accompanied by enormous human and ecological costs. In response to these costs myriad ethnic, caste, class and community groups have attempted varied forms of resistance in order to vitiate against, or indeed prevent, what are seen as the destructive effects of development. Many of these resistances also represent, and indeed articulate, alternative views and models of development. Many propose traditional systems of knowledge, ecologically sustainable economies and the maintenance of local culture, all of which tend to stand in opposition to the changes wrought by modern development.

In this chapter I explore these processes within the context of contemporary India in order to provide the context in which the case studies of this book, the Baliapal and Chipko movements, emerged.

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Terrains of Resistance: Nonviolent Social Movements and the Contestation of Place in India
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Maps and Tables ix
  • Foreword xi
  • Preface xv
  • Acknowledgments xix
  • Chapter 1 Development and Resistance in India 1
  • Notes 19
  • Chapter 2 Putting Social Movements in Their Place: Social Movement Theory and the Spatial Mediation of Nonviolent Resistance Terrains 21
  • Notes 38
  • Chapter 3 the Baliapal Movement 39
  • Notes 73
  • Chapter 4 the Chipko Movement 75
  • Note 118
  • Chapter 5 India's Terrains of Resistance 119
  • Notes 134
  • Chapter 6 Social Movements, Place and Nonviolent Sanctions 135
  • Notes 149
  • Bibliography 151
  • Index 167
  • About the Author 171
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